My 14 yr old ds is gay .. He doesn't know I know

(78 Posts)
cassie42 Tue 29-Jan-13 13:21:17

We have 3 fabulous dc. Our eldest, just turned 14, has always been a quiet, sensitive boy but also very witty, clever etc.
Bullying was always a major concern for me because he wasn't your typical "lad". He had a few problems with minor bullying in primary so since then I've monitored things online. He always leaves himself logged into Facebook on my phone, has no problem with me knowing his password. Last night I clicked onto fb on my phone and saw it was his account, he had left himself logged in again. I could see loads of messages flying into his inbox, being read quickly only to be followed by loads more coming in.
I had a look (I know, private messages but have already explained why I monitor them), it seems he came out to some of his class mates yesterday.
I can't say I'm shocked, think I always had an inkling and to be honest I'm happy if he is. He seems to have felt this way for a while now so assume its not just curiosity or confusion.
My question is this, do I wait for him to tell me himself? He knows I look at Facebook, he didn't delete any of the messages from last night, do I gently tell him I saw them and myself and his father want him to know we are totally cool with it?
Thanks, sorry it's long but could really use some perspective.

mumblechum1 Tue 29-Jan-13 13:24:15

I think that because he's practically invited you to look at his FB messages, by leaving them purposely open on your phone, that that's his way of telling you.

Maybe leave it a few days to say if he says anything directly to you, but if not, maybe just have a casual chat to say what you said in your OP.

cassie42 Tue 29-Jan-13 13:29:18

Thanks mumble, I have the same feeling. I drove him to school this morning and half expected him to say something, I'm desperate to reassure him that he needn't be worried about telling us. It's really hard to carry on as normal with him knowing what I know tbh.

snowmummy Tue 29-Jan-13 13:33:20

I agree with mumble. This is his way of opening up a conversation with you about it so, yes, I think you should now talk to him.

Suesue22 Tue 29-Jan-13 13:35:38

I think he might have done it in purpose to let you know without saying it to you. Otherwise he would have deleted them. I would casually bring it up that you read some of his messages and tell him your ready to chat when he is. He's probably trying to see your reaction and will be relieved that you are ok with him.

cassie42 Tue 29-Jan-13 13:37:56

I think he's quite trusting of me too though, he may not think I would go as far as reading his private messages. I should probably put this on the LGTB thread but there doesn't seem to be much activity on it and was desperate for advice.
He seems to have felt this way for a while, told other kids where we used to live etc. so maybe he's just not ready for us to know and I will make it worse by pushing him into telling me! So bloody confused!!

NatashaBee Tue 29-Jan-13 13:39:48

I agree with mumble, he probably wanted you to know but didn't know how to start the conversation. You've told him outright that you monitor his messages, I doubt he will be surprised at all. Hopefully all the messages he received are supportive ones.

HormonalHousewife Tue 29-Jan-13 13:41:16

I'm not so sure... he might not assume you will read them.

If it were me, I would just keep presenting the opportunity for him to open up. Random hugs and I love you's might be the starting point.

cassie42 Tue 29-Jan-13 13:42:38

Thanks for all the replies.. Natasha I was blown away with the messages and chats he was having with his friends... So
Mature and caring, really supportive. Can't believe how much things have changed since I was 14!

a friend of mine left a note for his parents to come out to them, while he went to a music festival with us for the weekend. he was 14 or 15 so I think it was a deliberate move by your son to tell you this way via the phone. You sound relaxed aout it so just be cool about not majing a big deal and I think he (and you ) will be fine. smile

sorry about the typos blush

FarelyKnuts Tue 29-Jan-13 13:45:34

Tell him you saw the messages, that you support and love him and feel glad he has great friends who love him as much as you do no matter what.

chicaguapa Tue 29-Jan-13 13:48:04

Maybe, rather than having the conversation about it, you can just act from now on as though you know. Then it doesn't have to be a big deal. Just behave as though you would normally wrt girlfriends, but using the masculine pronoun.

