The Real True Story About How Parents Adopted Out Their Child When He Told Them He Was Gay

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Early April 2013 a story on social media started immediately “going viral”.  72,000 people shared a story called, “PARENTS PUT 16 YEAR OLD DAUGHTER UP FOR ADOPTION AFTER LEARNING SHE IS GAY”.  Almost as suddenly as the story had taken off, it halted.  Blushing page administrators started removing it quickly as details, such as the family living in “Southern Carolina” pointed to a growing understanding.  The story was fake.  It was, in fact, a satire from the site Deacon Tyson Bowers III.

The story was not far fetched.  Writer and LGBT youth advocate Cathy Kristofferson states, “Youth who come out to their parents are rejected by those parents at a rate of 50%, with 26% immediately thrown out of the house to become instantly homeless and many following soon after as a result of the physical and verbal abuse … Empowered by the gains in equality and acceptance with the heightened visibility the adult gay community has welcomed of late, youth are emboldened to come out at ever-younger ages while still reliant on parents who are a flip of the coin away from rejecting them.”

For a teenager named Corey, the story not only could have been true, it WAS true for him. It happened two years earlier than the social media fraud.

Corey did not have an easy life.  He was a popular jock guy in high school, but by the age of 15, he had been handed more than his share of abuse.  His parents were conservative, religious, on welfare and dabbled in narcotics.  His birth father beat Corey at times, and neglected him at others.  Corey was raised with a belief that gay people were not only sinners, they were sin itself.  His birth father made sure that Corey was aware that gay people all were killed at some point before they reached old age.

Corey had been meticulous about keeping his sexual orientation a secret.  He was athletic and he was popular as a “ladies man”.  “It was all to keep everyone from knowing,” he told me.  Finally he started telling some of his extended family.  This left him feeling exposed and vulnerable at home.  If the subject were to come up, he was no longer in a position to deflect and hide as he had been before.  Whatever security he had felt before was gone, and his self doubt and self loathing were at all time highs.

One evening, the issue of sexual orientation came up, in a big way.  As Corey prepared for an evening at a family relations’ house, a news story about gay rights came on the television.  Corey reacted with a subtle positive endorsement.  His birth father exploded, “If any fag lived in this house, I would shoot them in the head with a shotgun” he screamed.  Corey bolted from the house immediately.  He was feeling feverish, scared and sickened.  Did his father know?  Was that a threat for him, or just a reminder that he lived in a den of hatred?

At the party, Corey got drunk, and physically sicker.  He ended back at home and as fever raged, his despair imploded into his gut.  His parents, suspicious, ignored him.  Several days later, at 2 am in the morning, he was up, unable to sleep, delirious and suicidal.

Across town, a woman named Mindy was closing up her household.  Husband Dale was sound asleep, as were her two sons.  Only her daughter Aubrey had the late night candle burning.  As she strolled by Aubrey, who was diligently typing on the computer, Mindy opened her mouth to scoot her daughter off to bed.  Suddenly she saw something chilling on the computer screen over her daughter’s shoulder.  Written in the chat box was the statement, “I am desperate.  Things here are so bad, I want to slit my wrists.  I am not kidding.”

Mindy dove in head first.  “Who IS that?”  she asked Aubrey.  Aubrey told her that it was Corey, whom she had met when he had taken Aubrey to the homecoming dance.  Aubrey explained that he was sick, but his parents were ignoring him.  Much to Aubrey’s shock, Mindy declared, “We are going to get him.”

Some mama-grizzley instinct took Mindy over.  “It was like I was possessed by someone else.  I knew I needed to act, and to do something, but everything I did was against my nature and not how I usually act as a person.”

Forty minutes later, Mindy and Aubrey were at the trailer in which Corey lived with his family.  He came out and got in their van.  His father wandered out and demanded to know what Mindy was doing.  The normally honest to a fault Mindy heard herself telling a lie.  In a casual nonchalant demeanor, especially one for almost three in the morning, she heard herself say, “Oh hi!  Sorry to disturb.  We had invited Corey to go to the mountains with us.  We thought an early start would be best.”  Corey’s birthfather turned flirty and asked Mindy when she was going to come take HIM to the mountains.  Mindy laughed coyly, played the part and flirted right back.  After a few minutes, the van was on its way, with Corey in it.

