Gay men give moving advice to father looking to support his son
A father who approached two gay men asking for advice on how to support his possibly gay son has become the subject of a viral Twitter thread.
Singer Jack Remmington said he and his friend Marco Alessi were chatting to the man while playing the Mariah Carey slot machines in Las Vegas when the stranger asked them if he could ask them a question.
“I knew where this was gonna go as it always does so did a bit of an inner eye roll but indulged him anyway,” Remmington said.
But, as he found out, the conversation went in an unexpected direction.
The Twitter user wrote on January 2: “He then asked if we were together so we said no (we’re best friends and he has a fab bf) and he asked if we were gay, so we said yes. He then said he thinks his 13 year old son might be gay and wondered if he could ask us how best for him to navigate that.
“He lit up when talking about his son, and I nearly started crying at how much he clearly loved him. The guy wanted to know how to make his son feel most comfortable about himself whilst not being too overt and glaringly obvious in forcing a conversation about his sexuality.”
Remmington said the man, who is in his 40s and lives in rural Arkansas, told them that he wanted the world to be “totally equal” for his son.
Gay men shared their advice for relatives of LGBT+ youth
Touched by the man’s good intentions, the two gay men shared personal anecdotes about what helped them feeling safe and supported by their families, such as “normalising conversations around gay kisses on TV or calling our family conversations that might shame potential queerness.”
Remmington wrote: “We also mentioned not accidentally policing things so as to shame him—for instance, often out of a sense of protection and love parents can frown on a child’s behaviour or outfit because they’re worried for their safety when on a night out etc.
“But we stressed that if this was their feeling it’s important to vocalise this exactly, rather than leaving the child ruminating over the parent’s intentions and second guessing why they said what they said.”
The Arkansas father had already begun the process. “He also said that the younger brother (10 y/o) had expressed his disapproval of drag queens he’d seen on TV because it was ‘weird’, so the dad explained in earshot of the elder son that if that’s how they want to dress and they feel comfortable then that’s great,” Remmington reported.
“He’s clearly doing all the right things and is making his son feel as comfortable as he can. Take notes people this is how it’s done!! Particularly given that the boy is growing up far out of a metropolitan city this kind of unconditional love and support is invaluable,” he added.
“there are so many happy queer kids telling me beautiful stories in my DMs all because of this wonderful dad and the conversation he started.”
— Jack Remmington
The singer, who took part in the UK’s X Factor in 2017 as part of the duo Jack & Joel, asked other Twitter users for the advice they’d have shared, before describing his own personal experience.
“When I was about 12, my v obviously straight brother and I were watching a soap with my dad and there was a gay kiss on screen. I vividly remember my dad saying if either of us ever thought we were gay that we would still be just as loved by our mum and dad,” he wrote.
Remmington explained: “Knowing that nothing would change stuck with me hugely and I remember that convo as if it was yesterday – it was *clearly* said for my benefit but was comfortable enough that it wasn’t a direct exchange and I appreciate my dad so much for this.”
Twitter users praise advice to relatives of LGBT+ youth
The story resonated with thousands of Twitter users who liked, retweeted and interacted with the thread.
“Literally you’ve just made a huge difference to a family, prime example of fate and everything happening for a reason right there,” one Twitter user replied.
More from PinkNews
“I know so many lives that would have been saved or made easier if only their parents had this conversation and subsequent knowledge earlier. My heart is so full knowing that dad wants to be parent his kid needs,” another one replied.
Others commented on how fitting it was that the conversation between the Arkansas father and the gay men took place at the Mariah Carey slot machines, of all places.
“The mental image of this man not knowing how to support his potentially gay son immediately going to the Mariah Carey slots machine to try and find some gays to talk to because he doesn’t know any is the funniest and most wholesome thing ever ksjdksjdks I would die for him,” one person remarked.
“This is now the only thing that matters,” one person wrote reacting to the thread, adding: “also mariah carey reinforcing lgbt safety and love without even lifting fingers.”
Remmington said that since posting the thread he has received dozens of messages from parents and relatives of LGBT+ people sharing their stories.
He wrote: “Obviously can’t share them but just know that there are so many happy queer kids telling me beautiful stories in my DMs all because of this wonderful dad and the conversation he started.”