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Hurtful messages from father after finding out son is gay raises questions on parental response

VANCOUVER (NEWS113) – “You embarrass me,” “This is worst than death,” and “You are trying to ruin me”` are just some of the things a father said to his child in a series of messages after his son told his family he was gay.

A Vancouver teen posted his father’s harsh words on social media, it went viral and in the end he gained a lot of support from people everywhere.

Dara Parker with Qmunity admits she’s not shocked. “It’s a sad story but unfortunately it’s not surprising. We have the largest queer youth program in BC and we average between 20 and 40 youth each week and unfortunately we hear these stories more often than not.”

She believes parents need to start off with acceptance followed by a conversation.

“I don’t think it’s so important you use the right words. I really think it goes back to loving your child and I say it less about talking and more about listening. I think if you’re child is coming out to you, this is the time to not talk but actually just do some deep listening and actually hear what your child is saying.”

She says if your child is coming out its very likely he or she has been thinking about for a long time, and is probably scared, so a lot of support is needed.

“I think this is a massive cultural shift we’re talking about. Sure, more resources in schools. But we need more resources all across the board. We need more programs like our Gab Youth program that are across BC. In general, we need to create a more inclusive and safer world where LGBTQ kids see themselves represented publicly in sports, in media, in art, in politics and that’s been a slow shift. We’re moving in the right direction and visibility is increasing and legal rights have been gained but that day to day lived equality, there’s a still a lot of work to be done.”