When author and public speaker Vanessa Hall lost her husband Mathew, she became very close with her son, Lachlan, who was eight at the time.
The mum from Melbourne, Australia, loved watching Lachlan flourish in creative fields, watching him grow up to be a professional choreographer at a dance academy. still unknown her son was gay.
He tried dating a girl for three years while wrestling with his true feelings, but eventually, he came out to his Christian mum, who had been religious her whole life and was part of a similar community.
After Australia permitted same-sex marriages, Lachlan and his partner, also a dancer, got engaged. And while it was a lot for his mum to deal with, Vanessa not only walked Lachlan down the aisle, she also wore a rainbow sash – the universal LGBTQ+ symbol.
Vanessa tells: ‘I knew that I loved my son, and nothing would ever stop me from loving my son. But I had some thinking and some praying to do. Lots’. She says that her son’s sexuality had never been an issue for her but it hurt her to see him being bullied at school and to hear the comments of her Christian friends.
So to stick it to all of them and vow her unconditional support, Vanessa happily married the couple. And at the end of the speech, she tied the rainbow sash around her and raised a toast. ‘Because in the end, love wins,’ she says. ‘Lachlan had always joked that he hoped I’d be waving the gay pride flag one day. It’s such a sensitive issue and I’m very intentional in what I do, so I needed to be sure my message was consistent and well thought through.
‘When I put on the sash, it was both a sign of the promises of God and the acknowledgement of gay people being loved and accepted. I raised a toast to love because it seems to be the thing that the church has forgotten is what we are called to be in the world – not judgmental, but loving. Everyone was in tears. I wanted my son, and his husband, and every other gay that was there at that wedding, to know that I love them, and the God I believe in loves them.‘
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Lesley Middleton, owner of PINK IN OUR LIVES
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