Conditional Love (?)

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.
Goodbye,
Dad

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.

Rejection Hurts

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.

6 thoughts on “Conditional Love (?)

  • August 17, 2012 at 12:54 am
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    How can a father utter such strong words? It pains to know the hurt he caused to his son. James will never be able to get over the pain. I sympathize with him.

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  • August 17, 2012 at 8:04 pm
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    I agree with you. I’m glad he is getting support from on-line commenters at least. Wesley

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  • August 18, 2012 at 5:13 pm
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    There is many more “James” in our societies who are bleeding silently. Neither they can forget the hurt caused by their parents nor do they share it. It is so sad that these children suffer so much at the hands of their parents.

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    • August 20, 2012 at 2:44 pm
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      Katy, Whom do most gay people like James turn to? The one person who’s supposed to provide unconditional love and support. Unfortunately, a kid can’t count on validation from a parent who’s prejudiced. Thanks for commenting.

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  • August 18, 2012 at 5:16 pm
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    The children suffer for no fault of their own. Their sexual orientation is not their choice. It is how they have been created. How can parents inflict so much pain on their own children whom they have given birth to?

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    • August 20, 2012 at 2:32 pm
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      Robert, Problem is that some parents regard it as a “choice,” then get angry at their children for not meeting THEIR expectations. They expect their children to change to fulfill their dreams. Wesley

      Reply

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