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‘America’s Got Talent’ contestant disowned by family because he is gay

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

NEW ORLEANS, La. — Jonathan Allen, a 20-year-old aspiring singer from Lawrenceburg, Tenn., appearing Tuesday night on NBC’s “America’s Got Talent,” captured the hearts of judges and viewers after learning that, at age 18, he was disowned by his family because he is gay.

Allen said he was kicked out of his parent’s home on his 18th birthday due to his sexual orientation, and is now persuing his dream of becoming a singer.

“With your talent, the show has become your family,” said judge Howie Mandell. “And we’d like to say, welcome home. We love you, and we accept you.”

Watch:

Allen’s stunning performance of Andrea Bocelli’s “Time to Say Goodbye,” received a standing ovation by judges and audience members.

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118 more reader comments:

  1. to Jonathan you are a truly amazing person with a wonderful gift and no matter what your parents or anyone else does you are who you are and your just as beautiful as everyone on this planet it’s okay if your gay

    Posted on Wednesday, June 12, 2013 at 9:24am
  2. I’ll bet they are trying to contact this meal ticket right about now…

    Posted on Wednesday, June 12, 2013 at 9:25am
  3. don’t worry he will hear from them again when he becomes rich and famous!!!!!

    Posted on Wednesday, June 12, 2013 at 9:26am
  4. Jonathan you are not alone

    Posted on Wednesday, June 12, 2013 at 9:26am
  5. This made me cry when I saw it last night

    Posted on Wednesday, June 12, 2013 at 9:27am
  6. When I see things like this – family who can turn their back on a child or sibling because of who they are and who they love – I realize how fortunately I am to have my family, who have always supported me.

    Posted on Wednesday, June 12, 2013 at 9:31am
  7. I want him to get a hug from the whole world!

    Posted on Wednesday, June 12, 2013 at 9:32am
  8. I emailed AGT and told them I have a 20 year old gay son and they could be friends and I have a spare room in a nice home and that I will be happy to be his mom

    Posted on Wednesday, June 12, 2013 at 9:32am
  9. thats sad ….

    Posted on Wednesday, June 12, 2013 at 9:32am
  10. His voice is just as beautiful as he is. We welcome him to our family” Rainbow Family”,we will not shun him.

    Posted on Wednesday, June 12, 2013 at 9:34am
  11. Shana, that is so beautiful for you to offer him that

    Posted on Wednesday, June 12, 2013 at 9:35am
  12. There are thousands of Jonathan Allens’ across America.

    Posted on Wednesday, June 12, 2013 at 9:35am
  13. Truly talented :)

    Posted on Wednesday, June 12, 2013 at 9:35am
  14. I wish him EVERY successand happiness!!!

    Posted on Wednesday, June 12, 2013 at 9:37am
  15. i was just thinking the same thing

    Posted on Wednesday, June 12, 2013 at 9:43am
  16. Beautiful & talented! Big mistake for his family to disown him because of his sexual orientation!

    Posted on Wednesday, June 12, 2013 at 9:43am
  17. you very good.你是最棒的。相当你会有自己的一片天地。加油。我们都在看着你长成。我们爱你。I LOVE YOU。

    Posted on Wednesday, June 12, 2013 at 9:44am
  18. he was awsome you go jonathan loveya from iowa!

    Posted on Wednesday, June 12, 2013 at 9:45am
  19. good chrisita nvalues DISOWN a child do to WHO he is..GREAT PARENTING

    Posted on Wednesday, June 12, 2013 at 9:45am
  20. He is rising above! Bravo!

    Posted on Wednesday, June 12, 2013 at 9:45am
  21. He was amazing!

    Posted on Wednesday, June 12, 2013 at 9:46am
  22. wen i saw him nd heard his story i cried i dnt see y people cant be just okay with things nd love him for him because he is their blood they are ignorant people nd i feel everyone shud love who they want <3 equality is all tht counts :)

    Posted on Wednesday, June 12, 2013 at 9:47am
  23. You beautiful boy. I’m glad that you have risen above and not let your parents bring you down. I hope that they will come around and see what a wonderful gift they have in you. I wish you nothing but success!!

    Posted on Wednesday, June 12, 2013 at 9:53am
  24. Thank You Howie!

    Posted on Wednesday, June 12, 2013 at 9:56am
  25. Yet….he still loves and accepts his parents, they should be ashamed of themselves.

    Posted on Wednesday, June 12, 2013 at 10:03am
  26. HE HAS AN AMAZING OPERA VOICE and got a standing ovation by all.

    Posted on Wednesday, June 12, 2013 at 10:04am
  27. Do these “parents” realize that this is one of the actions that increases suicide in our children. How dare they!

    Posted on Wednesday, June 12, 2013 at 10:05am
  28. Ya know, I have children. Those are your flesh and blood. I can’t even imagine what a cold heartless S.O.B you would have to be to disown your own child just because they are gay.

