This gay man struggled his entire life before finally coming out aged 57 – only to be disowned by his Christian parents
A man who came out as gay at the age of 57 has opened up about the devastating moment his father disowned him.
From an early age, McPherson knew that his fundamentalist Christian parents would disown him for being gay.
So, he “retreated” into the closet and decided he would never tell anybody about his sexuality.
As a college student, he turned to alcohol as a coping mechanism to help him deal with the pain of hiding his true identity from the world.
Finally, he reached “the pinnacle of repression” when he married a woman.
Jake McPherson finally started to become his authentic self by coming out as gay to his wife.
In 1998, McPherson finally began the coming out process. Aged 35, he told his wife that he was gay.
She reacted with love and he began to seek help for his alcohol addiction.
In 2001, he came out to his mother over the phone.
“She was horrified,” McPherson wrote. “She didn’t say anything about how this would affect my relationship with my father and her, but she was very upset.
It’s about this homosexuality. Your mother and I can’t condone that. You are not to contact us in any way ever again.
“I always assumed she told my dad, but I never directly asked. For the past 19 years I never thought my dad didn’t know I was gay.
“Our weekly phone calls continued as they always had, although I never overtly mentioned any of the men I was dating. I thought that I was keeping the peace and that because I wasn’t discussing my new life with him, he was too.”
But it turned out that his mother never broke the news to his father.
McPherson’s dad finally discovered the truth about his sexuality earlier this year.
“On 4 January, 2020, at 9.56am, my phone rang,” McPherson wrote.
His father said he ‘can’t condone’ his sexuality.
“It was my father calling. When I answered, he told me, ‘It’s about this homosexuality. Your mother and I can’t condone that. You are not to contact us in any way ever again.’
“My heart was pounding harder than I imagined was possible. My vision blurred. I felt like I was being physically attacked. Before the call ended, my father added, ‘Am I making myself perfectly clear?’ I told him he was and hung up.”
He continued: “There I was – disowned at the age of 56 because I’m gay.”
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In the months that followed, McPherson had to come to terms with the trauma of being rejected by his parents.
And his children were left heartbroken, with their relationship with their grandparents left in tatters.
In recent weeks, things have started to look up for McPherson. On his 57th birthday, he received a card from his mother that simply said: “We love you.”
“There was no preaching. No venom. And, even more incredibly, it was the first time in my life that she used the word ‘love’ without being prompted.”
Sadly, McPherson said he can’t reach out to his mother as he knows his father would “intercept” anything he sends her.
But he is still able to hold that card close to his heart as a sign that his mother loves him – even if his father rejected him for being gay.