Amy Dickinson, who writes a syndicated advice column, has delivered the perfect response to a homophobic parent who wants their son to ‘stop’ being gay.
Dickinson’s “Ask Amy: Advice for the Real World,” which appears in over 200 newspapers and is seen by over 22 million readers, recently replied back to a letter from a parent who admitted to forgetting their son’s birthday for the past three years because of a busy work schedule.
The kicker is that they want their 17-year-old to make the “reasonable” choice to be stop being gay for fear that their church group may find out and make fun of them.
The parent writes:
I recently discovered that my son, who is 17, is a homosexual.
We are part of a church group and I fear that if people in that group find out they will make fun of me for having a gay child.
He won’t listen to reason, and he will not stop being gay. I feel as if he is doing this just to get back at me for forgetting his birthday for the past three years – I have a busy work schedule.
Please help him make the right choice in life by not being gay. He won’t listen to me, so maybe he will listen to you.
– Feeling Betrayed
You could teach your son an important lesson by changing your sexuality to show him how easy it is.
Try it for the next year or so: Stop being a heterosexual to demonstrate to your son that a person’s sexuality is a matter of choice – to be dictated by one’s parents, the parents’ church and social pressure.
I assume that my suggestion will evoke a reaction that your sexuality is at the core of who you are. The same is true for your son. He has a right to be accepted by his parents for being exactly who he is.
When you ‘forget’ a child’s birthday, you are basically negating him as a person. It is as if you’re saying that you have forgotten his presence in the world. How very sad for him.
Pressuring your son to change his sexuality is wrong.
If you cannot learn to accept him as he is, it might be safest for him to live elsewhere.
A group that could help you and your family figure out how to navigate this is PFLAG.org. This organization is founded for parents, families, friends and allies of LGBT people, and has helped countless families through this challenge. Please research and connect with a local chapter.