Family Adopts 15-Year-Old Gay Teen Who Was Disowned By His Family

15-year-old Michigan teenager Corey Nichols (pictured) knew he was in trouble when he heard his father say, “If any fag lived in this house, I would shoot them in the head with a shotgun.”

In an interview with the local radio program Out In Santa Cruz, Corey said he kept his sexual orientation hidden from his family, afraid of what his conservative parents might do if they knew he was gay.

Growing up, he claims his father used to beat him. He also told Corey that gay people weren’t just sinners, they were sin itself, and that they were killed when they reached a certain age.

One night, Corey got drunk and developed a fever. His parents, suspecting their son might be gay, ignored him. Days later, at 2 o’clock in the morning, he was delirious and suicidal. He went online to chat with his friend Aubrey.

“I am desperate.  Things here are so bad, I want to slit my wrists.  I am not kidding,” he wrote to her.

At that moment, Aubrey’s mother, Mindy, happened to see what was on her daughter’s computer screen. She immediately jumped into action.

“It was like I was possessed by someone else,” she told Out In Santa Cruz. “I knew I needed to act, and to do something, but everything I did was against my nature and not how I usually act as a person.”

Mindy and Aubrey went over to Corey’s house and picked him up. When they got back to their home, Mindy was horrified to see Corey was almost blue from pneumonia. For the next two weeks, she and her husband Dale nursed him back to health. During that time, Corey’s parents allegedly never inquired about their son.

After recovering, Corey returned home. He confessed to his mother that he was gay. She passed the news onto Corey’s father, who flew into a rage.

“He was yelling and screaming about how a fag was living in his home and he can’t believe the devil was in his presence,” Corey told Out In Santa Cruz“I locked myself in my room when my brother came home. The first thing my father did was tell him about how his brother was nothing but a worthless fag.”

Corey claims when his parents and brother tried breaking down the bedroom door, he took refuge in the bathroom. After they had gone to sleep, he slipped out of the house, never to return again.

With nowhere else to turn, he returned to his friend Aubrey’s house. Her family once again took Corey in, this time permanently.

“Initially we set Corey’s bedroom up in our basement,” Dale explained. “We gathered what we could since he didn’t bring anything with him. His first bedroom in our home was made of walls with moving blankets tacked to the ceiling. There was a bed, a nightstand, an old dresser and a box fan. That kid was so freaking happy … Made me cry to see Corey with next to nothing and be happy about it.”

Weeks later, Mindy and Dale filed a petition to formally adopt Corey. On the day of the court hearing, Corey’s birth family didn’t show up to contest the adoption.

“I want the world to know that Corey is a beautiful human being,” Mindy told Out In Santa Cruz. “I want the world to see Corey’s pain and know it is not necessary. Sexuality is such a small part of who we are. First and foremost Corey is a loving, genuine, caring, intelligent human being. Who he is attracted to and who he marries is of little significance.”

Since going public with his story earlier this week, Corey’s birth family is claiming the whole thing is a lie. On Monday, Corey’s brother James posted the following message on his Facebook page:

For all you that read my brothers little pity story on here, it’s a joke and I’m honestly in shock someone has enough nerve to lie about shit like that. Yes some is true but the major key points are false. If anyone has a problem come to me my brother is a fake and a coward. He has the power to manipulate a person better then anyone I know.

Corey’s sister, Hailey, replied to the post by writing:

They knew exactly what they were doing. Funny how Corey’s “story” was published the day after gay marriage becomes legal in some parts of MI.

To which James responded:

Exactly fucking homos. You know why every homo is successful. Because they our selfish and all they care about is themselves.

Corey’s mother, Angie, then inserted her two cents:

I cant believe it myself, we never kicked corey out, he left. he was in no danger from his dad, he would never hurt corey, he just don’t believe in gays he don’t support it, he has his beliefs.

To which James replied:

Karma is a bitch and it’s coming his way.

