Daughter of Christian radio host comes out as bi and condemns his ‘hurtful’ anti-gay teachings
The daughter of a right-wing evangelical radio host has penned a powerful column calling him out.
Alabama-based radio host Rick Burgess enjoys success for his syndicated right-wing talk show Rick and Bubba.
>In a column for Alabama news site Al.com published today, his daughter Brandi Burgess – who is bisexual – opened up about her sexuality after her father preached against “sinful” gay sex in on-air Bible studies.
She wrote: “The story my father tells is one of a lost lamb, covered in shame. In his public musings, he speaks of my sin. Without my consent, he uses me as a cautionary tale.
“For the past three years, my father and I have been debating God’s stance on homosexuality. It started with my Instagram post at a Pride parade: a picture of a mother holding a sign saying ‘I love my gay son.’ I got a text demanding its removal: ‘How dare you compromise my platform!?’, ‘Remember who you represent’, ‘Are you a gay?’
“I have been praying, researching and meditating on the many emails, sermons, and verses my dad has sent me. I always come back to the same conclusion. Love is love.”
Ms Burgess, who now lives in Philadelphia and has a long-term partner, opened up about the toll her father’s stance had taken on her.
When she came out to family members, she recalled: “[I was told] ‘No. You choose this or you choose us. After all your father’s done for you, how could you do this to him?’
“I believe that my father’s actions were intended as love. I believe he can’t know how powerfully he hurt me.
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“My story is not that of all queer people from an evangelical home. I have the privilege of now belonging to a safe community. Yet, I let my father’s message of shame define me. I hated my body, sabotaged relationships, believed I was unworthy of love.
“So now, I am writing to the young women who feel like they don’t belong in their bodies, to the boys who want to kiss boys, and those on the spectrum between: Perhaps you have heard my father on the radio and it makes you want to go to sleep and never wake up.
“I love you. Your worth is untouchable. Find a good friend. Invest in therapy. Dance in the middle of the night and hold yourself accountable to the life you’ve always wanted. At the root of all this hate speech is fear. This is not your fear to carry. Release it.”
She added: “I am praying for my father. I am holding onto hope and it is outstretched toward him. Perhaps he will take hold. Perhaps we will find we were holding the same cord.”
Mr Burgess has not commented on the column.
He said: “God has given me my own platform in which to clearly state my views on this issue that is impacting our society and the church.”