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Gay man publishes father’s letter disowning him

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  1. May I suggest:

    Dear Dad,

    One day, when you are older, you might need me. I won’t be there. You might need someone to go and get some groceries. I won’t be there. You might need someone to stand up for you. I won’t be there.

    Love with conditions is not love. And a father is measured by his deeds – you just failed. —

    1. Well said. I can’t believe this. And of course bloody GOD is mentioned.

      Even if he/she/it did exist, this ever loving deity wouldn’t want THIS! What an absolute cowardly, despicable and disgusting move for this … THING to write.


    2. I’ve got a bit of a PN crush on you, Valksy.

    3. I was going to refer to a possible lonely future of the dad in a carehome somewhere receiving no visitors.

    4. This man if you can call him that failed as a father and a human being!!! I love my gay son and understood his need to be true to himself and his higher power what some call God

    5. If I’m honest, my Dad given the choice would rather not have had 2 gay kids. He’s 76 and it took him a while to come to terms with the whole idea. But never in a million years would he have sacrificed his children just because they were gay. People like this man make be sick, but I also feel sorry for all the hate they must carry around with them.

    6. Cardinal Capone 7 Aug 2012, 5:44pm

      “Love with conditions is not love” . True, but that works both ways. I’d like to think I was capable of helping even a miserable old homophobic codger if he couldn’t get to the shops.

      1. I don’t know about your experiences. But I have watched, and am watching, friends who have dealt with hostile families withering on the vine, constantly consumed with hope that one day their family will change their mind. It is something that they carry with them every day , it is a persistent burden to them.

        They would be better off and happier as people if they could just let it go and move on with their lives rather than live with the emotional wellbeing connected completely to whether or not their family may or may not come to accept them at some undetermined point in the future.

        It’s no way to live. It’s not. Give it some time if you must. But when they prove a couple more times, let go. Or be haunted by it. One might help, the other certainly won’t.

    7. I would suggest an alternative.

      Dear Dad,

      I am sorry. I am sorry that you will live a life without feeling the happiness that comes from seeing your child truly happy, happy in love and happy with himself. Everyday you miss out on the love only a son can return to his father. I refuse to return hatred with hatred, because that is not what Jesus taught. He taught us that all are welcome, loved and respected.

      No matter what I will always be here for you, because that is what true love is. I hope that when you truly need someone you open your heart to call on me, because I will come running. You are my father and the love between a father and a son knows no borders, it is just love.

      Your loving Son.

      1. that is awesome.

      2. There is no sacred bond of blood. To assume otherwise is to slap every adopted son and daughter and their families in the face. Your parents, your family, are known only by their deeds.

        What do you achieve through martyrdom exactly? The father in question knows who his son is, presumably loved him until that moment, and then withdrew all those things that made him a “father”.

        1. Well said, Valksy.

          1. And the son who writes your letter, Valksy, presumably loved his father – as you say “without conditions” – up to that moment he received his father’s letter. And then? At that point your letter ceases to make sense. Tara’s letter is from a son who always truly loved his father without condition, and therefore still must love him. Your letter, Valksy, is a self-contradicting lecture on love by someone totally loveless.

          2. No, it is the letter of someone who has seen far too many lives ruined by people longing and hoping that one day their “parent” will stop being a hateful t0sser, hanging their life on that expectation of that moment and literally withering away as people. And I’m sorry, but I consider “turn the other cheek” as a concept to be drivel – an invitation for someone (the “father” in this case) to systematically deconstruct the son over and over again. The “father” drew a line in the sand – that was his choice.

    8. In a ideal world the father would see the error of his ways and be ashamed of himself… but sadly in real life he will probably die lonely and bitter but still believing he was right.

      I hope the son remembers that his father walked away from him but he didn’t walked away from his father.

    9. GingerlyColors 8 Aug 2012, 7:52am

      And a thumbs up from me! You have just scored the first centuary I have ever seen on the PN Comments Page! You would make a good cricket player as you certainly know which team to bat for, Valksy!

  2. Dear Bigoted Dad

    You gave me life and that’s all. You are an intolerant old git and i hope your religion dies with you some time soon.
    I’ll still send you a present every year of a box filled with manners and good will since you lack both.
    And i will still turn up at your funeral to dance on your grave with my partner.

    Sincerely, the modern generation

    1. Cardinal Capone 7 Aug 2012, 5:50pm

      “I’ll still send you a present every year of a box filled with manners and good will since you lack both.”

      Just wondering, does your response display these at all?

      1. Yep
        Respect is earned not given, and this Guy’s dad is a pr1ck heis better off without. He put his religion before the welfare of his kid and for that he should be ashamed.

    2. @Tigra 07

      Sadly such a response, although perhaps understandable, would simply drag the son down to the same level as his bigoted father.

  3. Another case of “God makes me a bigot”

    1. It’s said that the word “bigot” was originally coined from an ironic use of “by God”. Bigots are certainly sanctimonious about their arrogance.

      1. (As a largely irrelevant aside, that’s most unlikely since bigot is of French origin.)

    2. God is not homophobic, certain religious people representing him are! Please refrain from making such lazy, arrogant & prejudiced presumptions in the future! Jesus would NOT have been homophobic, as he encouraged people NOT to judge each other by reminding them that it would be hypocritical of them to do so, as no-one is perfect. All you’re doing is whipping up hate towards God, which is immature & unhelpful. It would be far more useful if you wrote individual letters to certain homophobic religious people challenging them on their homophobic attitude if they themselves have made lazy, arrogant & prejudiced statements against LGBT people.

      1. There is, however, no way you can pretend that the God of the OT, which many if not most homophobic Christians refer to, was in any way LGBT-friendly, is there?

  4. He will die a lonely,old failure of a man.

  5. He did you a favour. try starting over after your dad steals $250k. forget him and thank God he’s honest

  6. An absolutely shocking and sad letter.

    The “pro-family” organisations are so clearly anti-family outfits: spreading hate, lies and prejudice that create barriers and break families up.

    Reading this letter reminds me that our first duty is to love and accept ourselves unconditionally. If other people love and accept us as well, that is a bonus. But our self-esteem and existential security need to be based on something more secure than other people’s approval.

