Mark Wahlberg Shares 'Powerful Messages' He Got from Parents of LGBTQ Youth Praising Joe Bell

·2-min read

Mark Wahlberg is sharing some of the sweet messages he has received from parents of LGBTQ youth amid the release of his newest film Joe Bell.

Based on a true story, the movie follows "an Oregonian father who pays tribute to his gay teenage son Jadin, embarking on a self-reflective walk across America to speak his heart to heartland citizens about the real and terrifying costs of bullying," reads a description presented last month alongside the movie's official trailer.

In Wahlberg's heartfelt post on Thursday, the actor (who plays Bell, alongside Reid Miller as Jadin) spotlighted several messages, including one from a mother who said the film "means so much to me" and that she was "so thankful" for it.

"I have always been accepting of my gay son from day one, but there are so many parents who are not," she added. "I pray that [the movie] helps open the hearts and minds of parents who are struggling to accept their children as they are! Thank you!"

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"My child attempted suicide in January. They have come out as trans and I will do everything in my power to protect them from the hate in the world," another fan wrote. "The preview made me bawl and hit me hard because I live it. Thank you for bringing light to our LGBT kids."

"I'm a young father with young daughters ... my youngest has recently told me she's gay and I couldn't be more proud of her [for] living her true self," said a third. "Your trailer brought tears to my eyes and I guarantee it'll make our entire family cry."

"Powerful messages — thank you to Paul and the others tagged who have reached out," Wahlberg wrote in his post's caption. "We love hearing how you've been moved by Joe Bell's mission to honor his son and end bullying."

He ended by asking fans to share their own stories using the hashtag #ThankYouJoeBell.

Good Joe Bell
Good Joe Bell

Everett Reid Miller and Mark Wahlberg in Joe Bell

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Featuring the tagline "Redemption is a journey you can't take alone" on its poster, Joe Bell, also starring Connie Britton and Gary Sinise, premiered in September at the 2020 Toronto International Film Festival.

It tells the story of Bell's inspiring walk following the loss of his 15-year-old son Jadin, who died by suicide in 2013 after being bullied for being gay.

Adding to the tragedy, Bell was struck and killed by a tractor-trailer six months into his cross-country journey. He was 48.

Joe Bell is in theaters now.

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