As the daughter of a Focus on the Family executive, Amber Cantorna grew up homeschooled by parents who modeled the group’s conservative Christian and family values. In 2012, after struggling for years with the fear of rejection, Amber came out to her family as gay. That transparency cost her everything.
“I did not dream that I would be married to a woman and that my dad’s position at Focus would divide me from my family rather than keep us focused on it—but that’s what happened,” she says.
In her book Refocusing My Family: Coming Out, Being Cast Out, and Discovering the True Love of God, Amber recalls a happy childhood in a family that outwardly seemed perfect, but a dark side emerged as she struggled under the weight of perfectionism, reputation, and appearances. Amber tells of her journey of self-discovery and exposes the dark truths of how the values of Focus on the Family tore her family apart. Ultimately, her struggle was transformed into freedom when she boldly stepped into her identity and discovered that the true love of God surpasses all.
“Literally millions of us trusted James Dobson and Focus on the Family to guide us in raising the ideal Christian family. Amber Cantorna pulls back the curtain and reveals the real-life realities behind Focus’s books, purity rings, and radio shows. I hope that today’s young parents who are part of the evangelical community will allow her story to guide them into a better way of parenting, so they can discover a more authentic way of being Christians—and human beings, too.”
—Brian D. McLaren, author of The Great Spiritual Migration