Is he too young?

(17 Posts)
flowers10 Mon 09-Dec-13 10:55:25

Hi, Our son is 8. I have had slight suspicions for about 2 years that he may be gay. He said a few things a few days ago which led on to him telling me he likes boys, not girls. He sobbed his little heart out because he didn't want to be called gay. He even told me, he's different to the other boys and he doesn't want to chase girls in the playground. I have set his mind at rest that whatever he is, we will love him and support him as much as we possibly can and that all I want is for him to be happy. I guess I knew anyway but my hubby is struggling. He just keeps saying he's too young to know. Is he too young? Does anyone have any experience of your young child telling you this? Many Thanks for any advice.

Ticktock80 Mon 09-Dec-13 10:59:58

Hi there, I don't think he is too young to know. I knew when I was 6 but the word 'gay' wasn't in my vocabulary as I had no idea what it was, or that it was ok to like girls. I felt ashamed of my feelings as I got older and buried them.

However, I think you need to just emphasise to him that whatever he wants to be when he is older is fine. He is too young for labels and doesn't have to call himself anything. Just reassure him that his feelings are normal and nothing to be ashamed of and they don't mean he is gay or that he isn't. He just is who he is and you love home and are proud of him.

My kids have two mums and now that marriage is legal for everyone we just say that when they grow up they can marry whoever they want. Sexuality should not even have a label in my view. We love who we love and that's it. Thankfully society is slowly heading that way. Check out stonewall for some advice too.

flowers10 Mon 09-Dec-13 11:13:33

Thank you so much for your reply. That is more or less what I have said to him. I told him he is still very young and whether he decides he likes girls, boys or even both doesn't matter as long as he is happy. And that we will always love him. He even told his sisters and they were great, they all told him they don't care, they just love him. I don't ever want him to be ashamed of who he is or to try and be something he isn't. Thanks again.

ReallyTired Mon 09-Dec-13 11:24:02

I think you need to stop being daft and just enjoy your little boy. He is barely more than a baby. Prehaps he will grow up to be a homosexual, prehaps he won't. Sexually is genetic and there is nothing you can do to influence it. Do you have homosexual relatives in your family?

Most eight year olds prefer to play with children of the same sex. Sometimes children have friends of the opposite sex, but it is just plutonic. They might play "kiss chase" but there is nothing sexual about it. Some children don't like kiss chase.

Children are individual. Some children love football and there are boys who like craft and playing with dolls. Often little boys with older sisters are exposed to "girl" toys more. My daughter loves a train set that belongs to a her brother.

Thisisaghostlyeuphemism Mon 09-Dec-13 11:27:41

You sound like a lovely mum.

I think you're probably right but hopefully he's feeling reassured so he won't stress about it for a long while.

EdithWeston Mon 09-Dec-13 11:38:26

Some people know from early on that they are gay.

Others develop more variably.

It is too soon to know which if these might apply to your DS, nor what his eventual sexuality or gender identity will be.

Support him as he is right now.

If he is being picked on at school, for any reason, then raise it as a bullying issue with the teacher.

flowers10 Mon 09-Dec-13 11:42:35

Thank you Thisisaghostlyeuphemism. And to ReallyTired. I most certainly am not being DAFT. My little boy sobbed his heart out to me. I am doing my best to help him. I have told him he is too young to worry about these things and that no matter what he decides it will be fine. The only reason I wrote this was to help me and get advice from others who may have had similar experiences.

ThisIsMeNow Mon 09-Dec-13 11:53:16

Reallytired, op is not being 'daft' she is asking for support.
What toys he plays with has nothing to do with anything.

ReallyTired Mon 09-Dec-13 11:54:31

The term "gay" is used like " spaz" or "retard" was used in the 1980s. I doult that many eight year olds know what "gay" means. It is nasty bullying but not active homophobia. The children are repeating what is said at home without understanding.

If children are using the word "gay" as a derogatory term then the school needs to act. It does sound like you need to speak to the teacher.

flowers10 Mon 09-Dec-13 12:03:12

He hasn't been called gay at school. He told me he likes boys not girls, then started sobbing and saying he knows he does but he doesn't want to be called gay. To be honest there has been many times over the last 2 years or so where I just knew anyway. He now knows that he has our love and support whether he decides to be with a man or with a woman later on.

Thisisaghostlyeuphemism Mon 09-Dec-13 12:12:49

Poor little thing. I think you dealt with it perfectly.

Your husband doesn't need to accept anything right now, - things may change - but when/if the time comes in a few years, it sounds like you will be as loving and reassuring as any boy could want.

flowers10 Mon 09-Dec-13 12:16:43

Thank you so much. It means a lot to hear that I have dealt with it well. That was just the kind of reassurance I needed I think.

Misfitless Mon 09-Dec-13 12:26:29

You do sound like a lovely mum and not at all daft confused.

It is a gift in my opinion, that he has come to you at such a young age - not to be so upset, obviously, but that you can talk to him and hug him and reassure him in the way that you have.

Obviously he has come to you and sobbed his heart out in your arms (instead of on his own under the covers when you think he's asleep) because you are a wonderful mum.

My 8 year old asked what 'gay' meant the other day. I was glad he asked me, as he had heard it used at school. I've told him what it means and that it's not a bad thing at all to be gay, but that it's not a nice word if it is being used to try and tease someone. He didn't know it was anything to do with fancying/falling in love with someone of the same sex, he thought it meant stupid sad.

flowers10 Mon 09-Dec-13 12:37:33

Thank you very much misfitless. I am pleased he has spoken to me as I can help him deal with anything that might come along to upset him. I try to be open and honest with all my children in the hope that they will talk to me about anything, and maybe that is starting to pay off. Also with your help in understanding words like 'gay' i'm sure your children will be just the same with you smile

Charlieg132 Sat 31-May-14 07:19:23

Unfortunately "spaz" and "retard" are still used today in schools.

adrianna22 Mon 28-Jul-14 19:28:35

Agree with the other posters.

Though one poster said that sexuality is genetic. I do not believe that one bit. Love is love, I don't know why sexuality is labelled.

thecageisfull Mon 28-Jul-14 19:38:01

I was 10, but I had no idea what gay was. I didn't know any gay people and there were no gay people on TV at that time either. I don't think it's too young but it's also possible that he doesn't quite get it yet. My 8yo dd often says she is going to marry a girl because she likes girls and not boys but I don't think she is gay, I think she just doesn't like boys because she is 8. Your ds seems a lot firmer in his belief though. I was about 13/14 when I acknowledge that I was bisexual and I found that much harder than being a lesbian. It felt like a huge betrayal and that everything that had gone before was a phase that I grew out of. I still struggle with it tbh.

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