You are here:

Gay Life/My Son Sexuallity

Advertisement


Question
I'm a mom of 3 teenagers 2 boys and 1 girl. My son came out and said he was gay. I do not know how to deal with this. My family is very conservative. I am going through some kind of depression after I found out. My husband let him bring his friend to live in my house. I moved out using the excuse that I could not take the long commute. Please help me I feel like I want to end my life. I can not understand how my son came out this way. I cry every night far away from home where nobody can see the pain I am in everyday. I work 10, 12, and sometimes 16 hours to keep my mind from thinking about suicide. Please Help me.

Answer
Hi MM

The first thing you have to understand is that you have not done anything wrong. I know in conservative circle (firsthand experience here!) that it's common to believe that it is a "choice", a "behavior" or a "lifestyle." It is not. It is a naturally occurring variation of human sexuality. It always has been since the dawn of time, and it occurs is just about every type of creature, including humans. The attraction your son feels towards other males is just as real and as natural that which your daughter feels. It is absolutely no different. It is not because he was molested, or neglected, or felt rejected. Although the exact cause is probably manifold, it is likely some combination of genetics and life experiences. I have an identical twin brother, and he is also gay. The cases where one twin is gay and the other is straight are exceedingly rare, which lends credibility to the genetic theory.

Next, if you are sad because you fear your son will be caught up in a destructive, evil, sad, lonely "lifestyle", stop worrying. All of that comes from religious conservatives who have a vested interest in making it appear to be destructive, and that interest is usually motivated by money. It's how pastors fill church pews and solicit donations. There are whole industries built around demonizing homosexuality. That is the thing that is sad. The reality is that if your son is coming out to you as a teenager, there is a very high chance that he has completely come to terms with it (I did at age 13) and is completely at peace and well-adjusted. Given that he's also from a very conservative family, chances are his dating life will tend to be conservative as well. Mine was. Albeit, his interests will always be towards the same gender, but there is no reason to believe that he will be any more promiscuous than any other young person. That notion too is also propaganda.

Finally, If you are to maintain your relationship with your son, you need to try to accept him and try to understand him. I know this will be hard, but it will be worthwhile. Most things that are worthwhile are not easy! This will not come naturally, partly because it defies the image you've always had of him, and partly because you'll have a hard time allowing yourself to let go of how you expected things would be. It will take time, and that's okay. Just keep in mind, that no matter how hard it is, you'll make progress, and you'll have a good relationship with him again.

And I've saved this for last... You've probably already considered this, but if you are feeling suicidal, please seek professional help. Counseling can help you work through this. I urge you to NOT seek any kind of Christian counseling or other clinics that would have an anti-gay bias. You've lived your whole life thinking this is an abomination, when in reality it is not. I have been a volunteer with PFLAG (www.plfag.org), which is an organization of parents of gay children, and I have seen so many amazing transformations, where parents were in exactly the same spot as you, thinking they have raised a horrible, sinful monster of a child, only to share stories with other parents who have gone through the reconciliation process, and have been blessed with a newfound love for their children and their families. When you break down that wall of dishonesty, it opens doors to a whole new dynamic in your relationship with your son. Welcome that, and you will be rewarded beyond your imagination.

I wish you well. Please feel free to follow up if you need any further advice.

Tedd

Gay Life

All Answers


Answers by Expert:


Ask Experts

Volunteer


Tedd Adams

Expertise

I can answer questions related to gay life in general, but also specifically questions about gay youth, coming out, dealing with family issues, religion and homosexuality, and workplace issues. I have also visited many of the popular gay travel destinations and can give you advice on what is worth seeing and what is not.

AVISO: También, puedo responder a preguntas en español.

Experience

I have been a volunteer facilitator for a state-sponsored gay youth support group, where we dealt with all of the issues mentioned above. I have also been active in the local chapter of PFLAG.

Organizations
Human Rights Campaign Oklahomans for Equality Parents, Friends and Families of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG)

Publications
Tulsa World, Muskogee Phoenix, Tulsa Family News, About Business Magazine, Contributor to the book "I Can't Believe You Asked That!", by Phillip J. Milano

Education/Credentials
Associates degree, Biblical Studies, Kentucky Christian College
Bachelors of Science, John Brown University, Psychology
Masters in Organizational Management, University of Phoenix (Tulsa OK campus).

©2016 About.com. All rights reserved.