How should a new gay dad deal with his born-again sister?

Q:

My partner and I have been together for 11 years and have a set of 19 month twins via surrogacy. My sister recently became “born again” and has accepted their teachings.

In two recent emails she told me that God did not create me this way, and that homosexuality is an example of Satan’s influence in the world. She states these things while expressing her love for me, saying that we are “amazing” people.

Needless to say, I’m devastated. I felt my sister to be one of my closest relatives. My partner and I have been wonderful to my sister and her husband. We helped them financially in starting their family and assisted them in purchasing their home. We also asked her to be my daughters’ godmother, not having a clue about how she felt about my partner and me. I feel betrayed, and am not sure I want a relative in my life who is going to cite passages from the Bible to try to prove that being gay is against God’s law.

My children are very young and have not formed an attachment to my sister. Should I continue to involve my sister in my children’s lives knowing what she believes about gay people?

A:

For LGBT people (and often their children), being told by friends and relatives that they “love-the-sinner-but-hate-the-sin,” offers no comfort. It still just feels like hate. And it hurts — especially when the message is delivered by someone who you thought you could count on.

The views your sister is expressing to you now may reflect some doubts she had all along. It’s just that before you became a father, there were fewer opportunities when she had to explore her views. When it was just you and your partner, she and the people around her could have avoided the topic, or let themselves “forget” that you and your partner are something more than “good friends.”

But babies “out” entire families. Your sister probably started bragging about her dear nieces to co-workers and neighbors, only to realize that “small talk” is hardly “small talk” when a family member is gay. Confronted by questions and judgmental comments that she never had to face before, she may have felt pressure to define her ambivalent views more clearly — and more rigidly.

Many anti-gay relatives truly think that “loving-the-sinner-but-hating-the-sin” is middle ground, and that they really will be able to maintain a quality relationship with their gay relative. The flaw in this perspective, however, is that the anti-gay relative has reduced sexuality to a behavior rather than a core part of a person’s identity. While your sister feels she is only disapproving of “what you do in bed” she really is judging you, since you are a man in a committed relationship with a man every minute of your life.

If the children were older, I would encourage you to make every effort before cutting your sister off from your kids. But tell her right now that although you love her, it’s not fair to you or your kids to maintain a close relationship with someone who questions the validity of their family.

Regardless of your children’s sexual orientation they take it personally when people judge their parents. Your kids are going to hear enough anti-gay rhetoric as they grow up. The last place they need to hear it is within their own family.

9 thoughts on “How should a new gay dad deal with his born-again sister?”

  1. I am truly extremely sorry for your sister’s behavior. Excuse her — she just got reborn! Right now, she is just a student trying to re-educate the world – only through order and conflict. There is so much more: Do not worry “God says: I love you (John 3:16). God loves you, your partner and your sister. Nothing in this world can ever stop his love for us. God will never leave you or forsake you (Hebrews 13:5). “Patience” is the key, when people are trying to use religion in correcting anything. People will use religion as a tool to be abusive. To stop her from trying to hurt you, just ask her to pray in her home. Just ask your sister to pray for our family’s peace, health, & safety.

  2. bigotry is bigotry in any form. Unfortunately, most Christians feel justified in their bigotry because they think the bible says its ok. I have come to the conclusion that God doesn’t make us gay just to send us to hell. and here’s proof…. http://www.godmademegay.com

    as long as you teach your kids what’s right, and show them that you are not a bad person, they will listen to you before they listen to someone who tells them that their parents are ‘wrong’.

  3. I come from a Baptist Minister’s family and have just in the past year been separated from my wife who began a lesbian relationship while we were still living in the same household. We have two young daughters, now aged 5 and 9, which made it all the more volatile for me as I felt they were being contaminated by this ordeal. It only took three months for my outrage at this affair to subside and for me to finally give myself permission to have my own same-sex-relationship which is going on its 11th month now. Film at 11.

