gsn-google gsn-google

Watch fathers tell their adult kids the moment they knew they were gay

'When you were like four years old with a sheet wrapped around you, singing Ella Fitzgerald...'

Watch fathers tell their adult kids the moment they knew they were gay
Dads reveal the moment they knew their kids were gay

Real-life dads and their gay adult kids have sat down for an honest conversation about raising an LGBTI child, fears and responsibilities.

And most importantly, the moment the dads ‘knew’ when their kids were gay.

‘When you were like four years old with a sheet wrapped around you, singing Ella Fitzgerald,’ one dad says. ‘And in that moment, I said to myself, “Oh shit he’s gay!’

Watch it here:

Got a news tip? Want to share your story? Email us .


    I read the title as meaning gay fathers telling their adult children when they (the dad) knew he was gay….like a late-in-life coming out. That’s a weirdly written title, for sure.

    Will Fisher says:

    What I would give to know the answers to these questions from my dad and many others in my family!

    Never seen this site before, I looked at this page cos linked to from a friend’s FB page. I’m a straight who is totally unmacho and hates male stereotypes. So checking this video has confirmed what I feared to see in it – 2 of these dads cited unmacho behaviours that conformists might deem girly, nothing to do with sex, as signs to know that the boy was gay. That message reinforces oppression of identity for unmacho straight boys, e.g, dealing with school bullies, who can easily assume that all nonconformities with peers are gay. Choices and tastes outside sex should do no more than open the dad’s mind to the possibility: nothing else than direct liking of a male body can ever be grounds for claiming to know.

    My dad little loved me and was very concerned about my welfare and safety as well did my mother, but what they feared most was their understanding or their misunderstanding of the religious aspect of homosexuality.

    I was fortunate that these horrors never happened to me. How could any parent do that? Are they sick? It’s unbelievable.

    Love love love this!! I wish this had been my experience in the late 90s but I’m so happy to see love & acceptance winning more and more over fear.

    Teofilo Gutierrez show this to juerry !

    I never told my Dad. My mom told him when I was in my early 20s. He never said anything about it. He couldn’t look at me for years. He also never told my mom he caught me and my boyfriend when I was 15.

    Hello everyone, I find myself writing this for all of you gentle people out there, and for those of you clearly are not, you know who you are… Back when I was in the military, and keep in mind this was back in the time of ‘Don’t ask, Don’t tell’, anyway, my MSgt had asked me a very pointed question, he had asked if I was gay? And my response had gone like this ‘Master Sargent, I am not gay, however, since you have broached this subject let me tell you this one little thing. Even if I was, I wouldn’t tell you, because Personally, I don’t believe that it’s any of your damn business. I do my job, and I’m good at it. And what I do in my off time, so long as I’m not breaking any laws, doesn’t have anything to do with you. If I came to work tomorrow and asked about your sex life with your wife, well that’s inappropriate, yes? Then why would you think asking about mine would be any different?’ Fact of the matter is that, I have many gay friends, and I wouldn’t trade them for the world, and it would be foolish of me to ask them to pretend to be something that they are not, because of me being uncomfortable. I’m glad that the world is changing, because without change the world will stagnate. If this helps anyone, good, be brave, it will get better. And for those who will wish to leave a negative message about how I’m a godless heathen, well I have two words for you, Fuck Off.

    Cibil A. Sesco, I have no doubt that there are others like me out there, though if you ask my beautiful wife I don’t fit the norm for being male or human for that matter, and I’m okay with that. Who really wants to fit into a tiny box like that, when you can be unique? Not I.

    We need more Human beings like you.

    James D'Arcy says:

    Charlie Anne Laura Kneski Marlene Orth Kelsey Kathleen White Danielle Swanson

    All children are boys? Uh… But on topic: Great video! Great examples of how it’s ok to be accepting as a father.

    Cari Golden says:

    Wow, reading some of these comments it’s like nothing is good enough for anyone…I, for one, thought this segment was heartfelt and moving and I didn’t notice anything lacking. I applaud upworthy for their efforts to display and convey empathy. We can all use that lesson.

    This really was a warm and touching video!

    TheyJust Know…..That’s what makes good parents….. You just know ❤

    Sharon Ruiz says:

    It hurts my heart reading some of the stories posted! I wish there weren’t so many ignorant people in this world and more acceptance and love! I send hugs your way! I encourage everyone to be themselves and love who they are gay, straight, bi, transgender, etc. if you were my family I’d love and support you no matter your sexual preference. 🌈

    Micky Ouse says:

    i’ll never understand what my sexual preference has to do with my parents , why any parent worries about what their off spring do with their pvt parts is beyond me all this ”coming out” shit needs to stop , no one has to justify being straight , you’re gay , wooo hooo big fukin deal , honestly it’s like being at school

    Very honestly I’ve never quite understood the hoopla about coming out to your parents. I mean weren’t they paying attention?!

