No Son of Mine…

Too many Southern children lose their homes because their parents can’t abide their sexual orientation or gender. This week, we get an inside look.

Imagine your mother, the woman who brought you into this world, looking at you and saying, “Get out of our house and never come back. We don’t want to see you anymore. We never want to talk to you again.”

Variations in this scenario happen every day, all over this country, when kids tell their parents they are lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender. If you see a young person without a place to live, odds are they landed in that situation because their family rejected them.

An unqualified reading of the statistics suggests that when kids come out as gay or trans to their parents, they stand a significant chance of losing their sources of food, shelter, and parental love. The Williams Institute at the UCLA School of Law in 2015 did a comprehensive national study of nonprofits that provide housing to LGBTQ youth. A vast majority of homeless LGBTQ young people reported they had been forced out by their parents or had run away because their parents had rejected them—55.3 percent of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and/or queer kids and a whopping 67.1 percent of trans kids.

This weekend, Salvation South looks at that issue through a very personal lens—specifically, that of writer Jonathan Corcoran, an Appalachian who was disowned at age twenty by his mother when he told her he was gay. In April, Corcoran’s memoir No Son of Mine will be published, and we’re happy to share an excerpt of his book with you. And for a proper introduction to Jonathan’s work, you must read Salvation South contributor Delaney McLemore’s profile of him.

This Week-01

—“The One Who Walked Away From Elkins”: a profile of Appalachian writer Jonathan Corcoran by Delaney McLemore
—“Little Boys Hiding in Closets”: an excerpt from Corcoran's upcoming memoir, No Son of Mine
We're Just Here”: two poems from New Orleans writer Richard Boada

Delaney came to know Jonathan in his writing classes several years ago at West Virginia Wesleyan College. Their story, “The One Who Walked Away From Elkins,” will give you an up-close-and-personal conversation with Jonathan, plus a rundown of writers who are bringing light to the once hidden stories of LGBTQ youth in the South.

We round out the week a pair of poems under the title “We’re Just Here” by New Orleans writer Richard Boada.

The issues we address here in Salvation South this weekend are important. In our eyes, when a parent kicks out a kid because of their sexual orientation or gender, there is nothing Godly about it, even though so many do it because they claim their religion demands it. Read Jonathan’s and Delaney’s stories this weekend and share them with friends and acquaintances who might benefit from their perspectives.

In the eyes of those of us here at Salvation South, everybody is a child of God who deserves love and grace.

Author Profile

Chuck Reece is the co-founder and editor-in-chief of Salvation South, the weekly web magazine you're reading right now. He was the founding editor of The Bitter Southerner. He grew up in the north Georgia mountains in a little town called Ellijay.

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