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“Love and accept your kid…it’s not negotiable.”

“Love and accept your kid…it’s not negotiable.”

A mother and her gay son tell StoryCorps how they got past the damage done by “reparative therapy” and Exodus International and learned to love and accept each other.

Samuel Taylor was raised in a religious family. When he came out to his mother, Connie Casey, she sent him to a series of conversion therapy ministries affiliated with Exodus International, the Christian organization that folded this month and apologized to the gay community for trying to “correct” same-sex attraction.

Samuel, now 22, was in therapy from the age of 15 to 18. “You feel like being gay is like a virus,” he told Connie during a visit to StoryCorps. “It’s like, you have to get rid of this because this is what you’re doomed for. And I remember, I thought, ‘Well, I can of course behave like a straight man….’

After coming home from his sophomore year, he found a refrigerator magnet that had a heart and rainbow with the words “Love spoken here.” Samuel knew at that moment things had changed.

“I guess the overriding feeling is that, no matter how strongly you think you believe something, at the end of the day, you just always have to love and accept your kid,” Connie says. “It’s nonnegotiable as far as I’m concerned.”

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Jesse Snider

Thank you Tim for your comments and it's all to sad but true that religion is the origin of homophobia, if it's not the origin it supports the bias. But thank you God for TEC. I had quit going to my local RCC because of the hate preached from the pulpit. I met an Episcopal priest one day and she listened to my story. She acknowledged my anger and validated it telling me "You can be mad at the church but why are you punishing God? What did He do?" Then the pivotal two three punch she said, "God loves you and he wants you in His house on Sunday."

That Sunday I went to her parish and was welcomed far beyond any welcome or even notice I ever got in the RCC. Today I'm an Episcopalian, recived loved in my parish, a vestry member Eucharistic Minister and acolyte ( I sing too LOL - it's a good thing if you can bring all your gifts with you ) I am home. I sometimes think we should change the sign from "All are Welcome" to "Welcome Home" God Bless Tim keep fighting the good fight.

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grace for all

This is a heart warming story of redemptive love...but there are still many of us out there whose religious parents have pretty much disowned up...keep these stories out front....but do not forget that religious beliefs are the main reason so many GLBT find themselves out of their families.

I became a member of the Episcopal Church because of it's liturgy and because I knew as a gay man that my presence was welcomed...without judgment.

Tim Lusk

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