  7. My heart goes out to this man.
    I cried as I read the letter as my own partner had the same reaction, only in a face to face situation.
    I have so much empathy for this man. Stay strong and rejoice in your new and supportive ‘family’ We love you.

    1. This is a reminder to us all, should one be needed, that we can never take the love of a parent for granted.

  8. Dear Dad,
    I give thanks that I have decided to lead my life thinking for myself and using my eyes, ears and mind, rather than following unclear dogma from a very old book just because someone tells me I should. Whatever your religion teaches you, and whatever you believe, I can assure you I will never treat my children the way you have treated me.
    If you never regret this letter, you will die a sad and lonely old man, wondering where he went wrong in life. I, on the other hand, will be living true to myself with my eyes and ears open and with a good relationship with any children I have. You have my pity as it is a shame that you cannot say the same yourself.

    1. Ian Bradley Marshall 9 Aug 2012, 11:22pm

      And remember the Prodigal Son Dad you’ve always told us all about as kids? How the father waited for his son to return, how he was on the road and never doubted he’d return?

      Well I guess, the tables are turned. I’ll be on that road however long it takes you to get back to me. Take a lifetime if need be. In the meantime, I, like that man and his elder son in that story did, am just gonna get on with life and bring my family up in the way that I know is right – never to be bigots. Mind your step on your long journey back Dad. It’ll be hard. But you’ll make it.

      Your loving son, as always.

      Ian Bradley Marshall

  9. I’m choked by this. What an incredibly hurtful letter. It makes me appreciate my parents so much. I was shaking with fear and emotion when I told them about me. It wasn’t their favourite piece of news (different generation) but they were immediately loving and supportive. That was nearly 30 years ago. The beautiful poem my Dad wrote and read out at my CP reception had many in tears. My heart goes out to all those who’s families can’t reconcile. Evil religion has so much to answer for.

    1. Could u put the poem up here? Would give us all a needed boost of love and joy.

      1. Forgive me, I’d rather not. It’s a bit too personal. Thanks for asking though.

  10. torquayffun 7 Aug 2012, 4:20pm

    Am 61 yrs of age and still don’t have the nerve to tell my parents that I am gay!

    How sad is that? I don’t wish to lose the love and respect that we have for each other. I have left it far too late to expect them to accept what I am.

    1. Well they don’t know you how can you claim they respect you ?

      1. Dont be so blunt and cruel James. Its hard for people. Torquayffun, good luck. Honesty is always the best way but big love to you

        1. Really Simon I have a friend who never told his dad before he died. now he’s a wreck. be honest and enjoy the consequences

          1. Sexuality is just one part of a person’s identity. It is absolutely wrong to say that it is not possible to know and respect someone without fully knowing their sexuality.

          2. Jonas

            Said like a true pussy. in this world sexuality is the single most important aspect of our personality . you must be a Tory pretend it makes no difference

    2. There is no respect in silence and lies. I’m sorry for hurt this might cause you. I love every person dearly.

  11. He should publish his father’s address and telephone number.

    That monstrous old fart deserves to be haranagued.

    Such a miserable, pathetic failure of a (heterosexual) parent.

    1. David Myers 9 Aug 2012, 2:34am

      You are a miserable pathetic failure as an understanding human being.

  12. Just find other people in your life who love you the way you are and close off that relationship. I had to do the same with a born-again sibling. I feel better because that relationship is forever terminated. We all deserve to be surrounded by people who wouldn’t change us for the world.

  13. My parents have never been loving, supportive people. Eight years ago they abandoned me in my darkest hour. There was no attempt to reconcile and as my father lay on his death bed, it was not important to either of them that they make it right with their child. He died. I did not attend the funeral. Their actions said all I needed to know about their love for me. So sad that people who are not capable of parenting can still become parents…

    1. Shocking that someone’s love of an IMAGINARY god is so extreme that it causes them to hate their REAL child.

    2. I am convinced that many, but probably not most, parents are not fit for purpose. People survive their childhoods inspite of, and not because of them, and it is a tribute to human adaptability. Truly Darwinism in action. What angers me constantly is the vast amount of humbug still churned out about being married and heterosexual fitting you to be a parent instead of the way you actually treat your kids.

      1. I couldn’t agree with you more about the humbug.

    3. Dear James,
      “So sad that people who are not capable of parenting can still become parents….” Words so true, sad, and scary for the future at the same time.

  14. Val 2 wrongs ……….

  15. IolantheLA 7 Aug 2012, 4:36pm

    That’s the Dad’s loss, and the son’s gain.

    I hope that self-righteous easily-hoodwinked evil old bastard enjoy his misery, his loneliness, and (perhaps — if the Jesus in the Gospels, as opposed to the Muscular Republican Jesus the Right believes in) his time in the Hell he assumed would be for those *other* people.

    1. That’s exactly it, though. The Jesus you read about in the Gospels had dinner with whores, tax collectors, tramps — the people on the very outside of the community. He wouldn’t have hated gay people the way some self-proclaimed “Christians” do.

  16. Unbelievable. Heaven knows, my father and I didn’t always see eye to eye but I honestly believe he would have cut off his right arm rather than even allow himself to think what this dreadful man wrote to his son.

    But then, my father didn’t believe in God.

    1. de Villiers 7 Aug 2012, 7:46pm

      It is a terrible story. My father and mother all the two believed in god, in this way also my younger brother and our priest. All supported me in my ‘coming out’.

      1. Perhaps I should have said my father, fortunately for my family, was above all else suspicious of cant.

        All the same, I think you know you were fortunate, de Villiers.

  17. Kerry Cater 7 Aug 2012, 4:45pm

    This just makes me ill. I’ve encountered such hate before, from an ex’s parents who had Victorian-era values regarding homosexuality, but it still shocks and saddens me that in this day and age there is such hatred. I have been blessed with loving parents who eventually came to accept and love me for who I am. I agree, the son needs to venture forth from this toxic relationship and find his own chosen family who will accept him for who he is. This letter is a hate crime in itself.

