News :: Family

Dad Disowns Gay Son: Letter Goes Viral

by Jason St. Amand
National News Editor
Friday Aug 10, 2012
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In most cases, coming out isn’t easy but it seems it was especially difficult for a gay Reddit user named "James."

James, 33, from Pennsylvania, posted a photo of a heartbreaking letter written by his father on the social news, meme-generating website, and it almost instantly went viral as several media outlets, including the British newspaper the Daily Mail, have reported the story.

Before James’ father wrote the letter, the Reddit user, who goes by the handle RegBarc, told his father about his sexual orientation on the phone.

"The moment I said it, the phone got quiet and he got off the phone after a few ’Okays,’" James wrote on the message board. "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."

The letter reads: "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"

James defended himself on the website and wrote: "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 one 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."

James says he knew he was gay since the seventh grade but was afraid that coming out would ruin his relationship with his father. He told him he was gay when he was 27.

"So, for those intervening years, I’d completely laughed at very anti-gay jokes he made, pushed aside comment after comment about my future wife and just carried on," James told the Daily Mail.

The publication notes that James decided to post the letter after Chick-fil-A’s president, Dan Cathy, condemned gay marriage.

"There is a continuing and increasing thumping here in the States that the excising of religion from the public sphere is somehow causing the tearing apart of families," James said. "While I understand that the experience I lived through is an extreme and not the belief for the majority of religious households, my disowning is indeed proof the opposite is also true," he added.

"That the repeating tenor of ’Homosexuality is bringing God’s judgement upon us’ also tears families apart."

He also said that he still does not have a relationship with his father.

"I continue to abide by his wishes and have not contacted him. That’s not to say that I continue to be impacted by his decision. But every once in awhile silently telling him what I think of him is likely the closest I’ll ever be able to get to closure."

At the end of the original Reddit post, James did tell his father what he thinks of him: "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."

Comments

  • Oh Jed said:, 2012-08-10 09:57:41

    I’m so sorry that James had to endure this hurtful experience. Just as it gets me down that a father would do such a miserable thing to his own son, the answer James gave the spineless man lifts me right back up.


  • Anonymous, 2012-08-10 11:11:46

    Where is his mother in all this?


  • stelmo, 2012-08-10 13:48:24

    Yes sometimes you have to put family behind you. Just because someone can procreate doesn’t mean they can love!


  • Anonymous, 2012-08-10 15:16:33

    Wow like omgs that pretty sad for a father to say that


  • Anonymous, 2012-08-10 18:28:47

    His father would probably stand beside him if he were convicted of murder. James is better off without his father who apparently did not love him at all.


  • Anonymous, 2012-08-10 22:40:35

    Iam saddened to hear your father treat you so wrongly. Dont let this narrowness keep you from being you!


  • Anonymous, 2012-08-11 04:42:05

    I haven’t really talked to my dad every since I came out when I was 19 I’m 21 now and I might talk to my dad 3 times a year for about 10 minutes it hurts but u get use to it


  • Anonymous, 2012-08-11 09:32:54

    This story makes me more afraid to come out. I’m 22 and ever since I was little my father was very supportive always standing behind me. But he told me many times if i where gay he would disown me.


  • WayGay, 2012-08-11 12:29:37

    What is truly amazing to me (and I have step-sisters-in-law like Jim’s father) is that they actually think their imaginary relationship with God is one that promotes disowning children and being absolutely despicable in the name of All Loving Jesus. I’m all for religious freedom, but ignorance and hate have no place in this world. I second James’ opinion... F you James’ dad.


  • Anonymous, 2012-08-11 19:57:10

    James you deserve love and acceptance. I’m sorry that your father does not have the capacity to give you that. But that is about hom not you. I’m not sure this will help, but I would be proud to have a son like you.


  • Wayne M., 2012-08-13 20:53:26

    It is sad that there are still too many people who reject their LGBT children and refuse to at least consider the wide range of scientific and psychological evidence that shows being Gay is perfectly natural. Furthermore, most LGBT people, whether they are believers (including Christians like me) or not live very Godly and loving lives. Any male can do his part to bring a child into the world, but only a true Father or Dad will reach out to a son at a time of need. James needed a Father. He needed a Dad, but saw all he had was a sperm donor. Hopefully James can find a real man (not just a male) who will be a real father.


  • Anonymous, 2012-08-27 21:52:38

    I agree


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