Homosexuality is a sin. Homosexuals are doomed to spend eternity in hell. If they wanted to change, they could be healed of their evil ways. If they would turn away from temptation, they could be normal again. If only they would try and try harder, if it doesn’t work. These are all the things I said to my son Bobby when I found out he was gay. When he told me he was homosexual, my world fell apart. I did everything I could to cure him of his sickness.
8 months ago, my son, jumped off a bridge and killed himself. I deeply regret my lack of knowledge about gay and lesbian people. I see that everything I was taught and told was bigotry and dehumanizing slander. If I had investigated, beyond what I was told, if I had just, listened to my son, when he poured my heart out to me, I would not be standing here today with you, filled with regrets.
I believe that God was pleased with Bobby’s kind and loving spirit. In God’s eyes, kindness and love are what it’s all about. I didn’t know that each time that I echoed eternal damnation for gay people, each time I referred to Bobby as sick and perverted and a danger to our children, his self-esteem, his sense of worth, were being destroyed, and finally, his spirit broke beyond repair.
It was not God’s will that Bobby climbed over the side of a freeway overpass and jumped directly into the path of an 18-wheel truck which killed him instantly. Bobby’s death was the direct result of his parents’ ignorance and fear of the word ‘gay’.
He wanted to be a writer. His hopes and dreams should not have been taken from him, but they were. There are children, like Bobby, sitting in your congregations, unknown to you, they will be listening, as you echo “Amen”, and that will soon silence their prayers. Their prayers to God for understanding, and acceptance, and for your love. But your hatred, and fear, and ignorance of the word ‘gay’ will silence those prayers.
So, before you echo “Amen” in your home and place of worship - Think! Think and remember, a child is listening.
To all the Bobby’s and Jane’s out there, I say these words to you as I would with my own precious children. Please don’t give up hope on life, or yourselves. You’re very special to me. I’m working very hard to make this world a better and safer place for you to live in. Promise me you’ll keep trying. Bobby gave up on love, I hope you won’t. You are always in my thoughts.