A note from a father to a son, posted on FCKH8.com’s Facebook page (and their Twitter feed), has gone viral and is going viraler even as you read this. It was written by a dad to his son after he overheard his son talking to a friend about how to come out to his parents. I first saw it at The Good Men Project, in a post by William Lucas Walker. According to Parentdish, “FCKH8.com founder Luke Montgomery said the letter was mailed to them by Nate, a high school student in Michigan.” Bless Nate; bless Nate’s parents.
These publicly shared moments, in which straight parents express their love and understanding of their gay children, are becoming more and common, thanks to the concurrent (and not at all coincidental) growths of social media and mainstream support of LGBT people. They’re also bittersweet. Sweet, surely life-changing (and sometimes life-saving) for the kids of these parents, who are hearing them now. Bitter for those of us whose parents neither knew nor understood this hugely consequential facet of us, or at least not at the time we were young, vulnerable, and in deepest need of their understanding and approval.
I say this as one such who, at the time, considered myself lucky. I felt sure that my parents wouldn’t have disowned me, had they known the truth about my first love. But what they would do or say, I didn’t quite know. I sensed that they would be disappointed and not understand, which was more or less the case.