    At first, I myself was spewing out all the Bible verses, with some added fire and brimstone of my own, at my wife and her new love, and then I finally found the resolve to just let it go. It became obvious that nothing I could say or do was going to change the reality. I later looked at the behaviors in my family- the silence, the gossip- and I decided that even if God does “hate” homosexuality, he does still love me. I agree that one has to deal with what “religious” persons think and say, but what it really boils down to for me is “what do I believe about what God thinks about it (and me).” Will God bar my sister-in-law from heaven for being an inflammatory gossip? I doubt it, and gossip is one of the sins mentioned in the same breath in the Bible as my sleeping with another man. I still believe that God is forgiving, and loving, and will guide me on the path I am taking, even if it is a different one than the one others are taking.

    The Bible says that we will all stand alone before God. Those who call themselves Christians need to be reminded that they too will be called to give an account for their actions- their words and deeds. If their lives do not mirror what Jesus showed in the Bible, then one could say they have planks in their eyes. And as the Bible says- remove first the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck out of your brother’s eye.

  4. I would advise the writer to visit some of the gay Christian web pages on the Internet and become knowledgeable about what the Bible really says, then share the information with his sister.

    He should also remember that religious people often have a difficult time expressing their views about such issues to family members and are taught that sharing their beliefs is the loving thing to do. Most people are not very good at communicating their beliefs in a non-judgmental way. He should not feel that his sister has stopped loving him because they have a difference of opinion about religious beliefs.

    Being tolerant of the intolerant is quite a challenge, isn’t it?

  5. The first time I read this Q & A I hadn’t really figured out the Christian and gay thing. At that time I knew that God loved me and would not forsake me just because I was being true to myself. Matter of fact, it was an answer to my prayer that changed my whole outlook on being Christian and gay. God loves us all and has made us all different. The world is full of diversity. why not sexual orientation?

    One of the biggest problems with organized religion is the fact that most churches teach that homosexuality is a sin. They do not want to believe otherwise because it is just easier for them not to. There are some gay affirming churches out there though. They have taken the time to really read the bible and see that the ‘homosexuality’ spoken about in the bible were not monogamous relationships, they were adulterous and or criminal sex acts.

    I’m not sure if I am allowed to share website addresses here, but there is one in particular that, I believe, is a necessity to Christian gays and Christian family members and friends of gays. http://www.godmademegay.com It is a letter written by a formerly homophobic Baptist pastor. A man who really took the time to study the Bible and find out what it really says regarding homosexuality. As a Christian lesbian, it was very comforting for me to read. The fact that I came out to myself about 2 years after having been a born-again Christian makes the statement ‘God hates gays’ very mythical.

    Sincerely,
    a born-again lesbian

  6. Your sister is realizing the truth and if it hurts. Deal with it ,

    To many want to rewrite and use Bible verses to justify themselves,
    Jesus never made religion ,man did , yes you can say many things to make yourself justified in your relationship but deep down inside it bothers what you . Not so much your sis.
    Like one said we all will stand before God and judged accordingly and yes God does loves us , but do not read His word part to suit your needs read the whole chapter .
    I was there once , just like you .

  7. As far as this born again lesbian,I want to know how she thinks she is saved if she is a lesbian?My bible states homosexuals will not inherit the kingdom of heaven in 1Cor 6:9-10.She better read it and weep.

  8. I recently informed my evangelical parents that my partner and I will soon have twins via egg donor/surrogacy. My mom preached at me for 15 minutes until I cut her off. In a nutshell, she thinks I’m going to hell and the babies are “another sign of the end times”.

    I’ve never really been close to my parents or family and they haven’t contacted me in 15 years unless they want something from me. They also refuse to acknowledge my partner, so their reaction wasn’t a shock. Their nutty religious views nearly caused me to commit suicide prior to coming out 15 years ago, but since then I’ve come to reject organized religion for what it is.

    At this point, I could care less if I ever see or hear from my parents again. Unless they contact me (they know the due date), I have no plans to even send them a birth announcement. After spending a lot of my money and vacation time in the past two years helping them out, I’m done. I in no way feel any love from these people and I’d never stand for them trying to brainwash my children. I wouldn’t even trust them to babysit for an hour! I’ve cut my losses and I’m moving on.

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