- In a viral Twitter thread, Jack Remmington explains a heartwarming encounter he had with a stranger in Las Vegas a few days ago.
- The stranger – a man in his mid 40s from Arkansas – was seeking advice from Remmington, who is gay, on how to create an environment in which his 13-year-old son would feel comfortable coming out.
- Remmington’s advice to the man was to make “micro” changes in his everyday life and speech, without forcing a “coming out” conversation.
The conversation was benign at first, until the man “nervously” asked if Remmington and his friend were a couple. They aren’t, and replied as such, so the man followed up by asking if they were gay. Remmington and his friend said yes.
“That’s when, as gay people, you worry because so often [the question] is ‘When did you choose to be gay?’ Or worse, ‘You know you’re sinning?’ etc., which has happened more times than I can count,” Remmington told INSIDER.
“Of course, we gave him the benefit of the doubt, so I indulged in his questions largely because whilst sitting there it would have been awkward not to,” Remmington said. “And I’m so glad I did! It took a totally different direction than I expected.”
The man explained that he was from rural Arkansas, and that he thinks his own 13-year-old son might be gay. He was seeking advice from Remmington and his friend on how to best navigate his situation so that, as Remmington explains, he could take “the best course of action to let his son know that if he were to come out as gay, or whatever else, that he would be just as loved and treasured.”
Remmington was touched by the man’s inquiry. He explained in a Twitter thread, which has since gone viral with over 10,000 retweets and 40,000 favourites, that he almost “teared up” when it became evident how much the man wants the world to be “totally equal” for his son.
In the thread, Remmington elaborates on the advice that he and his friend began to give the Arkansas man: they gave him personal anecdotes about queer normalization, and told him to avoid “policing” certain behaviours.
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.
— wap rem x (@jackremmington) January 2, 2019
For instance – 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
— wap rem x (@jackremmington) January 2, 2019
Remmington told INSIDER that he thought the most valuable bit of advice he gave was to make changes on a micro-scale, especially regarding the way we speak to children.
“We’re so accustomed to saying to little girls, ‘So what boys do you fancy?’ or ‘Do you have a boyfriend?’ and vice-versa for boys,” Remmington said. “Just saying things like, ‘Is there anyone you like?’ or ‘if/when you get married’ instead of ‘when you get a husband,’ etc. – all these little things stop reinforcing the idea that heterosexuality is the only norm.”
In just a few days, Remmington’s Twitter thread has received an outpouring of support, from James Corden to Mariah Carey herself. His DMs are currently being flooded with fathers like the man from Arkansas, all seeking advice on how to make the world – and particularly their own home – a more welcoming place.
“Dads into rugby, boxing, wrestling, all asking questions about how they can help make the world a little better for their LGBTQ kids is incredible. I’m so, so happy,” Remmington tweeted.
The number of parents (particularly dads) reaching out in my DMs is the most beautiful thing to see. Dads into rugby, boxing, wrestling, all asking questions about how they can help make the world a little better for their LGBTQ kids is incredible. I’m so so happy
— wap rem x (@jackremmington) January 4, 2019
As for Remmington’s favourite reply to his thread? He told INSIDER, “Express support at times when it’s not a discussion.” That is, find subtle ways to show it. He added that that’s something “we can all be doing, regardless of whether we have potentially queer kids or not.”
- Read more:
- 11 celebrity moments that went viral in 2018
- 31 celebrities who don’t identify as either straight or gay
- Why casting an LGBTQ ‘Bachelor’ or ‘Bachelorette’ star could help save the dying franchise
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