Riyadh Khalaf Tells How He Came Out To His Parents

Riyadh Khalaf and his mother and father who tried to kill himself when his son came out as gay

Irish Youtuber Riyadh Khalaf tells his coming out story and reveals that his father contemplated killing himself when he found out

Irish Youtuber and Radio presenter Riyadh Khalaf tackles a difficult topic in his latest video on Youtube. The Irish presenter who you might recognise from his heartfelt plea for marriage equality last year, or reading mean tweets with Panti Bliss, tells how he came out to his parents revealing that his father tried to kill himself when he found out.

Riyadh admits that he had received a lot of requests on Twitter and other social media to do a video explaining how he came out, and he finally felt like he was ready to address the issue publicly.

Sitting his parents down beside him, Riyadh explains that although he had come to terms with his own sexuality in his early teens, he was fearful as to how his parents would react to the news and in particular how his Iraqi father would react.

Riyadh Khalaf and his father laughing
Riyadh Khalaf and his father, Sam, laughing during one of Riyadh’s Youtube videos

Lorraine, Riyadh’s mother, explains that she discovered that Riyadh was gay by accident when she was on the family computer.

“There was one night when I was up on the computer,” Lorraine says in the video, “and I pressed the wrong button. It must have been the history button and I saw this gay website”.

Riyadh interjects, wondering if it was porn, but his mum explains it was just a site with “all these guys with their tops off and it had gay written on the title”.

So his mother confronted him that night, asking Riyadh if he had something to tell her. “You know you can say anything to me,” Lorraine had said.

Riyadh did tell his mother that night, but it wasn’t until nine months later that he told his father.

After a heated argument with his father, Riyadh admits that inside his brain was screaming at himself “to say those two words ‘I’m gay’,” but he couldn’t do it, so he wrote it down on a copy page.

When Sam, Riyadh’s father, finally found out that his son was gay, he didn’t take it well, and elaborates that he “read it and I was like ‘really? It can’t be’. It was just so confusing.”

After the whole family had gone to sleep, Sam divulges that he “actually got up that night about three or four in the morning and I was looking for tablets to commit suicide. It was so stupid.”

Thankfully, Riyadh’s father did not find tablets, and has since grown to accept his son’s sexuality. The relationship between Riyadh and his parents is now extremely strong and they are now capable of talking about anything.

Watch the full video below.



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