Gay YouTube star says it took a YEAR for dad to start loving him again

Gay YouTube star says it took a YEAR for dad to start loving him again

YouTuber reveals it took a YEAR for his father to ‘start loving him again’ after he came out as gay – but now his dad ‘drinks pints with drag queens’

  • Riyadh, 28, appeared on Lorraine to promote book ‘Yay! You’re gay! What now?’
  • Dad Sam looked for ‘tablets for suicide’ after Riyadh told him he was homosexual
  • In bestseller Riyadh, who lives in London, covers sex in ‘honest and funny’ way
  • Wants to inform young LGBT people that they are ‘wonderful’ not ‘sick or flawed’ 
  • Riyadh’s YouTube channel has around 372K subscribers and 45 million views

YouTuber Riyadh Khalaf has revealed it took his father a year to ‘start loving him again’ after he came out as gay to his parents.

The 28-year-old, famous for his lighthearted clips including ‘Awkward questions with my ex’ and ‘Eating the world’s hottest sandwich’, appeared on ITV’s Lorraine to discuss his new book, ‘Yay! You’re Gay! What now?’ this morning. 

Dublin-born Riyadh, who lives in London, has previously told how telling his Irish Catholic mother, Lorraine, and Iraqi father, Sam, that he was homosexual was absolutely terrifying. 

He came out to his mother first – who had already guessed – and opened up to his father nine months later, by passing him a piece of paper that said ‘I am gay’ on it after a blazing row. 

After hearing the news, Sam admitted during one of his son’s YouTube videos that he was so distraught he looked for ‘tablets for suicide’ – but Riyadh told today how the family are now ‘so in love as a family’.

YouTuber Riyadh Khalaf, left, has revealed it took his father Sam, right, a year to ‘start loving him again’ after he came out as gay to his parents

Riyadh, 28, appeared on ITV’s Lorraine this mornign to discuss his new book, ‘Yay! You’re Gay! What now?’ 

He told Lorraine: ‘They saw me just as their little fella Riyadh who liked to keep himself to himself and that’s because I was afraid of becoming too close and too open to other peers because I knew they knew and the bullying was there.

‘When he found out it was difficult because his vision of his son, in a split second, had been completely changed.

‘He’s going to get married, he’s going to have kids and do all these things, and he thought that now that’s not going to happen.

‘He took about a week to fully start talking to me and a year to actually start loving me again, but we’re so in love now as a family.’

Riyadh, whose YouTube channel has around 372K subscribers and 45 million views, said his father is now ‘best friends’ with drag queens and goes for pints with Panti Bliss, an Irish gay rights activist. 

In terms of the message he wants the book to get across, Riyadh said he wants young gay people to understand they are not ‘flawed’ or ‘sick’, but rather a ‘wonderful, gorgeous, young human being’

Riyadh’s dad Sam now goes out for pints with Rory O’Neill, better known as Panti Bliss, pictured left

‘Dad has come full circle,’ Riyadh added. ‘He campaigns, he even wrote a chapter in the book. 

‘I said to them, “This book, I’ve written it for these young gay kids but I need advice in there for the parents. You as a mum and dad who’ve done it, what can they do?”‘  

Speaking about his new number one bestseller, which features guest contributions from influential gay men like Stephen Fry and Australian drag queen Courtney Act, Riyadh said he is ‘over the moon’ about the positive response its received. 

‘You can delete a YouTube video, you can’t delete a book, it’s there forever if you say something wrong,’ he explained.

Riyadh said his father is now ‘best friends’ with drag queens and goes for pints with Panti Bliss, an Irish gay rights activist

‘It was a year writing it. There were a lot of tears, funny moments, digging through old stories with friends, “What really happened that night when we kissed each other?” It was an amazing experience, and it’s a number one bestseller which is mind-blowing to me.’

Lorraine pointed out he openly discusses sex in a ‘practical’ way, to which Riyadh added that it’s not intended to be ‘dirty’.  

‘I’d call it honest, and funny,’ he explained. ‘Sex is imperfect, whether you’re gay, straight or you’re just on your own, as some of us are. Let’s have a laugh about it while also learning.

Speaking about his new number one bestseller, which features guest contributions from influential gay men like Stephen Fry (left) and Australian drag queen Courtney Act (right), Riyadh said he is ‘over the moon’ about the positive response its received

‘When I was in school it was all straight sex, this is how it works, and let’s turn a blind eye to all that other stuff, demonise it and make it seem overly dirty when really it’s just as clunky and boring.

‘We need LGBT kids to know their sex is a beautiful thing, their sexuality and gender identity is a beautiful thing, and here’s a life bible for you going forward into the world.’

In terms of the message he wants the book to get across, Riyadh said he wants young gay people to understand they are not ‘flawed’ or ‘sick’, but rather a ‘wonderful, gorgeous, young human being’.

‘The world needs some time to catch up to that fact,’ he said. ‘Go out there, be authentic, be safe and pass the big pink baton down to the next generation. You’ve got to help each other.

Riyadh, pictured with his mum Lorraine, revealed his parents have written a chapter in his new book offering advice to parents whose children have recently come out

‘If your parents don’t accept it or kick you out the house or are mean in any way, give them time. They’re going through just as much a transformative process as you.

‘This is new to them, speak to them openly, tell them this is not a decision that you made, you didn’t wake up one morning and decide to be part of a group that’s discriminated against, who would decide that?’

He also offered up his thoughts on the legalisation of gay marriage, which is yet to happen in Northern Ireland.  

After hearing the news, Sam (left) admitted during one of his son’s YouTube videos that he was so distraught he looked for ‘tablets for suicide’ – but Riyadh told today how the family are now ‘so in love as a family’

Claiming they have ‘no choice’ as it’s the ‘last piece of the puzzle’, having been legalised elsewhere in the UK, he went on: ‘Unfortunately it’s down to a couple of people in power who have very, very conservative views and seem to enjoy treating LGBT people like second class citizens, and enough is enough. 

‘The day that Ireland got the same sex marriage vote over the line, someone like me, a young guy who grew up in that country was elated.

‘I finally felt that you love me, you accept me. I walked down the street with my parents the next say and it was like the country had changed overnight. It had come into the 21st century roaring.’

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