I generally do my book reviews over on GoodReads, but I'm doing a couple here on my blog for Pride Month, starting with Susan Cottrell's "Mom I'm Gay". This book is intended as the first book that an Evangelical parent reads after their kid comes out to them as LGBTQ. And, as that, it is excellent.
Each chapter is short and intended to deal with one issue about "coming out". The chapter ends with a few questions to the parent about how they handled the situation, what they could do better, and how they can continue to pray through the situation.
Part 1 is called "Coping with the shock" and spends a good bit of time dealing with the fact that the child's being gay is not the parents' fault and is not about the parent. I appreciated that there was a chapter early on that pushed back hard against the idea that one could "pray away the gay".
Part 2 is "Understanding your child's experience". This group of chapters had a lot of stories told from the child's perspective. There was also a lot of good information about what to say and what not to say to your child.
Part 3 is "Responding in love". You'd think that this would come naturally to a parent, but the stories say otherwise. Susan has lots of wise suggestions on how to practically love your child during this early, difficult time.
Part 4 is "Working it out with God". Finally, we get to some theology. But, this isn't primarily a theology book. Susan keeps this section pretty light, but she does deal with all seven of the "clobber passages". Her notes include some resources, including God and the Gay Christian which is more theologically heavy.
Part 5 is "Finding a community of support". This is crucial. It's so important that you have other parents with you as you deal with what is probably a huge crisis with your child.
Please read the appendix. Susan has letters from parents and children and an arresting story.
This book will not answer every question that you have about your kid being gay. That's OK. That's not what it's meant to do. It's meant to get you through the first few weeks and year. And it does that admirably. If you still have theological issues, she has resources in her book and on her website, freedhearts.org. If you still need support, please also check out her website.
Mainly, love your kid! Jesus tells us to love each other and he doesn't give us any conditions. If you're still having theological issues, set those aside and love your kid. Deal with the theology later. Love your kid today. And that's what I love about this book. She preaches and shows how to love. And love is love is love.