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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. "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?"

    No. You don't get credit for something you're supposed to do, i.e. not threaten or inflict violence against your child.

    "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?"

    Just because someone is an adult doesn't mean they don't need their parent. Parents aren't simply there to provide us with our physical needs.

    "Where is YOUR compassion?
    Where is YOUR understanding?"

    I have little to no compassion for someone who abandons their child. And a parent doesn't ever stop being a parent to their children.

    This is heinous. Full stop.

    Posted by: Nat | Aug 7, 2012 1:03:46 PM

  2. How can one even comprehend the HATE that it takes to do this. This man knows NOTHING of God or his "so-called" faith. This is not a Christian act, it is the act of a coward. This despicable sub-human is not worth the time to hate. What he will miss is a son who is loved by others, who loves his gay family and is most certainly admired and respected by them in return.
    This man is a waste of human skin.

    Posted by: Iwontgrowup | Aug 7, 2012 1:04:23 PM

  3. I hope Dad lives long enough to regret it. And regret it dearly.

    Posted by: Jack M | Aug 7, 2012 1:08:19 PM

  4. Sorry, "TRUTH", but the real truth is, no, this breeder does not deserve any sort of compassion. He's NOT a dad, either. I don't even have it in me to hate this monster. I don't pity him, but he's simply too pathetic and undeserving of hatred. I'm angry, however, that James and SO many LGBT individuals, adults and children alike, are rejected and treated like lepers in their own families solely for who they are. You want to talk about compassion, where is your compassion for those kids who are basically being punished simply for being born?

    You want to talk about understanding? I think we understand enough to know that rejecting your child for being gay is completely reprehensible. You want to talk about compassion? Why should anyone be compassionate towards a person who is so wrapped up in what they believe that they will hurt their own flesh and blood in the process? No MENTALLY/EMOTIONALLY healthy individual would feel some need to choose between their religion and their child's sexuality. It doesn't have to be a choice. We see millions of religious families who have an LGBT child within their tree and fully accept them. So that makes stories like this inexcusable.

    Yes, the father is honest, he's telling his truth in a way that may seem reasonable, but the problem is, his truth is completely unreasonable to start with. People like you TRUTH should stop acting as if there are two sides to this gay debate. The ONLY acceptable option is to embrace and love LGBT people, sons and daughters, aunts and uncles, the same way you would your straight friends and family.

    Posted by: Francis | Aug 7, 2012 1:09:49 PM

  5. "Another stellar example of Christian Love™!"

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

    More evidence proving that atheism is a prejudice just like homophobia.

    Atheists use exactly the same arguments and tactics to express their derogatory opinion about millions of people that homophobes use.

    Congratulations, Latrice - you've made Porno Pete proud.

    Posted by: We are Here | Aug 7, 2012 1:14:48 PM

  6. 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

    Well - adultery is not relevant to the dance clubs and weekend rentals at Fire Island and P-Town.

    But Ronald Reagan and Newt Gingrich were both adulterers. In fact, adultery is an extremely common sin among heterosexuals - half of whose marriages end in divorce - they then remarry after divorce which Jesus said was adultery.

    And then there's the studies that show that 1/3 of all married people (mostly het you know) have cheated on their spouse, and another 1/3 have seriously thought about it - and Jesus taught that even thinking of committing adultery was sin.

    Thanks for helping the Latrice's of the world lie about Christians.

    Posted by: We are Here | Aug 7, 2012 1:19:49 PM

  7. @ Truth - Why is compassion expected toward someone who lacks compassion toward their own flesh and blood? Why is understading expected when it is not given? Why must we always be the ones to justify our own existence? Nobody should do this to their child for any reason.

    Posted by: SammySeattle | Aug 7, 2012 1:23:07 PM

  8. There's a whole lot that isn't in that letter, or the accompanying story. For instance, does he have siblings, and just what do they feel about that? How about aunts and uncles? How about other mutual friends/neighbors? What's the religious background? Maybe priest/minister needs to know?

    Or, maybe the relationship was strained and distant anyway.

    In any event, time to make one's own family.

    Posted by: cbhermey | Aug 7, 2012 1:27:32 PM

  9. My God this is astonishing in this day and age. It's hard to believe it is even real.

    Posted by: Matt | Aug 7, 2012 1:29:44 PM

  10. http://fablog.ehrensteinland.com/2012/08/07/fait-diver-life-with-and-without-father/

    Posted by: David Ehrenstein | Aug 7, 2012 1:40:30 PM

  11. @gerry: That was a Dear Abby letter, not Ann Landers: http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2007-07-13/features/0707110569_1_garage-sale-dear-abby-gay-son

    The previous Dear Abby also printed a classic pro-gay retort (during the 1970s!)to a bigot, who was complaining that a gay couple had moved in next door and asking Abby how to "improve the quality of this once-respectable neighborhood." Her three-word response was: "you could move."

    Posted by: thomasina | Aug 7, 2012 1:42:55 PM

  12. I never got this type of letter. I know many who did. My Dad and Mom teach and practice unconditional love. They are my heroes.

    Posted by: Pdxblueyes | Aug 7, 2012 1:43:01 PM

  13. This is a perfect example of where the insanity of religion reaches . Religion is a choice and unnatural. The father has been so manipulated that he would give HIS only begotten son to be hung on a cross to die for the sins of the father !

    Death to religion . It's is mankind's greatest cancer. It rots all intellectual gain of humanity all for the sake of control by religious charlatans !!!

