April 16, 2009

Pioneers in LGBT Faith: Mary V. Borhek

From the LGBT Religious Archive Network:

Mary V. Borhek was a member of the New Testament Church, an independent charismatic congregation in Eden Prairie, Minnesota, when she discovered that her son Steve Lenius was gay. This was in 1975. In accordance with the beliefs of her congregation, she felt strongly that homosexuality was a sin. Over the next three years, Mary learned much more about homosexuality, and her beliefs changed.

At the time of learning about her son's homosexuality she tape recorded what was happening, believing that she would eventually write a book out how one gay man--her son--had been prayed straight. She began the book, but as time went on and her beliefs changed, it became a book about how she had learned to accept her gay son without wanting to change him. The book was published in 1979 by The Pilgrim Press as My Son Eric. Because Mary did not know how the book would be received, she changed everybody's name except her own--which is her birth name--to give her family privacy and protection. Over time, Steve (Eric) has come out unequivocally, and has acknowledged that he is Eric. My Son Eric has recently been reprinted in a revised and expanded edition, bringing Mary and Steve's story up to the 21st century.

In 1983 The Pilgrim Press published Mary's second book, Coming Out to Parents: A Two-way Survival Guide for Lesbians and Gay Men and Their Parents. This was updated in 1993 with various revisions and an added chapter for gay men, lesbians and their families dealing with AIDS.

Click here to read more about Mary V. Borhek.

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