Mum to hold Brisbane ‘healing workshop’ for LGBTIQ people of faith rejected by family

susan cottrell mcc brisbane religion

When evangelical Christian mum Susan Cottrell’s daughter came out as gay, she faced a devastating choice between her LGBTIQ child or her non-affirming church.

Despite gains made legally for LGBTIQ people, it is tragically common for them to still face family rejection, particularly in religious families.

The Texas mum of five (pictured) became vice president of her local chapter of PFLAG and has made it her mission to help other parents of faith support their children.

“Two of my five children are part of the LGBTIQ community and it led me to be a fierce advocate and ally, as well as a loving, affirming mum,” Cottrell said.

“I’ve helped tens of thousands of parents fully accept and affirm their LGBTIQ kids, and helped heal shame from deep wounds and internalized homophobia.

“They deserve to know that they are worthy and loved, and that they matter and belong.”

Cottrell has since written four books and founded a not-for-profit called FreedHearts. In January she gave a TED talk on her fight for progress inside the Christian Church.

She will come to Brisbane next month to lead the “Reclaim Your Story” workshop on June 7 from 7pm. It’s hosted by MCC Brisbane at Merthyr Road Uniting Church in New Farm.

The workshop will take LGBTIQ people from religious backgrounds on a “journey of healing and hope, to begin to celebrate their genuine selves and free their hearts to love and be loved.”

“I get to share things – from a mum’s heart – that many of these wonderful people deserve to hear, but may never have from their own parents,” she said.

To RSVP to the Susan Cottrell workshop, email

MCC Brisbane church welcomes LGBTIQ congregants

MCC Brisbane Pastor Rev. Alex Pittaway said that since the marriage equality postal vote in 2017 many in his congregation had experienced rejection and heartbreak within their families.

“Despite the day and age we live in, I minister to people who experience such pain and trauma because of family rejection,” he said.

“One of my congregants was nearly made homeless after they came out to their parents who were not receptive.”

MCC Brisbane meets at the Uniting Church at 52 Merthyr Rd in New Farm every Sunday evening at 7:00 pm, and all are welcome to attend.

Visit the MCC Brisbane website or Facebook page for more details.

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Jordan Hirst
Jordan Hirst

Jordan Hirst is an experienced journalist and content creator with a career spanning over a decade at QNews. Since 2012, the Brisbane local has covered an enormous range of topics and subjects in-depth affecting the LGBTIQA+ community, both in Australia and overseas. Today, the Brisbane-based journalist covers everything from current affairs, politics and health to sport and entertainment.

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