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"I was raised in a religion that didn’t accept anyone from the LGBTQ community. As an ignorant, straight, white privileged woman, I took no issue with that, because that’s how I was programmed. But as I entered my late 20’s, I started to realize in my heart something wasn’t right. I met a gay man at work from the Indo-Canadian community. He told me that he wished that he could be straight, married, with two kids and a white picket fence to make his family happy, but that he just could not do that.

He was gay and he was born that way. End of story.

That statement punched me right in the gut and I was forced to look in the mirror and ask myself: why am I continuing to be part of a religion that doesn’t accept love as love, no matter what form? It made me realize that the love my religion taught was extremely conditional and ...not really love at all.

So I broke away. My family and friends shunned me. This was painful. But ...life goes on. I started a new life, and was graced with a new family and more friends that I could possibly dream of. These people love me unconditionally, and I love them no matter if they are gay, straight, bi, transgender, queer, whatever!!

If you are someone who is thinking about it, or who has broken out of a religion, and has lost parents, siblings, children, I’m here to tell you this:

I see you.

I’m your mother now.

I’m your sister now.

I’m your daughter now.

You are loved.

Love is love. We got this, Ladner."

Lea Cheverie

It is so important for parents to tell their kids that they will be accepted if they ever realize they have feelings for the same sex. No parent can ever tell what their child's sexual orientation will be when they are born. Children can notice their attraction for the same sex even before the teen years and know they are "different" from the time they are kids. The teenage years are weird enough - an environment in which a child feels safe to come out in makes it easier!