LGBT Parents & Allies

“If My Son Was A Murderer…”

by Johnie J. Guerra

Someone once told me, “If my son was a murderer, I’d still love him, but I wouldn’t love what he did. The same would go if he was gay—I would still love him, but I wouldn’t love what he does.”

This statement is what started my journey as an outspoken ally, or as I like to say: “That’s when I came out as an ally.”

Growing up, I heard many pastors with a sermon that reflected this comment. I was raised with a strict Bible based upbringing but never agreed with the condemnation and judgment that sometimes comes with Christianity. However, I’ve never been able to express my thoughts on Christianity to my parents until now.

I didn’t want to disappoint them, so I did my best to follow their beliefs.

Sometimes, I felt I was going to Hell because I didn’t feel some of their beliefs were right. I’ve carried the belief of my damnation for many years and always felt like I disappointed my parents because my life didn’t reflect their faith.

As an adult, I pursued a degree in Religious Studies at a Baptist university, where I learned how the Bible was put together and translated. I thought it would make my parents proud by attending, but the more I learned, the more I questioned what I was taught as a child, moreover, what so many have been taught for hundreds of years.

Everything I learned assured me it was wrong to exclude the LGBTQ community from my Christian faith.

This statement also made me consider my gay and lesbian friends. How many times had they heard hateful comments like this? How many times did they consider changing for fear of being hated? How many times did they suffer when they were children? I also considered my children. How will they be treated at school if they’re gay, and just as important, how are they going to treat those who are?

All children deserve a safe environment to be themselves. I believe every parent, despite preferences of religion, sexuaity, or politics, should teach love and acceptance to their children so we can expect a better future for everyone.

Unfortunately, most pastors don’t ask how they can get more members of the LGBTQ community to attend service. Instead, they throw verses like casting stones. This is not the first time I’ve heard someone categorize homosexuality as criminal. Phil Robertson from Duck Dynasty recently did it and used the Bible to support his beliefs.

Bottom line: statements like the one above lead to exclusion, hate, and inequality. It also causes people of sexual identities other than “straight” to be viewed as not having feelings, families, or living regular lives. Unfortunately, they are looked at as sin.

Conform or be excluded—that’s the message children in these faith communities hear.

We’re teaching our children to cast stones, yet we wonder why there is so much violence in our schools. LGBTQ children are more likely to be bullied, suffer from depression, consider suicide, and turn to drugs than their peers.

That said, it takes a lot of courage to be yourself in a world that sets apart what it doesn’t understand. In my city of San Antonio, Texas, this courage exists at a new youth group called Fiesta-Youth. They provide a safe environment for LGBTQ youth and their friends to build a future where all people are accepted and loved as they are.

On January 20th of this year, I had the privilege of walking with them at the Martin Luther King, Jr. parade where they taught me a lesson about courage. Some of these teens have been hospitalized for anxiety because they were bullied, but in front of 150,000 people, they proudly held a banner with their name and hoisted a rainbow flag.

The journey of an ally can be filled with the same discrimination as those we try and support, but when I marched with these young people, it made all my worries seem small. Following their lead, I proudly tell everyone, including my parents, that my beliefs are just as important as theirs. I love my LGBTQ friends, and if any of my sons is gay, I’ll continue to love them too, just as they are.

I’m Johnie Guerra—I believe in God, and I believe every Christian denomination should welcome the LGBTQ community without requiring them to “straighten out.”

I believe in marriage equality, spiritual equality, and a God-given right to be who you are. I also believe that if every Christian would fight for equality, politics would fall into place. It starts with our youth, and we should create a safe environment for them.

There it is. I’ve come out as an ally.

Mom and Dad, I love you. Please be proud of me. I can’t change, even if I tried, even if I wanted to.

Photo via flickr user Purple Sherbet Photography

Comments (8)

David Pappas

Very well said/written!
Very well said/written! Thank you!


Love it! Beautifully written!
Love it! Beautifully written!

Johnie Guerra

Thank You for your comment
Thank You for your comment David. I hope this piece helps.

Marj Taylor

Beautifully written!
Beautifully written!

Alecia Moss

I love how you talk about the
I love how you talk about the courage to come out as an ally but note that it doesn’t compare to the courage of LGBT youth. Also, thank you for getting across the idea that it is the duty of parents to teach all children to love and not “throw stones”. So true!


This is great. I appreciate
This is great. I appreciate your brilliant post. As one half of a lesbian parenting household, it makes me have a restored sense of calm in the religious community when I read posts like this. I was one of those children. Affected by the faith community that condemned and judged. Unfortunately, that pushed me from God and my original beliefs, but though we differ in views, I love this post and how much courage it takes to stand up for what you believe in and to support a family like mine.


I think you should have done
I think you should have done some more research before you disappointed your parents with this empty thoughtless puff piece. You are just telling the WORLD what THEY want to hear, which is fine if you’re just trying to get readers. The first thing that I see in your article is that you were raised in a church that liked to throw stones and judge others? Shouldn’t you be blaming your parents for raising you in that church? As far as your pursuit in religious studies…it seems to me that you are taught correctly but if the word of God doesn’t fit with how you wish it to be, you turn your back on him? God loves everyone. But he doesn’t love sin, homosexuality is sin, there’s no getting around it. That said, so is slander, lust, sloth…ect. The thing about sin is, if you are a follower of Christ and you ask for forgiveness and repent of your sins you will be forgiving. Just because you don’t want it to be a sin doesn’t mean it’s not a sin and just because you don’t agree with Gods word doesn’t mean you get to change it to fit the way you want it to.
There is a complete difference in what you are trying to say Phil Robertson was saying and what you are projecting him as saying. Sin is sin, right? Try listening to Phil’s testimony sometime, he was as bad as any sinner and was forgiven. He has done more to spread the love of God than most I’ve heard of and has one of the most loving hearts I’ve seen. You say “conform or be excluded” the bible says “do not conform to the world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect”.
Also you say that lgbt teens are more suseptible to bullying and therefore more suicidal? More rhetoric, teens in general are more suicidal in this generation because they have no hope anymore. Ppl like you have stopped prayer in school, the pledge of allegiance and God in general out of everything…so what do they have left to believe in? Something else you said was “it takes a lot of courage to be yourself in a world that sets apart what it doesn’t understand” I agree with you on this point, but in a different context. This world is filled with ppl like you, that don’t understand that you aren’t doing any service to anyone except to your own selfish needs, the need to be recognized, the need to be validated by your fellow man and the need to mold God into what you wish him to be. The church I go to accepts everyone that comes through our doors and loves and instructs all that wish to come to God, out of love and concern for their eternal souls we instruct what God teaches us in his word, repentance and forgiveness of sin through the sacrificing blood of Jesus Christ. I will pray that the veil will be lifted from your eyes that you will see the true love of God. Peace be with you.


I am not religious but I was
I am not religious but I was moved by your words. May you have happiness and peace, and may you keep bringing them to those around you.

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