Dad Saves Gay Son Trouble of Coming Out with Letter: ‘I’ve Loved You Since You Were Born’

Letter

A letter posted on the Facebook page of FCKH8 is getting a lot of attention this morning:

Nate,

I overheard your phone conversation with Mike last night about your plans to come out to me. The only thing I need you to plan is to bring home OJ and bread after class. We are out, like you now.

I’ve known you were gay since you were six, I’ve love you since you were born.

– Dad

P.S. Your mom and I think you and Mike make a cute couple.

While its provenance is at this point unknown, the sentiment is one I'm certain many LGBTQ teens wish they could hear from their own families.

Comments

  1. Dave says

    I wrote about my high school boyfriend in my diary when I was 17. I came home from school and found the pages ripped out so violently that the binding was broken. Apparently my mom found it while cleaning my room. She eventually came around after a few years, but I can still feel the hurt and shame of that day 30 years later. God bless this mom and dad.

  2. says

    LGBT. The acronym is not “LGBTQ”, but LGBT. If the Q stands for “queer”, that’s offensive. There are no queer human beings. And if the Q stands for “questioning”, LGBT status is not questionable. Why don’t we ever hear about “questioning” Straight teens? We need to stop self-stigmatizing and perpetuating the myth of “fluid” sexual orientation.

  3. MT says

    That story made me cry a little, and, Dave, your story made me cry a little for different reasons. I’m sorry that happened to you and still affects you to this day.

  4. jpeckjr says

    Deep in my heart, I believe more and more gay teens and young adults do have moms and dads like this. (this could be a college student living at home . . . )

  5. Terry Gravley says

    This makes me so happy. This is exactly what I needed to wake up too. It took me so long to come out to my family and It was a hard thing for my Family to Except and have found it to be a struggle for them still. So this makes me extremely Happy to see that things are getting better. Love goes out to this family.

  6. says

    so so so SO wonderful. thankfully there’s a world of straight people who are really to embrace all of us, no matter who we are, no matter gay, bisexual, transgendered or queer. it’s always been a part of us, and what makes us special. letters like this make me so happy to be around right now, seeing my fellow Queers embraced for who we are, without having to condition and cushion it with any suckups to perceived “normalcy”

    well met, Dad!

  7. wunderbar says

    It was cool of his dad, but I’m not sure they should have waited so long. My parents knew before I told them. And, they were anticlimactically cool about it. In retrospect, the work of fear and anxiety did the damage. Maybe also it was a different time. My parents never spoke about people being gay.

    I think a reluctance to ask a child about it is because we’re afraid to offend them with a false accusation. I’d say, telling them that its okay to like whoever they’re gonna like, regardless of gender, should be par for the course at this point, and a standard element in the puberty talk. If parents are this open-minded, there’s no reason it should get to the stage where the child feels like she/he has to ‘come out’.

    Because I went first, I told this to my brother while he grew up, who also was gay. He never had to come out. He just sort of became more and more obviously gay, and the whole family just knew. Gay was a word we were throwing around a lot then in a very accepting manner. That is why I believe my brother is much more comfortable with his sexuality after all these years.

    W

  8. Kenneth says

    How lucky for you, Stuffed Animal, that you were so enlightneded that you never questioned your sexuality. How dismissive of you, Stuffed Animal, to assume that queer is offensive. I questioned my sexuality for years. Once I accepted it, life was great! I identify as queer, it suits me. It has nopthing to do with my sexuality and everything to do with my sense of self. I don’t want to be homogenized, pigeon holed or neatly fit into any acceptable “box.” I know many other people who identify as queer, for any number of reasons. As for questioning, plenty of straight teens also question their sexuality at one point or another, they just happen to be straight.

  9. BenR says

    Great post.

    Not to derail it further, but @Stuffed Animal, you are not the final authority on this issue, and you do not have all the answers. Please don’t speak for all of us.

  10. Aepol1 says

    My parents thought I was straight, and were shocked when I told them I was gay. However, they had told me on a couple of occasions growing up that if I were straight or bi they would love me just the same.

