15-year-old Michigan teenager Corey Nichols kept his his sexual orientation hidden from his family for years, fearing the worst if his homophobic parents found out he was gay.
“If any fag lived in this house, I would shoot them in the head with a shotgun,” Corey recalls his father saying, and adding to his growing concerns. His father also said that gay people weren’t just sinners, they were sin itself, and that they were killed when they reached a certain age.
Listen to Corey and Mindy’s full interview below (Apologies for the auto-play):
Corey told a local LGBT radio program ‘Out In Santa Cruz,‘ that his father used to beat him and ignored his son after developing a high fever.
Queerty recaps Corey’s interview with Out In Santa Cruz:
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.”