A gay man named Reid went viral on Twitter last week when he posted the letter he texted to his father after his brother came out as gay and after his father made hurtful comments.
“We are from a really Southern, conservative background and me coming out was tough. My brother coming out last week was tougher,” Reid wrote, captioning the screenshots he posted on December 5. “It took me that long to process, but my dad needed to hear this.”
Here’s his letter to his father, in full:
Hey, I want to preface this text by saying I love you, and you’ll always be my dad. I appreciate everything you’ve ever done for me, and I have a lot of respect for you.
But a comment you made on the drive to the airport has kept me up all night every night this week. I don’t expect a text back from you, and I don’t even know if I want one. But this needs to be said.
“Don’t take this the wrong way, but it makes me and your mom feel like we’ve done something terribly wrong as parents.”
How do I not take that the wrong way? Essentially you are saying that me being gay is a result of terrible parenting. That this is a pestilence we were cursed with. That I am a curse.
The belief system you and Mom were raised on is not mine or [my brother’s] responsibility to tiptoe around or be sensitive to. Whatever you were taught about gay people — it is wrong. Point blank, period. End of story.
Imagine a parent telling their straight son he is a mistake. How wrong does that sound? That’s how you sounded to me in the car.
It is just as likely your child will be straight, bi, gay, trans, etc. You just weren’t raised to believe that, and I guess I have to accept that. But I won’t accept feeling the way I’ve felt all week.
Eight years ago, I came out to you, and it’s been a journey for our whole family. You’ve been amazing, all things considered, and I thought we’ve made a lot of progress. You even invited my boyfriend at one time on vacation. Yet my brother comes out, and it’s like we hit the reset button. It’s like you forgot everything you learned about love and compassion.
Be better and do better. Expand your mind. And if you don’t, fine. I can’t force you to, and I certainly won’t bring this up again. But the train has left the station, Dad. My life is on the path it was always meant to be. Get onboard or don’t. I will find happiness one way or another. It breaks my heart I have to even ask this of you.
Just because I love men doesn’t make me less of a man. And just because you don’t accept that doesn’t mean it isn’t true.
After Reid shared the letter, Twitter users sang his praises: His post gotten more than 28k likes so far. And he commented on the positive reaction on December 6.
“I did not anticipate this receiving the attention it has, but I guess that’s what happens when you put something on Twitter,” he wrote. “I’ve considered deleting this because it feels too personal; I’m not even sure why I shared it. I was in an emotional space when I did. But all of these responses are so warm and moving. Thank you all for your kind words and support. Especially seeing how many of you can relate to this or found my words helpful, I think I’ll leave them up.”
Reid also revealed that he did get a response from his father. “Sharing more of our conversation feels a step too invasive, but he was kind and loving, and I really appreciate that,” he explained. “Our family is very close and I know I’m privileged in that regard.”