“Standing up for what is right is not always easy, but it is always right,” Mindy told Out In Santa Cruz“Our family fell in love with Corey for Corey… His sexuality did not change who he was. I also want the world to know that we are a family. I want people to understand that genetics are just science. Families are built from unconditional love.”

Dale added that he occasionally sees Corey’s birth father around town. “He knows how to put on a front,” he explained. “He smiles and acts like nothing is a big deal. He says, ‘thanks, appreciate what you are doing for my boy.”

Dale will nod his head and move along, then quietly whisper: “I have news for you. He is not your boy. He’s my son.”

Hear Corey and Mindy’s full interview with Out In Santa Cruz below.

h/t Evol=

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  • redcarpet

    Paraphrasing John cleese: The problem with people this stupid is that they don’t realize exactly how stupid they are.

    “Thats just his beliefs” is not an excuse for disowning your son. And it doesn’t change the fact that they DID NOT contest the petition for adoption. That is enough said right there.

  • Apparatus

    “You know why every homo is successful. Because they our selfish and all they care about is themselves.”

    I can’t with Teh Stupid.

  • ack747

    Corey said he kept his sexual orientation hidden from his family, afraid of what his conservative parents might do if they knew he was gay.

    Note to Queerty: “conservative” and “religious” are not synonymous. The father was yelling about “devil’s spawn,” not gay political platforms.

  • SteveDenver

    @ack747: You make a good point: there are kind, tolerant, loving religious people: it’s just difficult to hear them over the loud, bigoted people who use religion and conservative politics as their shield.

  • waynehastings

    There are people who are conservative religiously as well as people who are conservative politically, so the family has been described correctly. They are religious conservatives as opposed to religious liberals. (I would presume they are also politically conservative and vote Republican, but that’s just a guess.)

  • SteveDenver

    If I were Dale, I would ask, “Exactly what do you think I’m doing for Corey?” since the family seems united in avoiding any shame. Let’s see: they didn’t show up to contest the adoption. That speaks volumes.

    Corey’s “birth brother” certainly seems hot-headed (and borderline illiterate). It clearly hasn’t occurred to him that being foul mouthed and aggressive supports Corey’s version of events, not his.

  • Charlie in Charge

    The good news here is that there are people like Mindy and her husband in the world with the love and courage to do what his birth parents did not.

  • Tookietookie123

    The reason we gay people are more successful isn’t because we’re gay, it’s because people have treated us like crap our entire life, so we strive for something better, and we excel in our endeavors to better ourselves, something homophobes can’t quite comprehend on part of their stupidity. What that kid’s family did is indescribable. They shouldn’t be allowed to reproduce and I hope they get what’s coming to them. Stupid homophobes.

  • vive

    @jonjct, LOL, I also wondered about the no shirt.

  • oldbrit

    Corey’s birth family didn’t show up to contest his adoption. That’s in court records and easily proves Corey’s birth family are a bunch of hateful bigots who use The Bible as an assault weapon. They’re fake Christians who wouldn’t recognize Jesus Christ if he came back to Earth and bit them on their bigoted asses.

  • sethzhere

    You can be conservative and be loving to your gay child as well.

  • Aromaeus

    This story pains me so much, more than normal because it seems his entire immediate family is against him. Usually with stories like this the child’s siblings aren’t as bigoted as the parents but this is just disgusting. Props to Corey for leaving what seems to be a very toxic environment and I’m happy his friends’ family opened their home to him with no question.

  • Aromaeus

    Side-note, that boy is 15 you thirsty old fags need to sit down somewhere. Disgusting.

  • derek mcgillicuddy

    I hate people.

  • Billy Budd

    Religion subverts nature. It makes people hate their own offspring.

  • Billy Budd

    Religion is poison.

  • tardis

    Jesus Christ. This sounds utterly horrendous. To think of the countless other LGBT youth in similar circumstances. I’m glad this kid got out.

