Don't Ask, Don't Tell | Military | News | Randy Phillips

Military Airman Who Came Out to Dad on YouTube Talks to ABC News: VIDEO


Randy Phillips, the airman (I've been referring to him as soldier while he remained anonymous) whose coming out video to his father went viral yesterday, spoke briefly with ABC News about coming out, and says his whole family now knows he's gay.

Said Phillips: "It feels great. it's nice not having to look over your shoulder or worry about who you are talking to, Phillips told ABC News the day after "Don't Ask, Don't Tell". I think everybody knows. I never thought I'd be so comfortable with it. It's very supportive. Everybody's been absolutely great."

ABC News adds: "As for Phillips' father, he told ABC News that he was not exactly thrilled that his son put the clip on YouTube -- but reiterated once again that he loves his son, and always will."


Feed This post's comment feed


  1. When I saw his story begin appearing in other news feeds, I thought "oh boy, it's gonna hit mainstream news any minute". He is just amazing and wish him the very best.
    I wonder if he realizes 'coming out'-even the way he did it, is just the beginning?

    Posted by: Geoff M | Sep 21, 2011 10:46:48 AM

  2. Isn't it a sad commentary that ABC News chose the term "confesses" to his father in their caption.

    Wouldn't "disclosed" or "comes out" have been a better choice?

    Confesses makes it sound like it is a crime to be gay.

    Well, I guess it was -- in the military.

    But, this is the guy's dad.

    Posted by: Tanner | Sep 21, 2011 10:47:34 AM

  3. Tanner, I feel the same way about the use of "confess" in terms of coming out. It is the wrong word to use since it conveys a sense of wrongdoing. I protested it on HuffingtonPost too.

    It was also weird for me watching Robin Roberts beaming at how wonderful a coming out story was.

    Posted by: Dastius Krazitauc | Sep 21, 2011 11:01:51 AM

  4. While I agree with the awkwardness of the word "confess," the act of coming out is almost like you are disclosing your shame.

    When a family member says I "still" love you, it's like they love you in despite of being gay. I know this is nitpicking and trivial but its what I think of with these word choices.

    That being said, I think the meaning behind the words is what matters. The unconditional love and acceptance. I'm glad to be able to witness such an event.

    Posted by: Chuck | Sep 21, 2011 11:16:05 AM

  5. I love this airman's amazing bravery in revealing his sexual orientation to his dad...and permitting the world to see it! OMG, I can't imagine having done that when I was 21 years old. I also love that his dad stands with his son by saying he'll always love him and that this revelation doesn't change their relationship. What a terrific video. Good luck, Randy, as you continue your US military service.

    Posted by: HadenoughBS | Sep 21, 2011 11:30:39 AM

  6. Hopefully he won't face any disciplinary issues with the wiretapping, and I'm not sure why they say "courtesy of Youtube" when Randy owns the copyright (assuming you can copyright this kind of content, which probably only barely qualifies as creative). Oh, and there'll be the typical flood of marriage proposals and date requests now for Randy.

    Posted by: anon | Sep 21, 2011 11:55:46 AM

  7. This guy's video makes me cry every time I see it. I really hope it works out this well for everyone coming out in the coming days.

    Posted by: MT | Sep 21, 2011 11:57:51 AM

  8. Chuck, the father, I'm pretty sure, said "I still love you" because his son asked if he will still love him before he told him he was gay. You're reading too much into this.

    And I can see where you are going with this but I would much rather hear "I still love you" than some of the crap certain parents say when their kids come out to them.

    Posted by: Markus | Sep 21, 2011 12:02:12 PM

  9. I have tears in my eyes as I watch this boy tell his father about himself. It brings back so many memories from 28 years ago when I was 21 and was forced to come out to my parents. My story didn't start out well, but it has a happy ending. Mom and Dad gave me thirty minutes to pack, threw me out of the house, took my car away, and I had to quit school. It was very rocky at first, my boyfriend and I broke up and I lived many different places sleeping on the floor. My partner and I have been together 21 years next month......... my parents are great now, treating him as a son-in-law. We just wanted to tell Randy how proud we are of him, and wish him all the best. Stay safe.

    Posted by: Johnjon | Sep 21, 2011 12:13:27 PM

  10. maybe im cold. people have been doing this for years. why does he get more attention than the million of us who have had to make this phone call..oh yeah, its on youtube, and his photo/telegenic

    Posted by: Astro | Sep 21, 2011 12:16:29 PM

  11. For a view of the comments from the right wingnuts, check this out

    An view into the minds of the Breitbart crowd.

    Posted by: Jim | Sep 21, 2011 12:26:17 PM

  12. What's great about this is that it is between what seems to be pretty much middle american folks. Good meaning that they should be relatable to people who might otherwise condemn a son coming out. If this alabama dad can be accepting, it makes being bigoted seem that much more close-minded radical.

    I will say it was a little strange to do this on-line. Is it really ok to tape and broadcast someone without their consent? The dad was nice, but the dad might have wanted to keep this a family matter.

    Also, is anyone else sorta thinking that it's strange that sam champion and robin roberts are closeted yet the anchors are all saying how great it is for this young man to come out?

    Posted by: dms | Sep 21, 2011 12:45:35 PM

  13. "maybe im cold. people have been doing this for years. why does he get more attention than the million of us who have had to make this phone call..oh yeah, its on youtube, and his photo/telegenic"

    Because it is A) video, B) timely, C) human interest, D) poignant, E) suspenseful and C) compelling. Websites and television thrive on available video in general, but if it is all of the above things, and free too, it will get play.

