There’s a viral story making its rounds about a gay teacher who fabulously shut down a homophobic mom who pulled her kids from his drama class – and his response is exactly what you would expect from a gay drama teacher.
It all started when…
A mother in Kidderminister, England decided against sending her kids to drama classes run by Michael Neri, a drama teacher who runs a performing arts school for 8-to-13-year-olds called Talking Props Theatre School.
Although the mother had signed up her two kids for this theatre class due to its strong reputation, the reason she withdrew them was because Neri was gay. The text message exchange was actually quite graceful and civil from both parties, which you can read or see in the image below.
Mother: Hi Michael. Following our chat this week I have decided that _____ and _____ will not be attending class on Monday. You have a strong reputation for performing arts which encouraged me to sign my children up for classes. I have recently learned of your lifestyle and as a Christian I cannot allow my children to be influenced by unconventional ideas. It is our belief that a man should marry a woman. I look forward to receiving my deposit which you may post to me via cheque. Regards _____.
To which Neri responded:
Hi _____. I would be lying if I said I was disappointed to hear this. I pride my students on the respect and love they have for others and their passion for equality. You would only be infringing on our family.
As far as I’m aware, my sexuality doesn’t effect my ability to teach, just like it wouldn’t effect a doctors ability to treat one of your children should they become unwell.
I’m sure your children’s health would come first should they need emergency treatment, or would you need to check their doctors lifestyle prior to their life saving operation?
I wish you luck in finding an appropriate stage school that meets your needs, however from experience I find that theatre without gays is like cooking without spices (just my opinion). I hear StageCoach are enrolling but there teachers have been known to wear mixed fabrics which I’m sure you are aware is forbidden in the bible (Leviticus 19:19).
Please feel free to come see our musical ‘Happy Days’, confetti will be used in the finale but please rest assure this is not an attempt to corrupt your Christian lifestyle. We just love glitter.
Unfortunately deposits are non refundable but don’t worry, your deposit has been donated to StoneWall, an LGBT charity.
What an exchange!
Depending on which side of the fence you stand on, it’s easy to take sides. But there is a deeper lesson to be learned here that no other versions of this article have bothered highlighting…
Regardless of whose side you’re on, without open communication, everything crumbles. There are so many opportunities to strengthen our relationships and bridge social and cultural gaps!
We’d actually be interested in seeing what other texts were sent back and forth, if any. Because the last time we checked, you can disagree with someone and still get along. In fact, we challenge all of you to find and make friends that challenge your thinking, your beliefs, and your overall worldview. The world will become better for it.
And remember: communication is key.