One of the most rewarding (not to mention humbling) things about working for LGBT equality — or any other social justice cause, for that matter — is hearing from people that the work you do touches their lives in ways large and small.
That’s exactly what happened to blogger Dan Pearce. He wrote a post last year titled I’m Christian, unless you’re gay that became wildly popular, garnering almost 9,900 comments as of this writing.
On Monday, he received a powerful email from a Christian mother of a 15-year-old boy who wanted to let him know the profound impact that that piece had on her and her son. The piece, posted under the title A Teen’s Brave Response to “I’m Christian, Unless You’re Gay,” is worth reading in its entirety. I’ll include an excerpt below.
I am the Christian mother of a 15 year old teenage boy and about a month ago he came home from school with a copy of your article “I’m Christian, unless you’re gay”. The teacher gave his class a homework assignment to read it and write a 500 word essay about “what it meant to them”.
He came home and showed me your article and asked me what I thought about it. I read just the title and became furious at his teacher and at you (even though I know you had nothing to do with her handing out the assignment). Anyway, I confiscated it from him and told him he wasn’t to do anything with it till I had a chance to read it first.
And then I got madder and madder as I read it as I felt like it was a direct attack against our beliefs and our Christian religion and that it was promoting homosexuality, a practice that around here is a huge “sin”.
I gave my son an earful about homosexuality and God and told him that he could tell his teacher that he would not be participating and if she had a problem, she could come talk to me and then I threw the article in the trash. My son didn’t say anything just walked into his room and shut the door.
Long story short, a couple hours later it was supper time and I still hadn’t seen him come out of his room. I didn’t expect it to be that big of a deal to him but I went and knocked and told him to come out, he didn’t answer so I opened his door and he wasn’t there, he had left the house and gone somewhere. Of course I got more mad and tried to call him but he sent it to voicemail. I sent him a text and told him he better get home and he was grounded.
This is the text he sent me in return: “I don’t care. I’m at my friends house writing that essay and I’m not coming home till you read it.”
I think you would have seen steam coming out of my ears if you saw me. I started preparing to go talk to the school the next day. I sent a few angry texts to my son that he didn’t answer. I got the article out of the trash so I could take it into the school and get this teacher fired. My anger got a little out of control and while I was sitting there fuming and planning what to do, I got another text from my son that said “Just emailed it. Love, Jacob.”
My son’s name is not Jacob, and it took me a minute to realize that he was talking about your friend Jacob in your article. And when I realized that I suddenly started shaking in fear and anger at what he might be telling me. I started out of control crying because I couldn’t handle having a gay son and what if that’s what he was trying to tell me? After a long time I finally got the courage to go look at my email and see what he had sent. And this is what he wrote.
Head over to Dan’s site to read the rest. It’s a powerful and important post with a happy ending, I promise. Due to the fact that the post is also going viral, you may have to make a couple attempts before successfully loading the page, but it’s worth it. Feel free to share your thoughts and responses below.