During an appearance on Lorraine Kelly’s talk show to promote his new book, Irish YouTube star and TV personality, Riyadh Khalaf, spoke of the difficult journey his family took when he told them he was gay.
Khalaf said he originally worried about coming out because his parents “saw me just as their little fella Riyadh who liked to keep himself to himself and that’s because I was afraid of becoming too close and too open to other peers, because I knew they knew, and the bullying was there.”
He described that while his mother took the news well, it was a different story with his father. “When he found out it was difficult because his vision of his son, in a split second, had been completely changed. He took about a week to fully start talking to me and a year to actually start loving me again, but we’re so in love now as a family.”
In a previous YouTube video, his father, Sam Khalaf, had explained he even contemplated taking his own life when Riyadh came out, but he has a completely different outlook now. Riyadh continued, “Dad has come full circle. He campaigns, he even wrote a chapter in the book.”
Because his parents are now huge supporters of their son, regularly attending Pride events. Riyadh approached them with the suggestion they contribute, saying “This book, I’ve written it for these young gay kids but I need advice in there for the parents. You as a mum and dad who’ve done it, what can they do?”
In Yay! You’re Gay! Now What? A Gay Boy’s Guide To Life, Riyadh offers advice on everything from coming out to relationships, gives encouragement to young gay men going through tough times and includes interviews with inspirational queer role models such as Stephen Fry, Rory O’Neill and James Kavanagh.
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