1. Sundayboy says

    Even gay kids from the south call their sexual orientation a ‘lifestyle.’ As though you can buy one at Walmart. That’s how deep the homophobia bites.

    For the record, being gay isn’t a lifestyle it’s an orientation. It’s built in. Like having blue eyes and black hair. Learn it.

  2. UFFDA says

    What a surprising and beautiful voice. What a sad story. May his parents writhe in discomfort to see him speak of their infamy as he rises in the esteem of the world.

  3. disgusted american says

    kid when u make it big – DON’T BE A FOOL and except those bastards back in your lIfe- SHAME THEM……they’ll JUST BE USING YOU for your $$$$ …F them!!!!!

  4. Mike Ryan says

    Quite moving and very well done but let’s remember, all of these contestants are pre-screened. The judges were made aware of his plight and his strong singing voice. Howie’s questions were the well-planted setup .

    *Sundayboy I couldn’t have said it better. Being gay is NOT a lifestyle. It’s not something you choose to do. It is inbred, you are born gay. If you are using that term to describe your sexuality then stop doing so.

  5. will says

    No, this kid doesn’t want to “shame” the parents. I’m sure he doesn’t want to have to trundle around all that negative energy that comes with trying to shame or get back or humiliate. In fact, this is a good lesson for us gay men. We really don’t have to carry that negative stuff around ouraelves — it’s weighing us down.

    Really beautiful genuine support from the judges, too.

  6. Caliban says

    It’s shocking to me that parents are still kicking their gay kids out of the house in 2013. I know it happens, but for someone who naturally assumed they be accepted and were almost 30 years ago it’s unfathomable.

    But then my parents weren’t Jesus-freaks. Religious yes, but not nutty about it.

  7. ratbastard says

    @Mike Ryan,

    You hit the nail on the head.

    Nothing on these shows happens by accident. Everything is pretty well choreographed and contestants are carefully chosen for a variety of reasons, mostly to appeal to advertisers target audience.

  8. disgusted american says

    IF this kid allows his parents back in his life – they’ll JUST BE USING HIM…..they had NO PROBLEM SHAMING him, and kicking him out…..Forgiveness is one thing…but being a Sucker is another.

  9. Kevin says

    Beautiful story and such a strong and inspirational young man. Wonderful voice too.

    One thing that bugs me about these talent shows is the audience cheers and claps the whole time. Shut up! I want to hear the singer. Cheer after. (Ok, done with that rant.)

  10. jason says

    The sad thing is that this guy will probably never get a recording contract. Record labels are not interested in real talent and nor are they interested in gay men.

  11. Jack M says

    With a talent like that, I can’t imagine he will be unemployed for too long.

    I hope his parents feel total shame 24/7 for how they treated him, but if they can throw him out on his 18th birthday,they probably won’t bat an eye.

  12. Zeta says

    @Jason, that reminds me: whatever happened to Melinda Doolittle? That woman hasn’t competed for years, and has still outsung the competition.

    Talent alone doesn’t make anyone a star.

    As for recording contracts, the best way is the indie way. If he got signed to a major deal, then he’d have to change everything which made him unique in the first place, because the majors have their formula in place to maximize profits — and the formula works.

    It’s all up to what the kid wants, and hopefully it wasn’t to be Pet Cinderella Cause of the Season.

  13. neonzx says

    Lawrenceburg, TN
    Population 10k
    90% White
    Located 15 miles from Pulaski, TN(birthplace of the KKK).

    I hope someone gives him a job so he can GTF outta that place.

  14. neonzx says

    Lawrenceburg, TN
    Population 10k
    90% White
    Located 15 miles from Pulaski, TN(birthplace of the KKK).

    I hope someone gives him a job so he can GTF outta that place.

  15. neonzx says

    Lawrenceburg, TN
    Population 10k
    90% White
    Located 15 miles from Pulaski, TN(birthplace of the KKK).

    I hope someone gives him a job so he can GTF outta that place.

  16. neonzx says

    Lawrenceburg, TN
    Population 10k
    90% White
    Located 15 miles from Pulaski, TN(birthplace of the KKK).

    I hope someone gives him a job so he can GTF outta that place.

  17. Robert says

    Zeta, newsflash – that kid’s voice is not made for an indie label. He needs the sort of daytime TV commercial promotion that some of the biggest selling artists get (Josh Groban, Michael Buble) because his music would clearly gear towards the older crowds.

    Anyway, what a beautiful thing Howard Stern said. The kid’s parents will hopefully feel like dirt.

  18. Ronny says

    Now, let’s remember all the kids being thrown out of the house who DON’T have amazing voices, but might be phenomenal psychiatrists, business owners, teachers, doctors, inventors, etc. if given the chance. We have to help our youth succeed and take care of our elders.

  19. Dastius Krazitauc says

    I thought the same thing, Ronny. This is a nice story, and the show’s embrace of this young man is wonderful, but the message is a little muddled. Everyone is worthy of love and acceptance even if they can’t get standing ovations from singing, or tap dancing or juggling.

