DS, 11, asked me yesterday what would I do if he was gay. I wasn't really sure what he meant (do? what do you mean do? did he mean punish???!) but I said I would not do anything "about" it but I would try to find resources for support (to see how I could support him) because sometimes people weren't kind about people who were different in any way (as he already knows...).
He seemed ok with this though we discussed further and he seems to think he's more bisexual than gay. He says he fancies 4 people and they are drawn from both genders. My concern is that because it seems everything is so sexualised now, that he doesn't really know what "fancying" someone is. He has had lots and lots of girlfriends but I think that's just a theme at his school (they all seem to be going out and then breaking up with each other all the time). He has very passionate friendships but after some gentle questioning (he's just had sex ed at school) he doesn't really understand this fancying business. He still thinks the idea of sex is hilarious/yuk. He just loves people it seems - I said perhaps he would be the kind of person for whom it didn't matter what gender their partner was. He seemed happy with this.
I really want him to be able to come to an understanding of his sexuality himself - I don't want to discourage him from finding out he's gay/bisexual, but I don't want to be like Eddie from AbFab either, desperate for him to be so. Do people have to have a sort of sexual sense of themselves before they know? Maybe this is just a fluid age? Any advice? Just don't want to fuck up, puberty is hard enough as it is!
Hmm, it sounds like you're doing a great job. It will take him years to "decide" what he is, if in fact he ever wants to pin it down. All you can do really is let him know that you don't care about the gender of the people he forms relationships with, as long as they make him happy.
Thanks. Yes, I suppose I hadn't considered the possibility that he might not ever want to pin himself down - I am perhaps too much of a pinner downer - so will try to make sure he knows I'm open to that.
Re: pinning down several of my male friends came out to their parents as gay and maintain that they are gay - some of them have been known to sleep with women as well. Another friend has never claimed to be anything other than straight but has slept with several men in the past. A female friend had numerous long term relationships with men before falling in love with a woman. It would be a lot easier really if people didn't have to label themselves one thing or another, so if you can support him in not pressurising him or labelling him too much to yourself or other people, it might help.
And yes if only everyone who was anything-other-than-straight-as-a-die had parents like you
Am not a mum yet (few more weeks!) but my line on sexuality is its not about the gender its about the person you never know who you will fall in love with and their genitalia shouldn't make the damn-dest bit of difference! It sounds like your son gets that now it's just holding onto that in the world we live in!