    As someone who grew up in a rural conservative region in the midwest with no openly gay people and general hostility towards homosexuality, I consider myself very lucky. If you are a straight parent of a child, you should also make sure they know that your love is unconditional. For me, coming out was still extremely difficult despite hearing this from my parents, but not having to nervously hope and guess whether or not they would support me after coming out made the coming out process a sliver less painful when I did.

  11. says

    Stuffed Animal, I don’t want to make you feel as though you are being jumped on by the whole board, but the notion that inclusive language is somehow a threat to the alt-sex community is a foolish stance to take. Since the 90’s that Q stood for Queer (a label which people assign to themselves for varied reasons) and has since been used to stand for both Queer and Questioning. The hope is that those who DO struggle with their sexuality, or who do not feel they fit rigidly into the category LGBT, will not feel that they have been excluded or ostracized. Further, both gender and sexuality are largely social constructs reinforced by a need for rigid labeling of social groups. That you dismiss gender-fluidity or the notion of multi-sexual identities shows that there is still a need for such inclusive language (the hope being that conversations such as this one will come up).

  12. TampaZeke says

    My favorite part, besides the PS, is his “That’s cool and, by the way, pick up some OJ and bread on the way home” nonchalance. It’s a twist on the old, “I’m gay and could you please pass the po-tah-tos” Thanksgiving dinner coming out scenario.

    Classic!

  13. says

    Stuffy hates the word Queer, even when we self-identifying Queer folks use it to, you know, SELF-identify and be empowered by it.

    but click on stuffy’s link and see his blog – he’s also a complete Jesus-freak who thinks non-Christians go to “Hell” – so he’s not exactly sane and rational.

    blurg.

  14. anon says

    It’s almost embarrassing to struggle with coming out only to find out that everyone knew from the start–all that planning and worrying for nothing. It removes all sense of control from the child, which is one of the few advantages to being in the closet.

    It’s a dirty little secret, but parents don’t uniformly love their children, and a lot of that love is or can be misguided, particularly if the parent wishes to control every aspect of their kid’s lives. Controlling the sex lives of their kids is one of the most misguided things that parents try to do, and it never works. The parental narcissism on display is the opposite of love, as the parent really only cares for themselves. They also never regret their decision or admit to error, regardless of the psychological damage to the child. This happens to kids gay and straight, the damage to straight kids is often way more subtle though.

  15. UFFDA says

    If dad had told his son to come home for the beating of his life the kid could have run away and become a great novelist. As it turns out we don’t really need novelists as much as we need healthy men to marry one another and live happily ever after. I love this story and can’t see enough of those marriage videos.

  16. Lucas H says

    This makes me happy!

    I came out at…16 or 17, I think. My parents were shocked (which was surprising to me), but they took it pretty well. The worst part about it was seeing my mom’s initial reaction (she cried), but mostly it was just hugs and reassurances of unconditional love.

    Today my mom keeps a little rainbow ribbon pinned to her purse.

  17. Jonathan says

    @Stuffed animal – you’re deranged. Hasn’t this blog blocked you yet? JMG got rid of you (which to this day the other commenters are so grateful you’re gone) You add nothing to a conversation.

  18. says

    Not to completely defend Stuffed Animal, but I, too, have never been a fan of the use of the word “queer” as a label for gay people. Unlike the word “gay,” “queer” has historically had a negative definition as “strange.” I don’t now nor have I ever referred to myself as strange (nerdy, yes) especially because of my sexuality. Personally, I would like to see the discontinuation of that word, but that’s just my opinion. However, unlike Stuffed Animal, I wouldn’t be opposed to replacing “queer” with “questioning” in LGBTQ.

  19. Caliban says

    I don’t want to diminish how great this response was, but a lot of parents are accepting.

    My brother is more stereotypically gay than I am. My parents were expecting it from him. I was the surprise, but I came out first, when I was 17. I told my dad that I’d heard of parents who kicked their gay kids out of the house and that had been one of my fears. He started crying and told me he’d rather cut off one of his own arms than lose me.

    That was way back in the 1980s. If parents really love their children, not just as clones or reflections of themselves but as actual people, they often do come through.