  • nudedude

    i congratulate him for surviving as long as he did… sad for his family…..fred phelps may be dead….but the hate he spewed still lives. corey is free to live

  • numbsoul1

    So nice to hear that this kid found a family that had the strength to offer him a home with unconditional love and acceptance. It is so sad that in this day and age, with all of the things that these kids are growing up around and dealing with from day to day, that they should ever (even if for just a moment) doubt their own self-worth because of their own family’s personal or religious convictions. For heaven’s sakes… these families not watch the news? Be happy that your kid is healthy, intelligent, kind, and has enough empathy instilled in his or her being to care in the slightest what you as his or her parent or anyone else for that matter thinks about them. It makes no difference whether they turn out to be gay, straight or bi; These days we should only be wishful and pray that they happen to find someone, anyone, to share the up’s and down’s of their lives with and who will love them as you always tried to and who will do their best to treat them well. These stories sicken me. What is wrong with people?

  • seaguy

    His despicable parents ought to be charged with child abuse and abandonment for failing to get him treated for the pneumonia and for basically abandoning him after learning he is gay. What vile evil people do that to this poor kid. Thank god he had a friend who had good parents willing to take him in and adopt him. His parents should not get off scott free from doing what they did. If they are so religious I hope they realize they are going to hell for this.

  • David Gervais

    What’s with you? A young man escapes an abusive environment and people are happy for him. What are you trolling about?

  • David Gervais

    Doesn’t Michigan have a child protection services agency with the authority to prosecute the parents for child endangerment, negligence and whatever else might apply?

  • Harley

    @David Gervais: apparently not if that abuse and negligence was part of their “deeply help religious beliefs”, which is now the code words for “BIGOTRY”.

  • davegun2

    @Tookietookie123: I’m an old gay guy. When I was young I realized I had to do better than just what was expected, professionally. US Navy and in my career afterward. I did that so my superiors felt I was valuable to them. That way I could come out at some point. So yea, gays are more successful. We had to be.

  • Cam

    Several funny things.

    The birth Family claims the kid is a liar….and then proceeds to confirm every single thing that Cory said. They confirmed the dad is homophobic, they themselves made anti-gay remarks etc… Stupid people are funny.

    And to all the Log Cabiners with your feelings hurt coming on here crying that “Conservative” doesn’t mean anti-gay, then I suggest you take that up with the Republican Party. Being anti-gay is actually written into the Party platform, and the “Conservative” wing of the party is the wing that is pushing homophobia.

    If you want to take the word back then I suggest you make some noise against the people in your party who have appropriated the word, don’t complain on here because people are using the word to accurately reflect the reality of politics today.

  • blondeboyz

    Another reason why people that believe in a fake religion will cause bad things to happen. That is why it is so very important to keep this crap out of public schools and politics.

  • SteveBmke

    Wow so many issues in one story. Glad there were people around to help this young man when he needed it. As you can see from his younger family’s comments, that is why hate will never die out-it just moves from one generation to the next. That is how Religion survives. Hate & Religion are more a learned behavior than Gay could ever have been claimed to be. Corey should focus on his facts, make a UTUBE video to all those other 15 year old gays and let them know there is hope in this world. Conservatives: that title carries a wide range. I am Fiscally conservative, I think most people assume that when you say conservative it implies to “morally” conservative meaning: Guns, God & White Men 1st. Queerty should do a better job of writing but then again I read it because it is the Gay Star or Gay Enquirer not the NY Times.

  • CoachS

    I’ve had several 15yo players come out to me and ask me for advice. Invariably, their biggest worry is how their parents will react. I live in New England and with one exception, I’ve said “Dude – mom and dad are gonna have your back no matter what”… and the guys that chose to come out at home have had supportive parents. This story was a nightmare that turned into a dream. Made me tear up. Thank the Great Spaghetti Monster for people like the family that helped this young man. The other thing I’m sure of is that, if a parent weren’t supportive, my players’ teammates families would pick up the slack… because they “our not selfish” (also they’re straight AND successful – go do a “right bit o’ thinkin’ on that for a piece” James.

  • Kathukid

    It simply blows my mind that any parent would reject their own child because they are gay.

