I found out my son is gay; should I s...

I found out my son is gay; should I say anything?

Posted in the Gay/Lesbian Forum

whattodo

Surrey, Canada

#1 Jul 25, 2011
My son is 18 and I found out that he is gay by reading his email. I wanted to find out if he was experimenting with drugs; instead I learned that he is gay.

I accept him the way he is and I love him and will support him in any way that I can. I hate to think that that he hasn't been able to tell me and his dad because he is scared of what our reaction will be. That is no way for a child to feel.

To be honest, I think that it will be difficult for my husband to accept, but for right now, I just want my son to know that I am here for him. Should I tell him that I know? Or do I just wait until he's ready to tell me? What if it takes years for that to happen? Any advice will be very appreciated.

“ reality, what a concept”

Since: Nov 07

this one

#2 Jul 26, 2011
Wait until he's ready to come to you, he may still just be coming to terms with it himself. What you can do in the meantime, is help clear the air of any uncertainty. Don't dwell on the subject obsessively, but find a way of bringing up the subject of acceptance. You'll also need to work on your husband too. Your son is lucky to be coming out to loving and accepting parents, he just needs to know that is who is there waiting for him.

“Equality marches on! ”

Since: Apr 08

Location hidden

#3 Jul 26, 2011
Great advice, Rick! Mother's always seem to know, sometimes even before the child!!
Dear whattodo, just keep loving and supporting your son and everything will fall into place!
Bill of Rights

Jakarta, Indonesia

#6 Jul 26, 2011
I say kick the stinking little gay creep to the curb!

“Equality marches on! ”

Since: Apr 08

Location hidden

#7 Jul 26, 2011
Bill of Rights wrote:
I say kick the stinking little gay creep to the curb!
And once again, R1 jumps on a thread using yet another unregistered username. The dead give away is rating all but his own post negatively. So predictable, so trollish, and all the traits of the Topix troll, R1. Soon he'll post as Peaches, for some real confusing illiteracy/blather!
wow

Gardner, MA

#8 Jul 26, 2011
You mean you just found out?? Didn't you think some was up when he was eating his ear of corn the long way at the dinner table?????

“=”

Since: Oct 07

Appleton WI

#9 Jul 26, 2011
whattodo wrote:
My son is 18 and I found out that he is gay by reading his email. I wanted to find out if he was experimenting with drugs; instead I learned that he is gay.
I accept him the way he is and I love him and will support him in any way that I can. I hate to think that that he hasn't been able to tell me and his dad because he is scared of what our reaction will be. That is no way for a child to feel.
To be honest, I think that it will be difficult for my husband to accept, but for right now, I just want my son to know that I am here for him. Should I tell him that I know? Or do I just wait until he's ready to tell me? What if it takes years for that to happen? Any advice will be very appreciated.
Yeah, rick gave good advice... but the interesting thing to me is that no one said anything about your reading his email. I understand having concerns about your son, but he's 18... you have no business reading his private mail. I'm glad you're accepting of his orientation, but the fact you went into his email really bothers me. Where do you draw the line at invading his privacy?
whattodo

Surrey, Canada

#10 Jul 27, 2011
Yes, I read his email. He actually turns 18 next month; he is still a minor and I am still responsible for him. It is my job as a parent to protect him as much as I am able. I was worried about him and I didn't know what else to do. I don't know if either of you are parents, but if you aren't, let me explain that as much as we try to respect our children's privacy, sometimes we have to do things that we aren't proud of. I worry about my son and his future. I worry that he doesn't feel accepted in his own home. I worry that I don't know what he needs right now.
No, I shouldn't have read his emails, and even though it was done out of love and concern, it is wrong. I have to live with that decision and at some point will have to ask him to forgive me for that. But in the meantime, I am asking for help and advice. Condemn me if you choose, but maybe you could find it in your hearts to help me be there for my son.
Can you share your own experiences? Would it have been easier to come out if your mom had told you that she already knew? Would it have been worse? Wouldn't that have lessened the fear and anxiety that you felt? I didn't have to announce to anyone that I was heterosexual and it's not fair that society requires someone who is not to "come out". But that's what we have to deal with and if I can make that process easier for my son, then I am going to do it. That is why I posted here and I hope that you can look past my wrongs and help me.

“=”

Since: Oct 07

Appleton WI

#11 Jul 27, 2011
whattodo wrote:
Yes, I read his email. He actually turns 18 next month; he is still a minor and I am still responsible for him.[edited for space]
Like I said, I understand your concern for your son. Yes, I am a parent of two sons myself. And I do recall when one of them was younger and living with me that I snooped around his room, and did indeed find some things he should not have had in his possession. I am not condemning you, I only said it bothered me that you read his email. I'm sure you felt justified at the time... I don't know all the circumstances... so I apologize if I came off as judgmental.