    If you accept yout children what they are it means the only one: you help them to be fully independent in their life,decisions and what’s important in their emotions !

    fyi I know /known 5 gay males, all were suicidal due to right wing xtianity preachers who hated them welCUM to religious freedom here in the usa about 8000-9000 kids here commit suicide annually in the USA per the CDC about 3000 are known gay. add in 500 who are closeted even in death add 500 who think that if they cant suceed with girls, there is nothing to do except become gay and that is a fate worse then death that might possibly have happened to one of my sons but a pscyhcologist helped him I have many gay friends and great gaydar.this son is for sure hetero that is how KKKrazy the scene is here and now we have a racistt president and a xtian extremist gay hating VP

    Abrahamic insanity is the root of many evils.

    Andrew Swift says:

    My mother knew long before I told my parents at 22, and she prepped my father so he was cool with it. After torturing myself for years with fears of being disowned and hated, I was a little disappointed in their nonchalant response, but that was momentary and I’m grateful that it worked out so well.

    Robert House says:

    Sadly I think these outstanding fathers are exceptional. I’d love to be proven wrong. But, maybe I critique too fast. My now deceased father was just as warm and like these men. After I told him at age 30, a month later he took my partner and I on a trip to Europe. Not because of being Gay of course. He just thought of doing that from his heart. Yet,I had no clue how he would react. Of course concerned about the trials a Gay person faces, otherwise it was a no biggie. Now I’m wondering why I think it’s not the case for the majority of Gay men. Ha, we don’t need another study, just affirmation to who I am, for me, has been the best.

    Jim Fenos says:

    I didn’t mention the high school bullies and when I reached out I was dismissed, “they’re real boys, something you’ll never be…….”

    Jim Fenos says:

    These experiences are rare. Fathers and sons aren’t programmed to like each other. In all aspects of my life, I’m including gay friends, acquaintances and men I’ve dated and those I’ve been in serious relationships with; we’ve all had father issues. I had two dads, bio and step, and neither one liked me, my step father never said my true name, he referred to me as “Dumb Ass,” Stupid Ass,” Smart Ass,” “Bean Pole,” whatever that means, and a host of other names. I had to learn how to shave, drive, and tie a tie through friends and various boyfriends. I dated an ex-marine so he could teach me how to use power tools. In turn I felt my dad(s) didn’t deserve to know anything about my personal life so I never came out to them and I never will since they’ve both passed.

    Were you ​tall and skinny? That’s where “Bean Pole” comes from.

    I Hate this video bt maybe its bea use i have a bad realationship with my father…..XD

    So moving! So happy they had a better experience than others did.

    Eric Payne says:

    In the early 1970s, when I arranged for my father to discover I was being molested by a neighborhood man (I was 11), he beat the crap out of me; he punched me; he kicked me and threw me around the living room screaming about faggots. My mother stopped him from killing me — screaming at my father “he’s not fucking worth it!” She also, that night, after learning I’d engaged in oral sex with my molester, forbade me from ever kissing her with “that mouth, ever!” She died in 2009. I never kissed her again. In fact, from 1984 to June, 2001, I had absolutely no contact with any member of my family. In 2001, one of my elder sisters travelled to California, where I lived, while I was convalescing from open heart surgery. My father and I met with each other over Mothers Day weekend, 2009; he died in September, 2010.

    Emery von Sztankoczy, in some ways, it is, but there ARE those of us trying to drag the country kicking and screaming out of their Bronze Age book of plagiarized fairy tales.

    Horrible story. I think American culture is quite sick.

    Jenn Morin says:

    So sorry that you didn’t have parents that protected you and loved you. I hope you have found peace & love later in life❤

    Aper Be says:

    I’m sorry this happened to you.

    Amy Walker says:

    I’m truly so sorry. I hope you have realized, how wrong & deeply damaged those people are. Those demons are theirs, & there are so many allies who care & so much love in this world.

    Robert Hill says:

    Stumbled on this site trying to find background on the “King Cobra” movie. I’ve been surfing about the site for an hour or so, and your story is one of the most upsetting things I’ve ever read. If I had heard you tell it, I would have been speechless. I hope your life has been much better since.

    I wish I had that positive experience with my family, but in my time coming out 30 years ago things weren’t just like that…….I’m so happy for the upcoming generation that they have the freedom they have and wonderful families to support them to be who they are!!

