Can I Lie to My Father About Being Gay So He'll Pay for College?

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    Aug 19, 2016 3:45 AM GMT
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    NYT: By Name Withheld, I am a young gay man in college. My father generously pays for my tuition and rent. The problem is that he does not know I am gay. He has made it very clear that if I were, he would not only withdraw all financial support but also cast himself entirely out of my life. His suspicion arose in high school when he found love letters between me and another male student. I swore they were meaningless and have since been defending my heterosexuality. Questions about my sexuality are inevitable whenever I come home. My father has demanded I produce archives of all emails and text messages for him to review, although I have successfully refused these requests on the grounds that he has no claim to my adult communications. Is it ethical for me to continue accepting financial support for my education and my career that will come from it? Could I continue to lie to accept the support and one day disclose my sexuality and pay him back to absolve myself of any ethical wrongdoing?

    http://www.nytimes.com/2015/09/06/magazine/can-i-lie-to-my-father-about-being-gay-so-he-will-pay-for-my-college-education.html?
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    Aug 19, 2016 12:50 PM GMT
    UMayNeverKnow saidYour dad is manipulating and blackmailing you. Consider his financial support as penalty for his bad behavior as a parent and human being. Get your education and as a graduation present to yourself and him tell him you're gay and then cut ties with him, move out of state, and begin your life anew.



    Ditto!
  • NealJohn

    Posts: 187

    Aug 19, 2016 12:59 PM GMT
    Don't tell him, accept his money, go to school. If he rejects you afterwards, don't pay him back. Think of it as your inheritance and ignorance tax for him
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    Aug 19, 2016 2:41 PM GMT
    take the money and run.

    the bigger issue here is
    why dosnt the son figure this out and play the game. Get the best head start on life as possible given a phucked up family environment. With luck, career and husband he will be able to help out out when the dad retires.
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    Aug 19, 2016 3:12 PM GMT
    NYT op should tell his father that he is gay. Let the chips fall where they may. I paid for my own college expenses.
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    Aug 19, 2016 3:15 PM GMT
    Confront your father telling him you are gay ..
    It is a risk you have to take , it might just be angry at first and then mellow ..
    Lying to him is pure and simple betrayal ....
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    Aug 19, 2016 3:35 PM GMT
    things have changed since i went to college. The cost of education today will continue to crush the son's future long after college. Seems every one has soap box in this and no practical vision of what little post great recession opportunity is out there these days.
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    Aug 19, 2016 3:44 PM GMT
    Having the resources obligates the parents to their children. If the parents didn't have food on the table, we'd be disturbed but might at least understand a child malnourished and even sympathize with the pain of the parents to have not been able to provide. But if the parents have the luxury of abundance at their table, then it is reasonable to not accept that they've starved him of a paid education never mind for any reason, but for a particular reason to this child but not to another one of their children. You don't need shoes to survive in the world either, but we'd not think much of the parents who sent their kids out barefoot when all along they could have provided their own child with shoes. And certainly we'd think poorly of a parent who paid for shoes for their str8 child but not for their gay child.

    We are neither obligated to tolerate someone mistreating us, nor are we required to offer reason which might trigger mistreatment. That doesn't mean you aren't obligate to protect others if you've an airborne disease: but this is not that. Likewise, we are not obligated to wake another person from their sleepwalking through life, if only because people are free to believe whatever the fuck they want to believe. If someone wants to believe something about you that isn't true, they are free to do that. While it can be nice to clear up a misunderstanding--it might be convenient, hell, it might even be to my own advantage to risk correcting them--not only is it not my obligation to correct the other person's thinking; rather, doing so might be a violation of the prime directive.

    So I say let the parents live lives as they would have lived their lives without you endeavoring to change their mind about how they think about you in this case where something natural about you would cause them to mistreat you. They can pay for your education as they would have otherwise. They can pay for a graduation car because they want to make you happy. And then after they give you the down payment for your first house, you can surprise them with your good news.
  • Destinharbor

    Posts: 4435

    Aug 19, 2016 4:00 PM GMT
    UMayNeverKnow saidYour dad is manipulating and blackmailing you. Consider his financial support as penalty for his bad behavior as a parent and human being. Get your education and as a graduation present to yourself and him tell him you're gay and then cut ties with him, move out of state, and begin your life anew.

    Yup. This. But pretty important that the announcement come immediately after graduation.
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    Aug 19, 2016 4:09 PM GMT
    simple betrayal
    a son owes his father less than you would think and in fact it is the other way around. The father should not have had a family if he could not follow through with it. Family life is a long winding road and who is to say what twists and turns will happen but to break the fater / son bond so near the end.
  • FitBlackCuddl...

    Posts: 803

    Aug 19, 2016 5:22 PM GMT
    woodsmen saidIs it ethical for me to continue accepting financial support for my education and my career that will come from it? Could I continue to lie to accept the support...


    No, it is not ethical to do so. However, it is also not ethical for your father to add bigoted stipulations. In deciding to say nothing, you are trading some father/son integrity for the value of a formal education. If you do not have an alternative way to pay for school and you truly want to be in school, then (if it were me) it is better to keep quiet and keep working at that degree.

    Do as well as possible so when you do reveal the withheld information, your father may still see the money as well-spent.
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    Aug 19, 2016 5:34 PM GMT
    UMayNeverKnow saidYour dad is manipulating and blackmailing you. Consider his financial support as penalty for his bad behavior as a parent and human being. Get your education and as a graduation present to yourself and him tell him you're gay and then cut ties with him, move out of state, and begin your life anew.


    I'm actually going to agree with this, but add on a couple notes:
    1) - delete all romantic correspondence from your electronic devices every day. Your dad is obviously suspicious and while you've been protective of your possessions, he's eventually going to snoop around behind your back and check them without you knowing
    2) - have a backup plan. If he finds out you're gay and follows through with his threats, what will you do? Where will you sleep? How will you pay for food? Many colleges will provide emergency grants when parental aid is suddenly and unexpectedly cut off. If and when you are cut off, go to your financial aid office, tell them the details, and see what they can do to help.
    3) - if you don't already have a job, get one
    4) - deflect his suspicions. Say you're going to a movie with a friend and her name is ___. They'll inevitably ask about the movie, so make sure you go, just go with your boyfriend instead.

    Good luck!
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Aug 19, 2016 7:43 PM GMT
    As a guy who paid high student loan payments for five long years, until I repaid every cent - I'd say: Take the $$$$ and after graduation, come out to the man. Be prepared though. I wouldn't like to see him bring suit against you.