In my case, neither of my boys is gay. It was me, their father, who had to come out... to my children, as well as my parents, siblings and friends. Being bisexual, it was somewhat easier for me to hide from everyone, including myself, than someone who is strictly gay. I was 35 when I found myself in a relationship with another man, and knew that I didn't want to try to hide it. I was not ashamed and would not keep this relationship a secret. Just to be clear, I had been divorced from my ex wife for several years, and the failure of our marriage had nothing to do with my sexuality. In fact my ex wife was one of the first to be supportive of my coming out, and everyone, including my kids really liked my "friend" who was now my boyfriend.

My coming out was a lot easier than I had anticipated. Perhaps being 35 and people having known me for so long, and not being a teenager, it was easier for them to accept, although no one suspected.

My kids already knew before I told them. They were familiar with my boyfriend as a friend of mine. Apparently there were times when we would be watching a movie and the kids were downstairs sleeping... they would occasionally come upstairs to use the bathroom... They saw us on the couch basically "cuddling" which they would not expect straight "buddies" to be doing. We weren't having sex or making out or anything, but were obviously more than just good friends. So they had a little time to process the idea before I confirmed it with them. I was nervous about telling everyone, but knew it had to be done.

At least one friend was a bit disappointed that I didn't trust him enough to come out sooner. But I explained to him that while I always knew on a subconscious level that I was attracted to men as well as women, I had suppressed that from myself for most of my life until I actually met this man and was forced to confront myself with the truth of my bisexuality.

My parents had already met my boyfriend too, and both liked him. They were divorced. I had a sit down talk with my dad. With mom, it wasn't really necessary to explain. She knew. We had visited her several times together, and that year I asked her if it would be okay if he joined us for our family Christmas at her place. She understood and welcomed him, as did my dad. He was welcome at all family get-togethers, and I was also welcomed by his family.

I don't know if any of this is helpful to you since it is not really the same situation. I do think some good advice was already given. Just be a loving and supportive mom. Maybe find a way to bring up the issue without being obvious. Depending on the circumstances, maybe you COULD be obvious, and just let him know that you know he's gay and you're okay with it.

You've already got a good start by recognizing that at his age he is probably experiencing some anxiety and fear about people finding out. You may not fully understand his being gay, but you understand it doesn't change who he is or make him a bad person. Most importantly, you need to alleviate that fear and let him know that he is safe and loved unconditionally. One of the worst things for a young gay or lesbian is to have parents that get angry and confirm their fears by disowning or kicking them out of the house and family.(sorry this is long, running out of space)

“=”

Since: Oct 07

Appleton WI

#14 Jul 27, 2011
Sorry for all the duplicate posts... They were not showing as being posted.
Mom

Chandler, AZ

#15 Oct 16, 2013
As I was dusting our son's room a text popped up on his phone that said, "do you parents know you are gay?" I was certainly caught off guard. He is still so young (age 12) that I didn't even know he had considered guys or girls. I suppose that is naive in itself. Anyhow, I did not read anything other than the text that was right there on his locked screen. I accept whoever our son is and becomes and love him dearly. So, at this point I do not know what to do. Do I tell my husband? Do I tell our son that I know? Please help.

“=”

Since: Oct 07

Appleton WI

#17 Oct 16, 2013
Mom wrote:
As I was dusting our son's room a text popped up on his phone that said, "do you parents know you are gay?" I was certainly caught off guard. He is still so young (age 12) that I didn't even know he had considered guys or girls. I suppose that is naive in itself. Anyhow, I did not read anything other than the text that was right there on his locked screen. I accept whoever our son is and becomes and love him dearly. So, at this point I do not know what to do. Do I tell my husband? Do I tell our son that I know? Please help.
First of all, unless you've seen other clues that your son may be gay, I wouldn't necessarily assume he is just because of that text you saw. It could be a prank or something.

It is not at all unusual for a 12 year old to be discovering his sexuality. And attraction to a particular gender (or both) that has nothing to do with "sex" can start at just about any age. I had little crushes at 5 years old, maybe earlier.

There is no one size fits all answer that I'm aware of. Everyone and their relationships with their children or parents are different. Hopefully, you already know better than anybody the best approach with your son.

Depending on your relationship with him, it could be as simple as coming right out and telling him that you saw the text while dusting and let him know that it's okay with you IF he is gay... it doesn't change anything... and he can feel safe and comfortable talking to you about anything that's going on or concerning him. However, if you suspect he would be very upset or embarrassed, you might try another approach.

In a perfect world, there would be no reason NOT to discuss it with your husband. This is another choice YOU have to make. Do you know how your husband feels about homosexuality?. Hopefully you already know, but if not, maybe you could get an idea by bringing up the subject in a broader way instead of making it about your son right away.

That said, again, everyone's relationships are different... it might actually be best to do nothing... let him come out in his own time and his own way if he is in fact gay. Ideally, parents and kids SHOULD be able to communicate freely and openly, but as a both a child and a parent myself, I know the world is not perfect and relationships are not always ideal. If the world were perfect you would not have asked for advice.

I'm sure if you just think about it for a while, your heart and your gut instincts will help guide you on the best way to approach this.

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