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The Pastor's Queer Kid

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The pastor is a pillar of their community. They have the love and support of everyone around them. They are so devoted to God you'd swear they have him on their phone's contact list. And they have the perfect family who loves them dearly, and never seem to have any serious problems. Heck, their kids seem to be every bit as perfect as they are, and have the perfect relationship with them.

Well, except for one.

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You see, this one has a secret they're not sure about admitting to their parent. The secret being...

Well, this kid isn't heterosexual (and/or cisgender etc., as the case may be).

This is often a problem some people might have about coming out to their family. Religion, particularly Abrahamic religion, hasn't had the best history with the LGBT community (many interpretations of religious texts consider homosexuality to be a sin) and this kid is afraid of how their devout pastor parents might react to this revelation, making it a source of Gayngst. This may be especially problematic if the parent is The Fundamentalist and/or a Heteronormative Crusader, as it may make the kid especially afraid that if they come out to them, then the whole family might turn on them, lead a torch-and-pitchfork-wielding angry mob against them, or at best send them to some "Pray Away The Gay" correctional facility "for the good of their soul".

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Of course, this isn't always the case. There can be cases where, if the kid comes out to their religious parent/family, they will instead be met with open arms, love, and support from said family. It might convince them to change their tune on how they view non-heteros, and of course, lead to An Aesop about acceptance of people who are not straight.

Typically, this trope focuses on the queer kid who's afraid to come out to their religious parent(s). As a result, the parent as a character is often not really focused on. The above-mentioned reactions widely depend on how the parent handles this news. Would they stick to their religious guns? Would they have a crisis of faith? Would they decide they love their child too much to willingly reject their sexuality? And if they accept their sexuality, is it because they knew from the beginning, and was just waiting for the child to come out on their own terms? The only way the viewer can find out is to wait and see.

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Examples:

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    Films — Live-Action 
  • Boy Erased: Jared is the gay son of a Baptist preacher. His conservative parents enter him into a conversion therapy program.
  • In Disobedience Ronit Krushka is the estranged daughter of Orthodox Jewish preacher Rav Krushka, to the point his obituary stated that he had no child. It is revealed it is because of her lesbianism.
  • The Half of It: Aster, the pastor's daughter, is expected to marry Trig, a handsome but vain man admired by the congregation. However, she is secretly in a romance with Paul, or rather Paul's friend Ellie pretending to be Paul in texts. While Aster initially assumes she's in an affair with another guy, it's hinted that she starts to figure out that she's actually involved with a girl, particularly when she seems to flirt with Ellie in person. At the end of the film she denies being gay, but Ellie kisses her and Aster appears to reconsider and enjoy it.
  • Plan B: Lupe is a closeted queer girl, whose dad's a minister. She's reluctant to come out at first, afraid of his possible reaction. However, he reassures her by the end that he'd never reject her, no matter what.
  • Used for comedic effect in Lucky Number Slevin with The Rabbi and The Fairy. The Rabbi is allegedly completely unaware of his son's nickname (Yitzchok the Fairy) and sexuality, yet everyone else is perfectly aware of it, especially the rival gang led by The Boss as well as the cops. The comedic aspect comes in since Yitzchok seems pretty obviously effeminate, though not stereotypically flaming gay, so one has to wonder if The Rabbi is simply in denial or just misinterprets his son's behavior. It also is a plot point for Slevin, who manages to get close to Yitzchok to kill him by pretending to be gay as well and getting himself a date with him.
  • Fear Street: In Part Three: 1666 Hannah Miller, Pastor Miller's daughter, is a lesbian and in love with Sarah Fier. The revelation of their relationship turns almost the whole town against her.

    Literature 
  • Joey Davis from Stranger Than Fanfiction is the middle child of a family of seven (two younger brothers, two older brothers, his mother and father, and himself), and his father is Pastor Jeb Davis, leader of the second-largest congregation in Illinois. They're seen by everyone as the perfect family, and a lot of girls have their eyes on Pastor Davis' kids, Joey included. Thing is, Joey is gay. His fear is that if he comes out to his father, he'll be sent to some correctional facility and get electro-shock therapy. While he doesn't get that, when he comes out to his family, they kick him out of the house. He goes to live with Topher afterwards.

    Live-Action TV 
  • God Friended Me: When Ali came out of the closet, a lot of longtime members of Arthur's congregation left because they believed Arthur was wrong to accept her. Arthur never told Ali, but she eventually reveals that she noticed.
  • Harlots: Amelia, the daughter of a locally prominent street-preacher, falls in love with Violet. She's very worried about how her mother would react, not only because they're queer, but because Violet is a sex worker to boot. A gay man named Prince Rasselas helps Amelia come to terms with her sexuality, as shown in this exchange:
    Amelia: Do you fear death more because you are sinners?
    Rasselas: Love's not a sin.
  • Law & Order: Special Victims Unit: In "Sin" (S8E17), Rev. Jeb Curtis has a gay son named Paul whose homosexuality he finally accepted to not lose another son.
  • Saturday Night Live had a sketch where a reverend (host Sam Rockwell), begrudgingly meets his gay son's boyfriend...and feels like he recognizes him. Finally, it hits him — the boyfriend is one of the reverend's favorite gay pornstars.

    Music 
  • Cam Clarke covered Dusty Springfield's "Son of a Preacher Man" in his album Inside Out. The original song (sung by a woman) is about sneaking around with a Preacher's Kid; as Clarke (who is male) sings it, it's now about an illicit affair between the preacher's son and another boy.

    Video Games 
  • Sally Face: Travis Phelps is a school bully who flings homophobic remarks at protagonist Sal Fisher and his friends, but Sal easily sees through it, realizing Travis is deeply closeted due to his preacher father.

    Web Comics 
  • Pyper from Magical Boy is reluctant to come out to her pastor father to the point where she becomes an Armoured Closet Gay. So when she gets Forced Out of the Closet by members of his congregation, he's livid.
  • Dumbing of Age: Joyce comes from a fundamentalist background, and one of her older siblings Jocelyne is Male-to-Female transgender who has not yet been shown to be out of the closet yet.

    Western Animation 
  • Moral Orel: In the season 3 episode "Closeface", we learn that Reverend Putty's daughter, Stephanie, is a lesbian because she was in a relationship with Doughy's mother back when they were in school. Of course, Doughy's mom thought it was just a way to get Doughy's dad to notice her. We also learn that Reverend Putty knows his daughter's a lesbian and is actually okay with that.
  • Ren & Stimpy "Adult Party Cartoon": In this series, Ren is a Depraved Bisexual in a relationship with Stimpy. "Ren Seeks Help" reveals that Ren's father was a reverend, though the contrast is less about Ren's sexuality (as he denies being with Stimpy to his therapist in this episode) and more about Ren's abusive sadism (though the reverend is also quite abusive to Ren).
  • The Simpsons: Ned Flanders' two sons, Rod and Todd, are implied to be this on numerous occasions.
    Todd: Daddy, are you jealous of Mr. Simpson?
    Rod: I'm jealous that girls get to wear dresses.
    Ned: [beat] One problem at a time, Rod.
  • Big Mouth: Matthew's mother is very god-fearing and isn't particularly happy about finding out about his homosexuality. His father is accepting (or apathetic) on the other hand.

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