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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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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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Hi T.,

I'm sorry this is so painful for you. The mix of emotions (and strong emotions, at that) must be very difficult to deal with. I'm curious. You seem to feel responsible, somehow, for your son's sexual orientation, and that you have failed your son. I wonder why that is. There is so much research that tells us a person's sexual orientation is not a choice, as some would like to believe, but is inherant. Your son no more chooses to be gay than you and I choose to be heterosexual. This is not a reflection upon you or your parenting skills. This is all about your child being very couragious and honest. He will get enough scorn and disapproval from others. I certainly hope and pray that his own parents will not add to that misery. He deserves to be happy and to live a life that is not a lie. I think you should feel proud that you raised a son who feels he can come to you and your husband with such honesty. You can't help how you feel. But you can control your actions. Please don't turn your back on your son. Now THAT is a choice, and one that leads to nothing but heartache. I speak from experience, and I wish you the peace of mind that you (and your son) deserve. Good luck and God bless.

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Hi T.,
My family has also been through a "coming out"--my older brother is gay. Let me say that I am a researcher at OHSU and when my brother told me that he is gay, my first response was to find out as much as I could about homosexuality. I have come to understand that there is a strong biological basis for homosexuality. It is an innate characteristic--it has no basis in your parenting whatsoever. In fact, you certainly are an excellent mother because your son has come to know and understand himself, something that few 18 year olds have in common with him. It sounds like there will be a mourning period for you. In a sense, you have lost the son you thought you had. But, give yourself time to grieve and heal and hopefully you will eventually see that his sexuality is only part of him and in the other ways he is still the same person. I'm sure that doesn't lessen your disappointed, but perhaps it will help you feel less hurt. Best wishes to you and your brave son.

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T.,

I don't know if I have an advice per say, but I can tell you a couple of my thoughts on the issue.

My dad came out to my mom when I was 6 and since then divorced and has lived openly as a gay man. He's been in a relationship for the last 25 years with a wonderful man, but this honestly didn't make any of the situation easier. I spent years feeling ashamed, embarrassed, confused, responsible, ect for the situation.

Now as a 35 year old, married mom I can honestly say that I would be a bit bewildered if my children came out, but I would also be honored to know that they trusted me to tell me and relieved that they were raised to feel comfortable enough to be honest with themselves before trying to live a different life.

I have a good friend from high school who came out and had a very difficult time with his family and some of the community...for this I know that when people say they didn't choose to be gay, I know that it is true. Why would you choose to make life more difficult for yourself!?

I don't know if my perspective helps any at all, but I just wanted you to know that it can be damaging for many for someone is not to be able to be honest and open about who they are.

One other thing...not knowing all the details, but if I was your son, I would be extremely hurt if my pictures were all taken down. I know you don't want people telling you that he IS your son, but really, do you want him to feel as if you wished he never happened? That would be the message I would get if my mom took all my pictures down.

Like I said, I don't really have any advice, but I hope, at least for your sons sake that you can find a way to come to terms with who he is.