  18. Jason Feather 7 Aug 2012, 4:52pm

    The main thing that upsets me about parents who do this is that it’s usually because they are worried about what other people will think and how it affects them rather than their children. No doubt he will realise the error he has made but by then it may be too late. Religion has a lot to answer for

    1. religion is pure evil.

  19. My dad was a bit like that, never accepting me, calling me ‘the black sheep of the family’, but, who was it that buried him? Me !

    1. Haha. I kinda laughed at your last sentence.

      1. Well, at least it wasn’t ‘head down’ ?

  20. Well done for publishing the letter. My mother threw me out when I was 18, after hitting me & saying she wished I’d been the miscarriage she’d had two years after I was born. We never made our peace; she cherished her bigotry and I was gay and wasn’t going to back down, however one does that! She’s been in hell for 26 years now and my father long ago married a much better woman, my wonderful step-mother. I think more of us should tell our stories like this brave guy has. Bloody well done that fellow!

    1. Peter & Michael 7 Aug 2012, 5:31pm

      So True !

    2. Your mother must have been nuts. sorry to say it. My mother had a hard time accepting me when I came out, but she could never ever consider disowning me or throwing me out. I was her son, so she did her best to learn and understand. I’m happy you now have a more reasonable family.

  21. My situation is the other way round! I told both my kids that I am gay. I am so glad I did. Both my children love my partner. He and I have watched them both grow up into beautiful women and we couldn’t be more proud as they are of us.

    1. I was wondering if we would get a post like this as I am in the same position – so will piggyback my comments onto yours Kev.

      Both my kids are very very supporive and like my partner. We visit regularly and both my children have 2 children now. They love to Skype grandpa and Trevor.

      The father’s letter is heartbreaking. He is the loser. And yes bloody god again!

    2. Peter & Michael 7 Aug 2012, 5:34pm

      Us Too, with our Grandchildren and Great Grandchildren, they really love us, they are always dressing up for a party !

  22. good on you son, to hell with him he’s no father to you and your life will be richer witout him or his ilk in your life

  23. People who behave with such cruelty towards their children do not deserve to have any. Thankfully there are lots of decent and loving parents around.

    It’s interesting that the anti-gay marriage lobby would let any abusive, child-hating and neglectful heterosexual couple marry, without exception; whereas they would prevent any decent and loving same-sex couple doing the same.

  24. my situation had nothing to do with god, my father learned i am gay in the early 80’s, he said he’d have to give me seperate fork, knife, plate, and bedding, i moved out and we didn’t talk, other than the short and sweet hi and byes of family gathering, for almost 5 years, his 4th wife contacted me, requested the atendance of my lover and i at a function at there home, i said i have no funding for a 3 to 4 day hotel stay and would not be coming, she said ‘this is my house too and the two of you will be staying here, the hell with him, i want to meet you’. that was over 17 years ago and my father came to his sences and not he and my lover, partner, husband, get along and more often than not, spend more time together than he and i do when we are at family gatherings, sometimes things like this take time and some well placed input from others around you and them, nothing to do with ‘gods word’ just plain stuborness

  25. I will be praying not only for you, but for your father, that he will come to realize that throwing his son out, that deserting him, is a sin against humanity. You did NOTHING, no, not one single thing WRONG!!!

  26. What an unbelievably cruel and heartless letter. I was trying to understand how any parent could write such a thing…until I came to the word “God”. I also hated the “you’ve made your choice”. I’m sure the son made no such choice at all – it’s only the blind bigotry of the father that frames it so.


    1. Cardinal Capone 7 Aug 2012, 6:07pm

      Yes, it sounds like the father may have got advice from a bad source.

  27. Michelle O 7 Aug 2012, 5:42pm

    That man is by no means your father; he was a sperm donor. There are plenty of people that would be more than willing to step up and be your parent of choice! Myself included.

  28. As the late Mr Hitchens once noted, it takes religion to make a good man do an evil deed…

    1. Cardinal Capone 7 Aug 2012, 6:00pm

      Religion, or any other fanaticism.

      1. Yeah Hitchens (was it) who said “With or without religion you would have good people doing good things, evil people doing evil things, but for good people to do evil things, THAT takes religion.”

        It is so true.

        And as you said that can apply to any dogmatic belief system (although religion is the biggest culprit).

        1. Er.. actually it was a quotation of the Physicist Steven Weinberg.

          1. Don’t mark her down, she’s right!

      2. That There Other David 7 Aug 2012, 9:51pm

        But normally religion.

  29. I just don’t understand why a parent like this would do such a thing to his own son. This person should be persecuted for his crime against humanity, his crime against his own son.

    1. Cardinal Capone 7 Aug 2012, 6:04pm

      Maybe education would be a better option, and open the door to reconciliation.

  30. What a disgraceful and cowardly father. Unable/unwilling to support his own flesh and blood.

  31. Dear Dad

    I’m sorry you feel that way. I can’t be sorry for being the person god made me.

    Love should be unconditional. It hurts me deeply that you might not love me. I love you unconditionally still, so if you ever change your mind, my door is open.

  32. KentuckyMom 7 Aug 2012, 6:34pm

    To the letter recipient and all others who have experienced such ignorance and hurt,
    You are worth so much more. As a mother I wish to send you, if only in my thoughts, much love and compassion. I hope wherever you are you may feel it encompass you.
    Love is never the wrong answer.
    May peace be with you.

    1. Ilove your very kind and soulful words. My Mother made my life hell on earth and did major damage to my self respect from a very young age when , she had a gay kid for a son. If there were more parents like you out there, the world would be a safer and loving place for kids, gay and straight. I hope your child/children know how truly blessed they are.

  33. I also want to say my heart goes out to all who suffer this kind of cruelty whether it is from family, friends or strangers. I want to let you know there are many of us out here who do not feel the same. We are here for you with all our love and support.

    1. Tara, you rock!!!! I love our straight allies!!!, between you and KentuckyMom I thought my tears from reading your two postings would not stop. I hope to live to see the day where all of this is a memory of shame and the people who were proud of their ignorance and bigotry(like my Mother) will feel a powerful regret for the blood and tears, of their gay children who they rejected, on there hands.

