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I think my son is gay...

(18 Posts)

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ska82 Fri 17-Jun-16 14:33:38

OK, tidying up my 15 year old sons room today and his Kindle was on the floor. Being curious (and I guess a cautious mum) I looked at his Kik messages to see who he was chatting to...... I read a very intimate and highly explicit conversation between my son and another person (I assumed was a girl!) also talking about being in love and obviously the pair had become very close as the messages had been going on for weeks... My son loves anime and the 2 had exchanged some pics, when I looked at them I realised that they were of 2 men and then it hit me that the person my son is chatting to is a boy! Rereading the messages it made sense. I was so shocked I almost dropped the flipping Kindle, but had a look at other conversations and my son had actually been sending /receiving similar gay anime pics and talking about wanting to 'come out' to other boys . I don't care if he gay, straight, bi, trans etc... He is my first born, I love and adore him and I just want him to be happy. What the heck do I do now though?! I can't tell him I read his messages because he'll never forgive me!but there's a part of me extremely worried that he could be taken advantage of by someone in a chat room... He perhaps has a lovely naiveness where he doesn't realise that people are not always who they are online even though we have had the chat about online safety many times. I just don't know what to do, I don't want him to go through this alone 😕

BusyNothings Fri 17-Jun-16 15:28:26

You sound like you have the best intentions! Have you tried looking at lgbt advice sites there are loads of helpful articles and things for parents in similar situations?

Not much use I know but just wanted to give you a bump smile

ska82 Fri 17-Jun-16 16:18:09

Thank-you yes I had a quick look but the advice seems to be aimed at older people. I had a quick chat with him when he got in from school and just told him that if he ever wants to talk to me about anything then he can do and il never judge him and never tell anyone... And most importantly that I love him no matter what. He looked at me and for a brief second I thought he may say something but he just was quiet for a second and said "ok". Up to him if he chooses to talk about it then - I hope!

BusyNothings Fri 17-Jun-16 16:29:23

That's good he knows the doors open. Have you thought about having a chat with him about safe online chats in general? You could use an article in the news or a tv show as a springboard don't have to say you've seen his messages.

Shallishanti Fri 17-Jun-16 16:35:22

that was beyond being 'curious'
that was intrusive
when he went quiet for a second he was thinking 'oh god, has she been snooping on my kindle'
that is the issue you should be dealing with now

ska82 Fri 17-Jun-16 16:44:16

No that's a parent who is making sure her son is safe online..... And now obviously I'm right to be concerned about who he is talking to!

CopperPot Fri 17-Jun-16 16:45:06

At 15 it's a good idea she is keeping an eye on messages especially on socal media. There are many many weirdos online pretending to be other people and children can be taken advantage of. Op has done nothing wrong

CopperPot Fri 17-Jun-16 16:45:23

Cross post op!

ElsaAintAsColdAsMe Fri 17-Jun-16 16:53:24

I don't think this is about being gay. This is about being safe online.

My dc know that I can check their phones and other devices at any time, that's part of the rules of them having Internet access.

Is that a rule you could implement?

If not are there any courses running near you. Our local college does an evening online safety course that's fairly comprehensive (from what I've been told).

Could you watch a programme like catfish with him and have a conversation from there?

lalalandxx Fri 17-Jun-16 16:54:19

I wouldn't press him to come out or say anything about his sexuality, although you do sound very lovely and supportive. He will do it all in his own time. My best mate came out to me by saying "I think its time that everyone sees how fabulous i really am instead of hiding it"

He knows you are there for him and that's all i think you should do for now, even though it's tempting to press it. Just make sure that you make yourself available for him when he's ready.

ska82 Fri 17-Jun-16 16:58:30

Yes, thank you we have watched documentaries about online safety and even watched Catfish together so he's quite clued up. I don't think it's 'snooping' because God forbid he'd arranged to meet someone then at just 15 he is too young to be making those kinds of decisions about sex, whether he's gay /straight is irrelevant. And yes, before anyone says, of course I've discussed safe sex with him as well. I think it's very important to talk openly about things with children so that they know they can come to you if they want to.

ApocalypseSlough Fri 17-Jun-16 16:59:12

At 15 you need to having those conversations. Since mine were 12/13 I've introduced what is acceptable. Mainly stay away from anything heavy for as long as possible wink but from that age they've been aware that some people are gay and it's an option and they'd get no different a reception from their parents whoever they dated.

ApocalypseSlough Fri 17-Jun-16 17:01:16

x post. At 15 it's 100% OK to be monitoring social media. It's different from reading a diary because it has potential to turn into RL.

ska82 Fri 17-Jun-16 17:06:56

I think it's just a bit of a shock - only because I wasn't expecting it. I was probably very naive to think that my son wouldn't be chatting to anyone in that way but I guess we just look at our children as our little babies and it is hard when they suddenly start acting like young adults! I will look at the lbgt website (thanks for the advice about that) and perhaps find a way to discuss chat room safety in more detail without being obvious. Being a parent is a constant minefield! 😖

BusyNothings Fri 17-Jun-16 17:15:05

You sound like your doing well at navigating it though! flowers

ApocalypseSlough Fri 17-Jun-16 17:18:04

Yep- I'd definitely concentrate on the online safety angle and general boundaries/ grooming/ body autonomy angle. One angle that worked when one of my DC was getting involved in a rather sinister (imo) online community is not only do you not know who you're talking to but you don't know how vulnerable they are. It's obvious to be worried as parents that they might be talking to a 30 yo but they also might be talking to a 12 yo...

ska82 Fri 17-Jun-16 17:40:05

Thanks for the support everyone! Lots of really positive comments and some great suggestions ☺ x

IonaMumsnet (MNHQ) Fri 17-Jun-16 22:29:13

Evening folks. OP - it looks like you might have accidentally posted in our Live Events topic. We'll move this over to Teenagers for you in a mo, unless there's another topic you'd prefer it went in?

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