Susan Olsen pays tribute to her gay Brady Bunch dad Robert Reed, “a true king among men”
Wow, this is really something.
Susan Olsen played Cindy Brady on The Brady Bunch for five years plus on The Brady Bunch Variety Hour, plus The Brady Girls Get Married, plus the one-hour drama series The Bradys. (She only missed A Very Brady Christmas because she was on her honeymoon).
Anyway, on her Facebook page this week, as the Supreme Court held hearings on gay marriage, Susan wrote about her late TV dad Robert Reed.
Reed was one of the most popular TV dads of all time but it was not known to most viewers that he was gay.
But Olsen knew and she writes movingly about what a great husband and father he would have been in real life.
Here is a big chunk of it:
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 tempestuous 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.