Jeremiah Lloyd Harmon might be wowing audiences each week on “American Idol,” but he said his decision to compete on the show has added to some deeply personal challenges.
The 26-year-old singer landed in the top 20 of the ABC competition series Sunday after crooning a tender version of Fleetwood Mac’s 1975 classic “Landslide.” In an interview accompanying the performance, he revealed that his father ― who is a pastor in Catonsville, Maryland ― and mother have not been able to accept him as gay. “Being a part of this show has been good for me in one way, but it has also been a big challenge for me,” Harmon said.
“I’m just being very public about my story, and it’s causing a lot of change in my life right now.”
Harmon got visibly emotional after leaving the stage, explaining that he selected “Landslide” as a tribute to his parents.
“They were really on my mind when I sang that,” he said. “I just want them to know that I love them, and I tried to communicate that.”
Later, judge Katy Perry connected with Harmon over their shared Christian backgrounds, saying that her parents weren’t thrilled when she released her 2008 br-eakout h-it, “I Kissed a Girl.”
“It was difficult for me because I felt very alone in what is supposed to be a very exciting time in my life,” she recalled.
“It has taken some time, but we’ve all come around to agree to disagree.”
“I just want to say, from one pastor’s kid to another, that I see you and I love you and I accept you and I’m so proud of you,” she added.
Ultimately, Harmon said, he’s hopeful that young LGBTQ people and others who may be struggling with their identity in some way might find courage through witnessing his experiences on the show.
“I’m doing this for everyone who has been outcast by their loved ones,” he said. “If I can be open about it and vulnerable, then maybe that can bring hope to somebody else.”
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