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Find Out How This Ex-Marine Reacted When His Son Came Out As Gay

Find Out How This Ex-Marine Reacted When His Son Came Out As Gay


Jack Freedman recalls writing a letter that changed his life.

Twenty-two years ago, Jack Freedman sat down to write the most difficult letter of his life: He was coming out to his father, a tough former Marine.

"What I need to tell you is that I'm gay. I think you may have already guessed a long time ago," Freedman wrote. "There are tears running down my face as I write. ... I'm so worried that this will change the way you see me."

It's obvious Freedman poured his heart into the lengthy letter, detailing his struggle to come to a place where he accepted and loved the gay man he is. He stressed that his attraction to men was no different than his father's attraction to women, and asked his father to try to forget the stereotypes and rumors he may have heard about gay men. "Most of it is bullshit," he wrote.

"Being gay doesn't mean that I'm any different from who you've always known me to be," Freedman finished. After signing the letter, he sealed it, handed it to his father, and then left the house for an hour.

When he returned, the then 21-year-old encountered his father standing in the exact same place in Freedman's childhood home, letter dangling from one hand.

"His eyes were wet. No tears, but just barely," Freedman recalls of the moment that's since remained lodged in his memory. "And in a tone of voice tinged with 'what did I do wrong that you don't already know this,' he said, 'Jack. You're my son. I love you no matter what.'"

Freedman posted the letter to his Facebook wall on September 11, noting that the year marked the point in his life where he has been out as gay longer than he had been closeted. In his post explaining the letter, Freedman framed it as a memorial to the father who loved him unconditionally, and said he hoped that it might provide inspiration to those who worry about coming out to their parents.

Read his words in their entirety below.

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Mitch Kellaway