One of the Top 20 contestants on ABC’s American Idol shared a heartbreaking confession to the panel of judges shortly before he learned he made the cut for the finals, revealing that his parents will not accept the fact that he is gay.
People Magazine reported that contestant Jeremiah Lloyd Harmon revealed that his parents have had a hard time with his coming out.
“It has been a really difficult past few months for me,” Harmon said during the show’s March 31 episode, which took place in Hawaii.
He performed the emotional Fleetwood Mac song “Landslide,” a tune Harmon said he felt a strong connection to due to the issues he has experienced within his family.
“My parents still have not been able to accept me being gay,” he said.
“I’m no longer working as a janitor at my dad’s church. I decided to move out and that was a difficult choice to make. I felt like it was the healthiest thing for me to do. Being a part of this show has been good for me in one way, but it has also been a big challenge for me. I’m just being very public about my story and it’s causing a lot of change in my life right now.”
He also noted that he was sorry for disappointing his parents, that he loved them nonetheless and that he was sorry for not being everything that they dreamed he would become.
Judges Katy Perry, Luke Bryan, and Lionel Richie all applauded Harmon for his bravery and his poignant delivery of the song.
Perry said she related to Harmon, as she too lived a life in the church as a pastor’s daughter and knew the challenges he was facing. She chose to live a life that was opposite that her family wanted for her and said she too felt very alone during the most critical times in her then-burgeoning career.
Perry also told Harmon that it took some time for her to find her truth and her own way of living and that he too would find his way, and to allow time and experience to do that for him. She also told him that she was proud of him.
Harmon was not completely alone in his joy at making the Top 20. His boyfriend John was there to share the big news with him and Harmon hoped that his family would be proud of his accomplishments thus far in the competition.
American Idol airs Sundays at Mondays on ABC.