    Posted by: MarkBoston | Aug 7, 2012 1:49:42 PM

  14. PDXblueeyes: You were very frtunate. Some of the cynical comments I rerad - here.

    @We Are Here: What a sanctimonious twit. This letter is a perfect example of what we some Christians consider a proper response to gay kids so take your sneer about about atheists and Take your religion and shove it. What a self-centered comment. , is it all about you and your weakness for superstition?

    Posted by: Jonathan | Aug 7, 2012 1:54:43 PM

  15. So much for the unconditional love a parent is supposed to have for their child. This "father" has abdicated his rights to call himself a father and I am glad that he has been exposed to the world.
    Fortuately for those who have experienced similar rejection there is the family you are born into and the family you create for yourself which can often be the more important and supportive.
    I wonder if on his deathbed the father will still look back on his decision to reject his son as the right thing to have done. I suppose as long as he is alive there is still some hope he will come to see he acted out of ignorance and beg his son for forgiveness.

    Posted by: Swiminbuff | Aug 7, 2012 1:58:56 PM

  16. I believe that "Christians" like this are going to be surprised in the next life, when they are called out for lack of love. Jesus accepted people as they were...He always loved first before he called people to change. Parents should be a safe place, they should be unconditional in their love. I cried when I read this. I would never do that to my son, no matter what his lifestyle. Condemning conditional love is not expressed by Jesus. I do see many many scriptures about mercy and love.and being careful who and how you judge. And over and over, Love and restoration is the theme of the bible. Maybe God will also judge this dad with the same measuring rod and the same consequences.

    Posted by: LeighAnn | Aug 7, 2012 2:03:21 PM

  17. Wow.
    "We become that which we hate"
    Some fine examples of hateful bigotry on the comments section here.
    Eye for an eye merely leads to blindness for all.
    You people need to take a look at yourselves before pointing the finger at anyone else.
    If you EXPECT compassion and understanding without being willing to do the same what does that make you?

    Posted by: Truth | Aug 7, 2012 2:05:36 PM

  18. Just makes me want to cry. That man was not a father. Donating sperm does not make a man a father, I had to come to grips with this myself. I have been very blessed to have had other men in my life that were like fathers to me. Keep your head up, love is not a sin, bigotry and hate are.

    Posted by: Emily | Aug 7, 2012 2:08:29 PM

  19. Yet another example of how Bible Zealots "Love the sinner but hate the sin."

    Posted by: Inis | Aug 7, 2012 2:09:23 PM

  20. @David Ehrenstein - Good blog post, but I've been following the post on reddit and based on what else he has said, I don't think the "I’m the adoptive dad" is from RegBarc.

    Posted by: Jamie | Aug 7, 2012 2:09:54 PM

  21. Yet another person claiming to be a Christian yet doing exactly the OPPOSITE of what a Christian is supposed to do. I call them CINO's - Christian in name only.

    Since the right wing hijacked Christianity in America in the early 1980's we have had more and more right wing hatred and extremism disguised as Christianity. Unfortunately this will always be a problem because you can't educate the masses who are just so, so dumb. Mentally weak people are drawn to organized religion and they are easily manipulated so we are always going to be fighting a sea of stupid morons who will never ever learn.

    Ever heard the quote "You can't fix stupid" ?

    Posted by: Icebloo | Aug 7, 2012 2:09:55 PM

  22. I agree with the comment that my dad just got a LOT cooler. I feel sorry for the son to have been rejected like that and sorry for the father for being so cruel and apparently unaware of that cruelty. I too hope he lives long enough to have a change of heart.

    Posted by: Seattle Mike | Aug 7, 2012 2:17:05 PM

  23. Karma, defined as "What goes around, comes around," will not be good to this father. He will likely end up in Shady Pines with mean nurses and no visitors while James does exactly what Dad said to do: "Have a good ...life."

    Funny how that works, eh?

    Posted by: GraciesDaddy | Aug 7, 2012 2:18:49 PM

  24. Dad? Dad is what my boyfriend calls me. That man is not no 'Dad'.

    What a curious way to sign such a hateful letter.

    I received a softer, gentler version of that letter a few years back wherein the woman who gave birth to me suggested that my 'unhappiness' in life came from my feeling unworthy to accept Jeebus, and that those feelings of unworthiness were rooted in the way I had chosen to live my life. (She conveniently overlooked the suicide of my partner some months previous, but pishposh!....details!)

    I have not laid eyes on that woman since, nor do I expect to before one of us dies.

    Posted by: Real Dad | Aug 7, 2012 2:22:36 PM

  25. I am a straight 47 year old woman, with 2 kids and this letter breaks my heart. Our family would happily 'adopt' these young people who have been rejected by their families for such a stupid reason as being gay. My son is 25, in jail for the umpteenth time, this particular time for burglary and receiving stolen property. He has a history of drug use and the uncanny ability to make the wrong choice every single time he is confronted with one. We have been through it all with him and have tried to help him countless times. The last straw was in February when he used a family tragedy to get into our home and steal from us (again). I've cut off all communication with him and have, in effect, disowned him. It hurts me every day but I know that he has left us no other choice. He is my son and I will always love him but I can no longer allow him to emotionally blackmail me ("you're my mom, you can't throw me out. Or "you're my mom, you can't press charges against me").

    I know this is probably TMI but my point is this; This father disowning his son simply because he's gay? The man is a fool. My son is straight. Maybe he'd feel better if we traded?

    Posted by: Lolly | Aug 7, 2012 2:22:45 PM

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