  • Desert Boy

    @sethzhere: – A concern troll.

  • Jessie R

    The brother’s Facebook screenname may or may not be james.nichols.16752 and the mother’s may or may not be angie.nichols.399, do with that what you will.

  • Aromaeus

    @David Gervais: What the hell are you going on about?

  • IcarusD

    That poor kid. I hope his adoptive family sues his birth family for child support and gets the local District Attorney to sue for child abandonment. Probably won’t happen, though, since the family is claiming he’s lying and left on his own accord.

  • Curtispsf

    At first, I wondered to myself if things had just moved too quickly for the birth family from Corey coming out to the adoption process from his new adopted family. After all if hate and bigotry are learned, can’t it be unlearned with time?

    And then my perspective shifted to Corey who no doubt had spent a lifetime of hiding in fear from a family who gave every indication they could not love a gay brother/son. At that point, I realized that giving this family time to come to their senses was irrelevant;; a child’s life hung in the balance. “And by their deeds you shall know them,” said Christ or the Flying Spaghetti Monster. Indeed, their conduct spoke volumes, from no medical care to not contesting adoption proceedings.

    Perhaps in time, their can be some contact and healing with the birth family; however, what’s most important right now is that Corey is surrounded by people who love him.

  • loverboi1902

    No child should fear their own family. Religious or not. If they choose to hide behind religious practice then do as Jesus says in Mathew judge yet you be judged. IE ONLY GOD CAN JUDGE ME. If his family truly loved him they would of been in court. They could of approached this problem differently. They could of let it be known in my house this….. will not be allowed. Since you are gay and I do not approve of this course in life your taking here are the rules. To show I don’t support that life style. Yes I am gay. Yes I do read the bible. Yes I do know that God condemned people for this. But God condemns many sins that are going on today. When its time for my life to be judged the Lord is they only one I will answer to. Props to the family that took him in. That is being a true Christian.

  • robirob

    “His first bedroom in our home was made of walls with moving blankets tacked to the ceiling. There was a bed, a nightstand, an old dresser and a box fan. That kid was so freaking happy … Made me cry to see Corey with next to nothing and be happy about it.”

    For some reason that part sticks out for me the most. Not the pain that Corey’s biological family put him through, but him being happy and his story having a happy end.

  • chubnal79

    something smells fishy here with the family’s statements. If you really cared about your son/brother, regardless of whether he was the truth or not…and especially if he wasn’t, you would have shown up for a court proceeding. I know that these proceedings are delivered by certified mail, attempts by phone calls and posted in the local news paper as measure of serving notice to the family of the proceedings.

    If you didn’t show up….it’s because you didn’t care. Me and my family had a falling out years ago, but my mom knew where I was at all times and was concerned of my well-being event when we had no contact with each other for 3 years. She knew of every place I ever laid my head to rest and I never told her. So to not show up, makes me believe Corey’s story A WHOLE LOT MORE.

  • glittercomments

    @ack747: I come from one such loving open family. My grandfather is a minister in the United Church of Christ and he marries gays and lesbians in his Church. The message of love and acceptance exists in the religious world as well (there are plenty of good pastors out there!!!)

  • tricky ricky

    I live in michigan. after reading this story, then reading the original story someone provided the link to (thank you), I really don’t know what to think. the bits added by the other article make the story seem implausible. if the family lived in a trailer home then it would have taken about 20 seconds to break down the door and get the kid. also, at 15, he could have become an emancipated minor. how could they adopt him so quickly? nothing is mentioned about social services being involved (if it’s a legal adoption there are going to be caseworkers). how did an adoption go through so quickly? how is it that they adopted him without the parental rights of the birth parents being terminated? how did they nurse someone w/pneumonia back to health without seeing a doctor and getting treatment which would have required parental consent? this story has to be verified independently. it just seems a tad implausible. even the comments from the brother and sister are a little too good to be true.