  34. warriorgoddess 7 Aug 2012, 6:44pm

    My children are growing up to be tolerant of everyone, I insist on it. They know that marriage equality is important because it is not fair for everyone not to be allowed the same rights. My heart goes out to you but know this: you are far more loved by strangers around the world than the one bigoted man who by all rights should love you the most. One day, he may be a lonely, lonely old man and he may reach out to you. No matter how you choose to react to that, make sure it is guided with your heart and head and the remembrance of this hurtful act. All the best.

    1. You sound like a good mother. Your kids are lucky to have you.

  35. See how religion is the actual purveyor of destroyed lives, destroyed relationships, and destroyed families (sorry liberal Christians you cling tightly to the same vile tome these evangelical nuts do, giving cover for them to believe that their unfounded beliefs are just as real as yours are).

    The family-destroying beliefs that religion has infected this man’s mind with have ruined his relationship with his own son, and he will never get that back here in the ONE life that we absolutely know for certain that we have.

    This ‘father’ is a shameful person who was harmed by a shameful ideology.

    1. avatar_popco 12 Aug 2012, 6:57am

      So the father is blameless? He has done nothing wrong? Religion took his choices and free will away from him?

      Whatever you believe about religion, wether its a child like fantasy or a way of life based on faith, it is a tool. You can use it to make yours, and others, lives better or you can hurt and cause harm. I can’t speak for all religions, but I do know the teachings of Christ. If your calling yourself a Christian and doing those things this ‘father’ did, your doing it wrong.

      Hate religion all you want, but the father made his choice. You might as well say, without guns, there would be no murders.

  36. Ant Rudolph 7 Aug 2012, 7:11pm

    I’m 28 and have yet to tell my father I am gay mainly as he is a deeply religious man. But I don’t fear rejection from my father, quite the opposite. I fear that delivering crushing news to him, which according to his long held beliefs will see me fall away into an eternity of Hell and suffering, will only serve to fill him with sadness, stress and desperation for the salvation of his child. My father would want to be closer to me than ever before + would want to pray for my soul every day and night. He would not agree with my choices and would tell me I had made myself an open candidate for the devil. He may sound like a crazy and ignorant old man and many, many people would strongly disagree with him, but I don’t see that, I just see the love he has for me and the desperation to save his son from a tortoreous existence that he truly believes in. I’ve accepted that this is a part of my life that I will have to hide, not to protect myself but to protect my father whom I love + respect

    1. Indeed. It sounds like while he is loving, he is also very vain, and his arrogance would force him to take a very burdensome and futile route to ensure that everything harmonizes with his severely limited worldview. And unfortunately, older people tend to find it much more difficult to revise their own worldviews than younger people.

    2. That’s not love. It’s ignorance.

    3. I respect your feelings on this, but it is a shame that you do not feel you could take the time to educate your father. as you know this is his belief and his reaction, you could pave the way with plenty of education and love and support and gradually come out yourself as he becomes more understanding. Personally I don’t feel we should just stay in the closet because someone has a very warped view of what we are and most people need some help and education when their family member comes out to them.

      I wonder also if you’ve considered what will happen when you meet someone who becomes your life love, and possibly husband. It may be difficult for them to accept not knowing your family and could fear how they may negatively intervene if something were to happen to you and they were left behind. It’s not just your father you need to love and respect, it is also your lgbt brothers, sisters and partners too.

    4. By staying in the closet you are betraying yourself and every other gay person in the world.

  37. Scorn would be just too too easy …. Dad deserves our profound PITY!!!

    1. I do pity him. This father does not realize what his own vanity and arrogance have done to his family – something which is precious, whether he realizes it or not.

    2. Like hell, he does.

  38. John-Paul 7 Aug 2012, 7:26pm

    May I suggest you call this person your father, reason being, any fool with sperm can father a child, but it takes a real and loving man to be a dad. He does not deserve that title.

  39. A very sad example of the fact that not all parents love is unconditional!

    There is wisdom and great insight in the following verse, I hope this man can live the positive side of these words and move past the toxic ones expressed by his father

    Children Learn What They Live

    If a child lives with criticism, he learns to condemn . . .
    If a child lives with hostility, he learns to fight . . .
    If a child lives with fear, he learns to be apprehensive . . .
    If a child lives with pity, he learns to feel sorry for himself . . .
    If a child lives with ridicule, he learns to be shy . . .
    If a child lives with jealousy, he learns to feel guilt . . .


    If a child lives with tolerance, he learns to be patient . . .
    If a child lives with encouragement, he learns to be confident . . .
    If a child lives with praise, he learns to be appreciative . . .
    If a child lives with acceptance, he learns to love . .
    If children live with approval, they learn to like themselves..
    If a child lives with honesty

    1. Complete:

      If a child lives with tolerance, he learns to be patient . . .
      If a child lives with encouragement, he learns to be confident . . .
      If a child lives with praise, he learns to be appreciative . . .
      If a child lives with acceptance, he learns to love . .
      If children live with approval, they learn to like themselves..
      If a child lives with honesty, he learns what truth is . . .
      If a child lives with fairness, he learns justice . . .
      If children live with recognition, they learn to have a goal.
      If children live with sharing, they learn to be generous.
      If a child lives with security, he learns to have faith in himself and those about him . . .
      If a child lives with friendliness, he learns the world is a nice place in which to live . . .


    2. Thanks for your wonderful, inspiring & enlightening post, Steve_R. Sorry for accidentally thumbing you down instead of up!

  40. My father didn’t write me a letter but him and I haven’t talked in over three yrs. I have been told by my grandma that he will not talk to me because of my lifestyle, and I’m okay with that. Sure, it hurts. Knowing he won’t be there to see his grandchildren being born and visit them. But, he is the one that is missing out. I’m not gonna be unhappy just to make other people happy. Especially my father. I was the same as you. Didn’t do drugs, didn’t drink until I was legal. Was an all around good kid. Never partied or snuck out late at night. Yet, he left his home when he was 16, got in trouble with the law, and spent time in prison. And yet, I’m the one being treated like I murdered someone or am doing something so damn terrible? It isn’t right, but I decided not to let him bring me down anymore. To each their own.