When they returned home, Mindy was in for the biggest shock of the night.  When Corey walked into the light, she could see he was almost blue, he had pneumonia, and she knew that without her intervention, he would have likely died.  For Dale, he was just mystified.  “I came downstairs in the morning to cook breakfast and there is this kid sleeping on my couch. He wasn’t there when I went to bed!”

For the next few weeks, Corey’s birth parents did not inquire as to where he was.  Finally, nursed back to health, he returned home and the growing awareness of his homosexuality again became the unspoken issue.  Finally, he decided to confide in his mother.  He figured that she was oppressed and passive, and likely to keep it to herself.

That was not the case.  She called Corey’s birth father who stormed home and broke into the house railing at the top of his lungs.  “He was yelling and screaming about how a fag was living in his home and he can’t believe the devil was in his presence. I locked myself in my room when my brother came home. The first thing my father did was tell him about how his brother was nothing but a worthless fag,” Corey recalled.  All three family members tried to break into his bedroom for hours. Later they retreated, and Corey escaped to the bathroom with a much stronger door and lock.  He sat in a corner of the bathroom with his possessions in a paper bag, afraid for his life.  In the wee hours of the morning, when the three had passed out, he escaped the house—never to return.

He went back to his friend Aubrey’s house.  This time, it was not just Aubrey and Mindy to his rescue.  Dad Dale, and brothers Andrew and Mason all stepped up as they had during his illness.  The family had come to love him.  For them, he belonged.  He was home. They did not know at first that he was gay.  They just understood that he needed them.  When they did find out that he was gay and had been driven from his former home because of it, it did not matter, not even to conservative dad, Dale.  They already loved him, and for some unapparent reason, they seemed to need him too.

The family met together so that each person could have his or her say.  It was unanimous; every single member wanted Corey to stay permanently.  Dale described what happened next, “Initially we set Corey’s bedroom up in our basement. We gathered what we could since he didn’t bring anything with him. His first bedroom in our home was made of walls with moving blankets tacked to the ceiling. There was a bed, a nightstand, an old dresser and a box fan. That kid was so freaking happy. I think that moment really made Aubrey, Andrew and Mason appreciate what they have. Made me cry to see Corey with next to nothing and be happy about it.”

 The next year was a challenge for all involved.  At first the birth family created noise. The small community also backlashed against Corey’s new family.  Andrew and Aubrey were both taunted at school for going after a gay brother, and some of Mindy and Dale’s family and friends out and out rejected them.

Corey stood strong, and it inspired his new family to do so as well.  Dale stated, “I had issues growing up and I wish I had been as strong as Corey to stand up for myself when I was a teenager. Corey has taught me a lot.”

The family got a court date.  They were extremely nervous and had documented all the events leading up to the adoption.  They watched the door of the courtroom waiting for their adversaries to arrive.  They waited and watched.  Time passed.

Corey’s birth family did not show up.  They had no apparent argument to contest the adoption, no concern.  Their offspring was gay and they signaled that they were perfectly willing to adopt him out as a consequence.

For Corey, Mindy, Dale, Aubrey, Andrew and Mason, the day became known as “Gotcha” day.  A family got Corey, and he got them.  Aubrey, Andrew and Mason became tireless advocates for Corey and LGBT rights in general.  Eleven year old Mason, who previously had been disinterested in things outside of a little boy’s world made a rainbow freedom art project that he dedicated to his new big brother.

Mindy describe the events of the past three years.  “I want the world to know that Corey is a beautiful human being.  I want them to know that any pain we went through or will go through is worth it.  Why is it worth it, because love is the most powerful force.  I want the world to see Corey’s pain and know it is not necessary.  Sexuality is such a small part of who we are.  First and foremost Corey is a loving, genuine, caring, intelligent human being.  Who he is attracted to and who he marries is of little significance.  I’m certain his partner will be as kind and loving as himself.  Isn’t that what this world needs?  I want the world to know that standing up for people who can’t stand up for themselves is vital to our survival.  Standing up for what is right is not always easy, but it is always right.  Our family fell in love with Corey for Corey…his sexuality did not change who he was.  I also want the world to know that we are a family.   I want people to understand that genetics are just science.  Families are built from unconditional love. “

For Dale, it is a little simpler.  He told me that he still sees Corey’s birth father around their small town.  “He knows how to put on a front,” Dale commented.  “He smiles and acts like nothing is a big deal.  He says, ‘thanks, appreciate what you are doing for my boy.”

