Next Wednesday evening we will have our monthly LGBT evening and the theme of this one is going to be ‘parents of LGBT’.

While we so often hear of the stories of suffering and rejection of LGBT people themselves, we don’t often hear as much about the terrible pain and suffering that many parents go through when they discover that their child is LGBT.

Like so much of the LGBT related suffering, it is based on lies and misunderstandings and fear.

Imagine the fear and pain of a mother or father that loves their child so much and now suddenly discovers their gay and because of a lack of understanding thinks that it’s a choice and that they will go to hell if they don’t change!

Many good catholic parents simply don’t know what to say or how to react and because there are no clear pastoral guidelines from the church, the confusion is all the worse!

And even if the parents are understanding of LGBT issues, everyone knows that life is different for LGBT people and from homophobic attacks like we’ve recently seen in Ireland to the unequal treatment and understanding especially on the church environment where there is still a lot of shaming, silencing and sweeping it under the carpet in an “offering it up” kind of mentality.

When I consider how much effort my own mum made in raising me in the catholic faith and her belief in God and her desire for me to stay in the church, it must really have been a sword to her heart to see me leaving it all and getting lost and it’s hardly any wonder that when I told her that I was gay years later that she nearly died of shock!

Then the blame game begins for the parents…what did we do wrong? Were we too hard? Were we too soft? How can it be and then there is the biggest and most terrifying favourite to deal with: what will the neighbours say?

There can be terrible shaming and gossiping especially in the church environment as the family can become the talk of the town and he parents considered to be somehow dysfunctional! “By the fruits you will know them” says the bible and no-one ever mentioned LGBT fruits!!

And finally there is perhaps the biggest suffering of all for the fathers who are often based for the child being gay, at least for guys.

Many people n the healing ministry attribute being gay to a lack of love from the father as a child and so then it becomes a game of blame and shame daddy!

So as you can see with all this blaming and shaming and confusion going on, the devil has a field day wreeking havoc and hatred all over the family.

And so this is why next Wednesday we are going to focus on the aspect of the LGBT issue and we will hopefully have a testimony from a Catholic mother who has lived and suffered some of their very hell.

So please come along and invite all parents and friends to our evening of healing and prayer!