    1. Good for you. Stay strong, you did the right thing.

  41. The sheer lengths of sloth that stiffnecked people practice just to avoid having to recompile their understanding of existence they seem to require to show the slightest iota of respect to LGBT family members. They are truly spectacular failures in emulating the unconditional love of Christ. When hate becomes considered a virtue, the trap you dig for yourself becomes your own damnation.

    1. In case my language may have had any ambiguities, that was a pro-LGBT comment.

  42. I wrote a letter to my dad who died last year after reading this it’s on my blog

  43. Daniel Phelan 7 Aug 2012, 8:37pm

    At the very, very least, you know where you stand. My father DID the exact same thing but didn’t have the decency to verbalize to me what he was doing. After patiently waiting for him to come around for 35 years our relationship is at the same place as the day I came out of the closet: nowhere.

  44. If I could hug the man who went through this I would. My teen daughter came out almost a year ago and I had no problem with it. No one should be rejected by a parent just for being gay. That’s horrible.

  45. I had almost the same experience when I came out to my mum aged 27. Aware from an early age that mum was a bigot I faced huge pressure to conform and consequently married at 19. Over the next 7 years I had 2 beautiful sons, but being a lesbian living in a heterosexual relationship was intolerable with the nights in particular feeling like ritual torture (though my husband was a kind man). When I came out my mum said sex was something women like me just had to “get used to” and that if I chose to walk away from being “normal” our relationship was over. Of course I chose to walk but as further punishment she insisted my father have nothing to do with me and severed all contact with my boys who were only 3 and 5 at the time. In the 20 years since, shes never responded to cards or letters I’ve sent & made no attempt to see her grandchildren. But despite her rejection we’re all ok, my boys are fabulous & totally support me & I have absolutely no regrets- It was the right thing to do.

    1. I can understand you, being in a hetrosexual relationship those years ago when being gay was against the law, we had two girls and though my wife divorced me for my homosexual ‘lifestyle’, my two girls and their children love me and my male partner of 34 years, like you the hetro life could not be sustained any longer. Am sure that there are many like us, thankfully the kids of today believe in equality of different peoples lives.

    2. I still cannot believe that any parent would cut off their child simply over this. And to then go to the extent of cutting off their grandchildren too. Shocking and your parents have my deepest sympathy. I hope they like lonliness and regret, as that’s what’s coming their way.

  46. A perfect illustration of the difference between “father” and “sperm donor”.

  47. Be nice to your kids because they will choose your care home.

  48. Anna Metcalfe 7 Aug 2012, 9:42pm

    My heart goes out to this guy – I know how he feels.

    I’m not sure which is worse though – receiving a letter like this or (as happened to me) just being completely ignored, with letters and cards going unanswered.

    Basically, they just went quiet. When my Mum died, I only found out by accident a month later. Nothing from “family” – nothing at all.

  49. Spanner1960 7 Aug 2012, 10:11pm

    An awful, but it has to be said, atypical reaction. I just hope it won’t put others off for trying.

    I was told when I first came out by others that friends and family will accept you unconditionally. If they don’t accept you, then they weren’t your friends in the first place, so you have lost nothing.

    Nevertheless, that’s got to hurt like hell, and your life can only get better. x

  50. At least he got a letter. I am an atheist, and when my very religious family found out, it was instant cut off in any communications. If I ran into a family member, they’d quickly move away and not even look at me. It really hurt, especially since I was so close to certain members. That was years ago, and I’m just fine today. It is their loss.

    1. thats not really the same.

  51. this is so sad not for the man who got the letter, but for the man who wrote it. it must be so difficult to be that filled with hate. i have three daughters and i could never imagine disowning them like that for any reason, especially for loving somebody for me the sex of the person they love is irrelevant, as it should be to everyone

  52. Jehovah’s Witnesses disown their children this way, too, if they do something “wrong” like leave the religion. I speak from experience. Religion is a sure way to split families, is it not?

    Thanks for sharing this letter. Your story needs to be told.

  53. brave of you to publish this letter but if someone reads it and thinks better of treating his own son or daughter differently, then it’s worth it. wishing you a good life, full of love and acceptance.

  54. James, you’ve been so unlucky as to how you’ve been treated by your father. He clearly doesn’t deserve you as a son. It baffles me how a father can let religion, prejudices, presumptions, personal beliefs & arrogance obstruct the reality that James is his son! It’s totally un-Christian to behave this way! Jesus would’ve been disgusted with James’ Dad & would’ve challenged him as to why he couldn’t love his son unconditionally, as well as trying to help him see that James did NOT choose his sexual orientation. It was given to him. I wish those like James’ Dad would STOP being lazy, arrogant & prejudiced & try to understand that sexual attraction is NOT a choice. I’m a gay Catholic man in a 3 year relationship. I know I didn’t choose my sexuality. Why would I? What advantage would it have been? NONE! Hope James’ Dad & other parents who have rejected their gay children realises this & apologise to their son for rejecting him & being totally UN-fatherly/motherly! He’s failed as his Father!

  55. As the mother of a gay son, this breaks my heart. I just can’t imagine abandoning my son for ANY reason. I knew he was gay before he came out to me in June and I felt like a huge weight had been lifted when he did. Actually, he basically said that telling me was only a formality because he knew I knew. But it was just good to have it out in the open and…it changes nothing. We are all the closer and that is why it is just so foreign to me how religion can cause some parents’ love for their children to be so conditional. This man seems to be dealing with his father’s disowning him okay, but he shouldn’t have to. No one should have to. Maybe people who have a problem with homosexuality should just not have kids because “God forbid”, one of them might just turn out to be (gasp!) gay! I for one couldn’t love my son more and am so thankful that he is secure and confident enough in that love to be able to be totally open with me.

    1. Good for you, and thank you for being an awesome Mum to your son. Your story illustrates one of those truths that many LGBT people report – that at some level, our parents always “knew”. I’m sure mine did. But I went through a lot of unnecessary stress because it never occurred to them to show me that it would be all right. My parents are both completely gay friendly, they just didn’t show it and that was a bit of a shame.