    Posted on Wednesday, June 12, 2013 at 10:07am
  29. that’s really sad that parents would treat their kids this way :(

    Posted on Wednesday, June 12, 2013 at 10:14am
  30. I love him! He is a great singer! We will be his new family now, we all love him the way he is!

    Posted on Wednesday, June 12, 2013 at 10:16am
  31. This guy’s voice is Rediculous its so good. One of my Favorite songs from a favorite movie.

    Posted on Wednesday, June 12, 2013 at 10:17am
  32. what a wonderful guy….and what awful parents he has… They should be ashamed!

    Posted on Wednesday, June 12, 2013 at 10:20am
  33. oh yeah.and i hope he tells them to fuck off

    Posted on Wednesday, June 12, 2013 at 10:33am
  34. good for him! prays the Lord!

    Posted on Wednesday, June 12, 2013 at 10:36am
  35. So this is what a family is?!!!! How sad and disgusting!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Posted on Wednesday, June 12, 2013 at 10:37am
  36. So sad ignorant parents!

    Posted on Wednesday, June 12, 2013 at 10:38am
  37. This brought tears and chills… we are all unique and completely lovable exactly as we are.

    Posted on Wednesday, June 12, 2013 at 10:38am
  38. Must be those good ole “Christian values” screwing people up again! Jonathan, it does and it will get better!

    Posted on Wednesday, June 12, 2013 at 10:40am
  39. Too bad; people need to step back, take a breath and chill out about all the little things that do not matter in this world. No one should be discriminated against FOR ANY REASON.

    Posted on Wednesday, June 12, 2013 at 10:41am
  40. sad

    Posted on Wednesday, June 12, 2013 at 10:48am
  41. their stupidity

    Posted on Wednesday, June 12, 2013 at 11:03am
  42. So proud of him!!!

    Posted on Wednesday, June 12, 2013 at 11:03am
  43. He can come and be in our family.

    Posted on Wednesday, June 12, 2013 at 11:04am
  44. How very sad that parents don’t imderstanmd their children!!!

    Posted on Wednesday, June 12, 2013 at 11:07am
  45. He was terrific!!

    Posted on Wednesday, June 12, 2013 at 11:19am
  46. I will be his mother. This kid is beautiful inside and out. Way to go Johnathan

    Posted on Wednesday, June 12, 2013 at 11:26am
  47. Brought tears to my eyes. I’m very happy for him!

    Posted on Wednesday, June 12, 2013 at 11:39am
  48. Such a beautiful singer don’t give up on your dream,my parents disowned me too at the age of 15 and they don’t even know I’m bi.I don’t need them in my life anyway!

    Posted on Wednesday, June 12, 2013 at 12:00pm
  49. hes voice is simply amazing and his family sucks how can parnets (family) disown there own child and family member SMH

    Posted on Wednesday, June 12, 2013 at 12:25pm
  50. His parents are ignorant.

    Posted on Wednesday, June 12, 2013 at 12:56pm
  51. This is one incredibly talented and amazing young man. Shame on his family for what they did. They have no right to call themselves “human.”

    Posted on Wednesday, June 12, 2013 at 1:05pm
  52. I hope he is able to create a loving family of support and he can choose those that he lets in.

    Posted on Wednesday, June 12, 2013 at 1:06pm
  53. His family are worshippers of the false messiah Republican jesus

    Posted on Wednesday, June 12, 2013 at 1:25pm
  54. They are liars if they claim to worship the real Jesus. They cannot treat their own son like that and actually be Christian
    .

    Posted on Wednesday, June 12, 2013 at 1:27pm
  55. Randy Arnold, I said the exact same thing to my husband as we watched it last night. You just KNOW they are huge hypocrites!

    Posted on Wednesday, June 12, 2013 at 1:35pm
  56. Divulgue a maior rede social homossexual do Brasil, cadastre-se grátis e importe seus contatos e cresça sua rede para nossa liberdade de expressão, http://www.lgbtbook.com.br

    Posted on Wednesday, June 12, 2013 at 1:49pm
  57. Awesome I wish you good luck

    Posted on Wednesday, June 12, 2013 at 2:27pm
  58. families like that are just not worth it. find a new family

    Posted on Wednesday, June 12, 2013 at 3:09pm
  59. Forget his “family” that man has courage!

    Posted on Wednesday, June 12, 2013 at 5:28pm
  60. So Proud of this young man ,,Stand tall & pround always….Good things coming your way…you made me cry ,when you sang,,just beautiful

    Posted on Wednesday, June 12, 2013 at 5:43pm
  61. People who throw their children out because of their sexuality do not deserve the title of “parents.” They just wanted a beribboned lap poodle that would do every trick they demanded.

