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NOW: Agony aunt offers perfect response to parent who wants their child to ‘stop being gay’

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  1. Perfect advice Amy.

  2. It’s excellent advice, but can anyone really have been so stupid as to write the letter to Amy? It beggars belief!

    (Or perhaps it’s beggared – or buggered – by Belief…)

    1. de Villiers 22 Nov 2013, 6:13pm

      Perhaps it is like Mrs Mills in the Sunday Times?

    2. Robert in S. Kensington 22 Nov 2013, 6:27pm

      Beggars belief is correct, Rehan, but then bugger the betrayed mother I say. Amy gave the perfect response! In fact it’s great advice for all anti-gay hatemongers, let them give up being hetero for a year and see how well that goes. Maybe they’ll learn something in the process, that sexual orientation is immutable, unlike religious beliefs.

  3. Moisés Ánton Bittner 22 Nov 2013, 7:19pm

    Brilliant!

  4. Eddy DeLaughriargth 22 Nov 2013, 7:42pm

    While I can’t deny the eloquence and strength imbued within the Agony Aunt’s response, one has to wonder two things.

    Firstly, I’m slightly skeptical of the letter, which comes across suspiciously to me. The announcement by the sender that she’s forgotten her child’s birthday for the past three years made me roll my eyes, for example. Even if that was true, it seems to me like such an odd thing to mention. In a genuine letter, I’d probably expect to see some semblance of shame, not the wanton announcement of something so *obviously* neglectful.

    Secondly, the PN coverage of this was poor, even by the usual PN standards. How do you define “perfectly”? Where does neutrality come into this? Obviously, the vast majority of PN reader – myself included – would approve of the response, but do you really think that it’s good journalism to use such a leading, emphatic term? You do something similar later on. It is not for you to tell other parents what they should and should not hear.

  5. The stupidity and ignorance of this mother defy credence. She shows the sort of perception and expectation that my mother did – but she had the (relative) excuse that it was 1976.
    Frankly I think the lad needs to become independent and extricate himself from his mother as soon as is practicable. Not easy in current economic conditions, sadly.

  6. The best response I’ve ever heard to that question.

    I feel sorry for his parents a little bit though. My parents were similar when I came out, and now 20 years later, my Mum feels nothing but remorse and disgust with herself for not accepting me back then. It’s quite sad to see an old Woman approaching death feel like that tbh – which is probably what they will feel like when they get older – the shame of their bigotry and hate for someone who they should have spent their life loving.

    1. so, Mark Y, can I invite you to think about supporting your mum to feel your love and understanding now that she has emerged from the struggle of her confusion? x

      1. Richard, good advice, but the invitation isn’t needed, that’s exactly what I do. She has MS so I spend my time, in between running my business, looking after her – which makes her feel even more guilty unfortunately. She now feels blessed to have a gay Son. Her heterosexual Son does nothing for her.

        1. de Villiers 24 Nov 2013, 4:53pm

          > Her heterosexual Son does nothing for her.

          Appalling.

          1. Tell me about it. I even have to make it seem that what he does is normal so she’s not hurt by his actions!

  7. And these are the kind of people who claim that it’s wrong for gays to parent kids. I was busy at work so I forgot my son’s birthday for three consecutive years and now I want him to live a lie for the rest of his life in case my friends at church make fun of me. Priceless!

  8. Obviously not a genuine query. Someone was just trolling to get a response out of Amy. On any level, though, it was a classy response.

    1. Amy may have written it herself. No matter. Great response.

    2. My thought too. A little too pat and dried. But still, I’m glad Amy used it, because the points she made are always worth speaking.

  9. Great advice given to that terrible parent. It made me think about what Edwin Poots thinks of raising children. To him, as long as a parent is heterosexual, it mustn’t matter how terrible a parent they are. He’d think that parent is a model citizen and would no doubt advise taking the abomination of a child to a “therapist” to change his sexuality.

  10. Its fake, if the mother wanted sympathy she would not have mentioned forgetting her sons birthday. The response however is fantastic.

  11. The original letter seems bogus to me. “Amy’s” reply was commercial journalism. “is a homosexual” — should ask what this means? That the kid was found jerking off in the bathroom and the parents are so troglodyte that they think any non-sex-with-girls means homo?

    And, too, “… will make fun of me”? — not the right diction for the idiom… “will think I’m not a good christian” is maybe more like what’s likely to be said.

    But, really, how are people who don’t care about their kid able to understand “change your sexuality” — might as well tell them to change the oil in the buick.

    Thanks, Amy, for trying to whip me into a frenzy, but i’m already whipped up about some other stuff.

  12. Fake letter.

    1. That is certainly possible but I think the jury has to be out on it. I have actually known people as crass as this mother.

    2. PantoHorse 24 Nov 2013, 2:12pm

      Doesn’t really matter whether it’s real or not. The answer is the most powerful bit.

  13. Bogus letter. Useful reply though.

  14. A very good response that needs to be read, simply and true. I speak as the parent of a gay son who has, in time climbed over a lot of obstacles of my own making, but it was well worth the effort.

  15. WOW would not want to cross this sharp tongue – voice of reason – kudos Amy

  16. Regardless of whether the original letter was genuine, there are many real parents out there seeking out the services of NARTH and Exodus who do think like “betrayed”.

    It works best if you take it as blanket advice to those parents rather than a response to an individual who may be entirely made up, as I suspect many agony aunt readers letters are.

    I did think fessing up to missing 3 birthdays in that context sounded a tad contrived.

  17. Christopher Coleman 23 Nov 2013, 8:12pm

    Even if the original letter were fake, as some respondents believe, the reply from Amy is a good one. It occurs to me that this practical approach to the whole issue of “choice” in sexual orientation should be our response to the “gay cure” people. In fact, we should DEMAND they make the choice to be gay and lesbian for a year and be seen doing so in public. If they fail the test, the law should prevent them from ever practicing their nonsense cures and from lending support to the idea.

    1. Sadly I suspect they may secretly enjoy that. We all know what homophobes are actually phobic of…

  18. Tracey from the UK 24 Nov 2013, 7:52am

    Excellent advice although I do think that the article may not be genuine. However if it is, then there is something very sad and disappointing about that mother on so many levels

  19. barriejohn 24 Nov 2013, 1:34pm

    Bogus question (especially the nonsense about forgetting his birthday), but brilliant response!

  20. There were a number of comments declaring the original letter was a fake. This may be so but I’m not entirely sure. One thing that straight Christian parents fear is that one of their children may be gay as there is a perception that gay children are the result of bad parenting. The comment about forgetting the birthday may be the cause of the boy becoming gay may be an indication of this. The letter is short and missing a lot of detail. On the subject of the missing birthdays were there apologies, an event at a more convenient time to make up for it, etc. Perhaps the writer belongs to an extremely anti-gay church where there is a possibility of ostracization. Whatever the case the response was brilliant and kudos to the writer.

  21. Whenever anyone – particularly a ‘loving’ christian – has seen fit to voice their irrational and unwarranted views on my lifestyle to my face, my response has always been, “Sorry …. but I think you’re mistaking me for someone who gives a f**k what you think”.

  22. Colin (Queenstown/London) 11 Dec 2013, 6:50pm

    Beautifull done….Wish I could think stuff like that up….My respects and hugs Amy Dickinson.
    Go Girl Go.

  23. Fantastic response!

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