      I would hope that parents – even if you don’t know for sure – give a good strong signal to your kid that your home and your family is a safe space. Maybe nothing will ever come of it. But in many cases, it could spare a lot of pain and stress from doubt.

  56. That is truly horrific. I would suggest that you respond to him by saying “If only you were more of a human being, then I could have had a dad to respect.”

    1. bambinoitaliano 8 Aug 2012, 1:31am

      Dear Dad, I have only one thing to thank you for. Your orgasm xx years ago. I’m glad you felt the pleasure of having propelled me into an ova. Yet you were bestowed with an undeserving title of dad. I take solace that one day I will love my own children unconditionally, the way it should be. I will show your letter to my children and their grandchildren that how not to be should they ever decide to have children of their own. That shall remain your legacy.

  57. It’s not a choice to be gay but it is a choice to believe in God.

    1. You are so very correct. Religious belief is absolutely a choice. People are not born ‘believing’ in any god, they’re carefully indoctrinated and taught from birth. The same goes for bigotry and hate.

  58. I wish my parents would have had the balls to do that instead of only pretending to still love me after I came out. I think slowly putting together all of the little clues to the truth hurts even more. I believe that a parent who could turn their back on a child never did love them to begin with. I believe they are so clueless as to what love is that they shouldn’t even have the right to use the word.

  59. Another beautiful thing destroyed by a religious falsehood.

  60. James, You are living your life, that is the best revenge. I hope you have true love and trust in your life and I hope your Father will someday beg for your forgiveness for his heartless crime.

  61. radical53 8 Aug 2012, 3:24am

    Look this happens in all families.

    There are many homophobic members of of one’s families.

    I have a copy of a letter my brother sent me disproving of my lifestyle and have placed it in my will kit for him to read. Hoping it will shame him.

    As we have not spoken in years. Be interesting to see his reaction

  62. Just terrible. A father-son relationship killed by religion. I’d be so proud if my son had the guts to come out.

  63. my father disowned me for many years after he and my uncle” his brother ” found out i was gay. both have since died in horrific ways. my father with a gun to his head. my uncle with cancer. both missed there grandson and my sons 18 birthday, and him going into the military and passing in the top 2 percent of his class. i am so proud of my bi-sexual son. and my many blessed days with my son growing up. but there not here to see him. that is that only thing i miss. maybe through hem they might have saw the glimmer of the love they lost with me. i have to say this story does hurt to read , but i do feel for that person, whom ever they may be. but you are so much better off with out them. the damage they can bring to a healthy relationship between a parent and a child, is mind boggling. the hurt is not worth it. just love who you are with that person that makes you feel good about you.

  64. Johnnieboy 8 Aug 2012, 7:36am

    I am sure there are plenty of dads out there who would love to be a replacement father, if James wants one. I can understand one feels an ‘attachment’ to the father they had but sometimes the unconditional love needs to come from a different person. Anyone want to start an ‘adopt a gay son’ movement??

    1. Peter & Michael 8 Aug 2012, 7:52am

      These posts have been horrendous to read, if any family in our locality threw their gay son out of the family home, we would be there to help, take him in, because this would be a very emotional time and we feel that in helping in that way we could show that he could have help in dealing with his crisis

      1. GingerlyColors 8 Aug 2012, 7:57am

        I trust that any parents who throw a gay child out will find themselves driven out of their street by their neighbours.

        1. Sadly, in many if not most societies in the world, their neighbours would probably approve.

  65. GingerlyColors 8 Aug 2012, 7:55am

    I hope that miserable father of his doesn’t go crawling back to him when he is old and lonely and needs looking after. At least James won’t be condemming himself to a life of loneliness when he settles down with the right man.

  66. Spanner1960 8 Aug 2012, 8:33am

    The Daily Telegraph has published this story, and the usual homophobic responses have appeared in the column.

    I think anyone using Disqus should get on and help redress the balance, there are some really spiteful remarks that need response:

    1. Dave North 8 Aug 2012, 10:14am

      I called them all bigots who as children enjoyed pulling wings off flies and to my surprise it remains published.

      I wonder how long the comment will remain……..

      It really is an awful rag that attracts the sickest hateful selfish individuals.

      1. Spanner1960 8 Aug 2012, 11:31pm

        Actually, I think that’s unfair.
        The Telegraph is a pretty good all-round paper, although I admit it does have its right wing leanings. The trouble is it also attract a lot of trolls and idiots on its forums, many of which are not British.

    2. The comments for the page have now been closed.

      I think the comments on gay-related articles cause the moderators a lot of work because of the kind of things said and the language used.

      Many of the people who post the most offensive remarks may well be supporters of extreme right-wing parties/ groups/ policies, as they are known to infiltrate DT comments pages for propaganda purposes.

      So these people and their opinions should not be taken too seriously.

  67. I would love to give this brave man an internet hug. I am 20, still not out to my conservative and mildly religious family. But that doesn’t mean I won’t because I firmly believe that there is nothing wrong with being gay. It’s the same reason why oppressed gay folks in Iran, Uganda and all around the world continue to fight for freedom, it is because we want to be happy too. I hope my family will be able to accept me but if they couldn’t, I don’t really care.

  68. Tally Westwood 8 Aug 2012, 11:14am

    Absolutely appalled at this pathetic excuse for a man who has forfeited any right to be called “Father” Every good wish James. Take heart that most are 100% with you. Cherish your friends as I have since realising my father was toxic. He’s dead now thank goodness.

  69. Har Davids 8 Aug 2012, 11:39am

    Another nut who loves his ‘god’ and its silly rules more than he loves his kid. I’m sure I won’t always be happy with the choices my kid makes, but disowning him?

