Sing out

‘American Idol’ contestant gets standing ovation from parents who disapproved of him being gay

Jeremiah Lloyd Harmon continues to shine on American Idol, and the weekend marked another major first in the singer’s budding career. For the first time ever, his ultra-religious parents were there to watch him perform.

Harmon’s father is a pastor, and up until he was cast as an Idol contestant, Jeremiah was still working as a janitor in the family church.

On the April 28th broadcast, Jeremiah chose to sing “Who Wants to Live Forever” by Queen, a song made famous by the band’s out-bisexual frontman, Freddie Mercury.

Harmon delivered a stripped down version of the song, putting his considerable vocal power front and center.

The crowd loved it, including, by all appearances, his parents.

Related: Gay church janitor stuns judges with song about queer people’s place in heaven

Said judge Katy Perry:

“Jeremiah, you really embodied the spirit of Freddie Mercury with that performance. It was so beautiful seeing you perform in front of your parents for the first time and it’s so wonderful to see your journey.

And to see your parents come out here and support you and accept you and know it’s a ‘come as you are’ situation. God bless you.”

Fellow judge Lionel Richie added:

“I’m very proud of you and keep up the good work. The best time to do it is in front of your parents.”

During his audition interview, Jeremiah spoke about the hurdles he faced finding acceptance in his family:

“I first came out to my parents and my family three years ago. The consensus seemed to be that this is not a path that I should follow.

There’s times when I do feel alone. The hardest part for me is seeing how difficult it is for my family. I’m hopeful that it’s an experience where we can learn to grow together.”

Watch him perform “Who Wants to Live Forever” below:

Dan Tracer is a queer writer, noisemaker, and amateur astral projector. Find him on Instagram.