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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. This letter shows that your father has some soul damaging hang-ups he needs to deal with professionally that have nothing to do with your sexuality and everything to do with his control and anger issues.

    Loving your child is not a "conditional" emotion; and if your father is not capable of being the father you deserve, build a loving family for yourself. God loves you and rejoices knowing that you are just as he wanted you to be!

    Posted by: Carol | Aug 7, 2012 11:47:48 AM

  2. This reminds me of a letter my orthodox jewish mom wrote to me when I got engaged to my non-jewish (now) husband. Religion is =great for tearing families apart.

    here's part of the letter from my mom: "It breaks my heart that I am not able to celebrate your upcoming marriage and that, if you choose to go through with it, it basically means the end of our relationship. I once told you that every action has consequences, some good and some not. It’s not a punishment on my part that I am not having anything to do with you or your choice, it’s that I cannot be true to my own beliefs and accept what you are doing. If you expect me to respect your choice then you will have to respect mine."

    Posted by: abandoning eden | Aug 7, 2012 11:47:56 AM

  3. You can choose your friends, but not your family. Some parents and some families are toxic. Your father may have done you a favor. Now at least you know the "strength" of that paternal bond.

    Move on. Make your own way, build your life around your chosen family and friends. Don't let this man and his ignorance keep you from finding the joy and happiness you deserve. Good loving parents can be rare, sadly sperm donors and incubators are more often the norm. Regardless, you are a child of the universe and have a right to a good life, with or without your closed minded father.

    Posted by: Bob R | Aug 7, 2012 11:48:40 AM

  4. This letter is why we fight. Someone should collect these types of letters into a book or -- better yet -- and ad campaign.

    Rejecting your children is the only thing that is "unnatural" here.

    Posted by: Blakeley | Aug 7, 2012 11:51:38 AM

  5. the rest of the family should absolutely disown this sad excuse for a father.

    its that simple. if you're going to be an anti-gay bigot, every family member with a conscience should treat you like the pariah you deserve to be.

    being gay won't make you alone. being anti-gay should make you alone.

    Posted by: LittleKiwi | Aug 7, 2012 11:55:38 AM

  6. I am really feeling this. Family is NOT all it's cracked up to be i.e. in what we are brainwashed to think. Be strong and know that another much better life exists outside and away from your family. Peace and love and understanding.

    Posted by: Chaz | Aug 7, 2012 11:58:35 AM

  7. @ Eden, i love the flawed non-logic those types use.

    "If you want me to respect your choice, then you need to respect mine. Even though my choice hinges on disrespecting you. So i'm actually asking you to respect me disrespecting you."

    That's why every one of us with a functioning brain knows it's nonsense. No, we're not going to respect your bigoted and inherently disrespectful choices and stances.

    Posted by: LittleKiwi | Aug 7, 2012 12:00:36 PM

  8. So no credit for the Dad being honest?
    No credit for raising what appears to be a fine young man?
    No credit for not getting violent, not threatening anything, just telling his truth?

    The recipient of the letter is apparently an adult and no longer NEEDS a Dad, so why all the hate and anger directed towards a father who is obviously pained and torn between his son's lifestyle and his own religion?
    Where is YOUR compassion?
    Where is YOUR understanding?

    Posted by: Truth | Aug 7, 2012 12:04:45 PM

  9. Ann Landers had a letter once from a mother who had distanced herself from her gay son. When she became too old to live alone, she asked her other three children if she could live with them and they all turned her down. It was the gay son and his partner who took her in and rearranged their lives and home to accomodate her.

    When my father became ill and needed round the clock care, my brother and his wife came three times to visit and then said they wouldn't be back as he prefered to remember Dad as he had been. I took care of everything after that.

    One day this "father" will be in the same boat. I pray that he isn't abandoned by those of whom he "approves."