  70. My heart goes out to this young man. Having a father who used a letter to disown his son is just as bad as the act itself. I am no stranger to this as my Mother asked me to leave home when I came out to her on my 18th birthday. She stopped speaking to me 20 years ago and neither of my parents left me anything in their wills. I was totally cut off literally and figuratively Even on their death beds they never spoke to me. My sister buried them. I have forgiven them but it still hurts. I have made my own way in life but it has not been easy, no-one ever said it would be, and there was no-one to help me get through the fog of hate and homophobia. Now I try to help other gays. You are not alone and I weep for you as much as I do for my own unhealed wounds. However, It does get better, sometimes slowly.
    What happened to you was unfair, unjust and not your fault. You will emerge stronger and wiser and maybe in the future you will get back together with your Dad if that is what you want.

    1. You deserve an internet hug from us all. It is not easy to do this all alone but you did it. While your parents may not approve of who you are today, but your act of goodwill to help other struggling gay youth will make a big difference in society, and that is something no one can deny. Not even your parents could.

    2. My heart goes out to you. You have friends here :) *massive kiss and a hug*

  71. God, cheerleader for homophobia since 4000bc.

    1. Print an unsubstantiated letter and you guys fall for it, mugs.

      1. Every one of us either experienced something similar or knows people who did – whether it is symbolic or not does not matter. Parents DO this to their children.

    2. God is not homophobic, certain religious people representing him are! Please refrain from making such lazy, arrogant & prejudiced presumptions in the future! Jesus would NOT have been homophobic, as he encouraged people NOT to judge each other by reminding them that it would be hypocritical of them to do so, as no-one is perfect. All you’re doing is whipping up hate towards God, which is immature & unhelpful. It would be far more useful if you wrote individual letters to certain homophobic religious people challenging them on their homophobic attitude if they themselves have made lazy, arrogant & prejudiced statements against LGBT people.

      1. Are you referring to God, ie Jehovah, or Jesus? The God of the OT is hardly what you could call gay-friendly, is he?

      2. Ridiculous. Do you really think that he can address these religious homophobes? The bible, by virtue of its spectacularly contradictory nature allows people to use it to endorse and perpetuate their bigotry. They KNOW what their bloody messiah says, they choose to ignore it or argue round it and it is utterly dishonest to claim otherwise.

  72. What a horrible man. I hope he realises his error before it is too late.

  73. I’m saddened by the large number of people who have posted distressing stories of their parents’ intolerance on this thread. I know there’s a lot of sentimental hogwash said and written about ‘family values’ and blood being thicker than water and so on and so forth, but it still comes as a shock that in this day and age people can be so brutal to their own children.

    1. Spanner1960 8 Aug 2012, 2:45pm

      The constant reports of child abuse that I read in the papers just tells me quite the opposite. I’m afraid its a sad world we live in.

      1. That’s all horrifying certainly, but I think you’ll agree that (despite it) there’s a huge amount of social pressure to think of The Family as the pre-eminent unit in the world today: this is stressed particularly nauseatingly – and bought into by what appears to be the majority of people – at Christmastime (which actually means from the end of September onwards).

  74. Tim Brierley 8 Aug 2012, 3:07pm

    My dad was not readilly accepting of me being gay and blanked my partner whenever we went to family gatherings. He did not attend my CP (as my mum, who did come, didn’t tell him about it). Then it all changed when we both came round to help with the house etc. when my mum was left unable to drive her car etc due to an injury. My dad was also ill at the time with a terminal condition. After this he would go out of his way to thanks my partner for his help, take us out for meals etc. It was his way of saying ‘I accept you’, I guess, despite never being a ‘touchy-feely’ kind of dad. A different generation and all that, but at least he did nothing as heartless as this fellow’s ‘dad’ did. My dad died in April and I’ve just wrapped up his estate. He appointed me executor in a final recognition of me being more organised etc. that my three siblings and being a worthwhile person despite being gay.

  75. What an awful father…i haven’t seen/spoken to my dad since i was 12 so i know how james feels…..
    you are better without people like him who will only love you if you are the way they want you to be…..

    1. to end the letter with “dad” just made me feel sick….

  76. It’s wonderful that this devastating story has prompted so many beautiful and compassionate comments here. The GLBT community is diverse but in our best moments we relate to each other and support each other in these often shared experiences.

  77. Art Pearson 8 Aug 2012, 3:47pm

    There is a father who did not deserve the love of his son and certainly did not love his son. The sadness is that he, the father will be stuck with that but his son will move on and find loving and fulfilling relationships which is just, in my belief system, God has intended for him.

    1. That’s a nice thought but if God wants to get involved, would he not have been kinder to allow this chap the love of his family AND a fulfilling relationship? The Lord certainly seems to work in mysterious ways!

  78. I saw this on another site this morning and was deeply saddened by it!

    I am so glad my own coming was not met with this kind of hatred. It is a wonder the young man concerned did not attempt suicide, as am sure there are many who would.

  79. I wonder if that remains his Dad’s position.

  80. Donald D'Haene 9 Aug 2012, 1:36am

    I know too many lesbians and gays who have rec’d this same message since I came out in ’85. I was disowned by my entire religion only when I wrote about my sexuality publicly in ’97. I wish my abuser father (11 yrs of sexual abuse) had disowned me – he has written me hundreds of letters since ’76, including on Facebook…I too have a whopper of a letter from my father posted on my web site: Imagine this public letter:

  81. Staircase2 9 Aug 2012, 2:50am

    what an obnoxious wanker…

    nobody deserves a father like that (except, ironically, the father himself! – the double irony is that he probably had one just like him…what a tosser!)

  82. Sharon Bowler 9 Aug 2012, 6:33am

    The saddest moment in my life as a mom was *not* when my (then 16yo) daughter told me she was gay. It was a few minutes later when she asked if I was going to kick her out of the family and the house. I was so grieved to think she could wonder if my love was so fragile. Or her place in this family was disposable. There is no excuse for a parent to stop loving their child.

    By the way, I am a Christian and I am one of many who know that what this dad did is not what Jesus would want. The mean spirited and hateful ones are just the loudest. I think we actually have them outnumbered.

  83. James Rall 9 Aug 2012, 12:08pm

    I am saddened to hear thet your father has decided to disown you. I feel sad for him. People like him are being brought in a homophobic biggoted world. Why can’t people understand, that we are born this way. We did not decide to go to bed one night, and then wake up the next morning, saying that I will be gay from now on. Do they shun paople who are born with a disability, by the colour of their eyes/hair. Do they shun other peoples religion. Do they cast you out if your are ugly. They get to know what the other person is like. But when it comes to “Homosexuality” They decide that we are not fit to be human. How we love them. And, they hate us. God bless those unfortunates.

