A daughter of one of the most virulently homophobic voices in the United States has come out as a lesbian.
Amber Cantorna has chosen to come out even though her father helps to lead Focus on the Family – an extremely homophobic faith organization.
It has donated hundreds of thousands of dollars to fight against marriage equality, advocated for dangerous ‘gay cure’ therapy, and fought against same-sex parents having adoption rights.
They are also one of the lead supporters of anti-trans bathroom bills.
And when she came out to friends and family, she was immediately rejected by her family and was excommunicated from her church.
‘My family and I were always close,’ she told Out Front magazine.
‘We did everything together… So this pressure, feeling like I had to filter everything I did and said to ultimately make them comfortable, was exhausting. I got to the point where I felt like, no matter the cost, I had to be authentic with myself.’
She said she was ‘very close’ to committing suicide, and this is part of why she decided to write a memoir.
‘All the devastation I went through, the loss, the grief… A lot of those memories are still tender.’
But is she still a Christian?
‘I’ll always be a person of faith and have a relationship with God,’ she told the Denver Post.
‘But it’s embarrassing to call yourself a Christian with the way that so many people are treating others in the name of God. I still identify as a Christian but very much more on the progressive side.’
Cantorna and wife Clara live in Denver, and is now working as a motivational speaker. She founded Beyond, a nonprofit helping LGBTI people of faith come out.
‘If someone had told me ten years ago that I’d one day be writing a book advocating for LGBTQ people in the church, I would have scoffed and said they were crazy,’ Cantorna writes in her book.