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Hi T., I am sure you have gotten multiple responses to your question but I wanted to tell you about my personal experience. I have a cousin who is now 34 years old. About 10 years ago she came out as a lesbian. There are many points to my story so hang in there. First of all, I have never had a problem with homosexuality. Although I can't say I agree with it. I guess I have come to the realization that you certainly can't change the way a person is, even if you could, would you really want to sacrifice the happiness of you own child. I truly empathize with your situation. Try to look at it from your son's perspective. I was the first person my cousin told. I think she knew in her heart that although it might be a little strange for me to adjust, I was difinitely the one in the family who would be there immeditatly to help her sort through her feelings to tell the rest of the family. I can't tell you what it probably took for your son to even gather up the courage to tell you and your husband. No child ever wants to see dissappointment in ther parents eyes. I am sure he knows the two of you well enough that to some extent he was prepared for the reaction you gave and now you all need time to process all of this. PLEASE take this time to process and be very careful when choosing words as the way you treat this obstacle will impact your family forever. My cousin was terrified to tell our family, everyone is very religious and her father, was probably the most homophobic person out there. I am sure he went through the same emotions as you. I don't think he talked to her for quite some time. Now however, my cousin has found a partner and they have been together 8 years, they have an amazing son and my aunt and uncle absolutely adore him. Ultimately they see that their daughter is happier than they have ever seen her and though her lifestyle isn't their first choice, they know that she would been in turmoil with herself if she wasn't true to her emotions. Your son can and hopefully still will have a bright future. A person's sexual preference certainly has no effect on the success in every other part of their life unless they let it. My cousin is a wonderful teacher and coach and her partner is a very bright and successful computer wiz. Don't worry aout his safety too much. Unless he is into the wrong scene and experimenting with drugs and such as can happen with any person he will be alright. He knows that life is not going to be easy all the time for him. If he had the strength to out himself to his family he has most definitely acceptied this and is aware of the obstacles he will have to over come. At this point he has already done the hardest thing he will ever have to do. Facing the two of you.
Hang in there. It will get easier I promise. If my uncle and grandfather can accept this so can you. TAKE TIME. Get online and find support through other parents who are going throught the same thing.

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T., I have no experience with this, but I have a lot of empathy for you and your situation. You sound like a loving mother. I think it will take you and your husband time to come to terms with this information. There are some support groups that may be of help. PFLAG (Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays) is the one that comes to mind, but I think there may be others. You'd be able to connect with other parents who have already gone through what you are now experiencing. Good luck.

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I am so sorry. I am sure you and your husband are so disappointed. My brother came out around the same time and has had a rocky go of life ever since. Well honestly life for him was rocky before he came out. He is now twenty-five. I know our family still is hoping that one day he will change his mind. I know that for my own boys I hope and pray that they will not choose this path either. But what I do know is that it has not been helpful to my brother in anyway for our family to be overly disapproving. It has been the most helpful for him to know that we will love him no matter what. I pray for him always as does the rest of my family as it is something that is completely out of all of our control. I do know that living a gay lifestyle is risky on a number of levels and it is likely that your son will need support in ways that you never imagined. I would really encourage you not to close the door on him. I am not being very helpful at all I know. I mostly just wanted to respond to you and tell you that I am so sorry that you are going through this and I am sure you are mourning the dream of the son that you thought you had and will have to fall in love with him all over again in a very different way. I do know that there is a support group for families that use to meet at Life Center in Tacoma. My stepmom went for awhile and found it to be really helpful. You may want to consider something like this. It would be really helpful if your husband would come too. For some reason it seems that the love of the father is somewhat more important to males to win back because I think our children are aware of the fact that a mothers love is often more unconditional than that of a father. Father's tend to have more perceived conditions on their love whether it be true or not. Much luck to you in your process of grief.

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T.,
I can only imagine your shock. It is something we never think will happen to us. My children are still young, but I do have a gay Aunt. I kind of always knew she was since I was a child. She is so wonderful and if I would have turned my back on her I would have hated myself for missing out on all the years of great memories her and I have shared. I have always told myself that if my child was gay I would understand. There are always worse things out there like being a murderer. I think being a mother you have to put yourself in thier shoes. He just made a very hard choice to tell you how he feels and hopefully he expected the worse, because that is what he got. I know that times have changed and seem to more and more everyday, but could you imagine your parents taking down your pictures because you are not turning out the way that they wanted. I think that is sad. He needs support right now, not judgement. That is God's job. I know it is hard, but us mom's sometimes need to just love our children no matter what. And about children...if he wants children, then he will have children. Gay guys adopt or have a serogate (sp?) have thier child all the time.
I just think you need to stop and look at your son and focus on all the things you love about him. Think about if you lost him. I have lost a son. I don't care if he would have turned out gay, I don't have him here and that hurts more then anything. I have even heard of young gay men commiting suicide over family not accepting them. I don't think you want to go through that. All I want for my children is that they find someone they love and someone that loves them back. I don't care what color, nationality, religion or sex they are. I can not control that. All I can contorl is how good of a mom I am to them and that I support them in this life no matter what.
I hope I helped you a little and I hope you go and find your son, hold him in your arms and tell him how much you love him and would never want to loose him. I am sure that is what he wants to hear. This is no time to be selfish...this is a life changing moment for him.
I will keep you and your family in my prayers.

