I will always love you
In honor of #NationalComingOutDay.
Back in 2011, the editors of Moment Magazine asked this question of their corps of rabbis:
What guidance would you give your child if he or she told you he/she was gay?
My response then and now is:
The first thing I would say to my child is, “I love you. I will always love you. You are created in the image of God, b’tzelem elohim.”
I would look to offer the same guidance that I would offer to my child if he/she were straight. I would want to make sure that he/she seek to create relationships that are grounded in Jewish values: loving and mutual, healthy and safe, caring and respectful.
My children – and the teens I work with – know that they can speak with me about anything, and I will be there for them, listen to them, and offer my support. Yet, sadly there are still challenges with living an “out” life. For that reason, I would want my child to have Jewish adult gay role models that he/she could turn to for support – someone with whom he/she could find a safe place to talk about the challenges, hopes, fears and dreams that they may share in common. As a parent, I would see it as my obligation to help my child bring that type of mentor into his/her life.
You are not alone. Whether you are questioning your gender identity, your sexual identity or your sexual orientation, there is someone in your life who will always say, “I love you. I will always love you.”