This is my daughter, Kahrin. She is a beautiful woman with a giant heart full of love and light. Her faith and love for Jesus would make any human weep. She takes the time to talk to strangers — really looks them in the eyes and listens to their story. She takes care of the homeless and champions all walks of life to believe in their worth and follow their dreams. She believes in justice and speaks out for the marginalized. My girl constantly encourages and supports her friends, loved ones and neighbors, sharing her faith with boldness and tenderness.
Kahrin happens to be a musician who writes beautiful lyrics telling compelling stories about humanity’s sustaining joys and soul-bending hardships. She is hilarious and compassionate, talented and humble. Forgiveness comes naturally for her, and Grace rolls off her spirit with ease.
I can assure you I’m not bragging on my kid. Although, I am insanely proud of her. The reason I share is because I want others to know WHO my daughter is on the inside. I want people to have a glimpse of her true spirit.
Because she also happens to be attracted to the same sex.
This is the point where some people may stop reading. If you are willing, please continue because this is the heart of why I am sharing.
Despite all the qualities I listed about my daughter above, many people view her and countless other beautiful people who identify as LGBTQ+ through a very different lens. Some people equate her sexuality with being lost and estranged from Jesus. Others believe she is choosing to separate herself from God out of selfish and lustful desires. Many are fearful she is leading others astray by her love and affirmation of fellow companions in the LGBTQ+ family. Plenty of people are well-meaning folks believe they have my daughter’s best interest at heart as they instruct her on what the scriptures say. Sadly, many are simply mean and vicious, spewing righteous indignation her direction. And some people choose not to see her at all.
There is a clear dissonance between who my daughter is compared to how she is so often perceived. And when you extrapolate the discord across an entire population of people who only want to be loved for who they are — children of God — the effects are devastating.
Friends, my daughter was a bottle of pills away from giving up because of the heartache. She spent a decade praying to be ‘different’ and ‘normal’ simply so she could exist as an acceptable human. The emotional weight of trying to meet others’ expectations for what is ‘natural’ almost killed her. Witnessing her internal war with my own eyes almost killed me. Watching your child go through this kind of suffering eats away the lining of a mother’s heart. I can assure you my kid is not purposely choosing a path of exclusion, shaming and oppression. I can’t imagine any human would.
So, while others may see a rebellious and misguided sinner, I see a 24-year-old woman who knows how to love and forgive like Jesus. I see a survivor and an overcomer who chooses to believe in her worth and Jesus’ unconditional love, despite how much pain and suffering religion and society impose on her.
I see an authentic soul who made it through the fire and is now firmly planted in her truth. My daughter is my hero — as are all my neighbors who are simply trying to live who God made them to be.
She and every LGBTQ+ human deserves love. You deserve love.