D.

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Hi T.,

Warning: I'm not PC. I'm a Christian mom of 3. Okay, now read on if you still want to. :)
I'm surprised no one has told you about Exodus International. They have some great information I believe may be helpful.
http://www.exodus-international.org/ and http://exodusyouth.net/youth/parents/index.html
Also, I just came across NARTH (http://narth.com/index.html). It deals with the scientific side of homosexuality.
You are not alone. Your reaction is understandable. Remember, to God, sin is sin. Sin is disobeying God's Word. Lying (including "white lies"), stealing, adultry, homosexuality, etc. We all sin ("All have sinned ..." Romans 3:23). God loves each one of us (Romans 5:8 "... while we were sinners, Christ died for us."). With God, all things are possible.(I don't recall the reference.) He has a plan for each of us (Jeremiah 29:11 "I know the plans I have for you...plans to prosper you and not to harm you, to give you a hope and a future.") He cares for each of us ("Casting all your cares upon Him for He cares for you" ??? ?:?) Hang in there. I hope you check out those sites above and find the help you need.
Love and prayers,
C.

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T.:

Your situation sounds all too familiar to me, but for your son. I am also a lesbian and my parents (Mom) figured this out when I was in high school. Prior to this my parents and I were extremely close and they were always proud of me and I always wanted to make them proud. I looked to them for advice and comfort like all children do. I was still trying to understand what it all meant, because it wasn’t the norm. The day the secret became reality in our lives, I saw the disappointment and hurt on my parents’ faces, which was extremely heartbreaking to me. Their response was “what did I do wrong” and blamed themselves. Then when reality really set in, it was “what will others think.” My parents tried to change who I was by going to counseling and telling me that my younger sisters were being harassed at school by other kids (which wasn’t the truth) because I was a lesbian and of course I would do anything for my sisters. I was asked to leave the home when I was 18 and did so, which hurt me very much. My parents never did remove my pictures from the home as if I never existed the past 18 years though. Our relationship was severed for 3 years, until I became engaged and married a man; this definitely would make my parents proud of me again, but remember I am now living my life for them. I was divorced within the 1st year and began living my life for myself. At times it can be challenging in the world we live in. My parents soon after accepted the fact that I was who I was and nothing they could do or say to change this within me. My relationship with my entire family grew more than ever and they are and always will be apart of my life. I am now 43 and have been in a relationship with another woman for 13 years and we have 3 wonderful children. I have felt the pain your son is feeling and I’ve seen the pain that you are feeling. Please put those pictures backup in your home, you can’t just erase your son from the last 18 years of your life and his. He is going through so many emotions just like you and pushing him out of your life isn’t making it any easier and the situation will not go away. You have so many questions and maybe your son is the only one with those answers, but they may not be the answers you want to hear. Give yourself sometime, don’t say or do anything you’ll regret, because he will remember those actions and words. If you alienate him, you may never see him again and I don’t think any parent could live with that? Please take the time to open up your mind and your heart. I hope a little of my story will help you and your family. I forwarded your response to my mother in hopes that she will respond from her experience. All my best to you and your family it is the only one you have.

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A lot of parents probably have a tough time "adjusting" to this news. However, the real part comes after you get over the shock. Then, what kind of parent will you be?

I'm guessing you don't have a lot of openly gay people in your life?? It sounds like the very idea of someone being gay, especially someone so close to you, is very new and different, and unknown to you.

I think that having your love and acceptance will make the world a much less scary place for your son. Sure, there are issues around which you might be nervous....but to be honest, I think most of those issues have to do with people hating him, and refusing to accept him.

Also, please don't assume you'll "never have grandchildren from him". It's very possible that being a parent will be a huge priority in his life. It's also very possible that all the things he's learned from you will carry over into his parenting, and he will pride himself on being a great parent, too.

