Dalila Ali Rajah
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Think Your Child Is LGBTQ? This Gay Man's Advice Is a Must-Read

Think Your Child Is LGBTQ? This Gay Man's Advice Is a Must-Read

Jack Remmington was sitting at a Mariah Carey-themed slot machine in Las Vegas when he had a life-changing encounter.

A man who appeared to be in his 40s approached Remmington — a musician who is part of the duo Jack & Joel and rose to fame as a competitior on The X Factor (U.K.) — and his friend Marco Alessi. After a few minutes of nervous conversation, the stranger, a native of rural Arkansas, asked the pair if they were gay. 

When the two confirmed that yes, indeed they were (the Mariah slots and their pink attire were apparently tells), the man revealed he had a 13-year-old son who he believed might be part of the LGBTQ community. He then asked for advice on how to "navigate that," Remmington recounted in a story shared on Twitter Wednesday that has since gone viral.

Remmington and Alessi, drawing from their own experiences growing up, offered a series of tips for the concerned parent. Remmington recommended "normalising conversations around gay kisses on TV" and avoiding family conversations "that might shame potential queerness."

In this vein, Remmington said the dad should avoid "policing" behavior or clothing that may be gender-nonconforming. He also recommended making their acceptance of LGBTQ people known — but not in a way that would attempt to force a child to come out before he, she, or they are ready.

"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," Remmington recalled from his own experience. "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." 

"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," Remmington praised of his father's remarks.

Remmington then lauded the Arkansas dad for reaching out for advice. "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 said.

Even Carey herself responded to the exchange on Twitter. "Thank you for warming my heart with such a beautiful story," the singer wrote. "I'm so proud of all of you and wish I could have been there in person to show my support!

Read the full Twitter thread below — and feel free to leave your own advice for parents in the comments.

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