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Here's a Letter from a Dad Disowning His Gay Son


Reddit user RegBarc posted the disturbing missive, and writes:

In August of 2007, I finally built up the courage to tell my father I was gay. The moment I said it, the phone got quiet and he got off the phone after a few "Okay"s. I decided to give him time to process the news. About a week later, and not long before my birthday, I received the following letter:

"James: This is a difficult but necessary letter to write. I hope your telephone call was not to receive my blessing for the degrading of your lifestyle. I have fond memories of our times together, but that is all in the past. Don’t expect any further conversations With me. No communications at all. I will not come to visit, nor do I want you in my house. You’ve made your choice though Wrong it may be. God did not intend for this unnatural lifestyle. If you choose not to attend my funeral, my friends and family will understand. Have a good birthday and good life. No present exchanges will be accepted. Goodbye, Dad."

It's important to know just what this zealotry from Bryan Fisher, Maggie Gallagher, Dan Cathy, et al., does to everyday people. I've never done drugs, was an excellent student, an obedient child (far less trouble than many of my classmates), didn't drink until I was 22 because it terrified me, and have had just 1 speeding ticket in my life. Yet I am still seemingly deserving of this terrible act of hate and cowardice that one person can place on another. 5 years on and I am still doing fine, though this letter saunters into my mind every once in a while. When it does, I say without hesitation: F**k you, Dad.

It's an all too familiar situation for many LGBT kids out there.

He's right. The Dan Cathys of the world are giving tacit permission to parents to act this way. Shame on them.

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  1. Disgusting.

    Posted by: Agent Provocateur | Aug 7, 2012 10:00:13 AM

  2. If the father would abandon his child like that, then he was never a proper father to begin with. The son never hurt anybody in the family or their friends, didn't steal, didn't do anything that was damaging and yet he completely cut him off.
    Being a father was conditional to him, and for that he is a bad man and a bad father.

    Posted by: Cam | Aug 7, 2012 10:05:02 AM

  3. How very sad that someone, out of sheer ignorance, can abandon his own son like that.

    Posted by: rayrayj | Aug 7, 2012 10:05:24 AM

  4. To Dad: Parenting. You're doing it wrong.
    To Son: Bless you.

    Posted by: Jimcracky | Aug 7, 2012 10:06:12 AM

  5. I read this hoping that there would be a happy ending to the story. That the father loved and missed him. Gosh, I was lucky. I knew my parents loved me more than God, or a church imposed version of the limits of God's love. How good for the church to tell us who God loves and hates, but never them or thier sins, only others. Jesus would be in Ptown or Fire Island or the ghettos wherever the persecuted are. He would not go to church. I hope the son made his own family of love.

    Posted by: Steven | Aug 7, 2012 10:07:46 AM

  6. My dad and I had an exchange to this effect. He and I are on a more even keel now, and he has even apologized for what he wrote, but it's something I'll never forget, and it is by far one of the most hurtful things someone has ever done to me.

    Posted by: Jess | Aug 7, 2012 10:08:23 AM

  7. What a silly Dad! Doesn't he realize that love is more important than sex?

    Methinks that Dad might have some closet issues himself. It's always the closeted bisexual men who are most hostile to the concept of male homosexuality. They project their shame of themselves onto others.

    Posted by: jason | Aug 7, 2012 10:08:30 AM

  8. And *this* is what the bigotry-apologists choose to ignore. It's not a simple case of "a person's 'right' to be anti-gay", when their choice to be anti-gay has negative ramifications for others.

    Being anti-gay won't mean that you're immune form having LGBT family members.

    My advice to this young man? Forward copies of this letter to everyone his dad knows. The entire community. All of his friends.

    Out your father and expose him as the heartless bigot he is. He's not deserving of the term "Father", anyway.

    This is what a culture of hatred and prejudice and anti-gay rhetoric does.

    Hugs and Love to any and all who have to deal with family members like this. And as hard as it is to swallow, know that you're actually better off without them.

    Posted by: LittleKiwi | Aug 7, 2012 10:08:47 AM

  9. Another stellar example of Christian Love™!

    Posted by: Latrice Royale | Aug 7, 2012 10:11:45 AM

  10. This is heartbreaking. How could anyone do that do that to their own child? I hope this man will live a good life.Coming out is never easy. It takes courage. This is something that straight people would never understand.

    Posted by: Calvin | Aug 7, 2012 10:15:06 AM

  11. I moved in and took care of my dad for the final 18 months of his life. Oh, we could still push each other's buttons once in a while, and the parent-kid role reversal is never easy, but I also made him laugh a lot. There was not a moment, before or in that time, when the fact that I'm gay caused a bit of distance between us. What a good guy, and how I do miss him.