I think if you found a good group in your area, like PFLAG, it might help you. That's "Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays".

I don't want to start a whole philosophical/religious argument, but I was brought up very conservative, and was very opinionated about what being gay meant. However, when I ventured out into the world, I came to meet some very nice people I worked with, who happened to be gay, and learned a very important lesson: we're all just people.

In your case, this wonderful gay person is your son, one of the most precious human beings in the world to you.

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T.....I know that you are in shock....how do I know....my 16yr old son came out to us just last year. I don't want to make light of how you feel because your feelings are valid to you. But I do agree with everyone who said this is really your problem and not his. The courage that he showed in telling you was immense and I'm sure he knew excatlly how you would react....but he couldn't live his life as a lie any longer. Its a year later for us and I am now having to cut some people out of my life.....my mom&dad,my brother and his children. They can't accept who my son is and that is THEIR problem. My son has been told that I don't need to know about every person he dates, but when the day comes that he is in love and wants to share this person his father & I will be there for him. PFLAG is a wonderful organization for support...just get on your computer and do some research you will be able to find answers and more. As for grandchildren...there are many ways for a man to be a father not just natural conception. I have 3 grandchildren that have absoulty no blood relation to me but I don't love them any less than the 2 that are. Please put back up at least one of his pictures that line just broke my heart. You can contact me any time you like.
HUGS!!
GOOD LUCK!!

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Yeah, you sound like a very accepting mom. I can see a lot of these moms are going a very religious route with the "I'm sorry's" but really, this is NOT a choice and your son is brave and probably scared with the decision to come out to you. I have been very good friends with many amazing men and women that are gay and luckily, all of them have families that accept and love them for who they are, which has made them well rounded and wonderful members of our society. Good luck with your acceptance.

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I think you have been given a lot to think about from the women on the list to your son who is asking for you to love him with the choices he has made with his life. Not knowing your religious affiliation, I won't go into a is it or is it not acceptable war.

What you have to decided is whether you can look past a choice your son is making , and love him and accept him as he is stating he is. I know many gay men and women and I know many of them who have children. They arranged for either a surrogate or they adopted. Give your son a chance, love him, work through the pain, and see if you can create a new relationship with him.

Sometimes the most painful things can bring about the best in both parties involved. I won't go into the how but I have seen my Mother and Father who were on the verge of divorce create a better marriage once skeletons in the closet were removed. This might be the best opportunity to have something better, but your son is leaving it in your court to decide.

Be strong and listen to your heart and you will find the best way for you and your son.

S.

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Hello T.,

I'm a 29 year old mother of a two year old. So I'm new at the whole mommy thing. I don't know how I would react to my son at 18 coming home and telling me he is Gay. I do know that the son you have raised loves you and his father, and he is probaly scared, and lonely. Right now what he needs more than anything is love from his parents. You don't have to agree with it, but you can love the little boy you have raised. I'm sure he is a great young man, don't let the choice he has made ruin your family. Love and let Love live.

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T.,
Please do not be hurt, nor be disappointed. You have a raised a child, who understands, and accepts who he is. This is not about you, it is about him and it is something that is what it is. Not about the way you raised him, not about what you could have done different. This is his life. We bring them into this world, we teach them morals, values and to be good people. They choose their paths in life, some are there when they are born and it is chosen for them. Coming out at a young age is now more acceptable than it was 20 years ago, when most people lived their lives as a lie, sneaking around, hiding in the closet (so to speak). As a mother and a grandmother I understand the feelings, but I also know that if one of my grandsons were to come to me, telling me he was gay, I would still love him to death, because I love the person he already is, his sexual orientation is up to him, not me. I love the person, not what they can give me. I know many gay men, and they are wonderful, kind, caring, giving people, they have lives, they have partners and some have children. So when the initial shock wears off, when you realize he is still that person you have loved and cherished all this time, it will get better, you will still accept and love him, and who knows, he may decide that he wants kids, and there are many ways you can still be grandma. Take a picture back out, look into the eyes of your child, he is still your child, nothing has changed except his sexual orientation, his alternate lifestyle, that is all. Please do not allow this to lose your son, please try to allow the Lord to make the mends that you need to get through this. Try to think of what it took for him to come to his parents and tell them, think of how brave that was. There are positive sides to this, and you need to be open to them.
I wish you nothing but prayers in your pocket to help you understand, to keep loving your son, and to know that life doesn't always hand us what we think we should have, sometimes it gives us what we need. Continue to be the best mom and grandmother you can, you can do this.

