Bisexual daughter of Christian radio host speaks out after being disowned
The Rick and Bubba radio show might not play in Richmond, but it reaches thousands of listeners throughout the South every day, and the daughter of its prominent host has spoken up after her conservative father disowned her for coming out as bisexual.
In a powerful OpEd published on Alabama.com, Brandi Burgess, daughter of Rick Burgess of Rick & Bubba, explained the sad and all-too-familiar story to those who try and be honest with their born again parents.
Check out some of it below and read the full letter here:
For the past three years, my father and I have been debating God’s stance on homosexuality. It started with my Instagram post at a Pride parade: a picture of a mother holding a sign saying “I love my gay son.” I got a text demanding its removal: “How dare you compromise my platform!?”, “Remember who you represent.”, “Are you a gay?”
I have been praying, researching and meditating on the many emails, sermons and verses my dad has sent me. I always come back to the same conclusion. Love is love.
I shared this with him. “I love you. I’m sorry. I still love God.” I promised to be discrete.
This led to a constant barrage of shame. “You think you’re so mod, so special. But you’re nothing. You’re typical.”
For his part, Rick Burgess, who’s resume includes books like How to be a Man: Pursuing Christ-centered Masculinity in addition to his wide-reaching conservative Christian radio show, has continued his attack on his daughter. After the above letter was published, he took to his radio show to double down on his priority of faith over family.
“I told you before and I’ll say it again you’re my daughter and I will always love you. But I love you enough to tell you the truth. I’m not going to come up with some version of love that really isn’t love at all, that pats you on the back to justify you all the way to hell,” he said, according to AL.com. ”Quit making up a version of God which is your own – which is idolatry.”
Brandi’s stepmom Sherri Burgess (yes, Rick is divorced and has since remarried) was given air time to echo that message along side her husband.
“I just didn’t believe it but over time she’s convinced me she really does feel this way,” she said. “This is not a battle between Rick and me and our daughter. It’s a battle between good and evil, the Bible versus the world, God versus the world.”
“Many of our youth are LGBT and their biggest worries are about being accepted,” said Natalie May, president of Change the World RVA, a non-profit that provides support for local homeless youth here in Richmond in a story about homeless LGBTQ youth we ran earlier this year. And statistics around homeless LGBTQ youth paint a picture of a world where those who do come out and are rejected face an even colder reality where the system fails to offer proper support.
According to the Williams Institute, as much as 40% of homeless youth identify as LGBTQ.
“LGBT youth are… disproportionally homeless due to overt discrimination when seeking alternative housing,” reads a breakdown of the issue on the National Homeless Coalition’s website. ”Widespread discrimination in federally funded institutions frequently contributes to the growing rates of homelessness among LGBT youth. Once homeless, these youth experience greater physical and sexual exploitation than their heterosexual counterparts.”
As for Brandi, she seems to be lucky and found support in her mother and in the city of Philadelphia where she now resides. In her OpEd, she talks about meeting a girl she loves and knowing that love is real and authentic, no matter what her father says – but she holds out he’ll one day come to terms with his own issues.
“I am praying for my father,” she wrote. “Perhaps he will take hold. Perhaps we will find we were holding the same cord.”
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