Michael Neri is a drama teacher in England, and he’s pretty popular.
His Talking Props Theatre School that he set up in 2014 had a good enough reputation for a Christian woman to sign her kids up. But when she learned that Neri is gay, she texted him to pull the kids out.
Her reason? She’s worried that theater lessons with a gay man will “influence” her children with “unconventional ideas.”
That is, she thought he’d turn her kids gay.
And as if sending a message that a gay teacher can never be good enough for her kids isn’t spiteful enough, she also asked for her deposit back.
Hi Michael. Following our chat this week I have decided that [my children, names 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 influenced by unconventional ideas. 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.
Neri wasn’t having it. He asked her if she would let a gay doctor treat her children, if she avoids mixed fabrics, and how she’s going to find gay-free theater classes for her kids.
The best part is that she won’t be getting her deposit back.
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 doctors 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.
“I believe that everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but it was still a hurtful thing to receive,” Neri told Metro.
He said he hasn’t heard back from the mother.