This is my daughter, Kahrin. She is a beautiful woman with a giant heart full of love and light. Her faith and love for Jesus would make any human weep. She takes the time to talk to strangers — really looks them in the eyes and listens to their story. She takes care of the homeless and champions all walks of life to believe in their worth and follow their dreams. She believes in justice and speaks out for the marginalized. My girl constantly encourages and supports her friends, loved ones and neighbors, sharing her faith with boldness and tenderness.
Kahrin happens to be a musician who writes beautiful lyrics telling compelling stories about humanity’s sustaining joys and soul-bending hardships. She is hilarious and compassionate, talented and humble. Forgiveness comes naturally for her, and Grace rolls off her spirit with ease.
I can assure you I’m not bragging on my kid. Although, I am insanely proud of her. The reason I share is because I want others to know WHO my daughter is on the inside. I want people to have a glimpse of her true spirit.
Because she also happens to be attracted to the same sex.
This is the point where some people may stop reading. If you are willing, please continue because this is the heart of why I am sharing.
Despite all the qualities I listed about my daughter above, many people view her and countless other beautiful people who identify as LGBTQ+ through a very different lens. Some people equate her sexuality with being lost and estranged from Jesus. Others believe she is choosing to separate herself from God out of selfish and lustful desires. Many are fearful she is leading others astray by her love and affirmation of fellow companions in the LGBTQ+ family. Plenty of people are well-meaning folks believe they have my daughter’s best interest at heart as they instruct her on what the scriptures say. Sadly, many are simply mean and vicious, spewing righteous indignation her direction. And some people choose not to see her at all.
There is a clear dissonance between who my daughter is compared to how she is so often perceived. And when you extrapolate the discord across an entire population of people who only want to be loved for who they are — children of God — the effects are devastating. Friends, my daughter was a bottle of pills away from giving up because of the heartache. She spent a decade praying to be ‘different’ and ‘normal’ simply so she could exist as an acceptable human. The emotional weight of trying to meet others' expectations for what is ‘natural’ almost killed her. Witnessing her internal war with my own eyes almost killed me. Watching your child go through this kind of suffering eats away the lining of a mother’s heart. I can assure you my kid is not purposely choosing a path of exclusion, shaming and oppression. I can’t imagine any human would.
So, while others may see a rebellious and misguided sinner, I see a 24-year-old woman who knows how to love and forgive like Jesus. I see a survivor and an overcomer who chooses to believe in her worth and Jesus’ unconditional love, despite how much pain and suffering religion and society impose on her.
I see an authentic soul who made it through the fire and is now firmly planted in her truth. My daughter is my hero — as are all my neighbors who are simply trying to live who God made them to be.
She and every LGBTQ+ human deserves love. You deserve love.
We ALL deserve love.
That’s why we are here, isn’t it? To get it right, not to be right, right? Getting it right is loving others for who they are and letting God do the rest.
I want to end with something my kid wrote on her Instagram feed. Her words are an answer to a million prayers I’ve prayed over the years:
To all my friends struggling to find the courage and the support in being yourself… however that looks… I hope you know there is a fountain of freedom and abundance waiting for you the minute you decide your truth, your honest expression, your innate nature is worthy of living out.
I am proud of who I am and who I am becoming. And it all started the minute I decided to share my truth with the world. Since learning to let go of the fear of rejection, I have watched my life take form in ways I could never have imagined. I hope we can all continue letting go of our fears of rejection or imperfection. I hope we continue to believe:
We are worthy.
We are enough.
We are loved.
Whatever your truth is, I hope you know that sharing it, being it…. being YOU is the most courageous act.
To all my friends inside or out of the closet, you have a friend in me whenever you need one.
“Just One Step Forward.”
As a mom, I’ve finally exhaled. Now I do my best to love and encourage other beautiful LGBTQ+ humans along the way. Check out the new movement Kahrin and I started for Christian families called, LOVESPEAKS.
While you live, shine…
This post comes from the TODAY Parenting Team community, where all members are welcome to post and discuss parenting solutions. Learn more and join us! Because we're all in this together.