A shiny new topic!

(49 Posts)

This is a bit like being the first to trample in virgin snow!

We very recently discovered that DS1 (18) is gay. Apparently he has known for some time. We only found out because it became apparent that he has a boyfriend.

DH and I are both open, liberal and accepting of homosexuality so we were both shocked by our own reaction to this discovery. Whilst rationally I can accept it, emotionally it is a very different matter.

I find that I mind very much that he is not heterosexual. And I'm mourning the imagined future that I had for him - meeting a girl, settling down, having children ...

He's obviously happy, which is the most important thing, but I am worried for him and his future. Can't help it.

The especially difficult thing is telling our parents. His friends all know, and we're telling our friends as it becomes appropriate - but I'm not really sure how my dad, or my PILs will react, so not sure how we're going to proceed there.

How has it worked for anyone else in a similiar situation?

chipmonkey Thu 30-Sep-10 13:56:59

But we all know you're just going through a phase, Lenin.wink

ElephantsAndMiasmas Thu 30-Sep-10 14:39:17

Actually I think BIWI's just going through a straight phrase. It won't last

FWIW I do think that teens now are far more accepting of it than I would have been at that age. My DS (16) has friends who are gay, and in a relationship, and he is totally "meh" about it. It's just not an issue to him, or the rest of their circle of friends. I don't have any problem with homosexuality, being an aging hippy liberal type, but I have to almost think about the concept and decide that I'm ok with it, whereas to him it just seems like a non-issue and it wouldn't occur to him that it was something to be fine or not fine about, any more than a friend being blond or brunette was anything for him to have an opinion on.

So, hopefully, the LBGT children/teens on here will have a supportive circle of friends which will give them a good "buffer" against what the rest of the world is still maybe going to throw at them, and we'll be able to move on till its only an old fossil like me who even remembers that sexuality could be considered an "issue".

You're right about that, AMIS - his peer group, and my younger DS are sort of 'so?' about the whole thing, which is (obviously) fantastic.

How do you think I should break the news to DH that I'm coming to the end of my straight phase, Elephants? grin

chipmonkey Thu 30-Sep-10 22:04:54

Just bring your girlfriend home BIWI. He'll have to just lump it!grin

ElephantsAndMiasmas Thu 30-Sep-10 22:41:52

AMIS - It's weird because people are a lot more accepting in many ways (and there are lots of famous gay men and women who are out). But at the same time the homophobic bullying and "eugh that's so gay" stuff is still pretty prevalent in schools IME.

I really hope it'll be the same as the way that e.g. religion has become a non-story (with notable exceptions e.g. NI). When my mum's generation were growing up, whether someone was Catholic, CofE, Jewish etc was a massive deal. Now who even knows?

Can't you just move all his stuff into the spare room? And hang a pink fluffy sign saying "Hers & Hers" on your bedroom door?

grin

<scouts for victims>

MamaChris Fri 01-Oct-10 09:08:16

To BIWI and AP, well done for reacting so well to your dcs, that's fantastic. Coming out to my dad took me a lot of courage (his response was good too).

I completely understand you both need to grieve for a future you had imagined that now may not happen quite that way (though like lots of my gay friends, I do have the CP, house, kids etc, and ds's dad is gay so also possible for gay guys, if that's what they want). But I'd like to say don't just be sad about the prejudice you imagine your ds will have to face. Be happy about the new life they will have too. It's true it's sometimes no picnic, and I do still need to become more confident myself, especially now ds is approaching school age. But I am very happy with my life, and I honestly wouldn't choose to swap a minute of it since I came out at 18 for a parallel straight life. Good luck to you and your ds's

LeninGrad Fri 01-Oct-10 10:00:56

What MamaChris said, it is a good age to come out as you've missed potential crap at school, although I'm glad to see that hasn't happened for AP's DS.

Stonewall are doing some great work to counter homophobic bullying in schools and I know our local LGBT youth group does a lot of outreach work with schools to explain how it was for them realising they were gay and coming out whilst at school. I've heard great things about our local secondary on this score which is fantastic.

I know my DSes will get a lot of 'your dad's gay' and I hope they can just say 'well, yes he is actually'. Not sure what they might get about having two mums.

chipmonkey Fri 01-Oct-10 12:09:54

You can't have too many Mums, IMO.smile

albusmycat Sat 02-Oct-10 15:46:17

My son is 21 and came out 4 years ago, as soon as he hit sixth form at school. He told me when he was 13 that he thought he might be, but I already suspected. It was a non issue for me, and, whilst respecting the obviously genuine nature of the feelings, I struggle to understand those who react with disappointment or shock. It has - almost literally - broken my heart seeing my wonderful, amazing son coming to terms with the fact that what he is is not defined as 'normal' by much of society.

