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Part 1: "How to be the "best" gay parent - "What is a good parent?"

Updated: Dec 22, 2020


I loved this post so much that I borrowed it from my co-collaborator Allison Dayton's LIft+Love Instagram story. I think it resonated with so many parents because I believe we all share the desire to be the “best” parent to our children.


Being “the best” parent when you have an LDS gay child can sometimes feel like you are walking on a high wire. There is no manual and there are very few examples of how other LDS families have done this successfully.


You are often unsure about what steps to take and you feel like with each new step you might make a wrong step and have a serious fall. Parenting an LDS LGBTQ child can feel overwhelming, heavy, and very lonely.


I have walked this high wire for over 8 years. From my struggles, I have had great growth. I have become an LCS Certified Life Coach to help other families walk this journey. I believe all LDS parents who have been blessed with an LGBTQ child can become their child’s “best" gay parent.


My son (Nicholas) and I, recently talked with Allison Dayton from LIft+Love about our family's journey with him being gay and LDS. If you would like to watch it - click on the video below.

WATCH VIDEO

 

For the next couple of weeks, I will share with you each week in-depth lessons I’ve learned in hopes your journey won’t feel so overwhelming and lonely.


The first lesson to being the “best" gay parent is to question what does being a good parent mean?


We all have beliefs on what a good parent means and most of the time we use this ideal to judge how we are personally doing and in that judgment, we usually aren't very compassionate with ourselves.


We spend so much time in the judgment of ourselves that we seldom stop to question how we even came up with the belief on how we are judging ourselves. Instead of judging ourselves, it would serve us better to question what we believe makes a parent good.


Our beliefs come from our life-experience and society. These experiences imprint on us a belief on what a good parent is. But everybody has a different answer for what is a good parent, so being a good parent is subjective and it is a story we choose to tell ourselves. Does the story you are telling yourself on what makes a good parent currently serve you? Who decides what a good parent is, you do!


When I had envisioned being a mom I had never thought being a good parent was driving an hour away to meet a new boy my son wanted to date who he had met online – but at that moment that was me showing up as the “best” gay parent.


I love the story that Tom Christofferson tells in his book That We May Be One about an experience he had with his father. It was during a period where Tom was not active in the church and he had become quite interested in different wines. He was out to dinner with his parents and he said for over an hour his father had asked him extensive questions about wines. Tom said he knew his father didn’t drink wine or was ever going to drink wine but because wine was important to Tom, it was important to his father. He said his father showing that level of interest in his life made him feel important and loved.


I’m sure Tom's dad wasn’t thrilled that his son was drinking wine but he was able to put his fears and judgment aside to focus on loving his son where he was at. Talking to Tom about wine was his father's way of showing up as the "best" gay dad. The good he did for his relationship with his son by talking to his son about his interests vs. the damage he could have done by spending that hour lecturing Tom on the dangers of not following the Word of Wisdom was not lost on Tom. Tom felt like his father valued him and his life. How we make our children feel when they are with us, will always be more impactful than the words we say to them.