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 Nation 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, 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 work with thousands of parents and LGBTQ, as well as churches and church leadership, schools and educators, therapists, and companies.
About Susan & Rob
SUSAN COTTRELL, a prominent voice for faith parents of LGBTQI children, was featured on ABC's 20/20, Nightline and Good Morning America, on NBC News Out, on The Advocate Magazine’s National Coming Out Day, Mother's Day, and other viral videos - as "our favorite affirming matriarch." - and is a devotional contributor on the Our Bible app. She is an international speaker who was featured on the TED stage for 5,000 people at TEDxMileHigh, a public theologian, acclaimed author, and consultant. Through her nonprofit organization—FreedHearts—Susan champions the LGBTQI community and families with her authenticity and tender-hearted zeal. She challenges Christians to love as the foundation of faith. She spent 20+ years in the non-affirming Evangelical church, has a Master of Arts in Theological Studies, and served as the Vice-President of PFLAG Austin (Texas). 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; and Radically Included - The Biblical Case for Radical Love and Inclusion are critically acclaimed. She and her husband Rob have been married for more than 30 years and have five children, two of whom are in the LGBTQI community.
“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