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Follow-up To Gay Airman Who Came Out To His Father On YouTube

Jim Burroway

September 21st, 2011
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Just as “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” was about to be thrown onto the trash heap of history, we brought you the dramatic video a gay airman stationed in Germany as he came out to his father. In the weeks leading up to Tuesday, he had been posting videos on YouTube discussing his thoughts on coming out to his comrades, but in those videos he never showed his face. But on Tuesday, we saw him, unobscured, as he undertook the nerve-wracking task of coming out to his father over the phone, and the wave of relief that came over him as his father re-affirmed his love and pride in him.

As of this hour, his video has been seen 1,532,380 times, with 17,456 likes and 707 dislikes. ABC News followed up with Air Force Senior Airman Randy Phillips, who is stationed at Ramstein Air Base in Germany. Phillips says he feels comfortable now that he no longer has to hide:

It feels great. It’s nice not having to look over your shoulder or worry about who you are talking to, Phillips told ABC News the day after “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” was officially repealed. “I never thought I’d be so comfortable with it. It’s very supportive. Everybody’s been so great.”

…Now that “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” has been repealed, Phillips, like many other enlisted men and women, can at last reveal his face, and cannot officially tell his fellow airman and commanding officers the truth. He told ABC News that he is happy that he has inspired others. He also said that now the whole family knows that he is gay.

As for Phillips’ father, he told ABC News that he was not exactly thrilled that his son put the clip on YouTube — but reiterated once again that he loves his son, and always will.



September 21st, 2011 | LINK

This whole episode has been tremendously moving and heart-warming. I hope other service members who elect to come out meet with equally positive responses.

And the devil in me thinks this video and the follow-up should be required viewing/reading for Elaine Donnelley, in honor of her great work toward the repeal of DADT.

September 21st, 2011 | LINK

Elaine would probably look like she smelled something bad (oh, wait, she ALWAYS looks like that) and moan about how he humiliated his family by broadcasting his sexuality and is threatening “unit integrity” at the Air Force Base…OMG, there will probably be SHOWERING in the near future – oh, the horror!

Seriously, though, I do feel for his dad; that’s a pretty big moment to be sharing with the world, especially if he didn’t tell his dad before he posted the video. I hope his father will be proud of the inspiration people will get from viewing the video (I totally needed the tissues), and also appreciate that everyone who sees that clip will be wanting to send him a “Best. Dad. Ever.” card.

September 21st, 2011 | LINK

“…and cannot officially tell his fellow airman and commanding officers the truth.”

I think that should read, “…and CAN officially tell his fellow airmen…”

September 21st, 2011 | LINK

Loved it, loved it, loved it.

September 21st, 2011 | LINK

One little aside, Phillips’ father lives in Alabama. That’s in the deep, very redneck south. I put this in to show that not everybody in the deep South is homophobic. Phillips is very lucky with who he has as a father.

Leonardo Ricardo
September 21st, 2011 | LINK

Good men. Both!

September 21st, 2011 | LINK

John, I totally noticed the same thing — the fact that you’re talking military, deep South, and dad… a generation ago any one of those might have been a deal-breaker for a lot of gay men.

Ray Harwick
September 21st, 2011 | LINK


September 21st, 2011 | LINK

I’m very happy for the solider, but I guess today is the day I have officially become old, because the idea of posting your coming out to your father on youtube is utterly horrifying to me. That should be a private moment. Kids today! Bah, get off my lawn!

Timothy Kincaid
September 21st, 2011 | LINK

He also said that now the whole family knows that he is gay.

That’s pretty much a given by now… even Fox News covered the story last night. And no, it was not with “another opinion”, just the story.

September 21st, 2011 | LINK

I agree with Ryan. Cringe-worthy at the same time being a great story. I watched through my hands. But I get the guy has been leading to this for some time through his other videos. Plus, okay, I’ll say it: He’s kind of the guy you want coming out on national TV. Way to represent.

Timothy Kincaid
September 21st, 2011 | LINK

Also… I liked that he told his Dad, “everyone here knows and there’s no problem”

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