Strong Family Alliance has a simple goal – to save lives of LGBTQ people coming out by supporting their parents. We hope this results in acceptance (and lack of rejection), which is the single biggest determinant of suicide and many other outcomes.
But to avoid rejection takes a far more difficult goal – changing actions and eventually minds.
When I was in college, I learned about cognitive dissonance, which is that uncomfortable feeling you have when you hold two conflicting views or beliefs.
But when a child comes out, in order to keep them healthy and the family preserved, it requires reconciling a belief system with a desire to love and support the child. This often requires tweaking or even overhauling lifelong viewpoints. It may even require actions of love toward your child that don’t match your beliefs.
This would be difficult in any circumstance, but for a parent with hopes and dreams for their child, it can seem impossible.
This is really why we started Strong Family Alliance. We are parents. We know it’s hard to accept things about our children that we aren’t how we dreamed they would be. So, we want to help make it a little easier, through information, resources and support.
This isn’t a political issue. The politics of the members of our founding board run the gamut. But what brings us together is love of our children… and a common understanding of Jesus’ love that supersedes everything. We feel called to love our neighbors as ourselves – and that includes our children – and act with love without knowing all the “why’s” of who they are.
Sometimes it feels like we’re a voice in the wilderness of Christian acceptance, but our organization starts and ends there. The founding members met at a Christian women’s’ conference, and this is where Strong Family Alliance was conceived.
We hope our message of love first (perhaps hitting the pause button on your previously held beliefs if needed) spreads like wildfire, because these are God’s children, and they are lives worth saving.