Caden Wyatt, 15, came out to his loved ones just over a year ago. This year, amid June Pride festivities, Caden’s dad, John, honored his son’s identity by placing a massive rainbow flag outside of the family’s home.
“We are fixin’ to shock Oklahoma,” John says in the TikTok, before playing Lady Gaga’s “Born This Way” over the footage of his son hanging up the flag.
The video, which was posted during the first week of Pride Month, racked up over 2 million views.
“Happy Pride Month to y’all, especially to my son!” John captioned the video. “Love you.”
“I’m claiming you as my dad,” a commenter wrote. “My dad said he never wanted me to show off my flag.”
“That’s a good dad right there!!!!” another added.
In a follow-up video, John explained that the flag — which has black and white stripes in addition to the traditional rainbow stripes — is a straight allies flag for the LGBTQIA+ community. Straight allies, like John and his wife, are heterosexual and/or cis-gendered people who support equality and LGBTQIA+ people and social movements.
In an interview with BuzzFeed News, John said he researched the flag and made sure to run it by Caden before purchasing it.
“We’re letting people know it’s a safe place,” John told BuzzFeed. “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.”
While the online support has been overwhelming for the Wyatt family, they are also relieved that there hasn’t been any backlash in their community. The family lives in Owasso, a town outside of Tulsa, which is strongly conservative. Fortunately, there has been no vandalization.
“I was kind of nervous at first,” Caden told BuzzFeed. “I didn’t know how people were going to act, but I just don’t really care what they think anymore. I’m just going to be myself.”
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