I have always wondered why gay men/ women have to 'come out' whereas as heterosexual ones don't have to tell the world that they fancy the opposite sex.

cassie42 Tue 29-Jan-13 13:48:17

Hormonal... I thought that too. I'm anxious for him to know I know but at the same time I don't want him sitting down on me.
Bigmouth ... Did you know for a while about your friend before he told his parents? Maybe that is the norm, they like to tell friends first and then tell family later.
I've tried ringing a parents helpline but they only open for 3 hours from 6.30!

cassie42 Tue 29-Jan-13 13:49:51

Shutting down on me... Sorry

If you were him, now would you want your mum to react?
You sound lovely as does he btw

cassie42 Tue 29-Jan-13 13:54:29

I think it's still a necessity to "come out" because his school friends are starting to date girls, there's a lot of talk about who he wants to "meet" at parties etc. I guess he just got tired of making excuses as to why he isn't interested in any girls in the class.

HormonalHousewife Tue 29-Jan-13 13:55:57

Long time ago but my friend came out when he was 21 over 20 years ago (and thankfully things look like they have advanced in those years)

It was a big thing for him to build up and say out loud (no FB or mobiles in those days grin ) but we all replied 'come on Stu did you not think we had guessed ??'

He said the conversation with his mum was the hardest to start but even she said she knew and was just waiting for him to say something.

cassie42 Tue 29-Jan-13 13:56:44

Thank you trucks, he's a fantastic kid.
I've asked myself the same question, I'm really not sure! I think I would be mortified to know she had read my diary for instance, even if she reassured me that all my weird teenage thoughts were ok!

We knew or suspected, slightly before he told us, we were a liberal bunch and approx 50% of my friends 'came out' as Gay or Lesbian between ages of 14 and 18. It was more comfortable for him to relax and be himself once people knew and in that sense coming out is useful though awkward for the person having to do it. That's why being laid back about it is important, no coming out parties!

cassie42 Tue 29-Jan-13 14:03:26

Hormonal, I wonder if he wished she had asked him then rather than wait for him to tell her? I'd hate to think that telling me would be causing my ds anxiety or fear.

fubbsy Tue 29-Jan-13 14:04:20

Gay people need to come out because otherwise most (straight) people just assume you are straight.

IME it's quite normal for friends and siblings to be told before parents. At 14 I would have been dead embarassed if my mum had sat me down for a big talk. I would have preferred the indirect approach.

cassie42 Tue 29-Jan-13 14:07:08

Wow bigmouth, that must have been a great group of friends to have for those people. Amazingly(or maybe not) one of the messages to my son last night was from a guy in his class telling him he was bi but didn't know what to do!

sorry to answer your we were told b4 he left his note for his parents but only a couple of months before . This was over 20 years ago now so memory a bit hazy.

cassie42 Tue 29-Jan-13 14:09:51

I agree fubsy, people assume you're straight unless you tell them otherwise I suppose. He was in great form this morning, bright as a button heading into school. He must be very relieved that his friends know, I just want him to be relieved that I know now!

We were the college wierdos grin all into obscure music and European cinema - it did mean my mum kept asking me if I was gay too, whch got old v quickly (she wanted to be supportive bless).

cassie42 Tue 29-Jan-13 14:11:26

Doubt I could wait a week let alone a couple of months for him to tell me! Lol

HormonalHousewife Tue 29-Jan-13 14:12:25

I dont know and its too late to find out now as mum is no longer with us. Like I say things were very different 20 years ago and his mum was from old school stock and these things were far harder to discuss back then.

Thats why my initial thoughts were to promote the loving nurturing environment which you obviously have.

In any case I dont think it will be long before he makes his move, especially with such a positive feedback from his peers. And you are ready and forewarned, so its all good smile

cassie42 Tue 29-Jan-13 14:22:02

I know, I could hug all his friends for being so supportive to him. Thing is, when it goes viral and more kids start to find out I'd say he'll have to deal with much less sympathetic opinions.. He has only just turned 14 and I worry he won't have the tools to deal with it. That's why I want him to know I know, so he can come to me when things get tough.

showtunesgirl Tue 29-Jan-13 14:33:25

OP, you sound lovely. smile

Lostonthemoors Tue 29-Jan-13 14:36:24

I think you sound v nice too as does your son smile

We have a family friend who is still not out to his parents at 30 sad

ParsingFancy Tue 29-Jan-13 14:39:07

Why not talk as if you've always known?

