To all my mamas of LGBTQ+ kids (big or little):

You are fierce.

You (most likely) have been through fire.

You love your child with ferocity.

You are my heroes.

I have sat with you as you weep not for who your child is, but for fear of what the world might do or say to hurt your child.

I have answered your questions about God and whether or not God loves/accepts/approves of/values your son or daughter. (The answer is always YES!)

I have held your atrocious stories close to my heart; stories about what people of faith have said to your face about your own flesh and blood.

I have wept privately after our conversations because of the pain people of the church have afflicted on you - telling you your child is going to hell or that it is your Christian duty to shun your child or kick them out of your house or to try to convert them to being straight, as if that is even a possibility. I have watched you carry this kind of weight around like a ball and chain.

I have seen some of you buckle under it.

I remember one mom who asked me to tell her child that she was going to hell because of her sexual orientation. This young woman told her mom she was bisexual, but only because she knew her mom would not accept that she was only attracted to women. The daughter was trying to hold back the full force of her mom's rancor until she could move out. Of course, as she lived this double life, this young woman was cutting herself, punishing herself, inciting physical pain on her body in an attempt to block out the mental and emotional anguish inflicted upon her in her own home.

Thank God this is a rare story.

99% of the conversations I've had with you were about reassurance; you wanting someone of faith to tell you that your child is able to be fully who they are AND a person of faith at the same time. Your relief is palpable once I say, "Of course, of course your queer child can know and love God! Of course, they can follow Jesus, if they choose! Of course, their Creator finds them as gorgeous and beautiful as you do, Mama! Of course!"

Of. Course.

Stand tall, Mama Bears. The headwinds out here are fierce right now, blowing against your cubs.

Those winds are no match for your power, though. Your bravery. Your boldness. Your courage.

You stand over your cubs while those winds blow.

Protect them with every ounce of strength you've got.

And know, please know, I will always have your back.

There are millions of us who will always have your back.