    Though i would have been lucky enough like him if i coundn’t be in India.

    Lumi A Zin says:

    Hope things get better in India soon. 💕💕💕

    Lou Kief says:

    Wow, I turned 70 this year and I can’t believe how far we’ve come in my lifetime. Thank you every single parent who loves and accepts your kid(s) for who they really are. Equally important is that you are their FRIEND and confidant. I’m so happy I lived to see this.

    Long live the show tune Gene!

    Erica Soto says:

    Oh, my god! My blessings to those parents. I wish my father had some compasion; he was so macho and ignorant, however; He has my forgiveness and blessings… Amen.

    My father knew I was gay when I told him I moved to West Hollywood.

    Gary Zahnow says:

    Times have changed.When my sister outed me to my parents at 18, I was disowned, disinherited, and told to get a name change. I never got acceptance from any members of my family. And so my advise is “just accept yourself”. because there will always be those who reject you,hate you, or dispise you. Just make peace, and forgive, move on, and be with those who really care. You can’t change the way haters feel about you.

    Iver Gene says:

    i hope after all that your beyond okay.. more power!

    Lumi A Zin says:

    I hope you are surrounded by love with your chosen family now. 💕💕💕

    I’m sorry to hear about your experience. Glad you made it through.

    John Benoot OMG, I’m so sorry, John. I hope your life has been good since then.

    Me, as a Mom of a 10 year old son would NEVER EVER NOT respect my childs Happiness – so if he would say “Mom, I am gay” – I would hug him and tell him I love him no matter if gay or hetero! NEVER EVER I would beat him or abuse or whatever – even if I would not be happy with it! I am really really sorry for what you all are went through – I can’t even imagine 😢😢😢 All the best and love from here 😙

    Stories like yours, Gary Zahnow, are what made me decide that, gay, straight, bi or trans, I would love my kids. Good thing, too, as my oldest is trans and his little brother is gay.

    Totally their loss on knowing a person who is undoubtedly kind, good, and loving, as evidenced by this advice and post.

    I am so sorry. I have no idea what that’s like but I am so sorry they did that to you.. to all of you that went through that..

    I never experienced to be beaten or have any rejection by my family just because i am gay. Maybe each parents really vary to each other. I am well supported for they believe gays are intelligent and talented people… I think I am lucky for that but there is always a pressure that I have to meet their expectations and sometimes I am being compared to others.

    Kelly Lynne says:

    I’m so sorry this was/is your experience with your parents. I can whole-hearted tell you that you are loved by so many people though, including strangers like me❤

    Terrible, I had the complete opposite experiance, complete expectance even from my 88 year old granny

    Parents that don’t love their children unconditionally never really loved them at all. Good riddance to bad rubbish!

    Gary Zahnow says:

    John Benoot I was nearly strangled, and beaten by Dad when i was 17 too, seems some parent’s should never have children !

    Mike Rouse says:

    Been there. I’m sorry, man. Just sucks that people are as they are.

    John Benoot says:

    I was almost beaten to death at the age of 17 by my father as he found out having a BF.

    Gary Zahnow says:

    Thanks Jeroen, I went through hell and lots of abuse to get to where I am today. I earned, and learned wisdom and knowledge through all of it. Life is tough, but we’ve got to carry on. Much peace, Merry Christmas, and a Happy New Year.

    Wise words! Peace to you Gary!

    It has to be said, the dad at 10 seconds in is HOT

    I could watch and listen to these conversations all day and night! Heart warming. But sadly no everyone at every age has a parent like these guys! I remember cringing with fear everytime my dad eluded to me being Gay! One day everyone will be free to be who they are!

    I’m sorry this is going to sound petty. But how about show some real family reactions to sports, masculine and “hetro” acting people. Because I sure know my family wasn’t like this. Quit lying to youth now a days. Its not all rainbows and unicorns. Some like weights and sports. This is so one sided. Just saying!!!

    Tim Rudisill says:

    Of course it’s one-sided. The other side has been documented a lot. All one has to do is read the comments ona gay marriage news article from a short while back ago and you’ll understand how unaccepting many people are. But videos like this ARE important. They need to give kids hope that their parents can accept them for who they are. They don’t necessarily need to hide from their family. Yes, things can go very wrong, but they can also go so very right. It’s important for kids to know that. If all we show are the ones who are rejected, then a kid who would be accepted might never come out to his family and instead try hard to be someone they are not for their entire life. That’s not something I’d wish upon anyone.

