The shockingly cruel letter below, from a father to his newly-out gay son, has been spreading like wildfire through social media. When I first saw it posted on the Facebook profile of Hudson Taylor, an all-star wrestler and outspoken gay rights supporter, I knew I had to share it with you because it serves as a stark reminder of why the fight for LGBT equality and against religious extremism is so critical.
Incidentally, this letter also hits very close to home: my husband’s father sent him a similar note in 2006 in response to an invitation to our wedding reception. Although he didn’t disown Michael completely, he did spout all kinds of homophobic bile about how our love was an insult to God and to the faith of his parents, how being LGBT was a “choice,” and how I was not Michael’s husband, but his “friend.” Oh, and he wouldn’t be attending our reception.
Needless to say, Michael was stunned and deeply, deeply hurt. Their relationship has never recovered. Equally needless to say, I — being the fiercely protective spouse that I am — wrote Michael’s father a stinging (private) reply that put him in his proper place and demanded the basic respect that any decent excuse for a father would give to their child and that child’s spouse. In the handful of occasions we’ve crossed paths since, he’s never dared to speak to Michael in such a hateful, hurtful way again, which is very wise of him.
So my heart breaks for this faceless James, wherever he is. I wish I knew how to contact him, because if I could, I’d mail him a handwritten letter of my own:
I can’t imagine how much pain your father’s letter must have brought you. But he’s wrong: you’re wonderful — beautiful — just the way you are.