I confess I didn’t know who Randall Terry is — I guessed he was one of the pantheon of homo-hating right-wing ideologues. Turns out he’s the founder of Operation Rescue, an anti-abortion group with a mission to “rescue those unjustly sentenced to death”. Anyway, it seems his son is making the news, having outed himself in Out magazine.
Reading the response to this article from the father in the Washington Post — a story “about being Randall Terry’s homosexual son” — is just heartbreaking. Not because his son is gay, of course, but how the father claims to “understand” his son, but clearly just loathes who he is. The entire piece is written as though the son is some distant adversary, not a member of his family.
Some quotes from the article, and my comments:
The Out story paints a picture of my son based in fraud. The story states, “I was baptized Catholic and raised Protestant, and I later returned to the Roman Catholic Church.” This is not true. — Randall says “this is not true” with such certainty. I wonder if he could ever believe his son could return to the church without changing his sexual orientation.
The story states, “My father seems to believe that the fact that I’m an adopted child may help explain why I’m gay … I was adopted at the age of 5.” Jamiel was adopted when he was nearly 15, not 5. — And yet, Randall says that the boy joined his family at the age of 8 as a foster child (but not adopted until the age of 14). However, I’m sure the son counts joining the family as the defining event, not when the legal paperwork was finalized. And at that young age, the years kind of blur together — my parents divorced at around the same time for me, but I still can’t remember exactly how old I was at the time.
The story stated, “My father is still trying to get me to go to a three-month retreat to be ‘delivered’ from homosexuality.” Not true. Jamiel has repeatedly asked me to pay for him to go to “Love in Action” (an in-patient program with great success with homosexuals). I’m happy to pay that tab. — Offering to pay is a pretty clear sign the father wants the son to go. If the son had asked to go, and the father was willing to pay, why hasn’t the son gone?
He told journalists from CNN and The Washington Post that he is not welcome in my home because of his homosexuality. That is not true. I’ve had him in my home repeatedly since learning he was homosexual two years ago. — Having him in your home isn’t the same thing as him being welcome there.
My point isn’t to highlight the discrepancies between the father’s and son’s testimonies, though. What is so sad about this article is that the father apparently believes all of the discrepancies are due to the wilful distortions of the article’s author at Out magazine. But it’s plain that the real distortion lies with the father, who simply can’t see — or can’t accept — who his son really is.