CHIARLOTTE, NC— When 18-year-old James Potkin sat his devout Catholic parents down to have his coming out conversation, he was nervous about how they’d respond. Little did he know Deborah and Grant would be the most supportive parents he could’ve asked for…and he’s over it.
James’ parents, aware of the church’s stance against LGBTQIA+ people, have gone all out to ensure their son feels loved regardless of his sexual orientation. However, since their knowledge of queer people is based exclusively on stereotypes perpetuated by American pop culture, they painted the station wagon lavender, decorated the house with photos of gay celebrities, and started blasting showtunes from dawn to dusk.
“My parents are being a little too much. Don’t you think? When I came out to my friends, the conversation lasted two minutes, we hugged, and went back to playing Mario Kart. I’m glad my parents are cool with me being gay, but I need them to get the fuck out of my face about it.” said Potkin.
Three days later, James’ parents threw a coming out party in which they covered the backyard with rainbow flags, played ‘Pin the Twink on the Daddy,’ and hired a go-go dancer to twerk on Deborah’s rhododendrons. James, who was required to make a grand entrance in a sequins gown and tiara, noted that he would’ve rather had a quiet dinner with his friends from the soccer team.
PFLAG released a statement of support for the young gay teen and his family. The published letter espoused appreciation for Deborah and Grant’s enthusiasm, but reiterated that years of advocacy work has shown it is best to embrace queer children by listening to them and loving them for who they are.
Unphased by repeated demands to stop, James’ parents made their teenaged son a Grindr profile to help him meet other gay men like him. James decided he’d had enough when he returned home from school to find a package containing a penis-shaped bean bag chair embroidered with the phrase “Love Wins.” He immediately sat them down and had a productive conversation.
“I told them I appreciated the sentiment, especially after members of their church had recently banished their queer children for coming out” James added. Eventually they agreed to return to a normal parent-teenager relationship where their son ignores them until he needs the car keys and they tell him to be home by curfew.