Darren Criss Finally Met His ‘Boyfriend': PHOTO


An 8-year-old with a well-documented (by his mother) crush on Darren Criss got to meet his "boyfriend" in Chicago:

Eventually, the time did pass, and we were brought up to meet him. My kiddo was so nervous and anxious that he was practically jumping out of his skin. And then he was there, and my son met his first love. It was adorable. Darren Criss was charming and lovely, and my son was so shy but happy. As for their conversation, that's not really mine to share. Maybe someday, when my kid is older, he'll write about it, but until then, it remains as it should be: between him and Darren.

When it was my turn to talk, I found my normally sure-spoken self decidedly absent. What could I say to this young man who meant so much to my kid, this young man who, by playing a television character, had helped lead my son to tell me about his orientation and, by extension, helped change the trajectory of my own life toward activism? "Thank you" felt so insufficient, but it was all I had.


  1. UFFDA says

    That is so well-stated, so humble, and the incident so unutterably sweet and kindly. Nice to see.

  2. SpaceCadet says

    Darren seems like a good-natured guy. I saw him relatively close when he was in Chicago a couple of years back for the annual Market Days performance. Prior to when he actually got up on stage he was roaming through the crowd when a flash mob broke out I believe in his honor. He was all smiles and recorded it on his phone. He’s really cute and talented too!

  3. Soren456 says

    My parents tell me that as early as kindergarten, I got crushes on other boys (my age, in my case). That’s just where my emotional orientation was, and where — with additions — it remains.

    Tell me your “lifestyle choice” arguments again; I’d like to have a good laugh.

  4. Hey Darlin' says

    THIS is why it’s good to have all types of people represented in media including TV. Don’t let those who would seek to narrow the definition of the US, or humanity for that fact, win. There are other people, including children, finding their way in life who need to see people like them.

  5. says

    What a real gentleman Darren Criss is.
    It was sensitive of him to make this kid feel special…..as he is.
    Just wonderful…..
    A boy with a crush on another is sweet and magical.

    As for orientation…….my first crush was at school, I was 5, so was he. And I can see him now ! Oh, I knew; I just didn’t have the understanding or the words as to what was going on.

  6. Seattle Mike says

    Dang. Got something in my eye.

    But srsly, Darren Criss seems to be a wonderful human being. How great that we have such a strong straight ally. (AlanBrickman, not everybody who’s fabulous is gay. Deal with it.)

  7. says

    It takes a sweet and warmhearted guy to go as far as Darren does for his fans — of all ages and types. I couldn’t care less whether he’s gay or straight, just like he doesn’t seem to care whether other people are.

    I do agree as well, that kid has a great mom.

  8. Pete N SFO says

    I love that the mom said, “as for the conversation, that’s not really mine to share.”

    More parents should recognize that kids should get to make these decisions, when they’re ready.

  9. John P. says

    Really sweet. If you haven’t read the backgroud to this story, it’s really worth it!

  10. DLRnATL says

    I started to grumble to myself in that going on 40 sorta way: “How could a kid as young as 8 have a crush on some TV guy? That 8 yr old has no idea what a crush even means!” Then, for one of the first times in a long time, I read these comments and was reminded of my first boycrush. He was in my first grade class and I wanted to be his best friend and I wanted to be around him all the time. Nothing untoward at that age, I just liked him so much!

    I applaud this kid, his mom and Darren Criss. And thank you commenters (especially Soren456) for reminding me that the heart wants what it wants and for me to stop being so damned cynical!

  11. Jaysonn says

    I also LOVE Darren and this makes it even better. So proud of the kid, Darren and also LOVE this mom. The world need many, many, many more like her.

  12. Sam says

    I am a little unnerved about the word ‘boyfriend’ in this case but still gotta love Darren reaching out to a fan like that.

  13. mikeflower says

    I’m just grateful that this wasn’t one of those dreadful “Make A Wish” sob stories.

  14. THurts says

    This mom is the definition of what a parent should be. She is unconditionally loving her son and getting involved in his life now, so that he will not have it so hard later. I love that even though we still are struggling for our equality, our safety, and even our lives right now; some of our kids are able to live free and open even at the age of 8. Love it!!!

  15. gr8guyca says

    I live in SF and have crossed paths with his family. He’s a very nice, low-key guy with great values. btw, he plays the violin, guitar, piano, and drums. Very talented.

