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This board exists primarily for parents of LGBT children to swap support and advice. Others are welcome to post but please be supportive.

No school support with sexuality
21

Rosebud2005 · 23/07/2021 20:54

Ds is gay, goes to a catholic school where he is very popular with his friends and they’ve been a great support to him. He’s 15, still doesn’t want to come out to family/everyone else just yet. It’s the school though. When it comes to the sex Ed bit, they’re obviously not going to go there. I’ve tried asking him about that but he doesn’t really want to be talking to me about it either but at his age I need to know he’s going to be safe in his decisions, health, relationships don’t I? It’s all his business I know and if he wanted to tell me he would, but what he has said is that he doesn’t have anyone in school ‘staff’ he can speak to. Other than the counsellor who he sees for other matters. I said that’s good then, I’m glad there’s someone. What I would like to ask on here is I have recently discovered a lgbt group for teenagers not far from us. They have a youth club with advisers and support workers but they also have online chat advisers, hold events/days out etc for the teens. It sounds good to me but I’m not him. I did just mention that was available to him. Never got any reply so I left it with him. Will I have done the right thing? I don’t want him feeling awkward or uncomfortable, just want to show him in any way I can he has my support. I won’t force anything on him ever.

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superram · 23/07/2021 21:13

Your son is gay, you are getting him support, that’s great. Not sure what you expect school to do, to keep safe he wears a condom as does his partner. You presumably chose a catholic school? What would you like school to do?

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Rosebud2005 · 23/07/2021 21:37

Hi yes I’m maybe worrying about it too much myself but I just think about the usual way it’s explained to pupils, how it works etc and I don’t think they will explain that in terms of being gay. I know it probably sounds stupid but I’m also not naive enough to believe he’s never worked it out for himself either, reading, talking to friends I don’t know. I guess we all did at some point. Like I say I just want him to feel supported not just by us but others too. So the other question was about this youth group and whether it would be any good for him. I told him it’s there and didn’t say anything else. Did I do the right thing by pointing this group out to him? Might it feel like exclusion in some way or like it’s a good way of being himself without having to worry about the rest of the world. To me, as a disabled person I went to disabled schools, disabled clubs, had no mainstream friends other than a few around the doors who then went to their own mainstream schools and I never heard from them again. For me to then leave my school life and go into The mainstream world, start college. It was sooo hard. Back then things were very hard. It’s improved greatly these days, getting better.
The thing I feel myself about a club/group is that there are similar or like minded people with the same issues etc who you can relate to, help and support eachother although fear of rejection or ridicule from others. At least that’s how I’ve always felt anyway.
Whether it would help him, i don’t know. That would be for him to decide

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Rosebud2005 · 23/07/2021 21:39

Without fear ...

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Howshouldibehave · 23/07/2021 21:43

I don’t really understand what school support you want?

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mineofuselessinformation · 23/07/2021 21:46

Does he know about the Terence Higgins Trust?
They were originally founded as a support for gay men, but do a lot of work for all young adults now, around sexuality and safe sex.

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EwwSprouts · 23/07/2021 21:52

You said he has good friends who support him. That is the most important thing. Teens are more likely to turn to online support especially when not yet ready to come out to everybody. He'll find the sex ed info when he goes looking for it again probably online, if he hasn't already. No he will not want to discuss that with his mother!

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Rosebud2005 · 23/07/2021 21:55

Thanks I’m not sure if he has.

School support I mean in terms of who he is, the ethos of the school being more inclusive to recognise his who he is , personal support. There’s not a lot of it.

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Rosebud2005 · 23/07/2021 21:55

Who knows, maybe it’s just me

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Howshouldibehave · 23/07/2021 22:00

I would imagine there are/will be assemblies on all sorts of issues and if he wants to talk to someone particularly, there will be a form tutor/members of pastoral care. Teachers are ultimately there to teach, though.

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EwwSprouts · 23/07/2021 22:11

From Brokeback Mountain to It's A Sin there are things you could watch together depicting gay relationships if he wouldn't find that cringy?