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T.,

So far all I've seen is deeply religious (no offense) responses that say he's a bad person. I don't agree.

When I was a freshman in high school I went to a formal dance with a good friend because he didn't want to go with his current girlfriend. My sophomore year my best friend went to the same dance with him. My junior year he came out. I was totally weirded out by that, he was my friend! how dare he! It took me several months of thinking and shuddering, but I finally accepted that he was still the same person as before. He was still kind, gentle, caring, and happened to be attracted to the same gender as I was. It was actually kind of funny once I got over myself. He would come to me for advice on how to get this guy or that guy to notice him, or how to ask so and so out on a date. I haven't seen him since high school, but he's still a friend in my thoughts.

There is more than enough genetic material here on this planet to propagate the species, if a few (relatively) choose to do something that is not the societal "norm" who cares? Your son is still your son, and will not change his basic character. I strongly encourage you to learn as much as you can and try your hardest to keep as open mind as possible.

Start by having a coffee date with him in a public place. Talk with him about the weather, or some other less sensitive subject. He's gay, but he still needs his Mom. Grieve for the lost grandchildren, but love him for his assets as a person. Deep down you both are hurting terribly and need to bridge this relationship gap before it becomes a chasm too vast to save.

You have every right to be devestated and hurt. And yes, he's still your son no matter what. But, how hard was it for him to come out and tell you guys? How much personal courage did it take him to exert to tell you? Love him. Love him with all your heart and try to see things from his perspective too.

Hope this helps,
Supportively and lovingly,
M.

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T., I really agree with Teresa. Your son is your son no matter what his life choices. You did nothing wrong in raising him; you are a great mother. It was likely not an easy decision for him to come out and he needs you and your husband to hold him up as much now as ever. Being gay is a difficult lifestyle in our society and the unconditional love and support of family is vital . . . We raise our kids to be independent and free-thinking adults, we don't have to agree with or even like their decisions, but we do have to support them in all they do. That's why they call it unconditional love . . . Dig through your hurt and support him - can you truly accept a life without him in it? Is it really worth that type of sacrifice? What if he chose a wife you didn't like, would you cut him out of your life then, too? Hard questions, I know, but this situation calls for great strength on you and your husband's parts. You can do it - have faith in yourself and your son.

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T.,
Have you researched any online support groups for parents of gay children? One I found after a quick search is www.gayfamilysupport.com. A few moms on the mamasource list have been in your shoes, but you may meet a lot more on a different site. I think the advice to "just get over it" is a little harsh. Acceptance will come, but in your own time. I was heartbroken and devastated when I learned my unborn son had a lifelong disability. I was so worried I would not be able to love him. No one told me to just get over it. He's 6 now, and of course, we have immeasurable love for him! Take your time to work through your feelings, and pursue connecting with other parents who are in your situation. I truly feel for you. Very, very difficult. Good luck to you and your family.

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T.,
First of all, I don't think your view of yourself as a great mother needs to change because your son is gay. Secondly, it's very normal to have all sorts of emotions about this issue. Thirdly, I suggest contacting PFLAG at www.pflag.org to find a chapter near you. PFLAG stands for Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays, and they help lots of families and parents who have been through what you are going through. He's still your son. Get the support you need to sort through your emotions so you can feel great about being his mom again.

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I would encourage you seek a counselor as soon as you can. If you find a qualified professional who can see you, you can ask if you and your husband should attend or have all three of you attend. I know this may seem like an expense, but this is an issue that is essential to your son's well-being in a vulnerable time in his life (both his age and the issue of sexuality). Sometimes insurance will cover this kind of treatment and many counselors are willing to work on a sliding scale or make payment arrangements.

