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Advice columnist gives perfect response to anti-gay parent

A parent who has forgotten their 17-year-old gay son's birthday for the past three years is looking for advice on how their teen can 'stop' being gay. Check out the amazing response

An advice columnist has delivered the most perfect response to a homophobic parent.

Amy Dickinson, who writes a syndicated advice column, has written back to the parent who wants their son to 'stop' being gay – and it is amazing.

Not only has this mother or father forgotten their son’s birthday for the past three years (they have a busy work schedule), they want their 17-year-old to make the ‘reasonable’ choice to be stop being gay.

Check out the letter from the parent and Dickinson’s response below:

Dear Amy:

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

Dear 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 are 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 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.

- Amy

(Many thanks to GSN reader Justin Michael for the tip! He spotted it in the Press & Sun paper printed in Binghamton, New York. Photo credit: Nathan Butler)

Comment on a news story


I hope for your son's sake that he can find a way to forgive you for being so narrow-minded and hopelessly self-serving. So you, "... fear that if people in that group find out they will make fun of me..." more than you care about the needs of your child? I feel so sorry for you. Your son has enough battles to fight in this life, he should NOT have to deal with close-minded people in his own family who refuse to accept and love him for the wonderful person he is with or without their approval!

I have wished my entire life to be able to have children, and parents like you who do not love the children they are blessed with (And yes, gay straight or ambiguous, EVERY CHILD IS A BLESSING)makes me crazy. You have no idea the opportunity you've been presented with by our Maker. If you are still confused, I refer you to the words of our Lord Jesus, when he was here on earth. (John 13:34)"This new commandment I give to you, Love one another, as I have loved you, love one another." In case you are still confused, he did not say "If you are straight, love only other straight people." He said "AS I HAVE LOVED YOU" Jesus accepted everyone (you and I INCLUDED)flaws and all. He did not discriminate and neither should you!

I really dont know which is sadder. The fact that this young man is all of 17 which is a critical point in any childs life, or that he has been rejected by his parents at every turn. As a parent of three I cant imagine one forgetting a birthday ever, or two negating my children for who they are gay or otherwise. You love them no matter what, with pros and the cons. The only con this poor boy has is his parents. Makes my heart hurt for him.

Dear Feeling Betrayed, I will gladly adopt your son as my own and raise him to feel he is loved just the way he is. I will support him, protect him, encourage him and be proud of him like I am of my two sons, one whom is gay. Even though one of my sons birthdays is near Christmas, I have ALWAYS separated the two events and made him feel special on the day he was born...even if it meant traveling to be near him. This will continue until the day I die. Because I am a secure and independent person, I never worry about what other's might think about the most precious gifts that I brought into this world. Let me know if your son would like to join our family and extended family ASAP. I'd like not only to prepare for his next birthday, but set up a college fund so he will have a good future. Sincerely, My-Children-Come-First-And-Always-Will.

Its not that hard to remember a birthday, especially if you are a busy person. Surely Mom keeps a Google calendar and can send herself a reminder. How does she keep track of all those other appointments?

Just the right amount of snide.
Maybe maybe the mother will listen, but I doubt.
As for the birthday, never once has mine been celebrated ON my birthday. Always it has been whenever it's convenient. When I was younger it was on my older sister's birthday and I have always presented it.

People need to pay attention to others' birthdays.

I agree with many of you, the subject of this parent's concern (his/her church) is absolutely fascinating. It is unfortunate that many young homosexuals face scrutiny from their parents due to such third party concerns. However, I think it is important for many of you to note the pressure that is placed on an individual by his/her community. Our values and sense of morality is derived almost entirely from the community in which we belong, which can, and often is, a powerful binding agent over our decision making process. I am not condoning this parents action, but I think it is important to realize the root cause of this issue. Putting aside the questions of this individuals parenting capabilities (ignoring the fact that he/she forgot three birthdays), the main focus of concern should be the social institutions that have severely limited this individuals capacity for critical/rational action. If you must lash out against something, lash out against the institution. Lash out against the lack of education. Lash out against the culture. The greatest tool you have in your arsenal for fighting such ignorance is visibility. Make yourself, and your value known. Social organizations and their requisite systems of control are extremely difficult to change. Remain vocal and remain ardent, but have compassion for the trials of others, as we must not only change the mind of the ignorant, but also the heart.

Excellent response.

Just a heads-up, there's a misquote in the article--in the newspaper the advice columnist says "It is as if you are saying that you have forgotten his presence in the world" while in the web text she's quoted as saying, "It is as if your saying that you have forgotten his presence in the world," which is not only quoted erroneously, but grammatically incorrect.

So what are you, an English teacher or a proofreader? Or just an emotionless robot? If that's the most important thing you could find to point out about this article, I really feel sorry for you.