E. Winter Tashlin

Supportive Mothers Edition [What You Need To Know]

Filed By E. Winter Tashlin | October 10, 2012 10:00 AM | comments

Filed in: Living, Marriage Equality
Tags: Amy Dentata, Archbishop John Nienstadt, Arkansas, coming out of the closet, culture wars, John Corvino, Kirk Cameron, Mainers United for Marriage, NPR


When I came out at thirteen, my mother and step-father really couldn't have cared less. Granted, our lives at the time were completely consumed by the realities of my having a debilitating, ostracizing, and potentially dangerous, chronic disability. The gender of the participants in my adolescent fantasies was so low my parents' list of concerns about my life that it's barely worth mentioning.

Over the years since then, my mom has become an incredible LGBT ally, and she's used her role as an educator to better the lives of LGBT youth whenever possible. From advising gay and trans* kids about talking to their families (or not), to spearheading the founding of a LGBT student's group in the 90s at her high school. She and I even co-taught a workshop last year on "Growing Up Queer, from the Child & Parent's Perspective" at a leading gender and sexuality conference.

Sometimes though, just how accepting she is has made it hard to get her to understand that not all parents and people are. A parent rejecting their child over sexual orientation or gender identity makes so little sense to her, that she can forget how real an issue it still is for LGBT people.

The fact that my mother subscribes to a religious faith that is very positive and affirming of LGBT people has certainly made things easier for her.

Not so for the mother who prompted a recently released letter from a Minnesota archbishop. In response to a letter that a mother sent him asking for greater acceptance for LGBT people within the Church, Archbishop John Nienstadt wrote that she needed to reject her gay child or she could go to hell (in a literal, rather than figurative sense). He also advised that unless she was willing to give up her pro-equality views, she could no longer consider herself Catholic or partake in the Catholic sacraments.

If she's anything like my mom, by now I imagine she's found a more accepting community and told the Archbishop to blow it out his ass. I sure hope so at least.

And now, here's what you need to know today:

Recent Entries Filed under Living:

Leave a comment

We want to know your opinion on this issue! While arguing about an opinion or idea is encouraged, personal attacks will not be tolerated. Please be respectful of others.

The editorial team will delete a comment that is off-topic, abusive, exceptionally incoherent, includes a slur or is soliciting and/or advertising. Repeated violations of the policy will result in revocation of your user account. Please keep in mind that this is our online home; ill-mannered house guests will be shown the door.