In those encounters, Dale does not say much.  He turns and walks away.  Quietly, inaudibly, he whispers, “I have news for you.  He is not your boy.

He’s my son.”

 

Listen to a podcast radio interview with Corey and Mindy here.

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About robw77

A single gay dad who cares. His story can be read here: http://www.imagaysingleparent.com/2013/02/02/rob/ and here: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/01/31/rob-watson-gay-family_n_4689661.html
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61 Responses to The Real True Story About How Parents Adopted Out Their Child When He Told Them He Was Gay

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  14. pegodaaj says:

    Very moving. As a fellow gay man, I especially appreciate what a wonderful thing your family is doing. Take the best of care.

  15. Pingback: How My Eleven Year Old Son Taught Me That Having a Gay Character in ‘Train Your Dragon’ is Important -

  16. Wolf says:

    “Some mama-grizzley instinct took Mindy over.” What an awesome story(well, towards the end), kudos to Mindy and Dale, shining example of how people should behave.

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  22. Clifton G. says:

    GO DALE!!! That’s a true dad for you. “He’s not your boy. He’s MY son.” Spoken like a true dad.

  23. Shaun says:

    I am grateful to see all the positive comments to Corey and his family. Not the family that doesn’t understand what love is or how to bring up a loving child, the family that truly loves him. I pity the children that the bio family brought up to hate and clearly have followed that path. Nothing any of them say can excuse the fact that they didn’t show up at the adoption hearing. Corey has brought us truth and facts, the bio family has brought us nothing but bigotry and really bad spelling.

  24. Pingback: Family Adopts 15-Year-Old Gay Teen Who Was Disowned By His Family / Queerty

  25. JPD says:

    This story brought me to tears. Some people just shouldn’t be allowed the privilege of being parents. The birth Family sound like hideous people. The comments from Corey’s brother and sister on Facebook are disgusting.

    Corey & his new family are an inspiration. I wish Corey and his new family much happiness and love.

  26. Pingback: Rejected and Alone, A Gay Young Man Finds His Home with a Same Sex Couple | evoL =

  27. Dan says:

    Interesting… At first I thought this story was a bit dramatic. So out of curiosity I looked him up on Facebook to try to learn more about him. There were links through to his brother, James Nichols . James was stating the story wasn’t true and that Corey was making it up to get attention. At first, that seemed plausible.

    Then as I kept reading, I got a taste of what Corey grew up with. Corey’s sister wrote:

    Hailey Nichols: “They knew exactly what they were doing. Funny how Corey’s “story” was published the day after gay marriage becomes legal in some parts of MI”

    James (Corey’s brother) responded:

    James Nichols: “Exactly fucking homos. You know why every homo is successful. Because they our selfish and all they care about is themselves.

    he’s selfish and all he cares about is himself one of the many reasons why gays will run shit and the reason they are successful because they can manipulate and get you to believe anything.”

    and he continues…

    “my mom would never allow my dad to discipline Corey because he was weak minded and couldn’t take it.”

    and finally, the kicker… His brother insults all gays some more:

    “they are bored and love drama fucking cock sucking lovers”

    The number of gay-bashing generalizations coming from these two makes me believe Corey’s story completely. These comments are outrageous, hate-filled and rude.

    Good job Corey – get the hell away from these frauds. I believe every word of your story now, after seeing this.

  28. My heart broke as I read this. Blessings on all of those who supported Corey during his terrible trial. I predict the day will come when Corey’s family will dearly regret their asinine actions. Take care Corey, you are loved!

    • sadly I doubt they will – prejudiced and bigoted people rarely ever see who wrong they are and die with hatred still raging in their heart. At the same time they spout nonsense about their god of love actually being a god of hate. I pity them but they are the real losers.

