This Christian country music star reacted in exactly the right way when his daughter came out
A country music star has opened up about his daughter coming out to him – and how he realised he had to accept her.
Rory Feek, a singer-songwriter who has composed tracks for anti-gay musician Blake Shelton, Kenny Chesney and Tracy Byrd, was approached by his daughter Hopie two years ago, just days after his wife and song-writing partner Joey Feek had died of cancer.
He revealed that he could tell his daughter had something huge to tell him, according to People Magazine.
“I said, ‘Just tell me, Hopie,’ he recalled.
“And she went on to tell me that her friend Wendy was more than her friend, that Wendy and [she] had been dating for almost a year.
“And that she was in love.”
Hopie – who is now engaged to Wendy – said that after she came out to Feek, 53, she was worried that he would reject her and stop loving her because of her sexuality.
She saw “panic” on her father’s face, she added.
“Even more than that,” Feek said, “she’s asking me: ‘Are you still going to love me?’
“And my first reaction, honestly, was I don’t know,” he added.
“Because my conservative Christian faith that saved me — the first reaction is that challenges that immensely.”
Country artists aren’t known for their LGBT acceptance, but Feek flipped the script.
He remembered asking himself: “Am I supposed to shun my child now and say, ‘No, you can’t be in my life until you come around to thinking like I’m thinking’?”
But, thankfully, he overcame the intolerant teachings which he had previously accepted.
The musician realised that his only job in his daughter’s life was to accept and support her.
He explained: “The only thing I try to keep in mind is it’s her life, it’s her choice, it’s her faith.
“And my job is to love her even when it’s hard.”
Country music lacks for LGBT acceptance and has very few queer stars – though that may be changing.
Last year, popular country music TV host Cody Alan, who works for Country Music Television and iHeartRadio, came out in an emotional social media post.
And Kacey Musgraves admitted in March that gay anthem Follow Your Arrow, which kick-started her career, left her feeling guilty.
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The star made waves with the 2013 song, which told listeners: “Kiss lots of boys / Or kiss lots of girls / If that’s something you’re into.”
But she said that when she was young, “in a small-town high school and seeing a gay guy get made fun of, I’d like, laugh along and not really think much about it.”
“It really hurt my heart that I had ever even been close to being the opposite of that,” she added.
“I met Shane [McAnally] and Brandy Clark, we ended up writing Follow Your Arrow, and it became this unintentional anthem.
“It was really redeeming for me, because I come from where I come from.”