Someone please talk to me about gay teens!(15 Posts)
I was going to post this in the glbt section, but it hardly gets any traffic, so I am posting it in the teenagers section, as it's about a teenager.
I have recently found out for sure that DS aged 14 is definitely gay. Actually, DP and I sort of knew as it is pretty obvious. This is all fine with us, but what concerns me is that we live in a rural area. It's probably about as uncosmopolitan as you can get!
DS and I have chatted about his sexuality and he knows I am fine with everything, but he has distanced himself from his male friends - understandably. I have enouraged him to go along to a local glbt meeting for youngsters who want to connect with likeminded people. Of course, he won't and probably because his mum suggested it! He just laughed at me and took the piss out of me for being a hipster parent.
What about finding a boyfriend? Other 14 year old lads are seeing girls, DS's best mate is a girl, but he's obviously not interested. I think it's a shame that he can't do what hetrosexual boys his age are doing. There isn't exactly a thriving gay community, one openly glbt friendly pub/B&B in quite a large area. DS is too young to drink obviously!
I get the impression that he doesn't really hide his campness at school and he says he doesn't give a rat's arse about what people think. It's a case of "This is me and if you don't like it, you can jog on mate." What bothers me is the fact that he might be feeling as though he is in a minority and that most of the other people his own age might not be very open minded.
If anyone else has experience in this, please talk to me about it. Am I over thinking this? I just want him to be happy.
Sounds like he doesn't need any 'help', is comfortable with who he is and not interested in a bf just yet.
He sounds great, and you sound like great parents.
No advice but you sound like such a brilliant mother and you've obviously done an excellent job of raising such a great son with a sense of self worth.
I say leave him to it. It's natural to worry but it's for him to figure out how to co-exist & indeed excel in a straight world. And he will - sounds like he's got a good head on his shoulders. It's my experience that younger gays are not necessarily as quick to search out a circle of gay friends as they would have been 15 or 20 years ago, probably due to the fact that everything's so open now. They're more integrated, which is great. Give him a chance to find his feet & be there for him if he needs you.
I think he sounds fabulous and at the moment your best bet is to go along with him while keeping an eye out for anything you can help with.
Does he read? Jay Bell is a good writer for gay teens and he also has a youtube channel where he chats about his books/will answer questions etc.
There are lots of books out there for you-I thought this one to be an interesting look at the psyche of a teenage boy (albeit one growing up in the bible belt in a closeted/repressed environment) and just where he felt different to the norm (and the contrast to his (eventual) husband's welcoming/inclusive east coast Jewish family was also interesting).
I don't think you need to help him in any way You have a great relationship obviously and that's the main thing.. but he will find his own way..and relationships and gay friends in his own time...you don't need to help
My DD1 is gay, as are quite a few of her closest friends (male and female) and I have to say school was no problem.. some of the lads were camper than a row of tents but no one batted an eye. It did mean that at school there were few relationships (but that's not a bad thing during exam times!)
DD1 is now at Uni where she is part of a large and thriving gay community and house sharing with her male (gay) best friend and as far as I can see they seem to have a very happy, normal, non prejudiced life! (actually they were voted best couple at a do recently which made them both laugh.. DD1 is an extremely feminine girly girl and no one believes she's gay!)
Your son sounds fab..as do you Just support him as you are..
(mentally waving the gay pride flag here)
I'd leave him to it too. My nephew is gay, and was very out at school (is not camp at all btw) but its only now at university that he goes to anything LGBT. He had a couple of relationships at school, and I don't think he had any trouble at all. In fact I was worried that he'd maybe been a bit sheltered at school
Thanks for the advice from everyone - seriously.
I'll just leave him to it then. I don't think he gets a hard time of it from people at school. Being gay just doesn't have the same stigma that it used to, thankfully.
However, his "real" dad is very homophobic. DS hasn't spoken to him for over a year. His dad posted something on DS's son about DS being a "gaylord" and ripped him about being all gay. DS had never said anything about being gay at the time btw.
My son is gay (20) and although we were only officially told when he was 16 like you we knew that said he is not 'camp' so I don't know if that will make it harder for your son. My son always got on better with girls and moved to a sixth form at a Girls Grammar where he was much happier and had a much better social life than at his previous boys grammar . He didnt have his first proper boyfriend until just after his 18th and I've no idea where he found him and they have recently split up . My son tells me too much IMO , yours sounds just fine and like he's coping brilliantly , I hope you maintain that openness . Having a gay son is great and I highly recommend it !
If i was going to suggest anything, it would be to give your son a chance to experience life in a more cosmopolitan area, even something as simple as weekends in Manchester / London - he can look at Camden market for clothes, go to the theatre, see exhibitions etc. Really give him a chance to see how other people dress and form their appearance and to give him the confidence and opportunity, away from school, to start to build that up for himself.
You don't need to say anything as overt as all this, but you want to go and see X at the V&A and go to London for the weekend, does he want to come? Give him £30 to go off around Camden market or a decent bookshop, Foyles etc, on the Sunday and see what he comes back with.
It may be worth googling online to see if there are any online support groups for gay teens, in terms of his dad being a twat, rather than him being gay in itself iyswim.
FireOverBabylon, there is a glbt support group in this county and they do a meet up for young people 14-18 in the nenarest city. I mentioned this to DS, so the ball is in his court.
He does talk to some gay and bisexual teens online. He is friends with a 15 yr old gay lad from Norway. We are very careful about internet safety and it all seems perfectly legit.
It's a pity that we moved so far away from London! I think Bristol is the nearest proper city to us, so I feel a day trip coming on. That's a great idea! We moved to the country a few years back.
And yes, his dad can best be described as a twat! He had a very strict Catholic upbringing and I honestly used to wonder if he was, infact, a bit in the closet himself.
Floralnomad, thanks for sharing your experience. Your DS sounds like a lovely lad. I am just a worrier, but it's just part of being a mum.
Your son sounds lovely and well-adjusted. But the world is a harsh place, so he does need to think about his support network for when he needs it.
Unfortunately being gay puts him at high risk for assault (physical and sexual) and suicide. Even if he doesn't experience these things himself, he will have friends who go through some dreadful things for their "crime" of being gay.
He doesn't need to reach out to the support networks yet, but just knowing they are there may help him.
I love the idea of spending time in London with him, so that he can see a more open/cosmopolitan lifestyle. There are also publications such as The Pink Times which may make him feel less alone at times.
You sound like an amazing mum! My mum couldn't talk about my brother being gay for over a year after he came out officially at 17, although we all knew years before - the bright pink t-shirt with "PRINCESS" written across it sort of gave it away!
Anyway - my brother didn't have a boyfriend for ages, he experimented with a couple of girls when he was in his early teens, but I think he was 18/19 before he had his first "proper" boyfriend.
He's never needed any of the support network things, but he met a lot of likeminded friends at LGBT Club when he started uni.
I don't think you need to worry about anything at the moment - it sounds like you're doing everything right and he'll find his own way in due course!
Am in same position my boy came out at 13, no issue with any of the family (as if they dared!!) however my concern is how does he meet someone his age?
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