A Follow-up to the Viral Coming Out Video

I found this article this morning: http://www.advocate.com/youth/2014/08/28/watch-christian-familys-terrifying-response-son-coming-out

I encourage you to watch the actual video, if you have not already done so. However, I will warn you that it is horrifying.

I have a couple of little issues with the article. For one thing, the title of the article has “Christian” in quotes, implying that the people in the video aren’t “real” Christians, despite the grandmother explicitly saying that she is acting the way she is because of the Bible. For another, the tagline claims the young man is coming out to extended family, but his mom is there, so that seems a bit misleading. That’s about the extent of it, and those things are often not the author’s choice in journalism. I’m not sure how advocate.com works, though.

My own reaction to the video, selfishly, is that it makes my own coming out (as atheist) experience look good. At least my family is not physically abusive, although the conversation took a couple of hours and a sibling did try to disown me.

Also, I’m just the slightest bit amused, in the midst of my horror, that this guy has that way of speaking gay men sometimes have, the way people imitate when pretending to be gay. I’d call it the “gay accent” but I think that’s probably incredibly offensive, and I know for sure that not all gay people speak that way (and also I know one person who speaks that way but isn’t gay). Stereotypes being true is funny, I’m sorry.

The article also contains a link to the young man’s GoFundMe page, where I will not be donating. This is not because I don’t think his finding a place to live is a worthy cause, but because he has been given almost as much in one day as I make in a year (as of right now, of course). I am glad of this, as at least it removes (if only temporarily) one thing in his life to worry about, but I feel no need to contribute when others have clearly done their part so well and so generously.

I wonder how many LGBT coming out experiences are similar, and how the world would react if they were shown as widely as this one. I also wonder how many atheist coming out experiences are similar, and whether showing them would help change people’s minds about atheists. While I’m wondering, I’m also interested in how often realizing you are gay makes someone into an atheist, because they can’t square what they know about their homosexuality with what their church teaches.

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