James: This is a difficult but necessary letter to write. I hope your telephone call was not to receive my blessing for the degrading of your lifestyle. I have fond memories of our times together, but that is all in the past. Don’t expect any further conversations with me. No communications at all. I will not come to visit, nor do I want you in my house. You’ve made your choice though wrong it may be. God didn’t intend for this unnatural lifestyle. If you choose not to attend my funeral, my friends, and family will understand. Have a good birthday and good life. No present exchanges will be accepted.
This letter, only too common, was written by a prejudicial father to a recently out son, over five years ago. It just now has gone viral. (see http://”Shocking Letter From Father Disowning Gay Son Goes Viral,” Advocate.com., 8-8-12).
Beginning with LGBT ally Columbia University wrestler Hudson Taylor, it has spread, like a virus, to Huffpo’s Gay Voices, Towleroad, Pink News, The New Civil Rights Movement, and Truth Wins Out.
For speaking the truth and sharing an important facet of his being with his father, James was rejected. He claims he never did drugs, was an excellent student, an obedient child…didn’t drink until he was 22 because it terrified him, and had just one speeding ticket in his life. “Yet, I am still seemingly deserving of this terrible act of hate and cowardice that one person can place on another.”
Why did James publish the letter? He wanted to expose “persecution” from a homophobic parent.
Words Still Sting
Even though James says he is fine, he admits that the letter still bothers him.
Published online yesterday, with the title “This is how hate sounds,” the letter has been read by over 800,000 people. Using the name RegBarc, James told readers “to please pass your acceptance and love to the people you personally know who are going through this type of persecution and harm from their blindly religious parents/guardians.“
Find Your Family Elsewhere And They Will Come
Over 4,500 people have left messages of support that urge James to ‘stay strong.” Despite the sympathy, obviously James is still hurting. It has been five years since the letter was written, but as the studies from Family Acceptance Project at San Francisco State bear out, the effect of parental rejection carries on into adulthood.