    Posted on Wednesday, June 12, 2013 at 5:55pm
  62. He is a wonderful singer! I am so happy for him!

    Posted on Wednesday, June 12, 2013 at 9:57pm
  63. Their loss

    Posted on Wednesday, June 12, 2013 at 9:58pm
  64. :’)

    Posted on Wednesday, June 12, 2013 at 9:59pm
  65. Best revenge ever!!!

    Posted on Wednesday, June 12, 2013 at 10:00pm
  66. Way to go Howie!!!!

    Posted on Wednesday, June 12, 2013 at 10:01pm
  67. he is a wonderful singer and I am sure he will go far with his voice. good luck Jonathan Allen

    Posted on Wednesday, June 12, 2013 at 10:01pm
  68. I posted his performance (which included his introduction) last night on my page via YouTube…I DON’T feel a thing towards his parents other that it’s THEIR LOSS…this young man totally made me cry not only with his story but his COURAGE to put that out there…I mean, WHY lie or hold back something you feel…if he were MY son, I would be SOOOOO proud of him…as for his TALENT, man he BLEW ME AWAY and no matter how far he goes in AGT, he WILL have a career and opportunities waiting FOR HIM!!! God Bless him, I wish I/we would have both had the courage and opportunity to stand up and expose himself as he did…BRAVO JONATHAN ALLEN… <3 <3 <3

    Posted on Wednesday, June 12, 2013 at 10:01pm
  69. Aww !! Love it and it really shows how unconditional a child’s love for their parent is !

    Posted on Wednesday, June 12, 2013 at 10:01pm
  70. My heart broke when he had no one outside the cast and crew to share it with:( he did a great job, I had chills! I hope he makes it to the top!

    Posted on Wednesday, June 12, 2013 at 10:02pm
  71. That was my exact thought, as well.

    Posted on Wednesday, June 12, 2013 at 10:03pm
  72. Then isn’ he better off without those homophobic biggots? Family is about who loves you, not blod. His real family are his friends who love nd stnd by him.

    Posted on Wednesday, June 12, 2013 at 10:08pm
  73. Such an amazing voice…. unfortunately an all too familiar story….he has risen above the hate to become a wonderful young man… proud of you

    Posted on Wednesday, June 12, 2013 at 10:09pm
  74. If this man’s parents have any other children those children should be immediately taken away into protective custody

    Posted on Wednesday, June 12, 2013 at 10:12pm
  75. Such a heartbreaking story. He will do great things though

    Posted on Wednesday, June 12, 2013 at 10:13pm
  76. <3

    Posted on Wednesday, June 12, 2013 at 10:13pm
  77. He has such an amazing voice. The whole time he was singing I was thinking…rise above the hurt sweetie, you got this. :)

    Posted on Wednesday, June 12, 2013 at 10:14pm
  78. Shame on his parents. Disgusting morons.

    Posted on Wednesday, June 12, 2013 at 10:15pm
  79. you bet if he goes on that his parent’s will be all proud of him – it is sickening

    Posted on Wednesday, June 12, 2013 at 10:18pm
  80. :-(

    Posted on Wednesday, June 12, 2013 at 10:18pm
  81. I had absolute chills and emotion when he sang last night. I just wanted to reach in the TV and hug him. Good for you Howie, Howard, Heidi, and Mel B. They and the AGT family just embraced him and we embrace him. There wasn’t a dry eye in the audience, dudes were crying and cheering..it was something special indeed. Can’t wait to see more of Jonathan.

    Posted on Wednesday, June 12, 2013 at 10:21pm
  82. Magnificent voice. Lousy family! Hang in there Jonathan. There are caring people out there!

    Posted on Wednesday, June 12, 2013 at 10:24pm
  83. Saw it last nite – what an amazing talent! His parents should be flogged for their behavior -

    Posted on Wednesday, June 12, 2013 at 10:24pm
  84. And you know what? his family is now gonna try and get back into his life cause he is actually becoming a someone and they wouldn’t want to be viewed as terrible. They will use him as the cash cow and he wouldn’t know it. I really hope he denies his family. They SHOULD feel guilty! THEY LIVED 2 YEARS WITHOUT A SON THEY CAST OUT BECAUSE HE KNEW HOW TO LOVE!

    Posted on Wednesday, June 12, 2013 at 10:43pm
  85. I don’t watch this show or anything like it but I will never understand how anyone could disown their child.

    Posted on Wednesday, June 12, 2013 at 10:44pm
  86. I love you and I support you Jonathan… I will buy your album when it drops.

    Posted on Wednesday, June 12, 2013 at 10:45pm
  87. I got SOO angry with the family when he said what happened! How can you disown your own flesh and blood for something they can’t control. Absolutely ridiculous

    Posted on Wednesday, June 12, 2013 at 10:47pm
  88. I dont watch the show but I think I will just have to vote for him, that man has talent.

