Chad W, an openly gay man, wants his relationship with his paternal (Evangelical) grandparents to return to normal. Vexed that their homosexual grandson is now lost to God and beyond salvation, they are inconsolable. Our solution is two-fold. I will create a Dreamscape for the grandparents that will act as a valentine from a 6-year old Chad. Accompanying the Dreamscape will be a letter and a kind of Q & A on being LGBT penned by Chad himself. Chad describes his approach:
"Mom got it in 6 months. Dad's still having difficulty. My Dad's parents, they still love me, but don't understand. They've said "Give us time. We never met a gay person." So I wrote a long letter explaining everything to them. I wanted to be intentional about my process and Nancy's process. Here's a piece from the letter:
At first look, the Dreamscape seems pretty abstract, but here is the meaning behind each image: I am the same Wondering Shepherd you loved watching at the Shawnee Baptist Church.
As the shepherd, I am responsible for ensuring my flock has a safe and secure journey a journey to a place where we love every part of us. Chad is still the same Chad. Behind his adult eyes remains the same child you loved and watch grow into a man.
Your couch represents the safety and comfort of your home. The bow of the ship and Caribbean in the distance is a reminder of the incredible Caribbean cruise we took together.
The Lincoln Logs I played with at your house spell out the most important message: we journey to a place of love."
"My grandparents are slowly coming on board. They love me and care about me in terms of talking about my being gay. They really appreciated my gesture and said basically, let's agree to keep talking."
Further reading Campaigning for Craig: The Power of a Healing Legacy T-Shirt by artist Nancy Gershman (Hektoen International: Journal of Medical Humanities)