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Home » Why I Chose My LGBTQ Daughter Over the Evangelical Church: Susan Cottrell (Transcript)

Why I Chose My LGBTQ Daughter Over the Evangelical Church: Susan Cottrell (Transcript)

Susan Cottrell

Susan Cottrell is the prominent voice for faith parents of LGBTQ children, as a national speaker, teacher and theologian.

Here is the full text of Susan’s talk titled “Why I Chose My LGBTQ Daughter Over the Evangelical Church” at TEDxMileHigh.


I come from a large, wounded family. By the time I was 24, both of my parents and three of my brothers had died.

And even though I still had two sisters, I felt abandoned and alone. I remember watching The Sound of Music with all those kids lined up in a row; it was like the family I never had. I couldn’t wait to be a mother. Life would be perfect, or so I thought.

I met Rob when I was 26, he wrote me a love song, and we were married three months later. It was a really good love song!

A year after that, we had our first child and then, four more. When Chris was just two weeks old, we ventured out to the local market. An older woman there took one look at him, so tiny, bundled up in his bright blue baby blanket. She said, “God bless him,” and I burst into tears. One day, you’re a regular, rational person; the next, you’re a mom. You have this amazing responsibility to protect your children, to prepare them for the world. You love them more than anything, and all you want to do is dress them in matching colors.

Here we are at a church camp near Colorado Springs. Our younger son may be wearing a girl’s shirt. As a mother of five, you just do the best you can. We figured out pretty quickly that one thing you want when you’re raising kids is community. For us, that was the church. We were at church a lot.

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