Nicholas Sparks apologizes after leaked personal emails from 2013 reveal anti-LGBTQ sentiments regarding the Epiphany School of Global Studies.
Nicholas Sparks’ Leaked Emails
Leaked emails from 2013 showed that Sparks appeared to ban an LGBTQ club at his Christian School. Sparks founded the Epiphany School of Global Studies in 2006. In an email, he said gay students should be treated “quietly”. In another email, he also banned an LGBTQ club from his school. However, Sparks explained that he did not mean to quite down the LGBTQ community.
Sparks explained himself in a statement on Twitter. He said, “When in one of my emails I used language such as “there will never be an LGBT club” at Epiphany, l was responding heatedly to how the headmaster had gone about initiating this club.”
He added, “Like most schools, Epiphany has procedures and policies for establishing any student club. My concern was that if a club were to be founded, it be done in a thoughtful, transparent manner with the knowledge of faculty, students and parents – not in secret, and not in a way that felt exceptional. I only wish I had used those exact words.”
Additionally, he explained, “Similarly, when I referred to a prior headmaster addressing the presence of gay students ‘quietly and wonderfully,’ I meant that he supported them in a straightforward, unambiguous way – NOT that he in any way encouraged students to be silent about their gender identity or sexual orientation.”
“A writer who understands the power of words”
He wrote in a statement on Twitter, “[I am] someone who has spent the better part of my life as a writer who understands the power of words. I regret and apologize that mine have potentially hurt young people and members of the LGBTQ community, including my friends and colleagues in that community.”
Sparks also explained the release of the emails. He wrote, “I am currently engaged in a several years long lawsuit with a former headmaster of the school. As a result of that suit, several emails from me have been released to the public. On the surface, [these emails] portray me as someone intolerant of having an LGBTQ club at the school. Unfortunately, the ongoing lawsuit constraints what I can reveal about the specific circumstances six years ago that gave rise to these emails.”
He concluded, “It’s never been my intent to be unresponsiveness to the needs of the LGBTQ or any minority community. In fact the opposite is true, and I trust my actions moving forward will confirm that.”
Read the full statements here:
One person replied, “As an avid reader with principles, I’ll say goodbye to anything Nicholas Sparks. I worked too hard for civil rights throughout my 71 years on this Earth to give any money to any adult who crosses the line. That’s why we’re called adults.” Another asked, “So when are you going to write an LGGBTQ love story?”