    Wish that you had represented at least one set of black people, don’t know if a black father would be so accepting

    Davon Glover You’re Mum suddenly realised that she may not have grandchildren, it’s a big thing to many mothers

    John Benoot Yup, I copped the same for over 15 years from my mother. I don’t have anything to do with my “father” – he’s been dead to me for decades.

    I am black enough (and so are you) to know that not all black fathers are going to react the same. Don’t over-generalize.

    Mike Rouse Exactly cuz blk folks are people too.

    Black folks are people. Some are accepting some aren’t. All white folks aren’t accepting but they wanted a positive video. To say you don’t know if a black family would have been so accepting is just further sterotyping us.

    Stanley James you are awesome for helping others!

    John Benoot So sorry you had to experience that with your parents, it seems it is their loss that they didnt open their hearts to you and your sister. Glad you seem to be doing well. Best wishes!

    I’m an Italian gay man. It is typically VERY difficult coming out in an Italian family, you are correct.

    John Benoot says:

    Robert House , the remorse is what we hear from people who know them. They never apologised to my sister and me. They are old and need possibly someone to take care of them. For us they are just people we once new. We got peace with the situation. Sometimes you’re better off with good friends instead of family. We are fine now and no need for change. Not all situations are the same. Sometimes we need to let go without turning back. ���

    Nick Cortese says:

    I think each and every situation id unique….

    If you read some of these other comments you’ll see not even many white parents are so accepting either

    Hans Nilsen says:

    Mary Anne Oswald Oh yes. There are lots of gays in Italy. 🙂 Just go there and see for yourself.

    fyi short form My brother almost a pHD had his life ruined because my mother was a neurotic for many reasons and made him the same allong with a terrible case of OCD While his financial situation is excellent he never married, lives alone and its too late to help hims – he is 58 years old now MY parents were beserk re some extended family calling him a homo etThey never understood but this is why I have devoted much of my lfe and luckily made a fortune in the stock market and am using it to help gay people financially and politically

    Davon Glover thats not unusal that the mother is the problem IMO she feels she did something wrong to allow the childe fo :bcum gay)

    Robert House says:

    John Benoot , Oh, if they are remorsful and lonely if it were my experience I’d certainly welcome them into my heart. Forgivness heals the world. If I wasn’t forgiving I’d feel like I am acting just like them (remember they had parents too) Not a nice example for myself. With forgiveness all the BS drops off and you could be as authentic as they are. You’d drop any self condembation and the insanity of guilt that you have for yourself too. I’m not from a similar experiece but from really knowing forgiveness’s power, if you think it impossible just say so. Along with it, just make the slightest attempt and everythng else will take care of this. Ask for help if you find it too hard to do. If you don’t beleve in a higher power it makes no difference in how it will work for you. My higher power does not require my belief in it, in order for it to work. Trust me, when you find this healing power it will be transformative in all you do. You may think of it as your test in this life. You pass the test with flying colors even if you make the tiniest attempt to forgive. You want the peace and happiness that follows, you may trust me again on that.

    On this note, I do know of gay black people in my circle of friends but I don’t know of any gay italians? Are there any?

    Mike Rouse says:

    Interesting point, I think you’re right, man. Some of my black friends have very different stories, unfortunately. But others have great ones.

    John Benoot says:

    Marcus, my parents and me are white, so is my sister. Our childhood was a hell, as we grew up with very homophobic parents. They knew we were born gay even before we even knew anything about orientation. They ridiculed us in front of everybody about the way we spoke and behaved. When I was six I started to get a clue why this was happening. I was kinda girlish for a boy and my sister was kinda butch. Around our thirties we cut off all ties from our parents. We were finally free and happy. Our parents are now old and lonely and full of remorse, but it came far too late. To us they are only a reminder of horrible times. I will never forgive Them! We never asked to come in this world. Our parents decided to so. Parents have a duty towards their offspring…being loving and caring ❤

    Davon Glover says:

    I came out when I was 13, my father was nothing but accepting. Surprisingly enough, it was my mother who had an issue lol but we’re all cool now.

    Richie Bela says:

    The moment of truth was first hard for me But I knew since I was five that i was different becuz i loved to see Tarzan movies starrrring Johnny Weismuller and he became my idol I grew up in a place where religion teaches that the word gay is an abomination and my family were devout christians that coming out to them is futile and when i started to go to school at the age of seven i was bullied and just tried to be nice to eveyone My parents are gone now with no rancor in ther hearts i think they knew about my gender that they passed away without me confessing to them My brothers have accepted me now and im looking forward to go to America and get married with my future Mr JOHNNY He has inspired me to live and hung on until halleluah and i have no regrets for being what i am is the greatest gift that God gave me