FellatioNelson Tue 30-Nov-10 11:59:14

Hello all - have no personal experience to impart, but I just wanted to say that I have two sons of 18 and 15 and they regularly announce that someone or other in their aquaintance has come out. These days, providing your children are lucky enough to mix with reasonably decent intilligent well-balanced kids, their generation seems to be super-cool and laid back about the whole business. It barely raises an eyebrow. I can't begin to imagine the uproar if someone had come out at school 30 years ago!

Our children have grown up in an era when homosexuality is widely accepted as if not exactly 'normal' to most of them, then just another facet of life's rich pattern. Thankfully there is much less of a 'gawp and point' culture now, as we have so many celebrity and sprting role models who are opnely gay and clearly great. lovely, successful people. I think that has really enabled kids to come out younger and younger.

I drive past a VERY high-achieving girl's grammar school each day and I regularly see girl couples holding hands and canoodling quite openly. I am amazed that they have such confidence in themselves and their sexuality at only 15 or 16 years old - but
it's a good thing ultimately.

The only danger is that coming out of the closet too early can result in going back in aagain six months later when you get a girlfriend -as happened to one of my sons friends! His poor mother must have felt like her head had been put through a fast spin cycle!

outwardhome Mon 06-Dec-10 09:18:18

Hi,

I know this topic is long dead, but for the benefit of anyone who may view it in the future I though I'd put my pennys worth in. I'm a 20 year old gay son (I don't know what the etiquette is with males, but I wanted to comment). I was forced out to my mum in less than pleasant circumstances by my first boyfriend, he turned out to be a nasty pece of work, but thats another story.

What struck me was this sentence in the original post:

"Whilst rationally I can accept it, emotionally it is a very different matter."

It's interesting to hear that because that is exactly the thoughts that I was having whilst I was realising that I was gay. I knew it as a fact, but couldn't come to terms with it emotionally. It's almost like a parent also has to come out for their children, maybe ask them for advice, since they have been through it? wink

When I came to terms with it emotionally I knew I would have to tell my parents and that thought just scared me more than I can say. No particular reasons, My parents are lovely, accepting and liberal people. But something makes saying "I am gay" an incredibly difficult thing to do.

The only problem I ever had with my Mum was that she would use the word "homosexual" rather than gay, but she got out of that habit quickly. Homosexual is a way to clinical word!

Thanks!

snowbuddy Tue 14-Dec-10 13:05:27

Thanks for such first hand, honest and insightful comments, Outwardhome. Helps me a lot in understanding how my son has had to cope emotionally with the realisation that he is gay. I would love to ask him for advice and maybe now I will.

Celeste63 Wed 22-Dec-10 08:11:08

My daughter, who is 16, told me she thought she was gay about a year and a half ago. It wasn't what I wanted or expected, but i told myself that it's not about me, it's about her and whether she is OK with herself and happy. I have several gay male friends and I've never given it a thought - but I guess when it's your own child feelings you didn't know you had come out. Things at school seem to be OK. I think a couple of girls treated her meanly but her friends are very kind and supportive. Her dad - we are divorced - doesn't know. He is very liberal about most things but this is his blind spot. He thinks people "turn gay" because they have no luck with the opposite sex.

Anyway, all well and good. I accepted her being gay as long as I didn't have to deal with it directly. I could continue to tell myself she might still change her mind. She came back from summer camp last year and suddenly burst into tears on her first night home - she was missing a girl she had "liked so much" and now would never see again - but that all happened far away from home. Now she tells me she has met a girl she likes and who likes her, a friend of a friend who doesn't go to her school. they are going out with a group to celebrate the end of term and then she wants to spend the night at this girl's house. It is not a group sleepover, she's the only one. I said OK but I have to talk to one of the parents first, but this was before the situation became clear to me. I am not thrilled. In fact, I am very upset and uncomfortable. If she were straight and wanted to spend the night at a boy's house at this age the answer would be an unqualified no. but is this different? Maybe I am being terribly un-PC, maybe putting my own discomfort ahead of my daughter's happiness and normal desire to have a girlfriend, but I really wish this wasn't happening and don't know what to do.

I'm not proud of this reaction! Here I was looking forward to a lovely Christmas break with the two of us spending some time together, now I feel it's been blighted, she is no longer just my daughter but this different person who may be having a sex life and I feel everything has changed overnight.

