145 answers

Teenager Says ''Im Gay''

Hello. I really dont know where else to turn.I understand, so it seems most of you have young children.Yet I will take advice from anyone willing to give it. I am a 44 year old mother and grandmother. My youngest son, who will be 18 soon, has just ''come out''.His father and I are having a horriable time adjusting to this. I have always pride myself in being a great mother, yet I just cant seem to ''accept'' this. He has since left the house (our son) and his staying with friends. I am scared for him,I am hurt knowing I will never have grandchildren from him, oh I just am a array of emotions.I know most of you will reply with something along the lines of ''he's still your son''etc etc....but please think of him as your own before responding. Obviously, I did not see this coming....I just dont know what to do, I cant even look at his pitcures, I had to take them all down. I am SO hurt and disappointed. Thank you so much for listening. T..............Please take a look at my other post ''response to teenager says im gay''since im TRYING to keep up with all these responses!Thanks everyone.

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T.,
I would be devastated too and probably sick to my stomach. I have two boys with hopes of them bringing children into the world someday. I can only imagine what a shock the news is to you. I would suggest that you find a support group for parents dealing with the same situation. Perhaps a counselor can suggest groups.
I have thought about what I would do if it ever happened with one of my sons, and for now, I would be completely okay. If the day ever comes, I'll most likely be searching for a support group.
Be well. -A.

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More Answers

Hi T.,
I'm a 40-something mom of four. Two boys, two girls, married to a great guy. My children are 22,21,15,13; girl,boy,girl,boy. I give you all that upfront so when I tell you I have a gay child you will know I have been where you stand. Hearing those words, regardless of your faith, regardless of your stand on the issue always gives pause.
As a couple and a family gay couples have been part of our lives since the beginning. My husband's aunt is in her late 60's and has been openly gay since the days when no one spoke of this 'mental illness'. His aunt is a beautiful, successful, well-adjusted woman who has lived an incredible, difficult, happy life with her partner for more than two decades.
Even knowing this, the moment our daughter informed us she was gay we didn't immediately jump up and down and rejoice, Yea, she's gay. It took us a moment, quite a long one that stretched out over days and had it's share of emotions. We were never disappointed in her, she hadn't failed us in any way. We were deeply concerned. Not because we felt she was wrong or bad, but we knew that regardless of how much we loved her others would view her differently.
So as a mom of around the same age, with children in all stages of late development I empathize with the shock and confusion and implore you not to lose sight of the fact you have a son who is truly going to need you.
Take time to grieve, for that is what you are experiencing, the death of a dream you had, then dry your eyes and remember the son who was beautiful, wonderful, incredible in your eyes the day before he told you he was gay, is the same stranger in front of you. He didn't become gay the moment he announced it. The child you loved and cherished, hoped and dreamed for, was gay while you loved and cherished, hoped and dreamed. You just weren't aware.
I wish you peace and an accepting heart, your son will need you.
M. P

7 moms found this helpful

Get a grip on yourself. No one has died, no ones life is at stake. If I was your son id be hurt and disapointed in you for not accepting him. Hes not going to change so if you want him in your life you need to forget about what being gay means to you and start thinking about what it means to him.

6 moms found this helpful

What your son has just done is VERY brave. Many people have to wait until they move away for college and feel safe and secure away from their parents to come out to them. I'm very proud of your son, even if you aren't. Being gay is *genetic*. How can you be disappointed in him, any more than you would be disappointed in him for not having a certain hair color or eye color?

And Florida is the only state where there is blanket legislation that gay couples can't adopt, so, of course, you can have grandchildren someday. Or he and a partner may choose to have children some other way. I'm on an egg donor list and noted that I would like to help a same-sex couple, if possible.

You should support your son. It's okay to tell him that you don't understand, but tell him you'll work on it. I used to have an entire list of movies that were gay-friendly and that might help parents when I was at a college that was looking for a Gay/Straight Alliance faculty sponsor, but I have no idea where it is now.

I would suggest looking at the PFLAG (Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays) website: http://community.pflag.org/NETCOMMUNITY/Page.aspx?pid=194

I hope that your son doesn't know that you've taken his pictures down. It's behavior like this that scares so many gay teenagers into leaving home or addiction problems, etc.

I'm proud of your son; even if you aren't.

5 moms found this helpful

Hi T.,

I'm a lesbian and came out to my parents at 20, about a year after I realized myself that I was gay (I am now 36). I spent months reading books to figure out how to tell them (there are indeed books for gay men and lesbians about how to tell your parents - because it really is that hard!)

My parents reacted with a great deal of disappointment and exhibited all the 'classic responses' that the books had told me to be prepared for: "what did I do wrong?" "what will my friends think?" "what will YOUR friends think?" "I thought you wanted to get married!" "I thought you wanted kids!" and on and on. Ultimately it was left at "you do whatever you want with your life, but I don't want to know about it."

My parents and I continued to be in contact and had a 'friendly' relationship, but at that point - them telling me that they didn't want to know about my life - a distance developed that in the past 16 years has not been recovered. Keep in mind that at 18 or 20 or 22, "young adults" don't have access to the maturity that comes with age, and can have a bit of rebelliousness. For me, I tried to be as patient with my parents as I could, but finally I drew a line in the sand and I said to myself "fine - you don't want to know about this part of my life, you don't get to know about other parts of my life" and I stopped sharing all those normal, everyday joys and milestones. My parents missed out on several very important years of my life and I missed out on their support and wisdom during years when I still needed my parents to help me figure things out.

