Keynote Speaker

From Faith Leader to Fierce Affirming MamaBear - Insights on Life with Christian Parents

Susan Cottrell

FreedHearts, Inc

Keynote Session #2

9AM - 10AM -

Session Overview

How can you come out to Christian parents? How can a Christian parent hear that their child is gay? And how can you navigate coming out to—and living with—non-affirming parents and family? Susan Cottrell has a “fierce, loving, don’t-mess-with-me, Mom vibe.” An international speaker, acclaimed author, and Mom of two LGBTQ children, Susan will share her amazing story of coming from the non-affirming, evangelical church to being the prominent voice of parents of LGBTQ children and a fierce advocate and ally. Susan will offer insight on how to come out—and how deal with difficult, broken, family relationships. You will receive wonderful counsel and hear things from an affirming Mom that your heart may be longing to hear. (Note: The keynote will also include an appeal to those in the audience who have a faith background and/or whose faith journey is important to them, to attend her workshop where she will show you how to reclaim your faith and take your Jesus back.) 


The prominent voice for faith parents of LGBTQI children, was featured on ABC's 20/20, Nightline and Good Morning America, on NBC News Out, on The Advocate Magazine’s National Coming Out Day videos, on The Advocate’s Out in Left Field with Dana Goldberg, and as a devotional contributor on the Our Bible app.  She is an international speaker, author and consultant. Through her nonprofit organization—FreedHearts—Susan champions the LGBTQI community and families with her authenticity and tender-hearted zeal. She challenges Christians to love as the foundation of faith. She spent 25 years in the non-affirming Evangelical church, is the Founder and President of FreedHearts, has a Master of Arts in Theological Studies, and served as the Vice-President of PFLAG Austin (Texas). Her books “Mom, I’m Gay”—Loving Your LGBTQ Child and Strengthening Your Faith, True Colors - Celebrating the Truth and Beauty of the Real You, Radically Included - The Biblical Case for Radical Love and Inclusion, and the soon-to-be-released Be Love - What the World Needs Now, and My Coffee with the Pastor: Building the Vision for Lavish Christ-like Inclusion, are endorsed by The Human Rights Campaign, PFLAG, The Gay Christian Network and many others. She and her husband Rob have been married for 30 years, have five children, two of whom are in the LGBTQI community, and live in Austin, Texas.