Luke Bryan, Katy Perry, and Lionel Richie, the judges of ‘American Idol’, had one of the most emotional experiences at the show after 16-year-old Ace Stiles auditioned and opened up about his coming out story and the hardships that followed.
After hearing an original song performed by Ace, Perry asked the singer, "Is Ace your real name?". To this, he answered, “I'm Trans, so I get to pick my name. So technically it's my name.”
Ace’ mom Colleen, in a video package that was aired during the episode, saw her talking about how “A few years ago we noticed that Ace went from very gregarious and outgoing to suddenly very withdrawn and quiet,"
“Ace sat me down in his room and said, 'Mom, I have to tell you something. I'm a boy.' I said, 'Okay,' " Colleen continued.
Ace also described a traumatic experience in which he was not "allowed" to use either the men's or women's restroom. "They made me change in the closet. It wasn't fun and made me cry but it's chill,” said the boy.
Hearing the audition, Perry said, “Ace, you're doing great and it's going to get better and better and better.”
"I feel like you're far smarter than your years. The only thing I'm dealing with is the introverted, the quietness f your voice. I think as you grow older, you'll be able to write songs in that realm and I would totally anticipate that out of you, but I don't think it's quite ready for American Idol yet,” said Bryan who also asked him to keep hischin up’.