Open Letter to Phil Robertson
Dear Mr. Robertson,
Since the release of your remarks on race and homosexuality, I have found myself literally hurt by your comments. For days now, I have been so mad at you. You see, I occasionally watch Duck Dynasty, ONLY because my gay son is a fan.
My son was born gay, and that does not make him a sinner. This is something he could not change no matter how hard he tried. You may not believe that, because you believe scripture says homosexuality is a sin. But what other reference do you have for making that judgment? Do you even know (I mean personally know) a member of the LGBT community? Have you ever read what the American Pediatrics, the American Medical Association, or the American Psychological Association have to say after many years of research on the subject? I know you don’t condone selling your daughters into slavery, so you must use other references in making moral decisions.
Not long after my son starting walking, I started to suspect he might be gay. It became apparent when he started putting on every pair of women’s shoes he saw by the age of 3. He always preferred what society considers girl toys. When he developed a fascination with Batman, I was thrilled. Every time we went to Wal-Mart, he got a new batman. Grandma made him a cape and he wore it everywhere. I finally realized, the cape represented a dress. I hated it and struggled with it, often seeing my son disappointed because of the “boy” toys I continued to buy and encourage him to play with.
While I had gay friends, I was still uneducated about homosexuality and feared the stigma this would bring to my son’s life, and (selfishly) to mine. Having been raised in rural, Conservative-Christian East Texas, I still believed homosexuality was a sin – though at this point, I was having serious struggles with my Christian faith as well. I eventually reconnected with an old high school classmate who was female to male transgender. Thank the Universe I did. I fear the damage I would have done to my son if this person had not come into my life.
My old high school classmate became my friend. In high school, while he was living as a female, he was miserable. I barely knew “Lisa” and couldn’t even remember her saying more than a few words, but “Mitch” was a happy, healthy, very outspoken grown-man. As he told me the struggles that “Lisa” endured, including a suicide attempt, I felt so much guilt. I had contributed to “Lisa’s” pain. “Mitch” forgives me, but I’m not sure I will ever forgive myself.
As I began to realize that I could not change my son’s sexual orientation, I decided the best course of action was to instill in him the confidence and strength to be exactly who he is. There is no need to change my son, because there is nothing wrong with him. My son is almost 17 now and never had to “come-out” to me or his father.
Even with the confidence he has, growing up in the rural southeast has not been easy for him. More than one of his teachers has made remarks similar to yours, Mr. Robertson, in an effort to make him believe something is wrong with him. Many LGBT children must deal with that rejection at home also, and face merciless bullying by their peers because of this inaccurate portrayal of homosexuality. Therefore we have an extremely high suicide rate in the LGBT community.
Now, my son had to watch yet another person – Phil Robertson – tell him something is wrong with him, when he knows this is something he cannot change – nor should he want to. Because there is absolutely nothing wrong with him.
Please, Mr. Robertson, educate yourself.