Father-son duo Jim and Sasha Allen made it to the semifinals on season 21 of “The Voice” but were eliminated just before the finals.
Although the Connecticut natives didn’t make the top five, 19-year-old Sasha still made “The Voice” history by being the first openly transgender person to make it to the semifinals. In a January 3 appearance on “The Ellen DeGeneres Show,” Sasha opened up about his experience coming out.
“I came out the summer before sophomore year and it was a really hard experience,” he told DeGeneres. “But there’s not really a choice in the matter of coming out because…you can’t really live with that pain anymore, you just have to be yourself.” Sasha admitted it was “scary” realizing that millions of viewers would be watching him on “The Voice,” formulating their own opinions about his story.
“You don’t know how the world is gonna react to you,” he said. “But I made the decision to share my story in this way because I was like ‘if I could just, you know, help one kid who’s in the position that I was in or help somebody to understand who knows nothing about trans people or has never met a trans person, it would all be worth it.”
Jim and Sasha Allen also performed “Home” by Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros on the show. Watch their interview with DeGeneres and their performance below.
Jim Allen Acknowledged That a Child Coming Out As Transgender Is ‘Disorienting for Any Parent’
DeGeneres asked Sasha’s father, 57-year-old Jim, if he was always supportive of Sasha coming out as transgender, or if it took him a while to adjust to the idea.
“It’s important to acknowledge that this would be disorienting for any parent,” Jim said, stating that the hardest part is realizing how much suffering your child has been going through secretly for years. He added that when a child finds the courage to be honest about who they are, “that’s the time for a parent to listen and to listen again and slow down and listen some more because that’s our job as parents.”
Jim also told DeGeneres that by the time he and Sasha were competing on “The Voice,” Sasha was in a good space to tell his story. “We were blessed enough to find the opportunity at…a certain point in our journey where it was just the perfect timing for Sasha to tell his story,” he said.
DeGeneres asked Jim and Sasha how they decided to audition for “The Voice.” Sasha answered, “It was definitely my dad’s decision.” Jim started floating the idea when they were spending a lot of time at home due to COVID-19. “I was like ‘we are never going to make it on ‘The Voice.’ That’s never going to happen, that’s never going to be a reality ever in a million years,'” Sasha said.
Not only did Jim and Sasha make it past the blind auditions, but they were also the last act from Ariana Grande’s team standing. They formed a close bond with Grande, even spending Thanksgiving 2021 with her.