A major component of my internship with The Marin Foundation last summer was working on their ongoing Parent Resource Initiative, a major endeavor aiming to create quality, balanced resources for Christian parents of children who come out as LGBTQ. For the first phase of the project, we initiated a huge research effort, interviewing parents across the country to hear their stories and parsing through all of the resources (books, websites, support groups) we could find to determine what parents’ needs are and whether those needs are being met. I had the opportunity to interview a number of parents, and two consistent themes became quickly (and nearly ubiquitously) apparent:
1. Resources for Christian parents of LGBTQ children are rare and difficult to find. In many cases, the books that do exist are heavily biased to the extent that they do emotional damage to vulnerable parents who are seeking empathy and understanding in a confusing time.
2. Christian parents often feel enormously isolated when their kids come out. One of the last questions we’d ask in each interview was, “Are you connected to any other parents who would be interested in interviewing for our research?” Nearly every parent responded with a “No,” and the loneliness these parents expressed broke my heart time and time again.
Although The Marin Foundation has completed many interviews, they want to hear more stories and are still seeking parents across the country who are willing to tell their stories. If you or anyone you know would qualify for the research, please, please consider signing up for an interview. From what I could tell, the interviews tended to be cathartic for the parents, since it gave them a chance to reflect on their experience in a safe setting. I’d imagine the vast majority of people who read this post won’t really connect with it, but I guarantee there are parents out there who are desperately seeking some kind of guidance and support. Countless parents will eventually benefit in a huge way from the resources that will result from this research.
To arrange an interview or learn more about the project, contact Laura Statesir at firstname.lastname@example.org or 773-572-5983, or shoot me an email here on the blog at email@example.com.