    Posted by: Charles | Aug 7, 2012 10:18:10 AM

  12. Is there a Mom involved in all this? Maybe not, since the "Dad" refers to "my" friends and family. Anyhow, seems like someone would try to talk some sense into this "Dad."

    Posted by: Demian | Aug 7, 2012 10:21:10 AM

  13. I feel sorry for this so-called "man" and "dad". There is nothing in this letter that shows any ounce of manhood.

    He should meet a real man, look my dad. He has two gay sons. And he loves us both unconditionally.

    Posted by: James | Aug 7, 2012 10:21:46 AM

  14. What kind of man walks away from someone who was their little boy over this? No man at all.

    Posted by: Mike | Aug 7, 2012 10:26:15 AM

  15. It's stories like this and the countless others like them, it's the hate crime attacks against random innocent LGBT victims, it's the constant verbal denigration that LGBT children have to face in schools and our community and our allies at large have to face in the public sphere daily that makes this point crystal clear:


    This is why we need to come out and be counted. This is why we need to speak out and why we fight. Because this is the reality too many of us have to deal with on an every day basis. At the very least, we can show people exactly how damaging anti-gay hatred is to everyone and everything it touches. And at the most, we can show LGBT people who are feeling alone, who are vulnerable, who have been hurt physically, emotionally or mentally, that there are so many of us out there who care for them and are looking out for them.

    Quite frankly, although it's truly horrendous to be discarded by your family solely for who you are, at the end of the day it's better to not be forced to associate with such terrible people and have to deal with the pain of their lack of acceptance. I say that from experience.

    Posted by: Francis | Aug 7, 2012 10:30:24 AM

  16. How awful for the "father": He has his biggest failure in life, in God, and in basic humanity exposed for the world to see. If the situation weren't so heartbreaking, I would be sad. However, its encouraging to see that RegBarc is not only not having any of his nonsense, but is calling him out.

    Posted by: manbot | Aug 7, 2012 10:31:12 AM

  17. STEVE, I highly doubt Jesus would visit and approve of P-town and fire island's 'activities". Di would love to believe so, but he did say to the adulterous woman go and sin no more'. No?

    Posted by: nikko | Aug 7, 2012 10:31:46 AM

  18. Complete and utter parental failure, caused by ignorance, superstition and fear.

    Posted by: Brian | Aug 7, 2012 10:32:57 AM

  19. Ugly, brutal, horrendous -- and I'm so glad its been printed here.

    This is what we're up against, folks. This is whn it all really "hits home."

    This is what every single LGBT person has to prepare themself for. If they're lucky they won't get a letter like this from their father. They'll get love.

    But many of us are not so lucky.

    Posted by: David Ehrenstein | Aug 7, 2012 10:36:56 AM

  20. It would be interesting to have this "dad" name and place and to let all people around him to know how a lower life spices like that can reject his own son. Because there are non accepting parents that they would never write a letter like that.

    Posted by: Luke | Aug 7, 2012 10:37:00 AM

  21. Sadly, many Christianists are extolling the principles of "Conditional Love"- the exact opposite of what Jesus preached.

    And the happy survival of this son without the wretched influence of his father reminds me of something I've said to parents of gay kids over the years: "If you won't be a mother or father to your LGBT child- they'll find someone who will. "

    Posted by: D Gregory Smith | Aug 7, 2012 10:38:30 AM

  22. Shocking and sad but real. I echo what someone else wrote: I hope you have been able to find a (non-biological) family that loves you. I pity your father.
    (And, on a personal note, the god of my understanding loves everyone...even your father).

    Posted by: Sarah | Aug 7, 2012 10:39:33 AM

  23. I am convinced that parents that do this kind of thing will face judgement..
    "If a son shall ask bread of any of you that is a father, will he give him a stone? or if he ask a fish, will he for a fish give him a serpent? 12Or if he shall ask an egg, will he offer him a scorpion? 13If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?"

    This is indeed an evil father.....

    Posted by: Alex | Aug 7, 2012 10:41:05 AM

  24. Sure, this is sad, but it happens all the time. James, like many before him, will be better off without "Dad". It only takes a sperm to become a father but a heart and a mind are required to be a parent. James will surely surround himself with people who love him quickly enough.

    Posted by: diatribesandovations | Aug 7, 2012 10:42:21 AM

  25. There was no need for him signing as DAD at the end. His whole letter already showed enough of his being a dad

    Posted by: Alejo | Aug 7, 2012 10:43:27 AM

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