I don't know your family and your family values, but I do know counseling, for those who haven't yet availed themselves of that kind of help, can feel like this is unnecessary or intrusive. However I know of so very many who are so glad they made this brave step, and I include myself in this category (I came from a family who "doesn't believe" in this kind of help - or thinks it's only for those who are weak etc).

Gay teenagers have a higher rate of suicide than straight teenagers. One thing this suggests is how difficult your son's journey likely is right now. Please get the help and support you need to support him best.

Best of luck for you and your family. I will be thinking of you.

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Please get in touch with someone from PFLAG.
Your feelings had sent him away.(He could feel it.)No one whats to dissappoint anyone especially your parents. You should not be dissapointed or mad or any of that and he has probably overheard you say some of this is why he does not what to be there. Please google PFLAG and get in touch with yourself and again with your son. Please.I am sure he is the same great person you raised.

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Get over it!
Just because your son is gay doesn't mean you weren't a great mother. Refusing to support your child is not something a "great" mother would do. It also doesn't mean you won't have grandchildren from him. Being gay is not a choice, and it's not something to be disappointed by. If he was a thief or a drug dealer you'd have something to be disappointed by. I think you're being selfish and not thinking about how hard this is for him to come out. My advice would be to find a support group for parents of gay children so that you can learn to accept your son for who he is. Would you rather learn to accept that your son is gay or no longer have him be a part of your life? If you refuse to support him, you're abandoning him.
BTW, I would have no problem at all if either of my children were gay.

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Hi T.,

I am so sorry that you are going thru this. Although I can not truly know what you are going thru, I can sympathize. It is obvious that this is not the vision you had for your son. But ask yourself this--Is your son happy? Isn't that what any parent really wants for their child?

You mentioned grandchildren. When your son is ready, (and it may be a while as he is only 18), there are many options available. When his grandchildren come into your life, it will not matter how they became his children or your grandchildren. It will matter that they have a loving father (your son) and a loving grandmother (you). You have taught your son how to treat others, how to be a great human being. He will pass that along.

Him being gay is not a reflection on you being a great mother. Prove to yourself and him that you are a great mother by supporting him and loving him. If you push him away, you will never know the man he will become.

Your grief is for the vision you had in your head of what kind of man he would become. Go ahead and grieve. Then wipe away those tears, and call your son. Let him know you still love him and support him. He needs to be the person he is ment to be -- not the person you want him to be.

I hope this helps. I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers.

Michelle

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Dear T.,
I have not read the other responses but I hope that lots of people have suggested PFLAG.
http://community.pflag.org/NETCOMMUNITY/Page.aspx?pid=194
You can meet other families that have gone through this and maybe even get to know some (other) gay people.
Also, remember that there are many, many children in the world that need homes and that families like Dan Savage's exist (writer with a male partner and two adopted children living happily in Seattle) Your son might even consider surrogates and have a biological child one day!
Love and Light,
C.

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Dear T.,

I can understand your hurt and disappointment. Although, I have not had this situation with my child, I have been disappointed in some of their 'decisions or actions' that have changed their life dramatically. You go through this grieving process, grieving for your disappointment of how you would have liked for their life to turn out, and then grieving over the consequences you feel your son will endure because of his decision. Unfortunately, you really can't change anyone. This could just be a 'phase' he is going through, or a full life choice. I do think though, that it is important for you to sit down with yourself and start writing all that you are feeling. You can look at it later and really get some perspective. You are entitled to your feelings. However, I would hope that when it comes down to it, you come to the realization that you truly love your son and that he knows he can come to you in time of need. Need of love and support, etc, otherwise, he will continue to latch on to people who "understand" him and may isolate him from you. When my child was a teenager, I knew she would be going to parties and drink. All I has of her was to not drink and drive. I told her to feel free to call me, no questions asked, no scolding, I just wanted her to be safe. If you can't have the grandkids, daughter-in-law, etc, at least have him 'safe'. Many of my daughter's friends 'became' gay in high school. Even she couldn't relate. She said that it was almost a 'fad'. Like trying to figure out what group do I fit into. People want to feel they belong. I don't know if this is the case. I know a guy now, who has came out, as says he knew he was different from a very young age. I watched him grow up from 17 to 22 now, which it was obvious to me. His dad was in denial. He confided in me, asked me how I thought his dad would handle it. I told him that even though he has his prejudices he loved him so much. He would deal with it. He did tell his dad, dad is dealing with it and still loves his son. However, to this day, his dad who is a very good friend of mine has not discussed it with me. (He doesn't know I know). I think it sad that he keeps it all inside. My feelings toward both of them have not changed. Sorry for such a long winded message. Hope it helps.
AJ

