by Matt Hanisch
DECATUR, IL — Though Susan and Jonathan Hardy tried their best, they were unable to contain their complete lack of surprise when their son Zach announced to them that he was gay. Despite their best efforts, Mr. and Mrs. Hardy’s facial expressions gave them away almost as soon as their son twirled into the living room.
“I said, ‘Oh wow!’ and Susan added an extra, ‘We had no idea!’ which I thought was brilliant,” Mr. Hardy recounted.
Though they failed to express any real shock upon hearing the news, both parents genuinely gave their utmost support. “We don’t have a problem with it,” Mrs. Hardy assured. “In fact, we’re very happy for him! It’s just that, well, we’ve known for several years now.”
Growing up, Hardy loved musical theater, gymnastics, “RuPaul’s Drag Race,” sensible high-heeled shoes, and throwing shade. “Of course, none of those things mean a person is gay,” Mr. Hardy clarified, “but I did once hear him tell a girl ‘I respect you too much to want to sleep with you’ on prom night.”
Hardy underwent intense preparation before the big day, performing vocal exercises, practicing his lines in the mirror, and even picking out his exact outfit so that the moment would be just right. “I mean he marked the day in his calendar with a giant rainbow sticker, so it wasn’t exactly out of the blue,” Mr. Hardy admitted.
On the big day, Mr. and Mrs. Hardy were as prepared as their son. They both made sure to drop their jaws, widen their eyes, and put their hands on the sides of their faces. “We actually practiced that several times,” Mrs. Hardy explained, “so we could be sure it would look authentic.”
Hardy couldn’t help but feel a little disappointed at his parents’ lackluster reaction.
“My parents weren’t as surprised as I thought they would be,” Hardy admitted, “but that must be because I’ve been dropping subtle hints for so long!”