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Author: Susan Cottrell, FreedHearts

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Changing the human conversation of love and inclusion. Susan Cottrell is the Mom of two LGBTQ children; the founder of FreedHearts; an international speaker with a viral TEDx talk; a pastor and theologian; an acclaimed author; and a fierce advocate and ally. In her unique tender, relatable style, Susan is a prominent voice of unconditional love and lavish inclusion. Powerful, authentic, and relevant in today’s society, Susan has a lot to say. The Advocate calls her their “Favorite Affirming Matriarch.” OutSmart magazine calls her "The Mother of all MamaBears!" Reverend Ashley Harness from Auburn Seminary says, “Susan has this fierce, loving, don’t mess with me, Mom vibe.” If you have been excluded, or if someone close to you has been excluded because of who they are or who they love - or maybe you have been the one doing the excluding - the FreedHearts podcast is for you. Join Susan, along with her husband Rob, on the journey. You are not alone. Welcome home!
8 Episodes
Have you been uninvited to a holiday or family gathering?  Is that kind of event the last place you would want to be because of things that are said or just because of how you are made to feel?  Let’s talk about how to navigate difficult family situations, and also about options for when you can’t, or don’t want to go home for the holidays. 
How do we deal with infuriating family fanatics?  When we are afraid, angry, and even hurt, how do we love people we don’t even like that much? What does that mean, and what does it not mean? 
What a time it has been! We have been through a lot, almost like going through a war together. Many of us are exhausted! And for a lot of you, all of this is in addition to the daily rejection and hurt we receive from family and friends - just because you are LGBTQ.  Now is the perfect time for self care. Now is the perfect time for a love letter… to ourselves.  
Even the most optimistic people, this year is doing a number on us. It seems as if every day something else is happening – wildfires, floods, protests, politics, racial tension, and deaths and suffering on so many levels from COVID.Our emotional and mental health is fragile. We just can’t seem to get our footing. And it just keeps piling up.We are stressed, afraid, angry. The present is overwhelming and unbelievably painful and difficult for so so many. The future is uncertain. In this episode, we talk about how fear is impacting us, and especially about something we can do that is powerful and profoundly simple. 
There has been so much hurt justified “in the name of love.” We all think we’re loving, so why do so many people feel unloved? What is love, really? The answer may surprise you. We will give you the definition of love in 14 beautiful, powerful words.
In this episode, we talk about one of the two deadliest teachings in all of humanity. It is at the heart of our division. It is responsible for some of history’s most brutal treatment of ethnic groups, religious groups, women, LGBTQ; and it is rampant today. What is it and what can we do? 
We have gone from being leaders in the evangelical church to fully affirming parents of two LGBTQ children, as well as fierce advocates and allies. Our faith evolved without asking our permission. What can you expect on a journey that asks you to deconstruct your faith? How does that impact our core beliefs and our community?
Our first daughter came out more than 10 years ago. We started FreedHearts in 2013 and have reached millions of parents and LGBTQ. After all this time, why a podcast and why now? Who are we, why we are doing a podcast, and who is this podcast for? Our focus is to change the human conversation on love and inclusion - so what does that mean? 
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