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Susan Cottrell


Susan Cottrell is an international speaker whose TEDx talk, for a crowd of 5,000 at TedxMileHigh in Denver, has 1.6 million online views. OutSmart magazine calls her “The Mother of All MamaBears.” The Advocate dubs her “our favorite affirming matriarch.” She is a prominent voice for the LGBTQIA+ community & their faith parents; allies; and others who are marginalized and in the midst of deconstructing from harmful, false, religious teachings. Susan 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 challenges people to love as the foundation of their 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; the top-rated FreedHearts Podcast has more than 300,000 downloads and is heard in nearly 150 countries; 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 36 years and have five children, two of whom identify as queer; a transgender child-in-law; and three grandchildren!

“Susan has this fierce, loving, don’t mess with me, Mom vibe.”—Rev Ashley Harness, Auburn Seminary

Susan Cottrell
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