"I saw you came out to your school friends yesterday. Are you pleased with how it went?"

cassie42 Tue 29-Jan-13 14:46:59

Thank you so much for all the replies ladies, it's really helping.
Parsing, maybe you are right. Just suck it up and casually mention it. Are there any of you out there who've had similar experiences? Either in coming out or being the parent of a gay teenager?

cassie42 Tue 29-Jan-13 14:49:33

That's do sad lost...sad

cassie42 Tue 29-Jan-13 14:50:07

So sad, not do... Bloody phone lol

CMOTDibbler Tue 29-Jan-13 14:50:30

I think Parsings suggestion is great - he knew you'd see it, so treat it that way

Well whatever you do Cassie, it looks like you are going to continue to have a great, open and loving relationship with your boy - well done! Sounds like he has great friends and great parents - if only it were so for all GLTG kids.

MyHeadWasInTheSandNowNot Tue 29-Jan-13 15:01:29

I wouldn't mention it yet.

He trusts you. He knows you monitor (or at least he knows you used to) his facebook page, but as you say, he might trust/hope/assume you wont read his personal messages. Just because he stayed signed into facebook, it doesn't mean he necessarily wanted you to read his messages.

I think, right now, he needs to trust you and I wouldn't be in any hurry, whatsoever, to risk damaging that.

I would just give him opportunities to 'come out' (ie talk about relevant things in the news/on the tv etc) and remind him often that you love him and hope that he always feel he can talk to you about anything - whether that's about school, future, career, peer pressure, sex or anything and that you are there to help him make decisions or deal with the consequences of the decisions they have made, not to judge them.

Be very obvious 'gay friendly/supportive' - but not tooooo obvious smile

He sounds like a lovely lad with great friends, try not to worry too much - he'll tell you when he's ready smile

cassie42 Tue 29-Jan-13 15:05:57

Thank you Paula, that's lovely. It's day one on a very different path to the one we expected to be on. I fear for him so much but at the same time have immense pride for him. I think I probably need to talk to him sooner rather than later, even if i don't directly ask him the question I need to open the subject up for discussion soon. I'll keep you all posted as to how it goes but, of course , if any of you have further thoughts on this please let me know. It's my first post on here in a very long time, I'm so glad I did now xx

cassie42 Tue 29-Jan-13 15:07:53

Thanks myhead,

That was what was stopping me... The trust issue. It would be horrendous if he got upset, stopped communicating etc.

beachyhead Tue 29-Jan-13 15:40:28

Do you know any of his friends parents so you could have inadvertently have heard there? Then you can avoid the reading messages issue?

MrsFionaCharming Tue 29-Jan-13 15:54:48

I waited 6 months after getting my first girlfriend before I came out to my parents. They said that they'd kind of guessed, and I do wish they'd just asked, so I didn't have all the build up of worrying about the right way to tell them.

(Amusing story: I saw online someone made a cake and iced it with 'I'm gay' and left it for their parents to find. Turns out the parents were completely cool with it, so they ate all the cake and chatted about it. Maybe you could do the reveres and ice it with 'I'm fine with you being gay')

monstermissy Tue 29-Jan-13 16:05:32

My ds came out at 14, he sent me a fb message as he said he didn't think he could make the words come out. He told his friends and anyone else that asked he was always truthful.

He's 16 now and he's been fine, I think because he's very out and proud no one really bothers him. He is head boy too so is happy to put himself out there, he dosent hide in corners etc. He has some great friends too that I know have been a great support. I'm very very proud of the way he's dealt with it. He did say he was going to wait till college to come out but he said it became a secret burden he didn't want to keep carrying around.

We always knew just had to wait for him to figure it out in his time. I would wait till he comes to you. Pm if you want to chat anything through smile

cassie42 Tue 29-Jan-13 16:06:52

Awww gribbet, that is a fantastic story. Thanks do much for your advice, I really hate the thoughts of him worrying about telling us too.

cassie42 Tue 29-Jan-13 16:09:46

Monster what a wonderful outcome for you. Just out in the car at the moment but I will pm you later if that's ok? Thanks

monstermissy Tue 29-Jan-13 16:13:12

Of course smile

Just asked my ds what he thought and he said to let him come to you. It's a big moment and it needs to be in his own time. Assuming he will know that the likely hood is you will be fine. Leave him be. (Disclaimer that's just his opinion everyone is different)

