‘Return the key’: the parents who reject their gay children

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02/26/2020

Chris Jewell was in tears after a big, intense fight with his boyfriend of five years. So big, the police were called. Highly distressed, he phoned someone with whom his relationship had become strained: his mum. He rarely asked her for anything and was always well behaved; the first in his family to attend university. “My older brother was the wild child – in and out of prison, including for armed robbery,” he says. “So I never gave my parents more trouble than they needed. I always got good grades. I was the golden boy.” On the phone, his voice shaking from the distress, he said: “Mum, I’m really upset. I just need to talk to you. I’ve just had a massive fight with Brendan …” His mum interrupted, suggesting he simply get a new roommate. “Mum,” Chris said. “Brendan’s not my roommate. He’s my partner.” With that, she hung up.

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