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ufucoffee · 23/07/2021 22:15

I'd leave him alone. He'll be mortified at 15 if he thinks you're trying to interfere. Even if you don't think you are.

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Rosebud2005 · 23/07/2021 22:28

That’s what I’m trying not to do. I simply pointed out to him there is a group in the area. If it were to be of any support at all but if not then that’s fine. It’s entirely his decision. He knows I’ll always support him anyway so I definitely don’t feel the need to ‘interfere.’

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Stade197 · 23/07/2021 22:34

I think as a teen he will probably get most of his information online, so maybe if your not sure he is seeing the educational stuff you would like him to see maybe you could have a look online and find some imformative websites with the safe sex advice you would like him to be seeing that could help him and just send him the links without making it a big deal for him so he doesn't feel embarrassed.

I personally wouldnt feel comfortable going to a support group for something alone so maybe he just feels that option doesnt suit him right now whilst he hasnt fully come out but its good you have made him aware of the group incase its something he wants to try in the future

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Howshouldibehave · 23/07/2021 22:40

You seem to be mainly focused on asking if you’ve done the right thing in signposting him to a support group, but your post title is suggesting that the school should be doing more?

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LtDansleg · 23/07/2021 22:57

You do know that you don’t have to join a gay club if you’re gay?

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Rosebud2005 · 23/07/2021 23:12

Yes I do know that. I’m not suggesting he should. It’s his choice.

My issue with the school is about more inclusion on certain matters. It’s a religious school. We aren’t strictly religious parents. When it comes to our son he will always come first. He’s happy with the school in every other way and is doing well. This is the only point about it but I guess he doesn’t need them for the rest.

Thanks for all your advice

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BiBabbles · 23/07/2021 23:17

I think it's fine to pass on a couple of resources, but leave it in his court.

Honestly, on one hand on while I think it's important for schools to be supportive for those who choose to do and to create an atmosphere where it's safe and okay to do that, but I don't think schools should encourage kids to 'out' themselves or to teach that a person's sexuality is 'who they are'. It isn't - it's a trait, a trait that many of us make a big part of our identities at times, but someone is no less themselves if they keep that type of personal information private or doesn't join a related club. I've been in them, both as a teen and as an adult, and I'm not sure if I'd recommend it for my kids. A lot of pros and cons to balance.

As for being safe, I covered the generals in the discussions I had with my kids at a bit younger than your DS - usually by having an article or video on a screen to read together and then talking about so we could focus on the screen to make very slightly less awkward. It's not fun, none of us liked it though my now 16-year-old son since has called it 'okay, very thorough' which is praise enough. I also have books and a health folder on our computer with resources he can access whenever, we've discussed protection supplies (everyone mentions condoms, but gloves can play a role too especially for anal sex which is the riskiest for STIs in part due to the thin skin easily getting microcuts that can transfer fluids to microcuts on fingers. Lube can prevent most microcuts, but not all. Maybe overly thourough, but I'm big on gloves having a role in safer sex) as well as relationship guidance like how to handle crushes well mainly as the topic had come up of someone on TV not handling it well. Using outside references and sources helped me.

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Hercisback · 23/07/2021 23:32

I'm not sure what you really expect from the school. No student gets an individual named person to discuss their sexuality with.

School should cover safe sex from the perspective of protecting yourself from STDs so encouraging condom wearing for men (regardless of the sex of your partner).

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Rosebud2005 · 23/07/2021 23:57

Ok it doesn’t matter now anyway. Like I said the main thing I wanted to ask was about me providing my son with the information about a youth group in the area. I will leave him with it and let him decide what to do with it.
I now have the advice I need thanks everyone. Much appreciated x

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Howshouldibehave · 23/07/2021 23:59

Like I said the main thing I wanted to ask was about me providing my son with the information about a youth group in the area

So, why wasn’t that your thread title?! Bizarre.

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Rosebud2005 · 24/07/2021 02:04

Sorry if I confused you. I was simply explaining my concerns around lack of lgbt support within my sons school. Yes - that too. Though my main question as I’ve explained above was whether people think I’ve done the right thing by him. I’ll try and word it clearer next time

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