Speak to you later

If you were him, now would you want your mum to react?
You sound lovely as does he btw

Sorry to post twice.

cassie42 Tue 29-Jan-13 19:54:54

Monster, thank you so much for that. It is invaluable to get your ds's opinion. I have shown this thread to my DH and he is also so grateful for all the replies and advice given. I'm on my phone and can't seem to be able to pm from it? I am trying to get a quiet moment to call the helpline number, it's for parents of lgtb kids , and will talk it through with them too but we both feel your ds's advice to give him time to tell us himself is the way we'll go for now. I intend to subtly drop the subject into conversation now and again, let him know where I stand on the subject and just hope he can open up soon. (disclaimer noted lol) thanks again.

Frostyfoxy Tue 29-Jan-13 20:24:25

My friend, Richard Harris, has written a book called "closets are for clothes" it might help in the days, weeks, months to come perhaps.

Sounds like he has a good friend base around him and a suuportive family too though which will help him a lot! smile

monstermissy Tue 29-Jan-13 21:18:37

Your very welcome, its always nice to chat to other mums about these things. They are so young and you worry so much about them. Your ds friends sound lovely, its such a lovely thing to see when they pull together. smile

cassie42 Wed 30-Jan-13 09:13:12

Frosty I will definitely order that book, I guess I will be doing a lot of reading and learning myself too from now on.
Took another look at fb last night, it had struck me as a bit odd that none of his friends had mentioned us at all in previous messages. His friend last night asked him if he was going to tell his family and ds replied maybe, dunno, we'll see.
He was quiet this morning, more reluctant to get up and out, maybe it's sinking in what he's done.

booksteensandmagazines Wed 30-Jan-13 10:06:07

Brilliant fiction book just out 'Whats Up with Jody Barton' which is just about this issue and provides a really supportive and positive attitude. Could be a good start for talking about things.

My DD1 came out as lesbian about a year ago... she had known for certain since she was about 14 or 15 but she was actually nearly 20 when she told us.. she did it via her blog..sent me a link (she's at Uni)

Her brother, sister Dad and myself all simply sent her texts saying 'that's cool, love you ' 'now go find a beautiful girlfriend' (and in her brother's case ''oh bring some hit chicks home grin) and it was that casual! She was so anxious about telling us.. no idea why as we had always made it clear we absolutely didn't care about our childrens' orientation. We had no idea at all btw.. she had had a few boyfriends because she didn't want to be different, but in the end she had to be who she is!

We had a little chat about it when she next came home.. casually..and she now is in a relationship with a lovely girl and is truly happy. Her friends have all been totally cool about it and she is involved with a thriving LGBT society at uni.

I felt a little head spun at first just because I was surprised, but not in a negative way..more 'wow'!!

cassie42 Thu 31-Jan-13 08:58:00

Thanks medusa, I feel the same. I don't have any negative feelings about it at all, apart from fear for the harder road he will find himself on. I'm glad I know before he told me, gives me time to process it and prepare myself for when he does. I do feel he is very young though to be dealing with this on his own and wish he'd confide in me.
I wonder would your dd have preferred you had found out earlier or do you think she needed those years without you knowing to come to terms herself?

DD1 has always be quite a private person and I think she needed years to get her own head round it herself. She told me later she didn't want to accept that she was gay because she wanted 'the norm', but the couple of (very nice and both oddly effeminate!) boyfriends she had, showed her that she simply liked girls.
In retrospect the fact her room was covered in posters of girls might have been a clue blush but it just didn't register with me.. or her sister with whom she is very close! I wish she could have told me earlier only because we could have supported her then!
She is now, finally, happy in her own skin. She is studying medicine at uni and thankfully has found everyone totally accepting .. there are an awful lot of gay people out theresmile She is very sure she wants children of her own and I'm sure will find a way too.
I do sometimes worry that life may be harder for her in some ways, having babies, perhaps socially at times, but I know she will find her way.
Incidentally her best friend is gay (male) and he still can't tell his family because they are very anti.. I find it so sad for him because he has to pretend to live a life that just isn't his.
I shall be waving my flag in the mother's parade at Gay Pride this year :D

cassie42 Sun 03-Feb-13 10:34:19

It's great to read about older children who are happily out and happy. I have seen such a change in my ds in this past week it's incredible! It's as if by telling his friends and getting such a supportive reaction has literally removed a weight from his shoulders.

