Moral Low Ground

Civil Liberties

Father’s Letter Disowning Gay Son Goes Viral

A user named RegBarc posted this lovely letter from his father on Reddit. As of Tuesday afternoon, it’s received nearly 2,300 up-votes and more than 4,200 comments. It’s a shitty way to go viral, but hopefully the outpouring of support and encouragement will buoy this young man’s spirits.

RegBarc was marking the fifth anniversary of coming out to his father. He 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.

To those who don’t see what the big deal is about people like Chick-fil-A president Dan Cathy publicly voicing support for and funding anti-gay hate groups seeking to literally imprison gay people just for being different than them, this sobering letter from a once-loving father to his unwanted son should bring some clarity. When people like Cathy promote bigotry and discrimination, it validates unacceptable behavior and attitudes among everyday Americans.


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  1. Rick WhittlesFebruary 28, 2013 at 3:33 pmReply

    “I don’t understand why people think that having a gay child means they failed as a parent. Disowning your child means you failed as a parent.”

  2. Capt_dommMarch 15, 2013 at 1:36 pmReply

    I will force you to accept me because I am gay. Is that really the battle cry of the gay community? I am different and you must accept me or I will yell and scream discrimination. News flash – many people find that lifestyle totally unacceptable and as Americans it is their right.

    • Brett WilkinsMarch 15, 2013 at 6:08 pmReplyAuthor

      Yes, it is your right to not accept gays, women, blacks, immigrants or any other minority. But it is my right to shine the spotlight on your bigotry.

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