Musician Jack Remmington has an awesome story to share. An encounter he had with a friendly man in his 40s warmed the hearts of people across the country and the world.
As Jack and his best friend were having some fun time in Vegas, playing on the Mariah Carey slots, the man sat on the machine next to them and tried to engage into a conversation. His first question was whether Jack and his friend were a couple. When they said no, he proceeded asking if they were gay. Jack assumed it would be one of those chats where people judge them for their choices, but he was so wrong.
The man was actually trying to talk to a gay person and seek advice on how to communicate with his son whom he though was a gay himself but was probably still in the closet.
The two friends were pleasantly surprised and were willing to offer a helping hand, as that man was one caring and supportive father. Who wouldn’t want a parent like that?
After sharing the story on Twitter, it spread like a wildfire.
“Ok I just experienced the nicest exchange with a stranger and think it’ll help to share: I was playing on the Mariah Carey slots in Vegas (naturally) and a friendly circa-mid-40s ish guy sat down to play on the machine next to me,” Remmington wrote.
Ok I just experienced the nicest exchange with a stranger and think it’ll help to share: I was playing on the Mariah Carey slots in Vegas (naturally) and a friendly circa-mid-40s ish guy sat down to play on the machine next to me
— jack rem (@jackremmington) 2 January 2019
I was sitting with @marcoalessifilm, both wearing pink (naturally) and after chatting a little to the guy about Vegas, he nervously asked if he could ask us 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
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
This man is SO sweet. From rural Arkansas and said whilst things are so much better now, he still just wants the world to be totally equal for his son. Marco and I said he sounds like he’s doing all the right things and that making his son know he’s loved is the best he can do
We both gave a couple of anecdotes from personal experience, largely relating to condoning abstract things when you see them like normalising conversations around gay kisses on TV or calling our family conversations that might shame potential queerness
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
So in terms of advice to friends or relatives of a potentially queer person, what would fellow queers advise is the best way to make it known they have their love and support without causing an uncomfortable conversation that might force someone to come out before they’re ready?
Although Jack was there to provide support and advice, it’s sad that not everyone has a safe space to educate themselves on certain questions they have related to LGBTQ.
“My first impression was that he seemed nice as he chatted which is more than what tends to happen with people you sit next to in Vegas at the slots. That said, I didn’t expect it to take this turn at all,” Remmington said in an interview with Bored Panda.
“The relationship between him and his son has a 100% future – he was a wonderful and caring man, despite what he said was quite a difficult town to grow up in if you’re at all different. I wish all fathers could be like him.”