Contributor Note: This post is very personal, but looks at an important issue: parental acceptance of LGBT children.
My mother, Marion Hibben Phelps Hamar (pictured above at right with my late sister many years back) passed away on January 5, 2011. She was a great lady with a dynamic life that began in Puerto Castilla, Honduras, where she was born in 1927. She did so many wonderful things for me and my siblings over the years be it being there to comfort us over childhood injuries, teaching us how to canoe, snow ski and water ski, or instilling in us a love of reading and giving us the example of a loving and kind heart.
For me, however, she - and my late dad - gave me an even greater gift: they accepted me without hesitation when I came out to them in mid-life. While so-called "friends" and law partners deserted me (I was forced out of a law firm because I was gay), my mom and my dad never wavered.
Would that more parents of LGBT youths and adults followed that example. My dad did not live to meet my partner Barry, by my mother loved him - as he came to love her.
With constant news articles about homeless LGBT youth making up a disproportionate number of homeless youth - one 365gay.com story estimates 20-40% even though LGBT youth make up only 5-10% of the population - parental acceptance is critical. In many cases these youths are homeless because their parents threw them out of the house for being gay, with the Bible typically cited for justification. As a parent of three children myself, I just do not comprehend such a horrific behavior. Again, my mom set the example that all true loving parents should follow. I will be thankful to my mom for the rest of my life for this additional great gift she gave to me.
As for parents who disown their LGBT children (and, again, I say this as a parent myself), they need to take a good look in the mirror at themselves and ask themselves WTF is wrong with them? That's right with them, not their gay child. And if they use religion as an excuse, then they need to find themselves a new church/faith group. God, Christ, Allah, or whatever name you might use, would not want a betrayal of one's own children. This religious based bigotry and child abuse needs to end.