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Hi T., my son is very young, but I grew up with gay uncles, so it's always been an accepted lifestyle in my family. Despite what others say, being gay is NOT a choice, just ask your son. Who would choose to be gay and face all thed hardships that go with it? No one. If my son came out I would be sad only because I know how much harder his life would be, but I also would want him to be happy and experience true love and if that's with a man, so be it.

Your son is going to face a tough road and just imagine how hard it was for him to come out to you. He needs his parents' love and support now more than ever. Can you imagine being 18, coming out to YOUR parents, and then not hearing from them, or if they took down all your pictures? I understand this is hard for you, but it's even harder for him. Try to be supportive and take it all in in baby steps. Step #1: Call your son.

Good luck.
P.S. Gay couples can adopt :)

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I can't believe you took his pictures down! To me it sounds like its about you , not him. He's is your son, no matter what! So, he's different, so what? I think it took courage for him to tell you this and if I were you I would support him. All my children are adults now, but if one of them would of came to me saying they were gay I would have supported him or her no matter what and talked to him on how to be safe.
Please be his mother, love him no matter what. We have to be filled with light in order to spread light and love.

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I understand that everyone is different with their views on this issue. I will try to be as respectful as possible. Having said that, I have thought my oldest might be gay since he could walk. He is still my angel. I wuold never take his pictures down or make his pain in dealing with this have anything to do with me. He was born gay. You couldn't have done anything different or said anything different. And he may still bring you home grandchildren. You should feel blessed that your son loved you enough to tell you. You taugt him to love & respect you, & himself enough to be himself & not "play straight" because what would mother think? So many people aren't honest with themselves & try to be straight & get married & have childre. They then reach an age where they feel like they need to be honest or die, they come out, leave their wives, & ruin everyone around them. What he chooses to do in his bedroom is really not your business. Love him for him, & don't think about his bed. I try not to picture what any of my friends' or family are doing in their beds. I think its a good rule not to.
Good luck,
-P

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You seem very sincere, but honestly it seems that you are only concerened with how you are hurt over what YOU expected your son to be. As a parent, the only true way to love our children is UNCONDITIONALLY! That means the good, the bad, and the ugly. I can't help but to feel so sorry for your son. In this day-and-age he should feel safe and assured that his mother isn't going to "take down all his pictures" just because she can't bear to look at them, because he's gay. I have 2 sons, and I can honestly say that if they were both gay I would hug them, kiss them, and tell them I love them more than anything in the world, and nothing they could ever say to me would change that! By the way, I was raised Catholic (am not anymore!) and do believe in God. The God I believe in accepts us all just as we were born! I hope you can find that place in your heart where you love your children the most, and embrace your son just as he is!

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Hi T.,
I am sorry for your loss. You lost YOUR dreams, but now you'll have new dreams for him. Pray that he'll be happy, healthy, and that he will find someone who loves him unconditionally.
I have a son who's 15. He doesn't have any thoughts about girlfriends yet. I have been pondering the same thing (what if he came and told me he was gay?). I would be stunned, but I would want to keep him in our lives, keep the communication open, and pray that he finds someone to love. I have gay friends that met in high school and have been a couple for 35 years!
Be careful of shutting him out- lots of gays become suicidal. Can you imagine if it happened to you? If you realized YOU were gay (and yes, you are born that way) and then eveyone you've always loved kicked you to the curb?
He's still your son, you did nothing wrong in the way you raised him, he was brave to come out now, and now he can live the rest of his life being truly himself. Hopefully it's with your blessings and love.
ps. You still may get grandchildren- gay men make great fathers of adopted children!