    Posted by: Dastius Krazitauc | Sep 21, 2011 12:51:43 PM

  14. Oh My Lord! is correct... Talk about coming out... this has gone viral and was even on the Daily Show. Brings tears to my eyes every time I watch it. Sir, you have made a huge positive impact, probably more than you will ever know. What a great story! Congratulations and thank you for your service to our country; and for sharing your experience with the world.

    Posted by: Mike | Sep 21, 2011 12:55:10 PM

  15. I thought the big grins on the ABC presenters at the heartwarming nature of the story was a big win. There was no "balance" with a hatemonger tutting about how this was the wrong choice and that turning a child out of his house is the kind of tough love Jesus wants in order to punish a person out of a life of sin.

    As they're switching to other stories George S. says, "That's just beautiful," with no self-consciousness, as though one could take for granted that having a son proud of being gay and assuring him nothing has changed now that what was secret has been revealed is great, praiseworthy, a sight for sore eyes.

    Posted by: Glenn I | Sep 21, 2011 12:58:50 PM

  16. When a person's family says "Still" as in "...Still love you", i think they mean "Continue to Love you." They haven't stopped, they will still continue to do so. Undoubtedly things have changed slightly in a second... perceptions, feelings, perspectives... Looking at a life of a son, as his father. This is a longer process than a phone call. He STILL is a loving father, and he has to let the feelings equilibrate first. Some things will change, his overall love will not. I admire you, SIR!

    Posted by: Jay | Sep 21, 2011 1:01:53 PM

  17. @Astro

    Timing is everything. Sounds like somebody is having him/herself a pity party and is suffering from You Tube envy.

    Posted by: mytwocents | Sep 21, 2011 1:05:56 PM

  18. There is no doubt that this is a very courageous young man. I've said that before in an earlier post.

    Now, here is my fear. I do hope I am wrong, but something in my gut tells me this may end badly. I don't think this young man's family and friends were prepared for such broad public and nationwide exposure. Once the networks latched onto this story it opened a whole new dynamic.

    Randy's name and the name of his family is now public. Alabama, and most likely his small town, is not known as a bastion of tolerance, understanding and acceptance, I'll wager. Alabama is the heart of a very noxious religious environment. Randy has now exposed his family and friends to what may be a lot of hate and harassment. I hope not, but this is a very sick country we live in and there are lot's of ignorant hateful people in it.

    Some of the comments I've read on other more mainstream blogs, lead me to think that although Randy's revelation via Youtube was courageous, it may not have been wise given the now widespread media exposure.

    I hope his family is as strong and courageous as is Randy. I think there will be many difficult times ahead for them as a result of Randy's very public revelation. I think the strength of one family's love is about to be tested. I'm hoping for the best.

    Posted by: Bob R | Sep 21, 2011 1:16:26 PM

  19. Bob R, it's the 21st Century. Everyone will be fine. That is, in fact, the entire point of all of this.

    Posted by: justme | Sep 21, 2011 1:24:15 PM

  20. @ Bob R. It would be an interesting news story to see the follow-up on this. How does this impact the family and the community where he grew up? Does the family get negative reactions from others?

    On a larger level, this is great because it will encourage other servicemen to make that same difficult call. And the more open members of the military, the better.

    Truman's integration of the Army was an important step in the coming integration fight. Integration leads to understanding and tolerance. Let's hope that this filters down to everyone in the country.

    Posted by: gr8guyca | Sep 21, 2011 1:44:44 PM

  21. I don't belong to the YouTube, reality TV, put-all-your-business-in-the-streets generation, and I'm glad I don't. Coming out to your parents is such a delicate, emotional thing! Posting that moment on YouTube, clearly without the father's consent, was inconsiderate at best and crazy narcissistic at worst. No kudos for this dude from me. He has some serious issues.

    Posted by: Stuffed Animal | Sep 21, 2011 1:47:04 PM

  22. I love this guy. I love the dad, too.

    There is something very honest and poignant about the dad's reaction. You can hear in his tone of voice that this family is part of the heartland of America (actually Alabama) that Sarah Palin and Michele Bachmann are always telling us reject the "gay lifestyle". But I think there are many more (traditional, maybe conservative) parents out there like this that would react with love. The problem is the fruit-loop fringe conservatives of the anti-gay movement has louder voices and wingnut politicians who are ready to cater to them -- "energized" primary voters -- and they drown out the regular, everyday folks.

    Posted by: will | Sep 21, 2011 2:31:24 PM

  23. @Stuffed Animal Well, maybe it shouldn't be such a delicate and emotional thing. Maybe it shouldn't be a big deal. And also, maybe, this video helps or inspired thousands of gay people young and old in some way to come out themselves.

    Posted by: Damien | Sep 21, 2011 3:40:34 PM

  24. I love this story more and more. With examples like Randy Phillips, the haters predictions of sexual predation and rampant HIV infection are shown to be ridiculous.

    Who wouldn't be charmed by this airman and his loving father?

    Take that anti-gay bigots!

    Posted by: Mick | Sep 21, 2011 4:10:17 PM

  25. A slightly cynical question, but does anyone know if the guy's dad knew he was recording the vid while he was coming out to him?

    I do hope he has a good relationship with his father and I hope it's not those cases where the dad is okay with it at first, but when he actually sees his son being actively gay i.e. bringing home boyfriends and all that, he starts to have second thoughts.

    Posted by: Bryan | Sep 21, 2011 4:39:41 PM

  26. 1 2 »

Post a comment


« «Computer Issues Get Real: VIDEO« «