This is a John Barrowman appreciation post and I need to clarify why. I had the pleasure of interacting with JB twice this year, once in Houston at Comicpalooza and again in San Antonio last weekend. While in Houston (where I told JB he was only one of two men on the planet I’d spend 15 minutes on my knees in a corset just to speak to - but I digress), I thanked him for being who he was and for playing Captain Jack because his choices made my job as a parent infinitely easier and told him why.
When my son Alton was five, he was sitting at the coffee table coloring while Doctor Who was on. We had just watched Bad Wolf/Parting of the Ways and my son looked up at me suddenly and said, “Jack kissed Rose, so he likes girls.”
I watched him carefully as I answered, “Yes, Jack likes Rose and he knows she likes him, too, so he kissed her.”
He went back to his coloring and then said, “And Jack kissed the Doctor, so he likes boys.”
I nodded and said,”Yes, Jack likes the Doctor as well and he wanted him to know it.”
My five-year-old son said, “So it’s OK to kiss someone when you love them as long as it’s OK with them?”
I nodded and that was it. He was satisfied and went back to his coloring.
Whenever he had questions about anything to do with sexuality, Alton always prefaced his questions with, “So, Mom, remember when Captain Jack…?” and I always knew it was going to be an interesting conversation.
I found out earlier this year that an older boy close to our family harassed another boy who came out as gay. He taunted him and called him horrible names, but he made the mistake of doing this in front of my son and tried to enlist him as well. He fully expected my boy to join in, so he was surprised when my then-eight-year old pointedly refused to do so.
"You watch Doctor Who, right?" Alton said. "And you like Captain Jack, right?"
The older boy answered, “Yeah, but what’s that got to do with it?”
My boy answered, “Well, for starters, it makes you a hypocrite. If Jack can like boys and you don’t care, why do you care who he likes? It’s none of your business. Jack and the Doctor would both be ashamed of you.”
And that was it. My boy didn’t tell me about this at all. I found out about it from a third-party who witnessed it and asked me about it months later. My son didn’t even think his reaction was unusual enough to mention to me. He did what he thought was right and moved on- end of story.
When John was in San Antonio, I tried to tell him that the boy with me was the same one I told him about in Houston, but several months and numerous conventions had passed since then, and I didn’t really have the time to explain while in an autograph line, so I’m pretty sure he didn’t remember. Nevertheless, John was absolutely lovely to my son. He posed with him, with both of them saluting the camera. When we went through the line to have the photo autographed, my son gave JB his own picture dressed in his Captain Jack costume. John immediately grabbed a marker and had my son autograph the picture, “To John, Love Alton.” My son is still telling people about this.
I always knew John Barrowman was a lovely person- and so was Scott, by the way- but now I have irrefutable proof.