FreedHearts is a 501c3 nonprofit charitable organization.
Our mission is to change the human conversation on love and inclusion.
FreedHearts reaches into hurting communities with a message of love, inclusion, belonging, and hope —for parents, LGBTQ, educators, therapists, for the church. We have a worldwide network of thousands of MamaBears and PapaBears—but we are so much more! FreedHearts is in the trenches, providing safe spaces, inspiration, and encouragement. We have dynamic, transformational live, print and film resources to reconcile faith, families, and communities—to free hearts that change the world.
MamaBears and PapaBears are choosing their child, giving free hugs, standing in, standing up, and speaking out. LGBTQ are healing deep wounds from family and religion, so they can love and be loved as they deserve. Churches are becoming more affirming and inclusive. Educators are better navigating relationships with LGBTQ students and their non-affirming families. Therapists are more equipped to deal with the tragic impact of faith-based family rejection. We are there for all of them. That is what we do. We are FreedHearts.
Our Work with Parents
Through our vibrant MamBear and PapaBear online community, in intimate gatherings and other resources, we walk with Christian parents on the journey to help them fully understand their child, reconcile faith issues, and keep their child safe and their family strong.
Our Work with LGBTQ
Through our Chosen Family community, our new FreedHearts Beloved Journey program, future intimate weekend retreats, and other resources, we free hearts of LGBTQ to heal shame from family, religious and community wounds, as well as internalized homophobia.
We have a FreedHearts MamaBear international support network including groups for Moms of LGBTQ children, for Moms of transgender children, for Dads of LGBTQ children. Regardless of where you are on the journey, we have the perfect group for you. these groups provide much-needed support and encouragement. We also have local and regional groups that focus on face-to-face gatherings and deepening personal relationships.
Through our LGBTQ retreats, speaking, podcast, live events, video courses, books and consulting, we connect with hundreds of thousands of parents and LGBTQ, as well as churches and church leadership, schools and educators, therapists, and companies.
About Susan & Rob
SUSAN COTTRELL is an international speaker whose TEDx talk has 1.5 million views. OutSmart magazine called her “The Mother of All MamaBears.” The Advocate dubbed her “our favorite affirming matriarch.” She is a prominent voice for the LGBTQ community and their faith parents who has been featured on ABC’s 20/20, Nightline and Good Morning America, on NBC News Out, and as a contributor on the Our Bible app. She is a public theologian and through her nonprofit organization—FreedHearts—Susan champions the LGBTQ community and families with her authentic love; and she challenges Christians to love as the foundation of faith. She spent 20+ years in the nonaffirming Evangelical church, has a Master of Arts in Theological Studies, and served as the Vice-President of PFLAG Austin. Her FreedHearts Blog and YouTube videos have millions of viewers, and 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 Be the Love You Want to See in the World are critically acclaimed. She and her husband Rob have been married for 33 years and have five children, two of whom identify as queer.
“Susan has this fierce, loving, don’t mess with me, Mom vibe.”—Rev Ashley Harness, Auburn Seminary
ROBERT COTTRELL, is an author, an acclaimed speaker, and has more than 30 years experience in nonprofit management, spending decades helping restore hope into the lives of children with cancer and other life-threatening illnesses. He is also a singer, worship leader, and musician and has shared the stage with George Jones, the Oak Ridge Boys, Loretta Lynn and many others. Rob is the co-founder of FreedHearts and has a tender, compassionate heart, especially for Dads of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender children.
“What impresses me about Susan is that she’s not someone who argues and strongarms people into seeing things her way. She’s someone who listens and cares for others really well. Her presence challenges Christians who reject our friends in the LGBTQ community to understand the love of God.” - Michael Hidalgo, Lead Pastor, Denver Community Church