  20. says

    queer – unusual, distinct, from a different point of view, unique

    self-identifying queer folks, like myself and others, are empowered by this.

    i don’t understand how someone else could possibly have a problem with me, and others, SELF-identifying as Queer, as well as gay.

  21. A Rainbow Mom says

    I told my son the day he graduated from College,” Today is the first day of your new life. What ever path you take. whether it be white, black,woman with kids, it’s fine with me I will accept your choice in life. He told me he was gay about 8 yrs later and I said what took you so long..

  22. nefter says

    Beautiful letter.
    NOW,
    Not to ruffle to all powerful feathers of those who occupy and dominate the comment threads on this blog but I too do not appreciate the label of QUEER. It’s not necessary. You want to call yourself queer because it empowers you fine but don’t force it on me. I am out and proud and have been since I was 19 so please don’t call me troll either, I identify with Uncle Arthur so i am not some self loathing closet case, I understand glbt and admittedly struggle with why I am lumped in with the T but I get it, together we are stronger and all that jazz but by this “Q” logic we should be LGBTQHJKRFTMNFED….., where does it stop? at some point those who are “questioning” need to figure some things out on their own knowing that there are those that will accept them, without becoming a label for me. Call me queer you may as well call me a faggot, I don’t care what the dictionary says. And LK I usually agree with your posts and point of view but your little too aggressive on this one regardless of what SA’s blog says. We chat on blogs about this kind of stuff and then we allow rentboys to writhe around on top of limo’s down 5th ave in g strings representing us at Pride. I have nothing against rentboys but I don’t want them representing me to the world at large and I don’t want to be labeled QUEER ANYMORE. Besides nobody knows what the hell it means anyway! We can be inclusive without making sure we don’t leave anybody out on the GD letterhead.

  23. denis says

    I personally prefer the term “queer” over “gay.” Gay means silly and frivilous, certainly not like my life. Queer has an attitude about it, tells people not to mess with me.

  24. Joseph Singer says

    Stuffed Animal: LGBTQ generally is not for queer, but for questioning. Even if you take the Q to be queer many gays embrace it rather than take it with scorn. You need to open your horizons a bit.

  25. Sam says

    I’m not going to beat you up, Stuffed Animal, but if you’ve really never heard of questioning straight teens, you should consider yourself lucky. As the only out guy at my high school, I had twisted pseudo-“relationships” with three questioning guys, all of whom now identify as straight, and the whole thing left me f*cked in the head. I really should have left it alone until college, where there would be other bona fide gays and I wouldn’t have to deal with some Kinsey 2’s who had no problem hooking up as long as no one else knew about it.

  26. dumbnhung says

    Love this dad’s response!

    My parents told me they knew as well and when I asked them why they didn’t say anything they responded that they wanted me to tell them when I was ready to tell them.

  27. Redboy says

    I never “came out” to my parents….I simply started bringing my boyfriend home for Christmas, Thanksgiving and Mother’s Day …. On the other hand, my little brother was tormented before making a big deal of coming out and then was upset that my parents weren’t traumatized….

  28. Norma/Mom says

    My son is gay, he had the courage of letting me know when he was 14 years old. I knew when he was around 4 years old. My son once asked if I had known before, would I have had an abortion. It so happened that i had complications at the time of my pregnancy,and an abortion was highly recommended… I declined, letting the doctors know that it was God’s will if this child was to be born, and knowing that the child in me was part of my being and I would love him or her no matter what… I told my son that if I had known, I would still go through bringing him into this world and that I wished all men were as noble as he… I assured him that he is very much loved… Today my son is a matured young man and I can not imagine nor conceive a life without him. I am so glad Nate’s dad wrote him that letter, and I wish them all the best… A LOVING MOM

  29. markt says

    Is Norma/Mom Tim Tebow’s mom or a pretender? My Mom asked me to just stay in New York when my brother became born again and didn’t want me around his kids. I try to reconnect with my family now but it’s hard not to hate them.

  30. says

    Hey, STUFFED ANIMAL (http://christthegaymartyr.blogspot.com/) The acronym is LGBTQ! Please do NOT leave out the Questioning folks out there. I work with ROSMY (www.rosmy.org) and believe me, while we have youth as young as 11 who identify as L, G, B, or T, there are plenty who just don’t know…and Q applies fully.

