Americas

When a Pentecostal mom attends her gay son’s church

Carmen Tomlinson with her son, Maurice (Photo courtesy of Maurice Tomlinson)

Carmen Tomlinson with her son, Maurice (Photo courtesy of Maurice Tomlinson)

Emotions ran high when the mother of Jamaican-Canadian LGBTI rights activist Maurice Tomlinson took one Sunday off from her homophobic Pentecostal church to attend an Anglican church with her gay son.

Why Mom came to church (with me) <3

My mother attends a Pentecostal church and I am an Anglican. Although I was raised in mom’s church (First Church of the Open Bible in Montego Bay) I no longer feel welcome there because of some homophobic messages delivered by the pastors. So, when I visit mom in Jamaica we attend separate Sunday services.

This week, ironically on Ascension Sunday when Anglicans celebrate Christ’s heavenly elevation, mom declared that she wanted to come to my church. I was so happy that I never even asked her why.

Today I finally had the courage to inquire and her reason was typical mom.

She said that she came with me to church to help anyone there who maybe struggling with my sexuality. She thinks that if such persons see me with my mother they will realize that I am “not that bad after all.” Mom is humanizing me through her quiet presence. Some gays have loving families after all.

Make no mistake, my mother is a PILLAR of her church and I doubt that she will ever leave. It is her social network and source of tremendous spiritual strength during her illness. So, when the pastors engage in their predictably hateful anti-gay rhetoric she simply tunes them out. In her words, she has done more reading on human sexuality than they have, so she knows better. And, more importantly, she DOES better as well. :)

Christ wasn’t the only one who ascended on Sunday. My soul also soared to the heavens! :)

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