  29. Reblogged this on a simple goddess and commented:
    Lots of love for this family. Thank you for this story.

  30. CityTalk says:

    Reblogged this on THE VILLAGE HERO.

  31. Reblogged this on JerBear's Queer World News, Views & More From The City Different – Santa Fe, NM and commented:
    Quality writing on an important subject. In fact, just this week, foster parents in Italy returned their foster son after he came out and they couldn’t deal with it.

  32. I love how this story ended, but what this young man went through is inexcusable!! Both of my children are gay and I would not even think for a millisecond about not having them in my life. They are both wonderful people and I thank God for them every day!!

  33. Jim Reeves says:

    Reblogged this on Queer Landia and commented:
    Most such stories don’t have a happy ending. Here’s a rare one that did.

  34. lmskj1978 says:

    Both heart breaking and beautiful. But to me, children should never been born into expectations or conditions for parental love. Thanks for sharing x

  35. If I Won Powerball says:

    <3 That's all I feel right now….. <3

  36. It’s wonderful that Corey found a loving family. It’s unfortunate that some who profess to be “religious” worship what they think is religious law instead of worshiping a loving and inclusive God. Thankfully, it sounds like Mindy, Dale and their family are people of faith who walk it out in their daily lives. Bless this new family – Dale, Mindy and all four of their beautiful children.

  37. Pax369 says:

    Thank you for sharing this, Corey’s new family is the one I’d wish for everyone, hopefully their love and wisdom will touch other people helping them take action to be on the side of what’s right.

  38. I hate what this young man had to go through, but He is definitely in a better place. Thank you to the family who took him in, and took care of him.

  39. ahsatanmai says:

    This was really beautiful and I’m just about in tears. Thank you so much for sharing the story.

  40. Ben in oakland says:

    “His parents were conservative, religious, on welfare and dabbled in narcotics. His birth father beat Corey at times, and neglected him at others. ”

    Religion is important. Judge not lest ye be judged. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Let he among you who is without sin cast the first stone. Every child deserves a mother and a father. Drunkards shall not inherit the kingdom of god.

    How many clichés, aka false suppositions, can you pack into two brief sentences?

    • Cam Underhill says:

      I don’t understand?? That was way more than two sentences! … I can’t get a read on your post. Do you support what happened or are you against it? Whose side do you sympathize with? It reads as a non-sequitur so I can only do my best to respond.

      Clichés aren’t “false suppositions,” they’re commonly used thematic elements. They can be described as trite or unoriginal, but most times they are commonly used because there’s something there which describes a situation more wholly and simply than a different combination of words. “Cliché” is a word used when speaking about fictional material, and not about reports of a person’s hardship. What kind of person listens to what a person went through and says “that’s such a cliché”? If you feel a bad situation is very common, then perhaps it is time that such situations are addressed more seriously.

      Religion can be very personally important but it is not an excuse. Being religious does not mean you have the right to drive your child to sickness and out of your home with the implicit threat or act of violence. The kid’s biological parents didn’t withhold judgement; they didn’t act as they would be acted upon. And now that he’s escaped their clutches he’s got a real family, real parents, so I’d say he has what he deserved all along. I’m so happy he’s with people who care for and support him as he deserves to be cared for and supported, and I hope that someday soon we can reach a place of understanding and acceptance where kids don’t need to be afraid that something like this will happen to them.

      • Ben in oakland says:

        My apologies. I didn’t have a lot of time to write this morning. Clarity was lost. I am very very much on Corey’s side in this. I think his parents were at best criminal, and if I had my way, should be charged.

        I quoted two sentences from the article. My point was that those two sentences ALONE contained a multitude of clichés and assumptions about gay people, heterosexuality, religion, and child rearing, all of which are false, all of which certainly are glaringly contradictory in this case.

        “religious” Doesn’t make you a good person, a moral person, or a fit parent. It certainly didn’t in Corey’s case. Yet the antigays go on and on about religion. And in this case, his religious father was violating just about everything that Jesus had to say about NOT judging others before you have achieved moral perfection yourself.

        “conservative” also doesn’t do a thing. In this case, the family values crowd– which is how conservative define themselves– abandoned their own child.