Sorry for this long post, just needed to get this off my chest. thanks for reading

Lucifera Wed 22-Dec-10 14:17:12

hi Celeste, haven't really got advice but was moved by your post; as a lesbian myself I remember when I came out to my mother and how important it was to me that she still loved and supported me. But I was a few years older than your DD and had had my first sexual relationship with a woman far from home. 16 doesn't seem to me exceptionally young to be having sex whether with boys or girls, but if you feel very much against it I think you should talk to your DD more. It sounds as if you are struggling with feelings of shock and revulsion at the idea of her having sex with another girl, more than you would if it were a boy; but if she is a lesbian, well, that's what we do! Did you know that there are organisations that offer support to parents of L&G children, like PFLAG? Perhaps it would be helpful for you to contact them?
The fact that your DD felt able to tell you when she was only 15 shows how much she loves and trusts you, I reckon. I hope you do have lovely times with her over Christmas.

Lucifera Wed 22-Dec-10 14:28:55

Celeste, me again - I just had a look through PFLAG website and actually it doesn't look that helpful; then I looked again and found FFLAG.

snowbuddy Wed 29-Dec-10 22:28:17

Dear Celeste, I can really empathise with your dilemma but this reply is probably reaching you long after the event. I have always felt nervous about my offspring going for any sort of sleepover on their own at age 16 when I have not met either the friend or the parents so I have always encouraged them to bring the friend home on a casual visit first but not to sleepover. I think in your shoes I would have tried to show enthuasism to meet the other girl, therefore showing acceptance of the relationship, and then offered to pick the girls up after their night out and take the other girl home. This is how I would have handled a new heterosexual relationship at this stage.

I didn't know my DS was gay at this stage but looking back, when he went for a sleepover with someone I didn't know I delivered him to the address and collected him myself the next day. I also have a straight DS and in both cases they were told to call me if they ever felt unhappy, nervous or threatened & I would come and collect them, however inconvenient it might have been to me.

Take care. Being a parent is certainly not easy!

Celeste63 Wed 19-Jan-11 14:41:08

Lucifera, snowbuddy, thanks so much for your kind responses. i don't have anyone I can discuss this with so I do appreciate having been able to come here. I have calmed down a lot over the past month and realized our whole life is not going to change overnight. DD came home from the sleepover - I did in fact meet the dad briefly beforehand, and the parents turned out to good friends of people I know, which made me feel better - very tired and seemed to be upset, in fact I'm pretty sure she was crying in her room. I don't know what that was about, as she didn't seem to want to talk about it. Since then she's seen the girl in question a couple of times, alone or with other friends, and she came here for an afternoon, which they spent playing music, chatting, giggling - didn't seem like a date but just like hanging out with any other friend. So maybe any romantic feelings are all on DD's side? I guess I'm still in denial and just relieved I don't have to face DD having a "girlfriend" just yet. once again, not feelings I'm particularly proud of, but I don't think i'd feel that much differently if a boy were involved.

catseverywhere Sat 05-Mar-11 12:23:02

My daughter (17 next month) came out to me last night - it wasn't a complete surprise, and I hope I handled it ok, did the obvious, told her there's nothing she could tell me that would make me love her any less and that it really isn't a problem, because it isn't. All I want for any of my children is for them to be happy, and if being with a woman will make her happy, then great.

It's today I'm feeling a little wobbly about it all, and these threads have been brilliant to read. So much of what other people have written is how I'm feeling - anxious about the prejudice and homophobia that still exists and that she will likely face at some time. I'm not even sure what her (older) brothers will be like about it, I strongly suspect my mum will disapprove, I think her dad (we are divorced) will be fine, but his girlfriend has said in the past she 'doesn't mind gays as long as they keep it to themselves'. Anyway, I'm not telling anyone until DD feels ready for anyone else to know.

Rambling, I know, sorry blush just worried about her and for her. I suspect the hardest part, coming to terms with it herself, may be over though, I hope so.

LeninGrad Mon 21-Mar-11 22:20:31

Hi, just seen this cats. The only difficulty in my life was the reaction of the parents, nothing else has even come close in terms of difficulty and upset. Even all that is resolved now.

I have the whole mortgage, CP and kids thing going on and am part of a great community, all is good smile

Just to update this thread - we have finally told my dad and DH's parents - and all went very well, and they were very accepting. My dad was lovely about it.

I'm so glad that it's all now in the open as it was getting to be a bit of an issue for us - I was always worried that someone might put their foot in it and inadvertently spill the beans.

redwillow Sun 02-Oct-11 08:59:40

This is a really great thread I am gay and have a beautiful son and i just wanted to add there are some great resources I go to a church called MCC it stands for metropolitan community church and has a special ministry for GBLT persons

troubledmother Fri 21-Sep-12 22:40:48

Old post I know but AP managed to say exactly what I am feeling. Liberal or not it is still a grieving process.

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