The family had not told the grandparents he had come out as gay almost 7 years ago, and they heard about it from a newspaper.
Editor's note: This article was originally published on January 20, 2022. It has since been updated.
Having affirmative loved ones can be a lifesaver for LGBTQIA++ members. Simon Crowther, a 28-year-old gay man, had come out to his family at 21, but as it turns out, his grandparents weren't informed. They possibly assumed that his grandparents wouldn't take kindly to the news. Almost seven years later, they did find out their grandson was gay via a newspaper article about him. Unlike the alleged assumption, Crowther's grandparents were happy for him and they even sent an email congratulating him. Simon Crowther, who shared the email to his Twitter followers, said his grandparents would be getting an "award for most adorable email ever," reported Comicsands.
Crowther is a civil engineer specializing in water and flooding and he went on to found his own company called Flood Protection Solutions. His business was featured in a 2018 issue of Forbes Under 30. Recently, a U.K.-based gay magazine Attitude featured Crowther's business and named him as a rising LGBTQ+ engineer in the field. Subsequently, the Nottingham Evening Post Magazine carried the story in which he revealed that he had come out to his family as gay. His grandparents heard about the article but were surprised that he had come out as gay and they had never been told. They'd figured it was because the other family members assumed they would be upset.
Aww. I can just see them by the computer deliberating over what to say. They’re adorable pic.twitter.com/AdKbRjCgMa— Simon Crowther (@SCcrowther) January 12, 2022
They wrote a sweet letter to Crowther to let him know they were happy for him, and they loved him as much as they always did. They ended the letter asking for a copy of the article so they could read it themselves. The letter was shared on Twitter and went as follows:
We learned from John R when he came round with Grandpa’s birthday present, that there was an excellent article recently, about you and how you built your business, in a Nottingham Evening Post Magazine. Apparently, you reported that you had ‘Come Out’ as being gay to your family when you were 21. Obviously, it was decided to keep it from us for if it upset us. Don’t worry, we are not upset."
In fact, I had already worked it out for myself (Gran), but Grandpa didn’t know. Don’t worry. You are still the same Simon to us this news alters nothing. We want you to know that you are still our grandson and we love you just the same. We have not mentioned this to Mum or Jenny, so this message will be as big a surprise to them when you tell them, as it will be to you.
I am so glad we now know. Enjoy your life. You are making a pretty good job of it up to now. And…..we would still love to see the article mentioned above. Can you e-mail it to us?
With all our love and support,
Gran and Grandpa.
Crowther was overwhelmed with emotion after reading the letter and said he was feeling blessed. He posted a picture of himself with them and wrote: "Aww. I can just see them by the computer deliberating over what to say. They’re adorable." People on Twitter just couldn't get enough of the letter. "And this is why we need to push back on the 'excuse old people for bigotry' line. They don't need to be. The world is better when they're actually good people, no matter how old," wrote one person.
My 89 year old grandparents win the award for most adorable email ever 🥰🥰🥰— Simon Crowther (@SCcrowther) January 12, 2022
Feeling blessed pic.twitter.com/aM6yNPIuTk
2/2 to knoabout gay people in 1940s onwards etc. he just shrugged and said “he was a nice man” no judgment, no assumptions,” my dad was amazing and the kindest non judgemental man I ever met. This story is about you but I wanted to share a little of my dad x hope you don’t mind.— Sandra Smith (@SandraS79616167) January 13, 2022
Family support is crucial in helping LGBTQ youth accept their true selves. Research by Dr. Caitlin Ryan and the Family Acceptance Project found that LGBTQ youth whose families affirm their gender identity and sexual orientation are almost 50% less likely to make a suicide attempt compared to those whose families are unsupportive. Similarly, a 2016 study published in LGBT Health found that family rejection increases the odds of substance misuse and suicide attempts in transgender and gender-nonconforming people.
I remember my Irish gran calling me when the vote for same sex marriage was taken in Ireland. "Ye have won the vote" she said. I asked if she had voted, and got "of course I fekkin voted for it, why wouldn't I".— Mark M (@MorganMarkF) January 13, 2022
She is now 90 years old and going strong.
I remember the day my family was talking about same sex relationships I hadn't yet told my grandparents that I was bi and my grandfather just said "you can't choose who you love". And I knew that when I told them I would be loved no matter what.— Ruby Hearn she/her/hers (@ruby_hearn) January 13, 2022
Adorable 🥰. They kept my brothers news from my nana for the same reason. Years later she didn’t blink an eye when she heard. Said ‘sure I knew that long ago’. We need to stop underestimating older people. Your grandparents are just adorable.— Lucy M (@LucyM69230292) January 13, 2022