Coming out to your parents is always difficult, and for many young gay men telling your dad is hardest of all.
One young man writing on the social news site Reddit under the username “RegBarc” decided to share his experiences of coming out with the world, and has received international coverage in both the pink and regular press.
Known only as James, the 33 year old man posted a copy of the letter written to him by his father after coming out in 2007. The post has been read over 8000,000 times since it was posted on 7th August.
James said he posted the letter to highlight the persecution faced by gay people, even within their own families.
He says: “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”.
He adds: “It’s important to know just what this zealotry does to everyday people”.
The letter makes very sad reading.
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 some fond memories of our times together, but that is all in the past.
Don’t expect 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 did not 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.
James has received hundreds of comments from other Reddit users offering him support, with one man whose adopted son came out saying: “Your dad failed a really huge parenting test. Period.”