Faith Leader

Susan Cottrell | Faith Leader

Susan Cottrell is a prominent voice for faith parents of LGBTQI children. She is an international speaker, acclaimed author, and public theologian with a Masters in Theological Studies. After spending 25 years in the Evangelical church, she founded FreedHearts to champion the LGBTQI community and their families. She served as the Vice-President of PFLAG Austin (Texas) and was endorsed by The Human Rights Campaign and The Gay Christian Network. She has five children, two of whom are in the LGBTQI community, with her husband of 30 years, Rob.



Sir Ken Robinson is hilarious! He conveys a passionate and brilliant message wrapped in humor from stem to stern! When asked, “Who calls you Sir?” He said, “My children. I insist on it.” Love love love this man. Sir Ken Robinson.

What sparks your curiosity?

Puzzles spark my curiosity: word puzzles, puzzle boxes, logic puzzles. Ever since I slid into the world, I see ideas as a series of overlapping puzzles, where ideas fit together and where they don’t. My current puzzle: which beliefs support the humanity of the downtrodden (in this increasingly polarized world), and which beliefs support the system that trods them down?

What was the biggest change or turning point in your life, and why? Tell us a story!

I was bullied daily throughout sixth grade. It shredded my sense of self that took years to rebuild. That experience gave me deep compassion and called up in me fierce protection for those who are wounded and hurting. A protection that was unleashed when my own daughters came under threat.

Hobbies | Passions | Fun Facts

I love to paint! I turn off my puzzle brain and flow with color, beauty, creativity!

Once I skydived. I stepped into silent, crisp air in a backdrop of blue. I pulled the cord and a canopy of color blossomed overhead. I burst into tears of relief and joy. I was proud of my courage. I have leapt with courage in life many times since.

I am OCD about stepping on lines or cracks. It was a coping skill through my dangerous childhood. To this day I avoid cracks or step on them in a certain pattern!