As a parent (9 y/o son), there is so much that I want for my child; I see so much potential and am so excited to see how he grows, what he becomes interested in, how his personality develops. I can picture him as a teenager, in college, as a young adult. I don't know where his life will take him, but in my head is one version of it.

Of course I would accept my son if he realized he is gay, but even as a lesbian I would have a little twinge of sadness only because I know first-hand how difficult it still is to be 'different' in America. It sounds like the sadness you are feeling is stemming from the other stuff - you had a picture of who your son is and you could extend that picture into the future and imagine all sorts of things on the horizon. The gay element is not something that you understand and it can be hard to be in the position of suddenly not knowing the one person you probably know best.

Give yourself time to work through it and talk to your friends and your husband. Just talking over and over again about your thoughts and feelings will help you to process them.

I definitely agree with one of the other moms - invite your son to coffee or dinner and just hang out. The topic will likely come up at some point and it's good to talk about with him and okay to tell him that you are processing the information and that it will take some time before you fully understand what it all means. Try not to use words like "disappointed" or "sad" because your son will only internalize that. All kids (no matter what age) want to please their parents!

Best wishes,
~T.

5 moms found this helpful

Hello. My heart goes out to you as I can't even imagine how I'd handle this. I used to think (before I had a son to fall in love with) that because I am a strong Christian, Bible/God fearing person, I'd have to disown my child cause I couldn't condone the behavior. Then I had my son (who is now 3) and I remember one time when he was littler, the immense love I felt for him and thinking how could I ever disown him if he chose to be gay, or do drugs, or killed someone. It's crazy what goes through your head when you have a child. Anyway, my advice to you (as well as what I think I would do out of necessity) is to turn to God. I would find a church where you are fed and therefore desire to glorify God and then my time would be spent praying for the heart and soul of my son and trusting in God to answer your prayers. This would also be setting a good example for your son if this wasn't a part of his upbringing. I do apologize if this is at all offensive, it's just what I would have no choice but to turn to because I would feel so much despair and so little hope. But there is always hope in God. The more I learn and study the Bible and the Heart of God, the more I find hope in a very crazy world. I'm not a fanatic going around preaching to people. In fact, it's only because God is changing my heart and understanding that I'd even think of sending a response like this. I was never that open before. Good luck and my family will pray for yours.

4 moms found this helpful

My thoughts and prayers are with you.
There is no way to say that you won't have grand children from this son. I know a gay man that has children, they weren't concieved in the normal way but, were wanted and are loved. I have male friends that are straight and are getting near 50 and don't have children.
Love your son for all the wonderful things he does and the person he is. Just because he's come out as being gay doesn't mean that he has changed. He's just let you know a very personal side of himself.
It isn't easy, I don't know how I would feel if one of my sons told me he was gay. I just know, that I wouldn't stop loving him for one minute.
Grieve for the person you thought he was, then embrace the man he is.

4 moms found this helpful

I had to think long and hard how to respond to this, the sentence "I am SO hurt and disappointed" was a real trigger for me so it has taken me some time to formulate my comments. You may not realize that coming out to one's parents is one of the most painful and scary things that a gay person does and it is for this very reason. Knowing that the people who are supposed to love you unconditionally are the very ones who could reject you for being honest and true to yourself is a very cruel reality. Not once in your paragraph did you express concern for what your son might be experiencing from your rejection or even entertain the idea that he could have a loving, joyous and full life as a gay person. He can and he will. If he is fortunate and he so chooses, he can still have a family, partnership, experience plenty of love and happiness, etc. You asked us to think of him as our own and I can easily do this. If he were my son, I would be proud that he had come to me and shared his truth at such a young age instead of living a lie or a life of sequestered desperation. I would also want to continue to be a part of his life regardless. Since you are thinking about this in terms of how it affects you--this could really be a gift for you, a chance for you to discover if you love your son unconditionally for who he is or as an extension/representation of your "ideal" whose job it is to give you grandchildren. It can also be an opportunity for you to expand your life and include other people, ideas, and lifestyles in your life and that is a gift. He is still the same person--only stronger, more sure of himself and courageous--what mother wouldn't be proud to call such a son her own? I accept that it seems to take some parents time to come to terms with gay children (although I am not sure why) but I also know that how parents handle their child's coming out can have a lasting impact on everyone. You might try a PFLAG meeting where you can meet other parents of gays and lesbians and find support and understanding from parents who have been through it too.

4 moms found this helpful

I feel your pain. As with anything that you don't see coming, there is bound to be a normal "grieving" time. Once you can adjust, and really think about who your son is, I think you will realize that he's your son, you love him, and want what is best for him. All that really matters is that our children grow up to be happy. Trying to be something they are not, or to be something we want them to be will not make them happy. You can love the child, but hate his choices. don't let the hate overlap your love for your son. I know it won't be easy, but don't lose your son over this.

4 moms found this helpful

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