    Also, “queer” isn’t offensive to those who embrace the word for themselves, just like there are those who embrace “dyke” or other “offensive” terms.

    Please realize that our community – the LGBTQ one – is as diverse as all the other communities, the white community, the black community, the Latino/Hispanic…well, you get my drift if you read this.

    Peace <3
    Jay

  31. says

    I sure so wish we could get some provenance on this. I agree with the sentiment, but wow, to find out if it’s just nicely penned words, or a for real letter to a son would be nice…just saying.

    Peace <3
    Jay

  32. Bob says

    AFTER I THOUGHT ABOUT IT
    — I DISLIKED THE LETTER AND THOUGHT IT WAS A BAD IDEA

    The father totally robbed the kid of the personal experience of having the talk.
    The father robbed the kid of his privacy, and, especially, his right to tell or not tell about his boyfriend

    THE FATHER LOOKS COOL TO HIMSELF AND TO SOME OF YOU

    But to actually BE cool, he should have waited until he SAW the son, and asked him if there was something he WANTED to tell the father.

    DO NO LIVE YOUR KIDS’ LIVES FOR THEM, PEOPLE, PLEASE!
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Yes, Yes — the father was very accepting, but THAT IS HIS JOB

  33. xusmcvet says

    @Kenneth: While YOU may not find “queer” offensive, I can assure you tens of millions of “us” DO; and like myself, they bristle every time they hear the word! Do I need to remind you for the better part of the last century “queer” has and continues to be one of the most HATEFUL words used to attack millions in the gay community? You may not find the word offensive but millions of us do!

  34. John says

    Focus, Stuffed Animal, focus and learn. Focus on the joy this letter brought a son and his family! And learn – sexuality is indeed fluid especially during the years we are discovering who we are. For some that fluidity may last a lifetime.

  35. Rob says

    My dad the executive in Westport, CT threatened to shoot my boyfriend when I came out- he was vague on whether or not I was on the to-be-shot list. My partner’s family disowned him- top to bottom- and his son. Almost led to suicide. I work with a medical student who was put on the street at age 16 by a family who discovered he was gay, and who has been educated with funds from the Point Foundation. He will be a great physician, as I have striven to be.

    On behalf of the 3 of us, I revel in this. I have surrounded myself with enough open minded people now that I sometimes forget who I have come out to. May the whole world be that way one day.

  36. Theresa says

    Our foster son came out last month and he got the same message.. We suspected, support and expect that all his siblings will embrace which is what happened in our home of white, black , gay , transgendered males.
    What a blessing our kids can be real with us. In the end all you want is your kids to be happy and healthy.
    His biological brother said , ” I am shocked my brother is gay” to which we responded “he always has been- you just know about it now and need to be supportive because it is up to him – who he loves”.

  37. Steve says

    What grace and love that family shares. Dad giving his boy the space to come out when he was ready. The humor they shared was a big statement too and then the bottom line. You’re my son, I love you. What could be nicer. Some of you disagreed on some of it and thats OK. You and your family may work in different ways…cool. For me as a single gay man who adopted my sons, I came out to them. They were all older when we became family. Their responses fell along the same lines of, Oh,
    OK… There is sure a lot more hope and acceptance now than when I was a scared tormented kid. Ain’t that great!

  38. Michael says

    The father did exactly the right thing!
    He understood the discomfort and anxiety of his son, and intervened to restore the joy.
    In the process, he also affirmed his son’s choices.
    Thankful for dads like this. 😀

  39. johnny says

    Regardless of how you feel about this letter, it is certainly landing on the side of right instead of wrong.

    The man accepts his son.

    That’s the point. Not any of this “he robbed him of his privacy, his choice, he’s a narcissist, etc.” stuff.

    For me, a guy whose father in 1981 said “Don’t blame us” and “You’ll burn in hell” and whose mother didn’t speak to him for weeks and then would not even hug him… Well, it is the complete opposite of my experience. Any son who has a parent that even slightly leans in this direction is, In My Opinion, extremely lucky.

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