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‘This is worse than death’: Dad’s response to B.C. teen coming out goes viral

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VANCOUVER – Fifteen-year-old Tyler did not know that when he posted some photos to his Tumblr page after he came out to his dad that he would get so much support from people around the world.

He posted screenshots of the Facebook messages with the words: “My dad’s reaction to me coming out. Can’t even say it to my face smh [shaking my head]. This is terrible please find someone in your life who cares, they’re there I promise. This physically hurts to read wow.”

In part, the messages to Tyler read “You embarrass me from all the people I knew. I’m going to puke. Whatever you do it reflects on me. People will ridicule me, insult me and I might turn out to be a criminal.”

“You are trying to ruin me. This is worst than death.”

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“We took care of you since you were a baby. We loved you. Took care of you when you’re sick. Lost many days and nights in all your fifteen years. Noe [sic] this is what we get in return, shame and embarrassment. You just didn’t realize that at all.”
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“If only you didn’t reject God and His teachings in your life you could have been strong enough to stay from evil and scums that surrounds you.”

“Stay away.”

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Tyler posted the messages last week and is currently living with his aunt after leaving his family home.

He tells Global News he cannot believe the response to his story after the Tumblr post went viral. “It was such a surprise,” he says in an email. “I just posted my dad’s reaction on my Tumblr account for the sole purpose of ranting and venting. I didn’t know it was going to get this much coverage! I’ve been getting a tremendous amount of messages full of support and it just makes me feel so loved, it’s absolutely amazing!”

He hopes what he went through, helps others who may be going through a similar experience.

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“No matter what negative situation you’re in, there is always going to be someone else that have been, or is in the same exact situation and there are so many individuals that can support you and help you with your struggles,” says Tyler.

He adds that a person’s sexuality does not define them. “What defines you is how you contribute to this world into making it a better place. Don’t be scared of who you are, you will still be loved, ignore the ignorance and focus on the affection and support of others,” he advises.

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Tyler says his aunt is now talking to his father in the hopes that they can reconcile. He sees his mom as much as he can and says while he does not hate his dad, he just wants him to be there for his son and have a “healthy relationship.”

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But he has some advice for parents out there. “I want parents to know that if your child comes out to you, I suggest you spare your child from the severe emotional and psychological damage you will inflict on them by supporting them no matter what,” he says. “It took them a great amount of courage and you should realize that. Family is family, period. Love for your child is unconditional, not under the condition of being hetero normative.”

Tyler says, despite the attention his story has received he would not do anything different. “It has reached so many people around the world and it has raised awareness that this stuff, discrimination against the LGBTQ still happens till this day and way more often than we realize.”

“If we want a better society, a better world, we need it to change.”

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