Praying for All the Bobbys and Marys

prayers-for-bobby     I am praying for Bobby Griffith today, and his mother, Mary, and his whole family. And giving thanks to God for all of them.

     I watched their story last night as told in the Lifetime made-for-television film, Prayers for Bobby–an emotional true story about a 1970s religious suburban housewife and mother who struggles to accept her young son Bobby being gay. What happens to Bobby is tragic and causes Mary to question her faith; ultimately she changes her views in ways that she never could have imagined.

     Sigourney Weaver plays Mary Griffith. She is superb. As are the other actors.

     But it is the story–both heart-wrenching and inspiring–that catches you.

     So many gay and lesbian teens have been where Bobby was. Many made it. Some did not. As Mary Griffith learned, the attitude of the family is critical–as is the attitude and practice of the church.

     And now, because of her experience, she is an activist for PFLAG, Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays. She is guided to PFLAG by the pastor of the Metropolitan Community Church Bobby attended a few times.

     The film ends with a gay pride march in San Francisco–Mary and her entire family have gone to join other PFLAG folks. Does any LGBT person not remember cheering loudest for the PFLAG contingents in our pride parades?

     We do that because so many of us have had to brave our family’s disapproval, or silence, or hatred and rejection in order to be wholly the people God created us to be. Some of us are still hated and denied by those who are not ever supposed to abandon us.

     We are a brave people. And so are the Mary Griffiths, who love enough to change.

     Thank you, God, for loving us into courage.

Published by

Robin Hawley Gorsline

Robin is a poet (claiming this later in life) and Queer Theologian--reflecting a soul of hope and faith and joy and justice/shalom. He is happily married to Dr. Jonathan Lebolt (20 years and counting), the proud parent of three glorious daughters (and grateful to two wonderful sons-in- law and a new one soon!), and the very proud "Papa" to Juna (6) and Annie (3).

One thought on “Praying for All the Bobbys and Marys”

  1. I found it inspiring that Metropolitan Community Church had such an active role in Nancy Griffith’s transformation and in her family’s healing. The film shows what a vital force for change the church can be.

    Keep up the good work in your ministry.

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