        “Heterosexual” doesn’t make you a good person, a moral person, or a fit parent.

        “on welfare and dabbled in narcotics.” Drugs instead of taking care of their children. Or should I say, “religious, conservative” and on drugs instead of taking care of their children. Yet these people are defended as good people by some, simply because they are heterosexual and religious? And gay people, by implication, are not fit to be parents because…… why was that again? And aren’t we told in the very passage that allegedly condemns gay people that drunkards are not going to heaven? I would think that would include, oh, I dunno, DRUG ADDICTS?

        ” His birth father beat Corey at times, and neglected him at others. ” And as we are told, every child deserves a mother and a father, and that’s why gay people shouldn’t be allowed to marry. Exactly what did corey do to deserve these heterosexual parents?

        I hope this makes my point a lot clearer.

    • Jay Davis says:

      A religious belief that justifies abusing someone to the point of suicide is not worth it.

    • Chandra says:

      I see no clichés in the two sentences you quoted from the article, only a factual description. In fact, the only clichés present are the biblical ones you brought into the discussion.

      As for religion being important, most of the non-judgemental, fair-minded, ethical people I know are not religious at all. In fact, I’d say that if you need religion to tell you not to be a dick to people, you are the one who is the problem.

    • Charles says:

      That first sentence bothered me too. Conservatives are defined by their belief in the role that government should play – big or small. People of good will can disagree about which perspective carries the best outcomes for the most people and experts in many fields likewise have conflicting opinions. Similarly, people of faith come with many beliefs, some horribly hypocritical and some enlightened and kind. I consider myself both conservative and religious and am 100% on the side of Corey and the lovely family who adopted him. The negative associations that others project onto those words don’t resonate; horrible behavior comes in many packages, just as many labled “liberal” or “aetheist,” and in this case, just as irrelevant to the important message of the story.

      I comment not to start an argument with those who are long used to equating conservatism or religion with evil (though I obviously think that a limited perspective), but because Corey experienced evil, horrid behavior. To help the many other young men and women in such situations requires effort from everyone. Other parents who might be in a position to help need to bond over their common values of compassion and care, not experience isolating silos created by irrelevant labels that carry controversial assumptions.

  41. Gared Shrokman says:

    I wish I had known about this stuff earlier….He is the best cousin that I have, yet he’s gone through so much. I didn’t even know about half of this stuff. My uncle is a real dick and a pain in the ass, but he never showed it in front of us. All I’ve heard are recounts of stuff that has happened. I’m so glad that he got out of there. I wish he had told me more. I would have been able to help calm him down. But he’s with a really good family now. Dale and Mindy are extremely nice, they have a beautiful family, they’re so accepting! They are one of the best things that could have happened to Corey.

    • lmskj1978 says:

      Gerad. It sounds like you’re a great guy, I’m hoping that you stay in touch with Corey, a couple of beers coffee, whatever it is you want to do.. as a good cousin, is always a good cousin. And don’t feel bad for not knowing, abuse is more often than not a hidden crime, the cycle of which is now broken, and as you say, he’s got a great new family, and although I don’t know you, I don’t see why you still can’t be a part of it. Take care

    • Chandra says:

      Maybe you could reach out to him now? Never too late. I bet it would mean a lot to him to know that some members of his birth family support him.

      • Gared Shrokman says:

        Yeah, I keep in touch with him every chance I get. Him and I were really close as kids, and years later, we’re still that close. He’s absolutely amazing, and I would do anything for him

  42. That was an incredible story. Brought me to tears. It absolutely breaks my heart that people would throw their children out on the streets just because their children are gay. That’s just sickening and it pains me to even think about. I can’t imagine doing that to my child or ever having that done to me.
    I think this is a story everyone needs to read, especially parents. Any parent who does that to their child, in my opinion, can’t truly love them; and to me, unconditional love is the only true love. Bless that family that took him in.
    Thank you for posting this story. It’s definitely an unforgettable one.

  43. Ellie says:

    just because he was adopted doesn’t mean that his last name will change. I’ve seen plenty of adoptions of older children who keep their original names.

  44. Ben in oakland says:

    As I said.

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