    1. Ian Bradley Marshall 9 Aug 2012, 11:16pm

      Well said James


  84. Utterly disgusting! When I told my parents I was Gay 30 years ago they were very upset and it took them a while to accept it. However despite my parents difficulty in accepting me this sort of heartless disowning of someone is something I know they would never have considered even for a moment. I am mortified that someone could do that to their own child.

  85. Ian Bradley Marshall 9 Aug 2012, 11:14pm

    I’m just glad I published the Justin Trilogy last year! Especially Cumuppence, taking the thug in the FA Clip about Homophobia “KICK IT OUT” and imagining his 18 year old son confronts him.



  86. The same can be said of hetrosexuals, especially the bigoted bible bashing ones who are “revolted” by LGBT people. They need to grow up and realise that we are all human beings, not some dirty little secret that needs to be hidden away.

    1. You don’t approve of us… and we don’t approve of you! So what’s your point…?
      Are you late for another westboro baptist church protest…?

  87. Fagsthathatereligousnutterswhohavenolife 10 Aug 2012, 3:24pm

    Oh we’re over it !! Evil God squad !

  88. Very sad story, but I like the guts of the man who is the victim of this nastyness. I wish most gay, lesbian, bi, T people have such courage even a little. I disagree that it is religion. That shifts responsibility of folly from the grown man who should know better. Religion has nothing to answer, such idiots as this man does. The core problem is that most people do not realize that relationships are built on sentiments; your ‘parents’ might also not be your parents; you only believed they are because you live with them. You are as guilty of them believing in religion and God; its the same thing.

  89. Of course coming out to his father remotely might not have been the best idea in the first place. If there’s a situation where all the advantages of body language, facial expression, and closeness might be needed, surely that is it?

  90. I went through a similar rejection by my family when I “came out” as Ttansgender and decided to transition and have Gender Reassignment Surgery. Actually, I had announced 15 years prior to transitioning that I was Trans but my family’s reaction was so hostile that I decided no longer to share about my personal feelings with them. I guess they assumed that it was just a phase since I no longer spoke about it until I announced I was going to Thailand for SRS. Most of my family has come around but it’s been a challenging 5 years. My relationship with my younger brother will never be the same after he refused to speak with me and told me I was not welcome at his home or around his kids. At a time when I needed family support the most, I was pretty much abandoned. I can forgive but it’s hard to forget. Moving 5 hours away helped…lol. I do think for most, a time of separation is necessary to give family a time to process the news.

  91. I was outed to my parents at the tender age of 19yrs, both had a hard time understanding how they could have produced someone of such horrid nature and never came to terms with me turning out gay, they put me through electric shock therapy torture, and when that failed I moved away from the family. This time was referred to as running away from home to be a pervert, my parents idea of homosexuals was those kind of people are such that they cross dress and abuse children how little they knew about gay men and what we are really like.
    For many years I tried my hardest to let my parents know I would be there for them and help out when ever they needed especially as my older sister had moved to Australia to live. My younger brother never bothered with them.

    Many years passed and both my mum and dad year on year criticised my unnatural behaviour and caused me much pain and grief, but never once did I reject them for not understanding, I sent flower and gifts on their birthdays and presents at Christmas, but none of this mattered. I set up my own very successful business but my father just put me down at every point he could, then one afternoon I had a phone call from him to say he and my mother could not cope with my queerness and that I was no longer part of the family and he only had one son and one daughter and that as far as they were concerned I was dead and never existed, they said never contact them again, this hurt deep very deep, but I understood they had problems accepting me being gay but to say I was dead, a son of theirs that never caused any problems or trouble where as my brother had two failed marriages and my sister had five failed marriages and caused them to pay out huge amounts of money to support both of them. I never cost them anything and all I wanted was their love. They cast me out for ten years no contact. Many years later in my late forties I received a birthday card with £500 in, I could not except this as it was not given with love just a letter to say happy birthday spend it on what you want. I gave the money away. I didn’t want money I wanted their understanding and love not guilt money!
    My father fell ill and my mother found it hard to cope with him, both my brother and sister were not around to help them in their time of need. So who did they turn to, yep you got it “Me” it was really hard to go back to see them but I did and they apologised for not understanding but it was all due to religion. The following years were hard to cope with but it got better. The last six years of my fathers life was the best years I had with him. My mother lived a further ten years with my support. So I know first hand how painful it can be to be rejected from your parents because your gay, my heart goes out to you and everyone that has been through the same rejection by family and friends. I’m now 60yrs old and have some really good friends who have supported me all my life I look forward to the day when we are accepted for who we are and not condemned for our sexual attraction of the same sex

  92. ““James: This is a difficult but necessary letter to write.”

    Difficult?! You MUST be kidding me. For James to tell you was far more difficult than it was for you to sit there and write THIS!!

    How lucky I am to have the most loving family! I shuck with worry when it came to telling my. I was so worried I wrote to my parents to tell them I was gay. I couldn’t face them and see the disappointment in their eyes. The day I gave them the letter I went out for the day. An hour after I left them I received a text saying how much they loved me and not matter what that would never change!!! The loved me for me and not my sexuality!!!

    Breaks my heart when I read stuff like this!!!

  93. Matthew Turner 30 Nov 2012, 4:25pm

    My father did not write a letter he told my mother to tell me that I was never to come home and he never wanted to see me again. He died 4 months later of a blood clot.
    I did go to his funeral with my partner to show him who was the bigger and better man.
    the best way to get revenge is to have a great life and never give up on yourself

  94. threenorns 11 Feb 2013, 7:42pm

    Dear James:

    I’m sorry to have to break this to you… but your father had a gay son.

    I know… I know… it was a shock to me, too, knowing that he made that choice.

    I hope you can find it in your heart to forgive his lapse in good judgement.


    All the people in the world who aren’t bigoted prats.

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