North Carolina

Author Nicholas Sparks says he supports LGBTQ community, apologizes for past emails

Author Nicholas Sparks visits Raleigh

Brenda Wright, who lives in Raleigh, said she loves the way Nicholas Sparks writes.
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Brenda Wright, who lives in Raleigh, said she loves the way Nicholas Sparks writes.

Nicholas Sparks tweeted an apology for his past controversial emails that portrayed him as opposed to the creation of an LGBTQ club at the school he runs.

The popular romance novelist from North Carolina started a private Christian school in the state 13 years ago, according to his apology. He is currently involved in a lawsuit with a former headmaster of the school, and Sparks says emails that were filed in the suit and published last week by the Daily Beast wrongly portray him as intolerant to the creation of an LGBTQ club at the school.

Sparks wrote in the apology that he sent the emails “in haste under stressful and tumultuous conditions” during a heated conflict with the former headmaster and that the language he used doesn’t reflect his beliefs.

One email read “there will never be an LGBT club” at the school.

But Sparks said he was not opposed to the LGBTQ club itself, but rather the way the headmaster was initiating it.

“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,” he wrote in the apology. “I only wish I had used those exact words”

In the apology he also addressed an email he sent saying that another former headmaster had addressed LGBTQ students at the school “quietly and wonderfully” and suggesting the headmaster at the time do the same.

He specified that he meant the prior headmaster supported the students well, not that he discouraged them from being open about their sexuality.

“As someone who has spent the better part of my life as a writer who understands the power of words, I regret that mine have potentially hurt young people and members of the LGBTQ community, including my friends and colleagues in that community,” he wrote in the apology.

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Bailey Aldridge is a reporter covering real-time news in North and South Carolina. She has a degree in journalism from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
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