Heartbreaking Letter From Father Who Disowns His Son Because He’s Gay

Will Kohler

Will Kohler is a noted LGBT historian, writer, blogger and owner of Back2Stonewall.com. A longtime gay activist, Will fought on the front lines of the AIDS epidemic with ACT-UP and continues fighting today for LGBT acceptance and full equality. Will’s work has been referenced in notable media venues as MSNBC and BBC News, The Washington Post, The Advocate, The Daily Beast, Hollywood Reporter, Raw Story, and The Huffington Post

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3 Responses

  1. Chicago Bob says:

    I understand how James must feel but I do hope he will be the bigger man when the time comes and attend his father’s funeral and remember the good times. He must understand that his father is a god fearing hate filled christian with a rotting soul. Bless James. I am sure his life is better without this disease in his life.

  2. Justin Werner says:

    I, too was disowned – a long time ago, when I was 19. We eventually spoke again, but I can’t say that we ever truly reconciled, because he never did come to accept that I am a gay man. He refused to see it or deal with it.

    My father was not a bad man, but he made a decision not to face something outside his experience, and we were all the poorer for it. He was afraid, and let that fear make his choice for him. When he died, we had as much resolved between us as was ever going to happen in this world, yet he died knowing so little about my life, so little about my own joys and sadnesses, because I could not share much with him: only the superficial things. He died not knowing that I had found love and had made a home for myself.

    Other fathers like mine, like James’ have changed in time. Maybe this will be one of them, though I sadly doubt it. James’ father was not even brave enough to speak to him face-to-face, not even brave enough to talk to him on the phone. James’ father is not just a bigot, he is a coward of the very weakest sort. I pity him.

    And I feel so badly for James. I can tell there is hurt and anger: I still have a reside of my own hurt and anger, 30-some years later. It’s a wound that never truly heals: you just learn to make your life larger and so full of other things that the pain is no longer enough to matter much against the totality of your life.

  3. John says:

    My heart is sore for you, James. I was fortunate to be raised in a Baptist home with parents and family that have always been supportive. My Christian father said,”I’m your father, I’ve seen who you are from the beginning if your life. I know first hand that you didn’t choose it, or make any decision or have any life event that caused it. I know from watching you that you were born with the feelings and love that you have. You are my son and I’ve never been ashamed of you.” I know how fortunate I am. It’s such a difficult time to be LGBTQ. We have made great strides in coming out and fighting for equality. But the opposition is so hate filled and hurtful. I pray for all our struggles and support all with love.

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