Photo: Carson Jones / Instagram
Carson Jones, the openly gay son of Senator-elect Doug Jones, is “thrilled” his father was victorious over anti-LGBTQ Roy Moore in last week’s Alabama election.
Moore, who refuses to concede the election has a history of homophobic and transphobic comments, while he campaign was beset by allegations of child molestation.
The 22-year-old Jones, a zookeeper in Denver, was subject to a number of blog posts calling him a “thirst trap” and the “hot gay son” of Doug Jones, based on photos posted to his Instagram. He has since confirmed that he is gay.
Speaking with the Advocate, Jones said he was “obviously thrilled with my dad’s victory. We have been overwhelmed by the support of so many people that made this happen. Alabama made a really big statement that unity wins out. I couldn’t be prouder of him or my home state!”
Jones expanded on his father’s victory — and his coming out story — an interview with Grindr’s INTO magazine, saying he knew his father could win in the notoriously conservative state. On election night, his grandmother said, “It looks like we’re going home,” as Jones trailed Moore by almost 40,000 votes.
“We’re not going home,” Jones responded. “There are 600,000 votes left to come in.”
Doug Jones eventually bested Moore by 20,000 votes, his victory fueled by record turnout and record support from black Alabamans — 98% of black women who voted cast their vote for Jones.
“These are groups that have been really disenfranchised by the system and by politics in the state,” Carson Jones told INTO. “They were able to galvanize voters and get people energized. We can’t thank them enough.”
Jones noted that both Trump’s election the year prior and Moore’s success in the Republican primary had left LGBTQ people in Alabama on edge, with Trump in particular leaving him “really scared and really afraid.”
“When Roy Moore won on primary night, I think we felt such an incredible sense of responsibility,” Carson said. “We had staffers who were part of our campaign who were LGBTQ or part of different minority groups, and they were crying. And I think it galvanized us to reach out to those groups, not to get their votes but to say that we cared about them.”
Jones also revealed that he came out to his father and mother in a blog post in 2015, after the Supreme Court legalized marriage equality.
He texted his mother with the message “Don’t wait. Read it now.” The response from each parent was simple: “I love you.” Jones says that, since coming out, they have “always been really supportive.”
Their support, combined with his father besting Moore in the election, leads Jones to believe that things are finally improving for LGBTQ people.
“[T]hings are getting better,” Jones said. “That’s what I have to believe. And after the results on Tuesday, I don’t just believe it—I know it.”