  • Aaron

    Replace the story’s picture with that of a young Jamaican boy, this story would have received a lot less attention. We can all empathize with stories of abandonment and living in an intolerant environment but boy, if you are young, white, and attractive, the empathy level will push even further.

  • coltonblack

    The story is touching and moving. I feel a lot of empathy for the kid. Messed up family!

  • jimy9992000

    I’m gonna call bullshit that that’s a photo of the 15-year-old in question and also go out on a limb and say this is another sensationalized fabrication, like the homophobic religious objection notes left on receipts in lieu of tips to gay restaurant servers, except wait, the customers didn’t write them, it was fake news. Who the fuck is that anti-gay and pro-gun in Santa Cruz anyway? I’m not here to fuckin’ roleplay, damn it, I want actual news related to queer shit that actually happened.

  • Mezaien

    Corey, my man you are great and God, (not the Christian God)will blest you man. I have adopted three brothers no gays, but I know what it`s like.

  • daveedo

    I just discovered this article, and I can confirm that this story is basically accurate. I have a connection to the boy in question, I unfortunately may have had a hand in the proceedings. I was a senior at Holly High School when he was a freshman, and a little embarrassingly had a huge crush on him all year long — he, being a fairly popular and very good-looking athlete (as well as being three years younger) always was very sweet but rebuffed any kind of flirtation (but always with a kind of knowing wink, I obviously could tell he was gay). That best friend of his was dating my best friend’s now-husband for most of the year, and they had a messy breakup that caused our friendship to go awry as well, and it was immediately following the end of the school year of 2010 that these events occurred. I heard the details secondhand but they were approximately the ones recounted in the story above. As for him in 2014, I last saw him at a home football game on a weekend home from college with his friend/sister, and he seems very well-adjusted after the years that have passed. He’s a wonderful person and I’m happy for him.

  • nsv

    Congratulations to Corey on finding your true family. Remember that living well is the best revenge.

  • serenshadow

    @jimy9992000: It is, actually. Corey has shared his story through his university’s Youtube page. What the article didn’t say however was that this occurred 3-5 years ago and that he is now a college-bound young man. To hear his story from him, go watch his video:

  • mia2682

    This is absolutely horrific what this family did to Corey. Mt dad’s extremely religious and 100% against being gay. I’m bisexual and that’s why I won’t tell him I am. He would probably disown me. I don’t know how someone could do this to a PERSON! There’s nothing wrong with being gay, transgender, transsexual or bisexual. This isn’t a family. This is douchebags living together. I would take this kid in so fast without a second thought. I could never leave someone in these conditions. I feel so bad for Corey. This should never happen. No child should have to fear their family or even friends. Some of this doesn’t make sense but his story is so touching. All of the LGBT+ people I’ve met are wonderful people. I would love to meet Corey.

  • jilly

    It’s hard to Imagine that In this day and age people are still so narrow minded. It’s acceptable to have your belief’s and faith, but to then Inflict what can only be described as abuse on to another Is unacceptable. Sexuality should’nt define who we are. How about liking someone because they’re wonderful people Instead of pigeon holing them Into a group. Hat’s off to Corey’s adopted family. It’s a pity more of us don’t follow their lead.

  • Mavykat


    holding to traditional attitudes and values and cautious about change or innovation, typically in relation to politics or religion.

  • dinard38

    @SteveBmke: Actually, Corey did make a short video on YouTube. He’s actually 19 now and is in college. Doing much better, thanks to this wonderful family that took him in.

  • Namma

    This may not be only a gay issue, but a generational abuse issue as well. I’m positive the “old man” found things “wrong” with the other children as well.

    I’d bet that the other children are terrified of disagreeing with the “old man” and are probably secretly bitter about not being able to have their own minds and opinions.

    Sometimes moving hundreds of miles away from such parents, as soon as you are able, is the only solution so that you may find out who YOU are without their hate filled influence in your life. Sad that children have to consider this, but better than ending up broken, mediocre people as well. You can love them from a distance, yet be able to disagree with THEIR twisted and terrified lifestyle.

