After receiving an ignorant message from a parent attacking his sexuality, youth theater producer Michael Neri decided to fight back in the most brilliant way: with kindness (and a lot of sass).
Neri, 26, was busy preparing for his next production, an adaptation of the musical “Rent,” when he received a hateful text message from a new student's mother.
The woman, whom Neri had previously spoken to by phone and in person, said she was pulling her children out of Neri's drama class because of her disapproval with his “lifestyle choices” (read: his homosexuality).
Neri admitted he was “a little surprised” by the woman's text. He said,
I found [the text] hurtful; however, life is too short to worry about what other people think.
To set a good example for his students, to whom Neri preaches the importance of being yourself, the out-and-proud drama teacher decided to respond to the rude text.
And boy, was it perfect.
In his whip-smart, sassy response, Neri referenced the Old Testament, discussed gay pride and assured the complainant that her deposit was donated to a worthy cause: an LGBTQ+ charity.
Though the mother did not write back, Neri posted the exchange to Facebook, where it quickly went viral.
The positive response, Neri says, “has been overwhelming.”
I had no idea [the pictures] would go viral! The love and support from my students and their families has been so humbling.
Check out the thrilling exchange below -- it's better than any drama production you'll ever see in a theater.
Got a lovely text this week pic.twitter.com/UWPGRycuph — Michael Neri (@michaelneri) November 16, 2015