Updated: Jul 29, 2021
By Julie Lussier
This past year has been life-changing and eye-opening for me. I was never an LGBTQ affirming person. My evangelical faith/church taught that LGBTQ people were choosing to live this sinful lifestyle. Never would I have thought that one of my kids would be LGBTQ.
My son has mentioned that he recalls times when I’ve said both homophobic and transphobic things. I was ignorant. I didn’t understand. Most of the time I ignored anything regarding LGBTQ topics. I was sure this topic didn’t apply to our family so we just never discussed it at home, except for the occasional negative comment I would make here or there, completely unaware that I was causing pain to those hearing my words.
One day I was sitting at the kitchen table, surfing the net. My oldest child came into the room and I could tell something was up because he looked sad – maybe scared and nervous, as well. He shared with me that basically his outside wasn’t matching up with his inside. He felt more male than female. He somehow found the immense courage to share with me that he is, in fact, transgender. Wow! What a shock to me! Internally, I was freaking out. It all felt like a bad dream. Outwardly, I appeared calm and tried to choose my words very carefully. While trying to figure out what to say to my child, I felt God whisper to my heart to “LOVE”.
I contacted a Facebook friend who would definitely understand my news and be accepting of it. I messaged her, feeling panicky, nervous, and scared. I kept thinking to myself, “What will the Christians that I know say about this!?” I knew I could never reject and renounce my own child; that would neverfeel right. I love him so much. My friend shared with me that there was a Facebook group for moms of LGBTQ+ kids called Mama Dragons.
I was in desperate need to study and learn as much as I could about being transgender, what it meant, and what I should be doing to help my child feel more comfortable. In the Mama Dragons group I read posts from other moms of LGBTQ kids, sharing their own experiences, insights, wisdom and lessons learned. I asked questions, trying to find out all I needed to know. The moms in the group were accepting toward me as they lovingly guided me along my own journey. That acceptance and encouragement was just what I needed. What a difference it made!
I also yearned to discover if there was a way to reconcile my faith – which is very important to me – while being supportive of my child. For a period of three months, I found myself crying out to God, “Why? I don’t want to go down this path! It’s too hard!” Slowly, I stopped asking why. I began to understand more deeply. I also realized I could still hang on to my personal faith – even if it meant leaving my church –and be a supportive ally to my child. God loves my child.
Around six months later, I determined to be an ally not only for my own son, but for everyone who is LGBTQ+. Until I had my own LGTBQ child and was privileged to know many others and learn of their stories, I hadn’t realized the struggles and heartbreak that they often face daily, which, in turn, breaks my own heart. I recently came out on my social media sites as being an affirming, supportive, and encouraging mom to an LGBTQ+ child. It was very freeing.
Currently, I am finding ways to help my son connect with the local LGBTQ+ youth community. We have found a support group called Outright VT which has been so helpful. With the pandemic going on, the meetings have been on Zoom, which makes it easier for him to attend since we live in a rural area. I’m also looking into ways where I can be supportive in my own community. I want folks to know that I’m a member of Mama Dragons and will stand by and support our LGBTQ+ people.
It’s amazing how much I have grown in a year! I have opened up my heart to loving ALL people and believe that God loves and cares for ALL people, too. I want to continue being loving and kind and hope to show Jesus’ love for everyone through my own words and actions.