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!


May 31, 2023 33 mins

When we were in the non-affirming evangelical church, we did not realize how toxic it was or how sick it was making us.

When we opened the box we had God in, when we began to deconstruct those false teachings, we begin to see all the symptoms – our views, attitudes, lack of compassion, judgment.

We came to understand how sick toxic religion had made us. 

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The false teachings about hell and the devil do serious damage to our hearts – especially those who have been rejected by the church for who they are, or for what they stand for. 

It IS the number one fear for people who are LGBTQ+ and come from Christianity. It IS the number one fear for people who are deconstructing their faith. 

"Oh crap, is the devil making me do all of this? What if I am wrong, could I...

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I think we all know parents who want their child to change.

Maybe you are that parent. A Mom or Dad of an LGBTQ+ child and you feel alone, and don’t know what to do.

Thank you for loving your child enough to listen to this episode.

You’re not alone, and perhaps this is the answer you’ve been praying for.

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Being straight… or being gay or lesbian or bisexual… or being transgender… or being queer, or intersex… is NOT a choice. It is who we are. It is how things are. 

It was never a choice to be a certain way, and it is not a choice, not an option to NOT to be that way.

But we hear from parents who don’t understand, from people who do understand but don’t give a crap. They say "just choose something different.&qu...

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The threat is growing from anti-transgender legislation that is being introduced and passed in various parts of the country.

Many of these bills are targeting transgender youth and are attempting to limit their access to medical care.

Beloved, the time is NOW to stand up and speak up in support of our transgender family and friends. 

Please share this important episode. 

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The music at the beginning and the end of every episode is the song "Calm Me Down" by our daughter Hannah, you may know her as Saint Sinner.

She is a Grammy-nominated singer/songwriter, an incredible producer, an innovative creator as a DJ artist, and she is an all-around amazing, inspiring human being with a beautiful soul.

This is our 100th episode and we want to do something special!

We don’...

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When you deconstruct your faith, sometimes people get afraid that they won’t be able to “find God again” – or Spirit, the Universe, God – however you define that.
Why is that a challenge?

Because old false religious beliefs are so deeply ingrained in us, and we were taught to be terrified of anyone on the outside. And to be terrified of our own hearts.

So, deconstruction can come loaded with guil...
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This is The Deconstruction Zone, where we help those of you who come from a nonaffirming, rules-based Christian past – with all the shame, guilt, wounds and trauma that go with that – deconstruct false religious beliefs.

Deconstruct those lies about you, those you love, about God, about life – and reconstruct a spirituality that fits perfectly for you – whatever that looks like.

A spirituality that affirms you as...

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We hear the hate coming from the nonaffirming church about things like drag queen storytimes, transgender bathroom laws, and more…  all disguised in the “we care about the children” lie! Disgusting and indefensible.
Just to be clear – it has NOTHING to do with children. Kids are being used in a transparent attempt to hide hate and bigotry.  Period.

So, what are the REAL threats to children?  What does real dama...

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March 15, 2023 15 mins

One of our most popular YouTube videos is called: A Pastor Looks Up in Tears.  It is about a non-affirming pastor who is shocked at what he discovers about God, others, and himself when he gets to what the Bible calls Heaven. 

We have connected with tens of thousands of parents who have been pressured, and sometimes convinced by their church to reject their LGBTQ+ child… to condemn and shame them, to kick them out of the...

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It breaks our hearts when people talk negatively about themselves. Most of the time, this is based on a belief that, at our core, we are probably a disappointment to God, that God is mad at us.

We have talked about how the message of Jesus has been distorted and replaced with these false lies that you are broken, that you need saved.

That is NOT from Jesus or God and we call bullshit!

For us to underst...

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Every day, we see the pain and betrayal inflicted in people’s lives from the rules-based, non-affirming Christian church. The devastating suffering of those who have been destroyed by their family and church rejecting them, condemning them—leading to depression, homelessness, substance abuse, and stunningly high suicide rates.

Sickening. Indefensible.

And you know what, it's absolutely NOTHING like the Jesus...

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February 22, 2023 16 mins

So many of you listening have been on the receiving end of faith-based family rejection.  Maybe because you are part of the LGBTQ+ community – maybe because you support and affirm someone who is – or maybe just because you are deconstructing from false religious beliefs.
The truth is that this rejection has nothing to do with you and speaks volumes about the people treating you this way.
Today, we share with yo...

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February 15, 2023 29 mins

We have a brand-new grandbaby—and are so happy--and thought this was a great opportunity to talk about pronouns.
We all will use they/them pronouns for our grandchild until they let us know something else.
It will be very natural and normal to be raised in a gender inclusive environment. Honestly, it really is unnatural NOT to be – but that is a result of binary thinking that has ingrained itself into society....

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February 8, 2023 12 mins

Drag queens seem to be in the news with Drag Queen Storytimes! You hear people promoting false fear and lies about kids in danger. But you also hear other people pointing out how kids are likely safer with a drag queen than with many religious leaders! Yeah, truth.

Today we are going to talk about someone very special. Someone whose life and impact challenge many in the church, and reach a growing number of outliers and outcasts. 


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Today, we are going to talk about one word… “homosexual.”  And how it was never in the Bible. Nope, NEVER!

A handful of verses in the Bible have been falsely taught and used to propagate modern homophobia and transphobia. But, guess what?  The words homosexual, gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender were never actually in the Bible!

That all changed in 1946 when an American Bible company mistranslated two ancient Greek words...

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January 25, 2023 22 mins

Beloved, are you tired of feeling miserable?

Where does misery even come from? What leads to it? The answer may surprise you!

Let’s talk about that, so we can do something about it.  

Because, Beloved, you deserve to be happy, content, joyful and loved. 

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We deconstruct dangerous religious beliefs and false teachings that steal your life, and steal your joy.

In this episode, we  look at how different the reality of the actions and core beliefs of the non-affirming, behavior-focused, rules-based part of the Christian church is from what we heard from them – from what they told us Jesus wanted us to do.

We listened, we heard, we did what they said and look what happ...

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We are not big fans of New Year’s Resolutions as they are often things you promise to do and then when it does not work out that way, there is a lot of guilt and shame. And we certainly don’t deserve that.
In this episode, we want to do something a little different. Something very special.
We want to share with you 10 things that you can STOP doing!

And these may be things that could change everythin...

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We have been told by Christians that our opinion on LGBTQ+ people is invalid—that our opinion is invalid because we have two children who are part of that community, and of course, we would just change our opinion to justify them.


Let me tell you something. Since our two kids came out, we have pondered, prayed, pressed for answers. We have sought, studied, searched for God. We listened and asked and listened ...

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