When Brock Thompson came out to his parents 20 years ago, things were a bit rocky. His father, a deacon in his Methodist church, told Brock not to bring any gay friends over to the house “because he wasn’t sure if he could be kind to them or not.” But things have changed, his parents have grown, and they just recently went to their first Pride.
In a recent blog on The Washington Blade, Thompson explains how his Arkansas parents suggested they come to visit their son, who lives in Washington D.C., during Pride weekend this year. He shares how his parents were quite surprised and impressed by how many businesses in the city showed their support for LGBT rights with flags or rainbow colors.
Thomspon wrote, “Coming from a place where LGBT issues are still wedged between voters, it was striking to see their reaction to just how mainstream, accepted, city-sanctioned, and celebrated queer life is in the District.”
During the Pride parade, Thompson’s 70-year-old father noted every church and religious group involved. At one point, Thompson said “my Dad turned to my friend Brian and said, ‘This is like no party I’ve ever seen.’ He added, ‘and I’m having the time of my life.'”
The next day, Thompson and his parents joined the Equality March and were able to witness how parental support of LGBTQ children is appreciated by many. His parents held a sign that read, “We love our (single) gay son!” Many marchers approached Thompson’s parents to say thank you and show just how great it was to see parents supporting their son. One young man even said, “Can I pretend for a moment that you’re my Mom and Dad?”
His parents were in awe and touched by the reactions of marchers and left for Arkansas happier than ever.
Thompson said of the experience: “Pride in D.C. means so many things to so many different people in our community. For some it’s a celebration, for others it’s still a call to arms. For me and my parents, it was a showcase of the different shapes and sizes love and community can take.”