This dad tried to kill himself when his son came out… but he learned to accept him for who he is
A gay YouTuber received some surprising news when he sat down with his parents to discuss his coming out experience.
Riyadh Khalaf, who has made a number of viral videos about sexuality in the past, made a video with his parents this week about his experiences coming out to them.
The Irish internet star explained that he got entirely different reactions from his mother Lorraine, raised Catholic in Dublin, and his father Sam – a car mechanic who was brought up Muslim living in Iraq.
His mum Lorraine explained that she discovered her son’s sexuality by accident when he was 16.
She said: “There was one night when I was up on the computer and I pressed the wrong button… it must have been the history button and I saw this gay website. I got a shock! It was a confirmation in my head – I thought he might be.”
She added that after an initial panic: “I walked into the living room, dried my tears, and said ‘Riyadh, do you have something to say to me? I love you no matter what, you can tell me anything.’.”
The incident led to Riyadh opening up to his mum, but his dad didn’t find out for another nine months.
The YouTuber explained that despite his mother urging him to come out to his dad, he was unable to physically say the words – and eventually resorted to writing it down.
His father Sam Khalaf explained: “I read it and I was like ‘really? It can’t be’. It was just so confusing.
“Thinking about it now… It was such a drama.”
Mr Khalaf was initially left distraught by the news, and revealed to his shocked wife and son: “I actually got up that night about 3 or 4 in the morning, and I was looking for tablets to commit suicide. It was so stupid.”
However, the car mechanic has since grown to accept his son for who he is – becoming, as Riyadh puts it, “the best f**king dad n the world”.
Riyadh adds: “Let me just tell you… if we can go from where we were to where we are now, which is a completely different place, then you can too.
“I’ve never seen a turnaround in two parents as much as these two.
We talk about everything. We actually talk about too much! It’s a bit over the top.
“Both of them have come with me to gay nightclubs, we’ve gone to gay pride, they were at the front of the parade for years!”
If you have been affected by issues in this article, call the Samaritans on 116 123 or visit www.samaritans.org