Michael Neri, a 26-year-old drama teacher from Kidderminster, has learnt that him being gay somehow means he can’t teach children… … at least that’s what one mother thinks.
She decided, upon finding out that Michael was gay, that her children would no longer be allowed to attend his drama class. Not only that but she even asked him to refund her deposit – the cheek.
‘I have recently learned of your lifestyle and as a Christian I cannot allow my children to be influenced by unconventional ideas,’ she wrote. ‘It is our belief that a man should marry a woman.’
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.”
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.”