Susan Olsen, aka Cindy Brady from “The Brady Bunch” (the youngest one in curls), is telling the world all about Robert Reed, who played her TV father Mike Brady on the famed show.
In a Facebook post, Olsen, now 51, wrote a moving tribute to Reed, who was gay, but kept it secret out of fear of hurting his career. The note was posted earlier this week in response to the Supreme Court hearing arguments over California’s Prop 8, which bans same-sex marriage. Reed died in 1992 after a six-month battle with colon cancer.
Here’s what she wrote…
As a child, I was BLESSED to have another father figure in my life. He did not replace my own beloved, Norwegian version of Jed Clampett, nor would he have wanted to. He simply harmonized with all of my family values and brought his own heart to our table.
This wonderful man was a giant in my world, a true king among men. His name was, and is, Robert Reed (OK that’s his stage name).
This tempetuous actor who bottle fed puppies when he wasn’t quarreling with the heads of networks, shaped my heart as much as my biological parents did. So I really can honestly say, “My dad was Gay”
I can also say that being gay killed him. Because it was so taboo, he could never make peace with himself. He never allowed himself to have a genuine love. He was forever taunted by his own disdain for the natural inclinations that he was BORN WITH.
Bob was a family man. Had he been allowed to form a relationship with another man, he would have been the best husband ever and might still be alive. But Bob could not be at peace with this because the people surrounding him shoved their own judgement down his throat and, sadly, he bought into it. He thought he was wrong. He felt the shame that every hypocritical “God is love” fundamentalist wanted him to feel.
To me, the vilification of homosexuality is exactly like the primitive practice of people who killed babies who were born with cleft palates or birth marks. It is a worship not of God but of fear itself in the form of a God who hates.
I am eternally grateful for having a golden rule placed before me as a child. I had a gay father! I knew he was gay when I was nine years old and had the wisdom of a child. I knew it was OK and none of my business.. I knew with all certainty that this was a very good man. And so, any ideology that demonized such a good man would have to be evil itself.
Robert Reed, unwittingly, showed me the true nature of religion. And this is why I steer clear of it to this day.
God and I are good pals. We have a clear line of communication and I don’t need religion’s telephone service. It’s full of static.
I could never worship, let alone LOVE, a God who would put my beloved father into the fires of Hell because he loved men. THAT is a God who deserves disdain. THAT is a God who must be ignored. THAT is a concept of God that must go away just as surely as humans have shed their prehensile tails.
You might call it evolution. IF you believe in evolving.
I do not necessarily believe in evolution, religion, politics or even gravity. I think the flying spaghetti monster might be the real deal! All I truly know is what works right here, right now.
What works is love.
What doesn’t work is judgement.
If two people love each other enough to want their union consecrated by a mythological being – they are undoubtedly insane, but LET THEM HAVE AT IT!!”