Coming Out to Religious Family
In their stories of coming out to religious family, many people interviewed expressed varying levels of acceptance from family, which often changed over time. Some experienced rejection from family members, were told they would go to hell and were cut off. Many experienced confusion, assertions of “love the sinner but hate the sin,” and family who did not outright reject them but refused to talk about it. Others experienced tolerance which over time turned to acceptance and even advocacy, such as Phil Wenger, who initially experienced tolerance from his father, a Mennonite pastor. Ultimately his father became a “soldier for gay weddings” within the Mennonite church.
He looked at me and he said, “Well, you realize you’re going to go to hell, don’t you?” And I looked at him, equally as serious, and said, “Well, you don’t have to worry, because you didn’t cause it, and it’ll be me going, not you.” – Marlene Kanuck, 2013