With Don’t Ask Don’t Tell finally relegated to the garbage bin of history, soldiers are free to come out of the closet. Not just to each other, or people on the street. Some are coming out to the people closest to them.
A touching YouTube video has been making the rounds of a soldier calling his dad back home in Alabama. He’s nervous, talking to the camera about how he can’t sleep and has no idea what his dad will say when he gives him the news. The conversation that follows should be a textbook for every parent whose child one day says, “Dad, I’m gay.”
We don’t really know anything about this father and son from the video, except that they love each other very much. The young man, who the Stir identifies as Randy Phillips, calls his dad and they have a simple, beautiful conversation:
“Can I tell you something?”
“Will you love me? I’m serious.”
“Dad, I’m gay.”
The conversation goes on with the son nervously asking his Dad if it’s OK, and the dad reassuring him that he loves his son and this doesn’t change their relationship at all. That is exactly how that should go. Coming out can be a terrifying prospect for a young adult; clearly this young man had been afraid to do it for a long time. And when he came through that fear and bravely told his father who he was, his dad accepted him immediately, with love.
That’s your job, as a parent. Accepting and embracing the people your kids grow up to be. Offering them your love and support as they grow into their adult lives. This dad did an amazing job supporting his son through a hard passage. They’re lucky to have such a strong bond, and we’re lucky to be able to see it. Every kid who is coming out should be able to count on this kind of acceptance from his or her family.
Here’s the video: