A father in Oklahoma just gave the world a lesson in affirmation for LGBTQ+ children. With Lady Gaga’s classic "Born This Way" playing in the background, John Wyatt helped his 15-year-old son, Caden, hang a Pride Ally flag outside their home. Wyatt told BuzzFeed News he and his family wanted to publicly support their son, who came out less than a year ago, and let others know their home is a safe space. Video of the heartwarming moment was posted to TikTok and has since gone viral, with over 1.7 million views in less than a week.
"We’re letting people know it’s a safe place," Wyatt told BuzzFeed News. "I’m not trying to cause any controversy in the neighborhood, but maybe there’s some person out there who will see that flag and smile and feel safe."
"I’m really lucky to have such supportive parents, because I know a lot of other people aren’t as lucky as me," Caden added.
The Wyatts specifically chose to fly a Pride Ally flag outside their home. Caden has a classic Pride flag in his room, but the family liked the Ally flag’s symbolic message of affirmation and support, especially in the deeply conservative town just outside Tulsa.
"I want people to know that my parents have their back, and so do I," Caden explained.
Caden went on to reveal he was "kind of nervous at first" about flying the flag outside his home because he "didn’t know how people were going to react," but that he no longer is worried about the opinions of others.
"I’m just going to be myself," he said.
John revealed he wasn’t always an ally to the community, but that changed once he and his wife realized from early on that Caden might be gay. They knew he could come out at any time, and they wanted to let him know they were going to "support him and be there for him" as a family. They clearly succeeded.
The video and flag have brought about an outpouring of support online. John said several people have said they wished their own families were as accepting of the identities as the Wyatts.
"Every time I get a comment like that, I tell them I got them," John revealed. "If they need somebody to talk to, I’m here. And if they need a 'dad hug,' I’m here. If they’re local and they need to come over for dinner, whatever — our home is open to them."