    Posted by: gerry | Aug 7, 2012 12:07:48 PM

  10. Ratbastard read this letter, and the first thing he thought was James must be a really awful son.

    Posted by: endo | Aug 7, 2012 12:08:09 PM

  11. All in the name of religion!

    Posted by: Richard Voyce | Aug 7, 2012 12:09:15 PM

  12. > I pray that he isn't abandoned by those of whom he "approves."

    Will we get to tut-tut over THAT letter?

    Posted by: Truth | Aug 7, 2012 12:14:48 PM

  13. You ultimately have to forgive and release that kind of pain - or it will eat at you and end up harming others in your own life.

    Posted by: MB | Aug 7, 2012 12:17:36 PM

  14. As someone who received a similar letter from my father, I'm sorry you're going through this. It's quite a blow to the concept of love. Know that you can love yourself without him. And be cautious about recreating your father in new friendships.

    Posted by: Boop | Aug 7, 2012 12:18:12 PM

  15. Who are these people with such disgusting moms and dads? There were no other signs dad was an ahole? This dad had to have been a dbag growing up.

    It's inconceivable to me my mom or dad would have done such a thing, and they were just everyday average people, with good and bad points.

    There are some people in this world who are pathologically rigid in their beliefs and will willing hurt others, including those close to them. They come in all shapes, sizes, colors, sexual orientations, beliefs. They're truly freaks.

    Posted by: ratbastard | Aug 7, 2012 12:19:57 PM

  16. Assuming this letter is for real, and not some made up troll piece, posted to help radicalized the troops. NOTHING, unfortunately, would surprise me.

    Posted by: ratbastard | Aug 7, 2012 12:22:33 PM

  17. @ENDO,

    Shut up,fool.

    Posted by: ratbastard | Aug 7, 2012 12:23:42 PM

  18. LOL at Ratbastard questioning the validity of this letter.

    The only shocking thing about that is that he managed to avoid working in a little light racism.

    Posted by: endo | Aug 7, 2012 12:35:38 PM

  19. RatBastard, we don't need a letter to "radicalize the troops". Letters like these are more common than you think. Actually, from the many cases I have seen personally a letter like this is better than what many LGBT kids receive from their parents. Take a trip to a local youth shelter, you mind will be blown.

    Posted by: Bryce Ageno | Aug 7, 2012 12:41:39 PM

  20. The Father is a total douchey prick. I hope his wife divorced him.

    Posted by: Tre | Aug 7, 2012 12:47:37 PM

  21. This is a job for PFLAG if I've ever seen one. James should have a male role model/father figure who's willing to step up and be a surrogate dad for him. His sperm-donor (I won't dignify him with the term "father") should get a visit or call from some PFLAG folks, who should query him exactly why the dad would rather have no son than a gay son.

    Posted by: Dback | Aug 7, 2012 12:48:25 PM

  22. Oh - and yet this is the "Family Values" the Christian Taliban admires so.... disgusting.

    Posted by: Tre | Aug 7, 2012 12:48:31 PM

  23. This letter would be a great tool in a Marriage Equality ad. It shows just how cruel and inhumane the bigots are and can be. Family Values, huh? B.S.

    Posted by: Tre | Aug 7, 2012 12:50:50 PM

  24. How very sad. That letter just about sums up the whole of right-wing homophobia and why there never will be any compromise with those people.

    What kind of coward would reject his son so harshly without any consideration of the hurt he might cause his son?

    I imagine that this "dad" was actually proud of his rejection of his son and boasted of it at his local evangelical church.

    One wonders where the rest of the son's family was? The brothers? The sisters? The mother? Aunts? Uncles? Did anyone stand up and speak for the son?

    I hope that if there is a Hell, this "dad" is cast into it. He deserves to have his soul burn for all eternity.

    Posted by: jamal49 | Aug 7, 2012 12:55:06 PM

  25. i have nearly the same exact letter from my mother circa 1976. times have not changed a whole lot for some peopl. it seemse. my heart goes out to this man. it is so painful and damaging to be rejected by the very people that are supposed to give you unconditional love never ending trust.

    Posted by: deedrdo | Aug 7, 2012 12:56:18 PM

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