To not be looking forward to this conversation?(18 Posts)
DS1 (almost 15) came out about 9 months ago. Yes I know he's very young but he knows who he is and I'm very proud of him for being brave enough to be open about his sexuality. Anyway, he goes to a youth club for LGBT teenagers and through them has started playing for a gay football team. He is marching with his team in the Pride march in our city tomorrow and me and DH will be with him.
Had a conversation with him tonight about how there're likely to be photos in the local paper and he really ought to tell his grandparents before they find out through the paper. He agreed but has asked me to tell them for him. In principle I don't mind doing this for him-I know he'll find it awkward to talk to them. But I have a feeling it's going to be very difficult and I'm kind of dreading it (I haven't expressed this to my son). Mum's quite liberal and I think she probably has a suspicion anyway but my dad's ex army and I think he's likely to get a bit unpleasant. DS1 is the first boy after a generation of daughters and I think my dad will take this news quite badly. I love him to bits because he's my dad but he is something of a bigot. AIBU to be absolutely dreading this conversation?
Aw he's got to know eventually. Your lad sounds lovely. Maybe best just to get it over with really.
Hope it's not as bad as you feared.
YANBU but you have to do it, and you have to do it well. You must be so proud of your son, he sounds very grown up.
YANBU Hopefully after the initial shock your dad will surprise you
YANBU my ex FIL had some questionable views but it didn't stop me liking him, the way I see it you separate the opinions from the person. No first person advice to offer but wanted to say I can appreciate how hard this must be for you and wish you luck
Well I don't think anyone could really say YABU for dreading the conversation
On the other hand, Grandparents do sometimes have a knack for coming up trumps and being surprisingly liberal when it comes to their GCs.
I think some slack should be cut on both sides here. It will probably take time for your Dad to come to terms with this. You've known for 9 months, your son has known for however long, yet your Dad doesn't know yet..and very soon he's going to have to come to terms with publicity too.
Good luck, hopefully it'll have a happy ending but please be patient with your Dad.
Do your best to ignore the initial reaction and protect your DS from it.
It may take time for your DF to accept, he may go into denial about it, saying that your DS is to young to know etc, your DS doesn't have to be told all that is being said, it may be tough on you, or it may not, good luck.
You never know. Plan for the worst but expect the best. My DF comes out with some shockers but whenever gay friends of mine or relatives have been in the house, he has been utterly charming. He spent a whole event once bonding with the BF of a (gay) friend of mine discussing farming, of all things. Sometimes they have been trained to say
disgustingly bigoted stupid things but in reality are fine.
In any event, even if it is awful, he has you. He can get over one person having an issue if you are in his corner.
Thanks for your replies. I am exceptionally proud of my son. He is a very thoughtful and mature young man with a level of quiet self confidence that I can still only aspire to at the age of 33!
I hope that after the initial shock my dad will come round - after all he does love his grandson very, very much. But I do worry that it will be a difficult process for him. He does have some strange ideas . When I told him I was expecting DS1 - when I was 18 and waiting to go to uni - his response was that he was very disappointed but it could be worse - I could have told him I was a lesbian or that I was going to marry a black man!
He's not an unpleasant man (although I am aware I've probably made him sound that way!) but he was raised in the 50s in a very rural area and then went into the army when he was very young as a substitute for a decent education. He loves me and my sister very much, I have no doubt, but I am very aware that he would have loved to have had a couple of sons to do blokey things with. In the absence of the sons. His first grandson was the next best thing and finding out that he's gay is going to be really difficult for him to come to terms with. He won't consider the fact that my son is the person he's always been - he'll mourn the blokey bloke that my son was never going to be regardless of his sexuality.
I do think that he will accept the situation eventually and I am also very confident that he will not let my son see the struggles that he will have with the situation (because for all his faults my dad accepts that they are HIS issues) but I am REALLY not looking forward to Sunday!
I think we do have to make some allowances for the way people were brought up. My mum has a friend whose dd is gay and she admits that while she loves her and wants the best for her, she has a hard time changing the religious beliefs she was brought up with.
I would have thought that it is unlikely that your son (who sounds great, btw, as do you and his dad) will be featured photographically in the press on such a big march. I'd be tempted to leave any major outings to wider family until further down the line, when your son will be older and more able to handle the potentially unpleasant reactions from less enlightened family members. It is basically a fairly private thing, really, and he doesn't need their judgement at this point.
I've been on many a gay pride march in my time, as a supporter, but I haven't felt the need to explain why beyond that. Just because there might be a photo doesn't necessarily mean anything.
I agree with BOF and I'm somewhat at a loss to understand why you've put your ds on the spot so to speak, insofar as his dgps are concerned, with regard to possible photos that may or may not be published in your local paper.
Any photos of the march that may appear are unlikely to be captioned with the name, age, and packdril,l of the participants, and it may be that your dps may not even notice should your faces appear in a crowd scene.
I therefore can't see that any useful purpose can be served by breaking the news to your dps at this particular point in time and, IMO and with due deference to their generational and social mores, their dgs's sexuality is a subject that should be gently brought to the forefront of their consciousness rather than delivered as a bald statement while passing the gravy boat at Sunday lunch or similar.
Of course if, perchance, the 3 of you - or any of you - are featured in any coverage of the march by your local rag and your appearance comes to the attention of your dps, and they raise the subject with you, this may provide a natural means of letting them know that their grandson is gay, that he has the full support of his parents, and that you have no doubt they will follow suit.
BTW, your df sounds a sensitive soul wrapped in a bluff exterior. If you suspect that your ma has an inkling I doubt that your pa will be far behind but, nevertheless, if circumstances allow I would suggest that you allow the coffee to percolate before you demand that they wake up and smell it.
I don't think BoF is necessarily right about the photos, depending on whether or not the team are marching in full footie strip, in which case it's quite likely that a photographer for the local rag will take a pic of the local youth gay footie team and use it, and that the GPs might see it and recognise either their DGS or indeed, you.
Of course, if they're not in football strip then the photo wouldn't have much impact and probably wouldn't be taken.
YANBU to dread the conversation but rather you shield your DS than let him bear the brunt of their shock; and they might yet surprise you.
I do think izzy has a point though - might not be necessary to throw it at them in one hit just yet.
Your DS sounds fantastic hopefully this will just make your dad rethink his views.
I don't think 15 is young TBH, it's great that he's figured this out now and can be himself instead of feeling forced to live a lie.
He sounds great, and very secure, but i would question whether they need to know at all? i'm not saying keep it a secret but why do they need to know his sexual desires? surely no 15 yo tell their grandparents about their sex life or who they fancy.
I think by adding too much emphasis to it you can give the impression it will change who your son is, or their relationship with him. I find people follow your lead, so if you sit down saying very seriously 'there's something we have to tell you...' it gives the respondent the allowance to react with the same weight and gravity.
If you think your Dad will react badly i would mention it to them without your son present, but more in a matter of fact way. Let them know this is just for info about what's going on in ds's life not for opinion or judgement. Then i would talk about something else as if it's no big deal.
Let us know how you get on. Your df may surprise you am this will be a learning curve for him. Your son sounds very mature and you are a fantastic and supportive mum so you'll find a way.
MIL was a right ol' bigot until DH's brother came out (no end of unpleasant comments about gay people as her sons grew up); but she'd forgive her boys anything and so it proved to be. Now I dare say she approves of BIL's boyfriends, and his version of gay lifestyle over DH married with kids.
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