I am still in a state of shock; I have been grieving for days. My son, Jamiel Terry, was paid $5,000 by Out magazine (to appear April 20, 2004, on newsstands) to write a story about being Randall Terry's homosexual son. I pray my following words help other grieving parents and serve as a warning to moms and dads of small children to be unflinchingly and unashamedly diligent to protect their children from predators, and bring a reality check to those exploiting my son.
First of all, I love my son. Jamiel is incredibly gifted. He is articulate and handsome. He sings like an angel, he plays the piano, he's a great cook, and he's a great debater. He would make a powerful lawyer and a formidable politician. People like him. I love him. I've poured 16 years of my life into him.
In March of 1988, my then-wife and I took Jamiel in as a foster child when he was 8 years old. We also took in his baby sister (almost 3 years old)) and their older sister (12 years old). We adopted him and his younger sister when he was nearly 15 and she was 9. He came to us as a deeply troubled boy, from a very dark home. He was literally born in jail.
Tragically, by the time we got him as a foster child, he had already learned a lifestyle of deceit from his surroundings and had been a victim of crimes and treacheries that would mar him for life. I knew of some of those things when we got him and have learned more over the years. My hope was that by providing a loving, safe home, his life would be spared the path it would inevitably take if he remained in those surroundings. Unfortunately, my hopes and prayers were not realized.
My son's teen years became a mixed stream of happy times mingled with half-truths, dishonesty and a double life. His behavior grew worse and worse in college, culminating with the story in Out magazine.
For me, the most horrifying part of the story is my son's admission: "I did have numerous sexual encounters with my friends, usually during sleepovers at my parents' house" and "I was home from boarding school in my old bedroom at my parents' house in Windsor, N.Y., where my friend 'Johnny' and I had just finished fooling around ... we had been having sex for ages...."
I am so grieved and sorry for those boys and their parents. Those parents trusted us; they believed their sons were safe at our home - so had I. I was wrong. I still am in a state of shock. Please, parents, learn from this tragedy.
Frankly, so much of the story is inaccurate (times, dates, events) it would take too much space to correct it. But worse yet is that the picture the story paints of my son is based in fraud.
For example, the story states, "I was baptized Catholic and raised Protestant, and I later returned to the Roman Catholic Church." This is not true. Jamiel has never been confirmed; he does not believe in nor go to confession; he does not believe in many Catholic dogmas; He rejects papal authority and Catholic teaching on family issues.
The story states: "My father seems to believe that the fact that I'm an adopted child may help explain why I'm gay - not because of the adoption process itself but perhaps because of things that may have occurred before I was adopted at the age of 5." As I stated, Jamiel was adopted when he was nearly 15, not 5. To gloss over the tragic events and surroundings Jamiel was rescued from at age 8 is deceitful. (Social Services took the children because of prostitution, drugs and deeds committed against them.) Many homosexuals want to ignore the causal links to their sexual addiction; they want us to believe their homosexuality is genetic, not behavioral. They're "made this way."
The story stated, "My father is still trying to get me to go to a three-month retreat to be 'delivered' from homosexuality." This is also not true. Jamiel has repeatedly asked me to pay for him to go to "Love in Action," which offers sound clinical, in-patient therapy to those who want freedom - and they have a great success rate with homosexuals. Even after the article was done, he asked me to help. I have offered to pay for the in-patient care, and the offer still stands.
Probably the most painful part for me as a dad is that my son prostituted my name for $5,000: He sold out our family's privacy and private discussions for cold cash. Can you imagine a family member doing that to you?
He knows that the only reason Out, and now CNN, (and God knows who else before it's over) want to talk with him is because he's "Randall Terry's son." He knows he is going to get his 15 minutes of fame because he's the adopted son of a high profile Christian leader who has fought against homosexual marriage.
Adding pain to pain, he told CNN and a journalist from the Washington Post that he is no longer welcome in my home because he is a homosexual. That is not true. I have had him in my home for many days after knowing he was a homosexual.
But when I saw the Out article, I went to Charlotte, N.C., (where he is now) to tell him I love him, and how hurt I was that he betrayed our families privacy, and that he was not welcome in my home right now - not because of his homosexuality, but because he could sell us out again. At any point, he could come for a holiday, make mental notes and find another buyer for another story. I have a great wife, a teenage daughter and two small boys; I will not let that type of intrusion happen again.
My son is being paraded around as the latest homosexual "trophy" that had the guts to "come out." What they aren't telling you - and this grieves me to my core - is that by anyone's standard - homosexual or heterosexual - my son's life is in shambles.He was recently arrested for DWI; he is knowingly writing bad checks on a closed bank account; he dropped out of school; he doesn't have a job (and refuses to get one); he bounces from house to house living off other people; he's racked-up huge bills for friends and family that he cannot pay; he's been taken to court by former friends to get him to pay money he owed them; he's lied to his friends, telling them his "famous dad" was going to send him money to pay for his debts (I get calls or e-mails from college friends looking for money); he has "borrowed" money from countless numbers of my friends; he has a trail of wrecked friendships and family relationships because of deceit, money fraud and crossed boundaries - a mirror image of the home he was in from birth to 8.
I am a father in anguish; my son is a young man in crisis who needs intervention and therapy, not heady interviews with CNN. And Out magazine is despicable for their participation in a sham and exploiting my son for their own political agenda. If my son is their latest "hero," we should wonder how many more of their homosexual leaders and trophies that they present as "model citizens" have lives that are this unraveled.
Let all who read the Out story, or any other that spins off of it, know that the story about my son is laced with fraud and deceit from beginning to end. And please pray for my son's redemption, and pray for our family's healing.