In a world where bigots claim “religious freedoms” and doctrine can bully LGBT kids to go as far as suicide, a Georgia Mormon found support for herself and her two gay sons in a group she wants to bring to metro Atlanta.
The family of Carla Brown (photo) faced a double-whammy in Canton, Ga. No, not that two of her sons came out as gay, but that they did so in the deep South while deeply rooted in the Mormon faith. The Southern-Mormon combination could have spelled the difference between life and death for her gay sons, Brown tells the AJC.
“Being the mother of a gay child in the South is not easy,” said Brown. “Being the mother of a gay child in the Mormon church is deadly for our kids. …
“I had unknowingly brought my child to a place that said who he is a crime against God .…
“Because of this we are losing precious souls to suicide and drugs, and many like my son, leave the church or lose their faith completely.”
Before coming out and leaving the church, Brown’s oldest son tried to commit suicide three times between the ages of 11 and 21. Church members ostracized her sons after they came out, and the only support they offered Brown was that they would pray for her.
Enter Mama Dragons, a Facebook group for parents of gay kids. Members organize support groups for gay Mormons and their families, a speakers network, help open shelters for homeless LGBT kids, and provide support for each other.
The group was a beacon of hope for Brown, and she wants to spearhead a chapter here in Georgia so that others have the locally based resource that she was missing.
“There are those of us in the church who will love and support you and your child because we know that is the right, Christ-like behavior, to love and cherish every human being,” she wants to tell them. “I wish that had been said to me when I went to see my bishop.”
In an open letter to Deep South Daily last month, Brown extolled her deepest hope and biggest goal:
The Mormon church has the highest rate of LGBT youth suicide in the Nation, and it is time that the South and the Mormon church became safe and welcoming places for all our children.
Mormon moms of gay kids in Georgia can e-mail Brown about a local chapter of Mama Dragons.