Brandi Burgess, the daughter of homophobic conservative Christian radio host Rick Burgess came out of the closet in an op-ed in which she said “I’m praying for my father.”
Rick Burgess is the host of the popular Rick & Bubba show and has made no secret of his anti-gay views. In 2010 he apologized after saying, about homosexuality, “there is, absolutely, no way, impossible, to biblically justify this lifestyle.”
Brandi Burgess, an actress living in Philadelphia, published the op-ed on AL.com and wrote that though she was the subject of many of her father’s on-air radio tales while growing up, she was “erased” by Burgess after coming out to the family and says “recently, I’ve returned, cast as the prodigal daughter.”
For the past three years, my father and I have been debating God’s stance on homosexuality. It started with my Instagram post at a Pride parade: a picture of a mother holding a sign saying “I love my gay son.” I got a text demanding its removal: “How dare you compromise my platform!?”, “Remember who you represent.”, “Are you a gay?”
I have been praying, researching and meditating on the many emails, sermons and verses my dad has sent me. I always come back to the same conclusion. Love is love.
I shared this with him. “I love you. I’m sorry. I still love God.” I promised to be discrete.
This led to a constant barrage of shame. “You think you’re so mod, so special. But you’re nothing. You’re typical.”
Brandi says on trips home this summer she “wasn’t allowed too close to my siblings” because she is gay and her stepmother told her “you choose this or you choose us” after she came out.
Brandi says she let shame define her and does not want other kids to do the same, and that’s why she wrote the piece:
So now, I am writing to the young women who feel like they don’t belong in their bodies, to the boys who want to kiss boys, and those on the spectrum between:
Perhaps you have heard my father on the radio and it makes you want to go to sleep and never wake up.
I love you. Your worth is untouchable. Find a good friend. Invest in therapy. Dance in the middle of the night and hold yourself accountable to the life you’ve always wanted. At the root of all this hate speech is fear. This is not your fear to carry. Release it.
Rick and his wife Sherri spoke out about Brandi’s editorial on his radio show. AL.com reports:
To Brandi, he said: “I told you before and I’ll say it again you’re my daughter and I will always love you. But I love you enough to tell you the truth. I’m not going to come up with some version of love that really isn’t love at all, that pats you on the back to justify you all the way to hell.”
…Sherri said she advised Brandi not to live according to human passions, but according to God’s will.
“This is not a battle between Rick and me and our daughter. It’s a battle between good and evil, the Bible versus the world, God versus the world….I don’t care if you’re happy. I don’t care if you’re healthy. I care about your eternal salvation.”
Added Rick: “This has become a new version of Christianity which is not biblical in any way shape or form. Sadly our daughter and others have bought into this new hippie version of Jesus…Quit making up a version of God which is your own – which is idolatry…”