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Teenage Problems/Son in a gang (what do I do?)


OK, so this is a long post but bear with me.
I've recently discovered my 19-year-old son is in a gang; clothes with gang colours (a blue-yellow-and-white top, hotpants and sports pants were found in his bedroom) and pictures of him on the gang's website - hosted on a free host in Canada, no less.
Apparently the pictures of him and the gang were nothing illegal, just giving homeless people crisps/pasties/sweets bought in quantity from local pound shops!
He told me the gang doesn't do anything illegal, and the website seems to back this up.
The website also had pictures of him posing against a wall in the gang colours and hotpants; he had a crop top and hotpants on, in the gang's blue/yellow/white colour scheme, and there was about 2/3 pages on Katy Perry and Taylor Swift. Apparently all members of the gang, regardless of gender, have to wear a crop top and hotpants during some meetings.
Looking through the site, there seemed to be little glamourising illegal drugs or knives/guns unlike most gangs, it was mostly about help the homeless or disabled adults as well as the gang. There was even a Wordpress blog on society's outrages.

I asked my son what he got out of being in the gang, and he said friendship, a sense of fulfilment and helping his community.

Isn't this different to what you normally expect of a gang?

What do me and his mum do? Should we be concerned just because this is a gang, and could it affect his future with regards to travel/employment etc.?

Hi Bruce,

Taking into consideration everything you've said, your son is not in a gang. According to Wikipedia, a gang is a group of recurrently associating individuals or close friends with identifiable leadership and internal organization, identifying with or claiming control over territory in a community, and engaging either individually or collectively in violent or other forms of illegal behavior.

From what I'm hearing, your son isn't engaging in any illegal acts; he's helping people. And the fact that he's wearing crop tops and hot pants leads me to further believe he's not in a gang. Gang members usually don't wear half shirts and short shorts and their websites don't include pages of Katy Perry and Taylor Swift.

He's not in a gang so you don't have to worry about that. However, I would talk to him about the way he's dressing. I'm not sure where you're from, but in the Unites States, crop tops are shirts that are cut in half and hot pants are really short shorts. If this is how your son is dressing then I would be concerned.

It could possibly effect any job opportunities depending on his profession. Many employers hire people who will make the company look good. If your sons employer were to find that website and see how your son is dressing, then he might be in jeopardy of losing his job. I'd sit down with your son and talk to him about the way he's dressing. You could also explain to him that he's not in a gang. He's just in a group that enjoys helping people and that's a great thing.  

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Scarlet Murdock


Even though I have no teenagers of my own, I've seen, heard and have experienced a lot of things dealing with teenagers. I take the experience of me being a teen along with the problems and issues teens have today and I offer my opinions and advice. Since I'm no longer in my teens, I'm wiser, which means that I can definitely guide you in the right direction when it comes to solving your problems.

Experience is a website that I am very proud to say that I am a part of. I created this site for teenagers all over. I wanted to give you a place where you could gain some knowledge, ask questions and see what your fellow teenagers can offer you. Teen-Babble is about sharing experiences, growing and becoming a better person. I am also part of my local Boys and Girls club where I hang out with teens about 3 times a day and help them with anything I can.

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