    Posted on Wednesday, June 12, 2013 at 10:57pm
  89. his family doesnt deserve his love and talent

    Posted on Wednesday, June 12, 2013 at 10:58pm
  90. Congrats!!! You deserve the best your future has in store!!!

    Posted on Wednesday, June 12, 2013 at 11:01pm
  91. His parents will b calling him now. They c $$$$ signs n his future.

    Posted on Wednesday, June 12, 2013 at 11:01pm
  92. Shame on his parents! I’ll bet they’ll be calling when they see how successful he becomes. Amazing voice!

    Posted on Wednesday, June 12, 2013 at 11:09pm
  93. beautiful voice

    Posted on Wednesday, June 12, 2013 at 11:14pm
  94. this kid was so fucking amazing!!! he deserves so much better than the hand he was delt with his family. i watched this with my mom and she said i dont understand how anyone can disown their children just because they are gay. Those are their children, their flesh and blood.

    Posted on Wednesday, June 12, 2013 at 11:25pm
  95. So very sad. Prayers to this young man.

    Posted on Wednesday, June 12, 2013 at 11:28pm
  96. Love Jonathan!

    Posted on Wednesday, June 12, 2013 at 11:34pm
  97. Fuck any family who would do this to their child i hope he gets famous so he can have them begging for him to forgive them!

    Posted on Wednesday, June 12, 2013 at 11:48pm
  98. Congratulations to him. I hope that one day his parents realize their mistake and ask for forgiveness

    Posted on Wednesday, June 12, 2013 at 11:54pm
  99. He still professed his love for them after what they did to him…what a great Heart.

    Posted on Thursday, June 13, 2013 at 12:14am
  100. So glad he outed his family!!! Ugh!!!

    Posted on Thursday, June 13, 2013 at 12:17am
  101. I saw this episode. I wanted to snuggle him through the TV.

    Posted on Thursday, June 13, 2013 at 12:21am
  102. He had such an amazing voice! I hope his family sees the episode and rethinks what they did to him — or at least realize how foolish they were for doing it. <3

    Posted on Thursday, June 13, 2013 at 12:29am
  103. What an amazing talent! Howie’s comment brought me to tears.

    Posted on Thursday, June 13, 2013 at 3:32am
  104. The only people who disown their children are those who are addicted to religion.

    After all, this is what Jesus said himself. It all starts in Matt 10:34 and here is the salient quote: “For I came to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law; and a man’s enemies ***will be the members of his household.***”

    Posted on Thursday, June 13, 2013 at 4:39am
  105. their loss!! i dont understand how for any reason a family can disown their own children! he’s gay..so what! at least he’s capable of love and not full of hate! i hope some day his family wakes up and realizes how WRONG their actions are!

    Posted on Thursday, June 13, 2013 at 5:01am
  106. Families come in all shapes and sizes. Now he has a bigger one with all the support he needs.

    Posted on Thursday, June 13, 2013 at 5:22am
  107. This kid is amasing, His parents should be so ashamed of themselves NOT HIM! God makes us what we are.

    Posted on Thursday, June 13, 2013 at 5:26am
  108. I hope he can surround himself with people who love him for who he IS!

    Posted on Thursday, June 13, 2013 at 5:28am
  109. what a talent! and a lovely soul rising above adversity to bring joy to others.

    Posted on Thursday, June 13, 2013 at 5:34am
  110. If that family can not love and support, they can just step aside. Jonathan will succeed with his talent and like many others, can make his own loving family.

    Posted on Thursday, June 13, 2013 at 5:38am
  111. I cried. yes I did. :)

    Posted on Thursday, June 13, 2013 at 6:03am
  112. A beautiful person with a beautiful voice! Family= those who love, accept and support you; not necessarily those you were born to.

    Posted on Thursday, June 13, 2013 at 6:07am
  113. So sad

    Posted on Thursday, June 13, 2013 at 6:23am
  114. Very cool!

    Posted on Thursday, June 13, 2013 at 6:29am
  115. I missed his performance, but after reading some of the comments sounds like he is a very talented young man. Not if but when he makes as a singer that is when his family that disowned him will try to take credit for HIS success. It is him and his talent that will make him successful, not them. God bless and i hope he makes it far on America’s Got Talent. I will watch his performance on youtube. :)

    Posted on Thursday, June 13, 2013 at 6:59am
  116. Not gonna lie, I cried.

    Posted on Thursday, June 13, 2013 at 7:37am
  117. When will the hate stop. How could you turn your back on your own flesh and blood. Makes my heart bleed, I hope he makes it big!

    Posted on Thursday, June 13, 2013 at 8:23am
  118. Amazing voice

    Posted on Thursday, June 13, 2013 at 8:57am