I finally got to speak to a mother from the parents of gay children helpline. Her advice was pretty much the same as I've received on here, that it's very common for kids to come out to their friends first and to give him some time to come to us.

Somebody mentioned the story about the 15 year old who iced a cake for her parents with "I'm gay" and left it for them. It appeared on my Facebook page since and I shared it, ds is a friend on fb so he will see it, I hope it encourages him to open up.

I must say I'm very glad that I know, I have been able to process things and prepare a little so that when ds does come to me I won't be dealing with the initial feelings of worry I had.

mrsjay Sun 03-Feb-13 10:38:13

I think that because he's practically invited you to look at his FB messages, by leaving them purposely open on your phone, that that's his way of telling you.

^ ^ this of course he wanted you to know bless him I would maybe mention it to him

cassie42 Sun 03-Feb-13 10:46:25

Yes I've been wondering too, I was just a bit worried though that he presumes I don't read his private messages. His fb page is the only "in" I have at the moment and would worry that he'd change his password and block me or something if he knew.

mrsjay Sun 03-Feb-13 10:53:52

He probably will when he is ready cassie my dds friend is gay his mum doesn't officially know yet well I dont think so he came out at school first .

on a positive note I think it is wonderful young people are confident enough to come out at such a young age,
My ex friends son came out as Bi sexual at the same age she was awful and biggoted about it we had words we havn't really spoken since.

you sound a lovely mum I would just keep talking to hihmh e will tell you when he is ready,

cassie42 Sun 03-Feb-13 11:01:44

Yes it seems to be common enough for them to go to their friends first. I'm sure some of his friends have told their parents about him, I just hope they encourage their kids to tell him to come to me soon!

I won't leave it much longer though, if telling his friends has had such a positive effect on him then I know telling us will be a huge relief for him. I'm so incredibly proud of him and amazed at his bravery too. He was always a shrinking violet socially but he's like a new person this past week... New haircut, clothes etc.

mrsjay Sun 03-Feb-13 11:03:30

that is fab cassie he must be so relieved to be who he wants to be now smile

cassie42 Sun 03-Feb-13 11:07:03

I know.. Lovely to see. It makes me feel sorry for all the people I've heard about over this past week who have never come out to their families, people in their 30's still pretending... Must be horrendous for them

fantashtic Sun 03-Feb-13 11:07:18

Cassie, I would ask/tell him you know. Only because, it's so hard to say those words out loud the first time (even if you expect an good response). being unsure whether you'll be rejected for what you are is crippling.

I think if you said something like 'name I'm sorry but a message popped in on your Facebook when I went to go on on my phone, about you coming out at school. you know, if you are gay, it's totally fine and I will always love you to bits.'

I wouldn't be suprised at all if he's thinking 'just ask me!'

You sound lovely and I wish some of my friends had such open and understanding parents. PM me if you like smile

mrsjay Sun 03-Feb-13 11:09:00

I wouldn't be suprised at all if he's thinking 'just ask me!'

probably this ^ ^ teens sometimes want us to just ask them, I have had this int he past with mine

cassie42 Sun 03-Feb-13 11:17:08

Thanks ladies, it's a difficult one. I can barely control myself not to approach him when we're alone and my instincts are telling me to talk to him, particularly as he's so young. Typical teenage boy's lack of ability to communicate with his mum ( well not in the way I'd like) so a gentle opener might be the way to go.
The lady from the helpline said they often find it difficult to actually say the words so find different ways of doing it. Text, email, cakes! Maybe this is his way?

cassie42 Sun 03-Feb-13 11:18:13

Fantashtic, I'm using my phone and don't think I can pm from it?

WannabeWilloughby Sun 03-Feb-13 11:19:28

Cassie, you sound like a lovely mum.

I would leave it and wait for him to tell you, which I think will soon as you sound like u have a close relationship.

Maybe just make the right noises at home, so he knows you are cool with it.