  16. ElCid says

    Beautiful. This kid will grow up surrounded by love. Thank you to this lady and and her husband for being loving, caring, supportive with this wonderful… this even brought some tears to my eyes…

  17. matt says

    This lady is the best mother in the world. Everything she writes is so heart warming and wonderful. Luckiest kid ever. If you haven’t, read all of her articles. Beautiful.

  18. Jacob says

    @Sam – if you read the article, you’ll see the little boy thinks Blaine is his boyfriend, and he knows the difference better Blaine, and real world Darren. His mother explained it to him. She is really a great mom to have, this kid is so lucky. I am happy for him and Darren is such a nice guy.

  19. Francis #1 says

    Very very sweet kid with amazing parents. Darren is sweet too but the 8 year old boy is the highlight. He came out when he was 7 and his mom refuses to completely release their identity because the family has received death threats over the HuffPost column she has.

    This story is what being a great parent is all about and the parent all LGBTQ people wish to have.

  20. Bobby says

    Wow. Darren Criss is an amazing, wonderful, inspiring man. Good for him for embracing and understanding the impact of who he is.

  21. UFFDA says

    Jake, don’t be a jerk – stepping stone indeed, if anything Criss has been a stepping stone for us.

  22. brett says

    I think it is great that the mother let the 8 yo express his feelings that he had a crush and letting her son be who he is! Bravo to Darren and Bravo to the mom! Gives me hope.

  23. Bob says

    I DON’T UNDERSTAND PEOPLE FALLING ALL OVER THIS MOM — To me, she comes across like a pageant mom, living through the kid and pushing him to do his act.
    At first, when you read her articles, she seems very caring (and I am sure she is). However, she is making a special case of her son, and using that for her own purposes and self-promotion.
    YES, it is great that she accepts her son. But he is not Jackie Evanko or Shirley Temple.
    Helping him to fit into the world as a strong individual who is part of society and part of the group at his school is better than treating him like fragile glassware.
    Someday, he won’t have Mom fighting his battles, bringing him to Chicago in heroic gesture, etc.– he needs the strength to be HIMSELF, not Mom’s precious little Gay boy.

    And PLEASE, I am as sentimental as the next guy, not hardened or calloused, but I am good at spotting self-promoters.

  24. millerbeach says

    Can Darren get any cooler? I think not! Glad to see the young lad not only got his wish, but Darren and mom were both very gracious about the whole event. Kudos to a super-cool mom, too!

  25. Brian says

    I met Darren at a concert and after party about 2 years ago right asglee was in full frenzy. He is the sweetest, most honest and humble young performer around. After talking for nearly 30 minutes, by the time I left the party he came over to give me a hug good bye and thanked me for my kind words. I was floored. He is totally adorable and very comfortable in his own skin and I’m proud a young man like that represents a gay character on national TV.

  26. Seattle Mike says

    Darren Criss’s response is so classy when you think what it might have been. This story reminds of Novak Djokovic’s reaction at a tournament when a boy yelled to him “Will you marry me?”

    Video here: http://youtu.be/lDXpsqHSc-o
    The interaction starts at about 1:30.

  27. Jake says

    UFFDA: Speak for yourself. I don’t need any stepping stones, and I’m not part of your “us”

  28. says

    Darren Criss is a special person. I knew it the first time he sang “Teenage Dream” on the Dalton staircase on Glee in November 2010. And I’m a 51 year old widow with 2 daughters! I’m also a cancer survivor and I celebrated my “12 Year Cancer Free Remission” Anniversary by meeting Darren June 3 before his concert at the House of Blues in Dallas. This was actually the 3rd time I’ve been lucky enough to meet Darren and he remembered my name! Thank you for sharing your son’s story.

  29. sure mom says

    What the conversation is not yours to share, yet you can share everything else this kid does? The crush isn’t yours to share either.

  30. says

    Why does “boyfriend” unnerve anyone. Would it bother anyone if the object of affection were female?

    Can’t imagine why it matters a rats ass if Darren is gay or straight. It’s a role, for God’s sake. If he were playing Dracula, would he have to suck blood (or something)to avoid using the vampires as a stepping stone?

  31. stevetalbert says

    Darren isnt gay. He’s just comfortable being himself. His dad is a big banker in San Francisco who is in the board of the opera and other arts. His parents had both their sons do all kinds of arts. Darren grew up doing community theatre in sfo around a bunch of gay adults. He says he rralized early on he was straight but knows most people woukd have thought him gay because he really likes campy things and musical theater.