It’s been over four years since YouTube stars Aaron and Austin Rhodes — known as the Rhodes Bros. — came out as gay to their father in a video that made national headlines and garnered more than 27 million views.
Now, Aaron says the move has strengthened their family.
“We’re all so much closer today because of the entire experience. We can now be open about everything and it’s the best feeling in the world,” Aaron wrote in a personal essay for Good Morning America. “I’m so thankful to have not only my brother go through the coming out process with me, but also a supportive and loving family. It made it much easier and I wish young Aaron would’ve believed in them sooner.”
In the video, the brothers appear visibly nervous as they call their father, who lived in Ohio, to break the news. They said then that they hoped to send a message to their followers, with the video, that it’s okay to be yourself.
But the nervous expressions disappeared when their father showed compassion.
“It’s the way things are, you know,” their father told them in the phone call. “You’re growing people. You grew up in a much different generation than me. I just don’t really know what to say. You know I love you both, that will never change. You’ve gotta live your lives. You’ve gotta do what you gotta do.”
After the phone call, Aaron flew from California to Ohio to meet with his father, he wrote in the touching essay.
“I revealed to him that we had filmed his reaction to us being gay and were so proud of the unconditional love he showed to us right away,” Aaron wrote. “We cried, talked for a bit and he then gave me his blessing to post the video.”
The difficult process wasn’t over though. Aaron grappled with sharing the video himself, he admitted.
“Everyone was going to know we were gay. No more hiding. No more secrets. And in that moment, I pressed publish,” he continued in the essay. “I remember laying my head down and sobbing. I wasn’t sad, but it felt like more of a cry of relief for my younger self. That confused and lonely little boy thinking things would never get better was finally able to be their authentic self.”
Now, photos and videos show the brothers participating in Pride events and advocating for marriage equality. As the nation celebrates the LGBTQI+ community during Pride month, Aaron offered encouragement to those on their own paths.
“I know some people don’t have it as easy as my brother and I, but please know that there is a community out here waiting to love you unconditionally,” he concluded. “Have patience and do what’s best for you. It’s your coming out journey.”
Source: Read Full Article