Justice

This Gay Drama Teacher Had the Perfect Response to an Anti-Gay Parent

Drama teacher Michael Neri sent the perfect text message response to a parent who pulled her kids out of his class because he is gay.

Neri, a 26-year-old who founded the Home of Talking Props Theatre School in England, read the text message twice before informing the mother that he would not be returning her deposit, but would instead donate the money to an LGBT charity, according to Metro UK.

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Here is the mother's initial text message to Michael Neri:

"Hi Michael. Following our chat this week I have decided that [name redacted] and [name redacted] 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 influence by unconventional idea. 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."

Here is Michael Neri's response to the mother:

"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 doctor’s 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."

When the woman cited her Christianity as a reason for not wanting her children in Neri's class, Neri pointed out that she probably wouldn't harangue a doctor about his/her sexuality if her child's health was at risk. Neri went on to make some jokes about incorporating confetti into his production but not in an attempt to "corrupt" anyone's Christian lifestyle. He also quipped that she ought to see that gay people are crucial to the theater business.

Neri's tongue and cheek text message went viral on Twitter and was well-received among many:

Neri has been pleased with the overwhelming support he has received online:

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Neri told Mic in a separate interview that it took him several hours to come up with the perfect response to the mom, who has not responded to his follow-up calls since the text message went viral.

"I'm not going to lie, it was brewing," he said. "I got the text early afternoon and it took me a good couple of hours to respond back."

Nevertheless, Neri told Metro UK that the mother's kids are still welcome to participate in his class should she change her mind, as he doesn't want to blame them for their mom's beliefs.

"If the mother changes her mind then her children are more than welcome to attend classes here—I certainly don’t blame them for the way their mother thinks," Neri said. "I believe that everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but it was still a hurtful thing to receive."

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