    My personal opinion is that in instances of intense hatred like this the people expressing the hatred in abusive and restrictive ways be sterilized and prevented from working with any children so their brand of hate cannot be passed on any longer.

  • elpmont

    The fact that his biological parents didn’t show up to the adoption proceeding tell me everything he said was true.

  • Tigercub

    Yeah, based on their comments, I’m sure they’re *lovely* people who would cherish and respect their gay family member. Yeah. I totally believe them.

  • manifest94

    Judging by James’ facebook page…he is a disgusting human being. So happy that Corey found a loving family :) James is right about Karma being a bitch & he will one day find out. His whole POS family will.

  • daveedo

    Hailey is his cousin, and I’m not sure how Gary is related, but he’s not his father…he’s clearly too old. Maybe an uncle or grandfather.

  • thedevilinside

    Ah I just saw him in a bunch of photos with the other kids and assumed as much. Like I said, I said I “Think” it’s the father. But regardless that entire biggoted family is there (Especially james).

  • soulpaintedstar

    @thedevilinside: I get the feeling that the dad doesn’t have a Facebook being that the son posts things on his mother’s wall telling her to show the dad.

    For the record, it doesn’t matter how long ago this happened. It’s atrocious and pathetic that such small minded parents can simply disown their kid. You don’t just stop being a parent because you don’t agree with who they are, at least I wouldn’t. Regardless of how old he is now, he at least has a family who WILL stick with him for the rest of his life.

  • Bonniy

    how can a family treat their own child like that, My brother was gay, I miss him so much, and will always love and cherish him. It didn’t matter to me that he was gay, he was my brother. I wonder what Cory’s blood family will say when they have to confront God and are asked why they treated his child so badly. That god thought he had given Cory a loving family and feels so horrible how they treated him with hatred and bigotry instead of love and compassion. Shame on his blood family, and Lots of love to his adopted family, they are the true Christians and showed the way a family should be with any child, loving and supportive.

  • aubrey haltom

    @tricky ricky: @ tricky ricky: the article doesn’t explain the details very well. It wasn’t an adoption. The new family filed for a guardianship. The process took over a year before the guardianship was approved by the court. Etc…
    Re: the flimsiness of trailer homes – that would obviously depend on the trailer home itself. And on the condition of the family members trying to batter down the door. I wouldn’t base by suspicions on this article’s ability to correctly detail what led to the young man’s move into his new family.
    But as others have posted here – there is ample evidence (including follow-up reporting with the family, individuals) that shows the basic facts are as reported. A young man encountered bigotry and hate from his biological family. In some desperation, he reached out to a friend. the mother of this friend made the decision to try and help. The ‘new father’ (i.e., the friend’s father) was described elsewhere as “conservative” and it apparently took him some amount of time to get on board with the guardianship. But he did.
    And the young man was able to find a safe and secure space to begin living out his life.

  • Estarianne

    Of course this happened a few years ago, one doesn’t adopt a teen child with a living family overnight.

    For those who don’t know, Santa Cruz actually abuts a mountain community that can be very mixed conservative/liberal, and there are many small towns in the vicinity that are not “bay area liberal.”

    Most people think California is universally liberal but it is not. Hate happens here all the time. Anti-gay sentiment is still very strong in certain social groups as well. Thank goodness the majority of the US now knows that gay kids are normal kids and don’t deserve abuse! At least kids like Corey have somewhere to go!

  • DavidIntl

    @Aromaeus: Unfortunately, tolerance in the younger generation isn’t as universal as we would like, and siblings aren’t always supportive. With my ex-husband’s family, yes his twin brother was relatively welcoming and his youngest sister didn’t seem to notice my presence in the family one way or another. But Zach’s other sister was every bit as hostile as his parents. Of course, she was attending a conservative Baptist university in Texas, so she was getting lessons in bigotry every day.

    There are way too many kids in situations like Corey’s still to this day. We mustn’t assume that the struggles are over for everyone just because the Supreme Court has recognised the right to marry, and generally public opinion is now more favorable.

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