Armenian man comes out to ‘homophobic’ father in emotional video that’ll leave you in tears
“If your dad was on the other side of this lens right now, what would you say to him?”
Jose Yakoubian stares into the camera, takes a deep breath and delivers a tearful, heartfelt message to his father: “I’m gay.”
The financial analyst from Toronto was raised in a traditional Armenian family where he was regularly exposed to homophobia from relatives. He knew he was gay from a young age, but growing up in Venezuela, a strongly Catholic country, he also knew that coming out was not an option.
“You need to be so concerned on the fact of not being discovered and not being recognised as a gay. You need to hide all your traces, you need to go to underground places that are in far areas,” he said.
In fear of being outed and shunned, Jose decided to move to Canada where he would be free to live as “a proud gay man”.
Four years ago his family came to visit and his mother pressed him on his sexuality. Jose gathered the strength to come out, but heartbreakingly, she refused to accept him.
“She told me that I was a disgrace of the family. She could never raise her head again because she had a gay son,” Jose said. “We were arguing and I was screaming, she was screaming and we couldn’t come to an agreement.”
Despite his mother’s reaction, Jose said his coming out felt empowering and he regretted not opening up to his whole family.
So when the time came to tell his father, he decided to do it his own way – in a deeply moving video for the LGBT+ channel, Pinkplanetshow.
“Hi dad, this is your son, this is your little Jose dad, he loves you so much, and he’s crying internally, to let you know that I’m gay.
“I’m gay, I like men, and I have a boyfriend, a beautiful boyfriend, I love him so much. I’m planning to spend a long life with him, and I want you to be part of that.
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“I really want you, I need you to be part of my life. That’s all.”
Jose made the decision to come out publicly for the sake of Armenia’s younger generation, who have few positive LGBT+ influences in their lives.
“I want every Armenian LGBT individual in the world to understand that it’s okay to be Armenian and it’s okay to be gay, to be lesbian, to be trans, and to choose your own path,” he said.
“I want to be heard by all the gay Armenian boys and girls out there in the world and feel identify with me and seek relief through my experience.”