Big up you though for being so fab x

cassie42 Sun 03-Feb-13 11:28:49

Thank you wannabe! I'm so glad that my natural reaction is a positive one actually, I'm sure there are plenty of mums who would be devastated at knowing something like this and struggle to accept it.
I just feel if ds is happy then I'm happy, and there's no denying the positive effect that telling his friends has had.
Of course there will be less understanding family members to deal with but tbh at this stage I couldn't give a monkeys about their reaction.

fantashtic Sun 03-Feb-13 11:29:38

I emailed one of my parents, at the grand old age of 25. Other friends have text, written letters and said it while a parent is driving (!)

It honestly sounds like you're being just lovely and supportive You know your boy and if there is some activity you do together regularly (cooking, walking) perhaps then would be a natural time to ask him if he's ok etc.

Good luck xx

mrsjay Sun 03-Feb-13 11:30:32

you could maybe email them when dd was 14 the best way we used to converse about stuff was text <rolls eyes> but whats just been said is make the noises about it even mention other gay people even on telly or something about how cool they are or brave for being who they are,

on a negative note and I dont want to scare you but do watch out for him joining gay websites for information and who he is talking to IYSWIM he is only 14 and with any teenagers they explore sexuality and hormones are all over the place, I dont mean to be negative or scare you

SanityClause Sun 03-Feb-13 11:32:01

The trouble is, that's it embarrassing to talk about sex with your mother. I am 44, and I wouldn't like to do that!

I think he has found a way to tell you, and now wants you to take his lead. I think that is what your instinct is, as well.

Now, this instinct may be wrong, but the upshot of speaking to him will be that it's all out there in the open. You are fine with it, and can help him with any potential bullying specific to this aspect of his life. So, whatever his intentions, it can only be a good thing.

And if he is upset about the "invasion of privacy", you can clear the air about that, and take his lead on what level of privacy he wants from now on. Maybe he is still happy for you to check his Facebook page; maybe he now would prefer you didn't.

mumsneedwine Mon 04-Feb-13 13:39:59

Think I might send a text saying 'I love you and am very proud of you.' He might think you've gone a bit mad if he doesn't think you know, but who doesn't love a random text with nice stuff in it.
If he doesn't say anything I'd just keep up the hugs and bit over the top love yous for a few weeks. If still no joy, I might send a text saying something like 'I know and I am the proudest mum in the world'. He might still ignore it but he will be in no doubt how you feel. And I think a cake sounds a good idea anyway !

Greenkit Tue 05-Feb-13 04:30:53

I used to monitor my kids 'fb' or what ever group it was at the time, and then if I saw something would casually bring it up in coversation, in a 'what do you think of (insert subject) but not actually letting on that I had read anything. We had many an interesting conversation that way.

My DD is 16yrs now, after one of these converstaions she told me she was 'part time'gay, as she liked girls and boys, she was about 13yrs at the time. I have remained open about any subject she wishes to discuss with me.

I would just drop it into the conversation, just tell him how proud you are of him, and how wonderfully supportive his friends are, and of course how you love him no matter what x

johnnybear71 Tue 12-Feb-13 18:40:41

"coming out" to friends is easier than telling family...tbh he knows you know and I would suggest that you just say you know and you're totally cool with it...that's all he needs to know for now. Once he knows you're happy with his sexuality I have no doubt he will want to talk to you, however you are his mum and do we really wan't to talk to our mums about that sort of thing? I'm gay and a single dad of 3 boys 17,19 and 20 and have a very open dialogue but I doubt they'd want to chat about that stuff.

Maybe you could have a look at the above link. There is a lot of support these days and I wish you well....x

johnnybear71 Tue 12-Feb-13 18:45:22

oh and remember, gay or not he's a boy and they don't do talking.....Personally I'd be "I know btw, its a good thing, I love you and whenever you're ready"...x

FellatioNels0n Tue 12-Feb-13 18:52:34

First of all I think it's fabulous that he has felt confident enough to come out to his school friends at such a young age. That never would have happened 20 years ago. I don't think it's a good idea to tell him you snooped, but I do think you should try to drop things into the conversation now and again, to steer the discussion in a direction that gives him ample opportunity to tell you without needing to work his way up to a big announcement.

almostanotherday Thu 28-Mar-13 23:21:38

How's things going now?

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