A mother was aghast to learn her daughter was being taught drama by — get this — a gay man, but this drama teacher has got the last laugh.
The pearl-clutching mum, whose two kids were enrolled in Michael Neri’s performing arts school, demanded her deposit back in a strongly-worded note she sent Neri, after discovering he’s gay.
Neri runs the Talking Props Theater School and shared the correspondence:
“Hi Michael. Following our chat this week I have decided that _ and _ will not be attending class on Monday. You have a strong reputation for performing arts which encouraged me to sign my children up for classes.
“I have recently learned of your lifestyle and as a Christian I cannot allow my children to be influenced by unconventional ideas. It is our belief that a man should marry a woman. I look forward to receiving my deposit which you may post to me via cheque. Regards _.”
As you could imagine, the note didn’t sit well with Neri.
He felt compelled to clap back:
“I would be lying if I said I was disappointed to hear this. I pride my students on the respect and love they have for others and their passion for equality. You would only be infringing on our family.
“As far as I’m aware, my sexuality doesn’t affect my ability to teach, just like it wouldn’t affect a doctor’s ability to treat one of your children should they become unwell.
“I’m sure your children’s health would come first should they need emergency treatment, or would you need to check their doctor’s lifestyle prior to their life saving operation?”
Along with shutting down the notion that sexuality might have any bearing on the way he does his job, he also quoted the Bible back at her.
He said: “I wish you luck in finding an appropriate stage school that meets your needs, however from experience I find that theatre without gays is like cooking without spices (just my opinion). I hear StageCoach are enrolling but their teachers have been known to wear mixed fabrics which I’m sure you are aware is forbidden in the Bible (Leviticus 19:19).
Please feel free to come see our musical ‘Happy Days’. Confetti will be used in the finale but please rest assure this is not an attempt to corrupt your Christian lifestyle. We just love glitter.”
But the last line is our favorite:
“Unfortunately deposits are non refundable but don’t worry, your deposit has been donated to StoneWall, an LGBT charity. Regards Michael.”