  20. David Hearne says

    I’m glad this guy did well.

    However, the back story is killing these shows for me. They started off as talent shows, where what you saw was what you got. Then they started the soap opera stuff. “My dad was killed in Iraq, and my mom is a one armed paper hanger, so I’m doing this for them. Please like me. Please vote for me.” Enough.

  21. SpaceCadet says

    To those of you saying he can’t be an out gay man and be a successful recording act I say you are wrong and point to Adam Lambert who is played on pop radio and has had a #1 Billboard pop album. This is 2013, not 1963. “Same Love” about homophobia by white rapper Macklemore is getting airplay on pop radio which I think would have been unheard of 5 years ago. And plenty of out gay actors are doing quite well for themselves like Neil Patrick Harris and Zachary Quinto.

  22. dw says

    you can still see it on youtube – sorry i forgot to copy the link, but it comes right up, and you just have to watch :05 seconds of a promo for some NBC show, then you see the whole appearance –
    He’s surprisingly good, and seems to have had real operatic training, or else he’s just got a fantastic ear for it.
    The comments on NBC’s site have a couple people who knew him in high school, and they differ about the full veracity of his story. It sounds like his parents were definitely antagonistic toward him (obviously deeply homophobic) but it’s not clear that he was thrown out. Its a distinction that only matters because he’s stated on the show that he was thrown out.

  23. says

    my heart just burst at this. WOW.

    @Calibab – I hear ya. It’s one of those things that seems even more absurd to me with every passing year; parents who get angry and disown their kid for being LGBT. It makes ZERO sense. It shows a complete inability to be a critical thinker on the part of the parent.

    Kid is gay. Kid has always been gay. Kid has always known they’ve been gay. Kid has had to hide that they’re gay. Kid finally tells parents that they’re gay. Parents freak out about the kid being gay, blame him, direct anger at him, disown him. And it happens all the freakin’ time.

    And it literally makes as much sense as disowning your child for being “too tall”. Why are you mad at your kid? because he’s gay. Why is that his fault?

    Because you’re an idiot and don’t know how else to react, you pathetic excuses for parents.

    Kudos to this young man. May he inspire other families to radically reevaluate their bonds.

  24. tinkerbelle says

    Record contract? Indie label? C’mon, this guy is made for the Met, he needs training so he can improve and then keep that voice until he’s 70—odd, I was expecting him to be a tenor when he was speaking, he’s more of a baritone. He plays it right, he’ll get all the recording contracts he needs. Touching, I wish him the best. And I have a feeling this is only a beginning…

  25. shawnthesheep says

    Seriously, why would NBC pull the clip? I mean, you wouldn’t want tens of thousands of people who don’t watch the show to see a clip that might motivate them to watch the show. That would be infringing of the copyrightz.

  26. Zeta says

    @David Hearne brings up an excellent point about how the back stories are getting in the way of competition.

    @dw, if the comments really are from people who know him personally and are disputing the severity of what he claims… is it possible that he juiced his story for maximum tearjerking/audience sympathy?

    I think it matters, especially with people wishing so much ill towards his parents. There’s a major difference between ‘we don’t approve’ versus ‘we don’t know how to deal with you’, versus ‘get out of this household and don’t come back’.

    Hopefully, the truth comes out.

  27. Marc says

    I’m in tears now. What an amazing man with such a heartbreaking story. Jonathan, we’re your family now. Welcome home… to the home who accepts you.

  28. DannyEastVillage says

    I’m a classically trained church musician and did church music from the time I was 12 till I was 35. About this kid, all I can say is–ohmygod. OHmyGOD. A voice like that just doesn’t happen in 20 year olds–and yet there it is. Miracle. AND – as Howie Stern said–he has an ability to connect with his audience. To me that was just as astonishing as the voice. What a gift to all of us.

  29. Howard says

    This young man definitely has talent and a beautiful voice, but one song does not make a career in music. He is young with an amazing potential, but there are lots of sharks out there smelling blood in the water. The vocal coaches just waiting to ruin his voice, the managers who are eager to rob him blind, the advisors who want to exploit his talent, etc. The odds of his surviving all this and having a major career are against him big time, but I wish him the best of luck.

  30. Charles Decker says

    I don’t watch these shows because of how the back stories seem totally exploitative to me. But my friend Cathy Renna posted this on her Facebook page and I thought it was so amazing I re-posted. This seems genuine and his talent is obvious. I can hardly wait to see/hear what he does next. I hope it’s not Nessun dorma because that would too cliche.

  31. vi says

    You are a wonderful amazing man and I would be proud if you were my son. They are the losers and I wouldn’t let them back in my life to use the wealth where you will be going! God Bless You! Be proud of who you are always. You are just amazing like I said!

  32. andrew says

    Congratulations Jonathan. You are a fine example of how the human spirit can triumph over adversity. I hope your parents someday realize the joys that they are missing in not having a loving relationship with you, and mend your broken family.

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