Dad's letter describing his gay son as 'evil' still haunts Mary McAleese
Former President Mary McAleese revealed yesterday she is still haunted by a letter she received from a father describing his gay son as "evil".
Ms McAleese, whose son is gay, said the letter still kept her awake at night and she worries about the young man.
"I worry about that young man's mental health, for not all human beings have the coping skills to emerge safely and mentally well from such a toxic home environment. Some do. Some don't."
Speaking at the launch of a report on the mental health of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex people, showing high levels of suicidal thoughts and self-harm by teenagers who are bullied for their sexuality, she said she strongly urged parents, teachers, school governors and politicians to take heed of its findings.
"Take it to their heart and make it their vocation to do whatever it takes to end this tragic and unnecessary waste of young lives," she added.
It reveals a "secret world of suffering," said Ms McAleese.