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I am so sorry to hear what you are going through. Though my oldest is only 10, that is something I too would REALLY struggle with if any of my sons told me that. I know you don't want to hear the norm, but use our elder brother Jesus Christ as an example. He suffered for all our sins and loves everyone of us no matter what. Remember that our children have free agency and you can't blame yourself for his choices. Continue to be the wonderful mother and grandmother that you are and don't stop expressing your feelings to your son. You will ALWAYS be his mother and will always hold a special place for him in your heart no matter how much he hurts you. Let him know that mom and dad love him but that what he's doing is wrong and you want to get him help. Be there for him. I have a sister who made some very poor choices in her teenage years and as hard as it was for my parents, they continued to love her and be there for her. Eventually she came to her senses and turned her whole life around. I truly believe the only reason she got help and changed her life was because my parents stayed by her side through everything. She now is married and has a nice family. Best of luck!! Hang in there! You're doing a great job. Pray for patience and help; it's all you can do. L

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My dad is gay and I have 2 siblings, so don't give up on the grandchild thing. You did not make him gay he was born that way...there are actual differences in the brain. Don't forget that being gay does not remove who he is and all the things you love about him. You don't have to accept the fact that he is gay or approve of it but as a mother your job is to love your son no matter what. He needs to know that you love him...you say you are hurt...imagine what he is going through. He must have trusted you to love him enough to come out to you. That says alot about how you raised him. Seek out a support group to help your family throught his time...I know they are out there.

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T., I can only imagine your pain -- all of us parents have hopes and dreams for our children -- but I'm afraid you will regret it forever if you're not able to open your mind and heart -- my thoughts go back to a good friend of mine in high school Kenny -- we grew up in a very small town - Kenny "came out" shortly after graduating high school and moving to the closest city -- he could never accept his own homosexuality -- which was not accepted by his parents -- and was killed in a car accident shortly afterward -- we all believe it was a form of suicide as his behavior became EXTREMELY reckless ---- don't let this happen to your family --- pray (if you pray) for the ability to open your mind and heart -- your son needs you now as much as he ever has --- Wishing you the best. D.

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I can see that you are still in shock. You have every right to be. We always want the best for our kids,we have dreams for them, and then sometimes happens and crashes our dreams. Even though it was our dream and not our childrens. I honestly don't have any good advice. Just that I think it will take time and alot of communication for all of you. Best of luck to all of you.

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Hi T.,
I am so sorry for what you are experiencing emotionally right now. I know it might sound trite but I wondered if you had tried any counseling (church or professional)? This is a huge issue for you, your husband, and your son. I have a brother who, as an adult, "came out" so I have been witness to some of the pain this caused my parents and also the pain my brother went through and continues to go through in this lifestyle. My parents found a lot of solace through counseling and that is why I am suggesting it. I will say one thing about how my parents handled the situation. Their response when he told them was, "You will always be our son and no matter what we love you." This was a huge relief for my brother. I was very proud of my parents for being able to express this to my brother at this extremely emotional time for all of them. Wish you the best. T

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Dear T.--

I'm new to this list, and my kids are one-year-old twins, but I just had to respond to your post. I understand that you're feeling a lot of pain and confusion over this, and I don't know if part of your reaction comes from religious beliefs, but PLEASE PLEASE let your son know that you still love him, in whatever way you can! It's SO important! He really, really, needs you. If it's hard for you to deal with this as a 44-year-old mom, think how hard it is for him as a teenager!

When I was in high school I didn't know anyone who was openly gay, but when I went off to college at age 18 I became great friends with a guy, also 18, who (with great anxiety) came out to me. It was so hard for him. He'd known this since he was 12, and it wasn't something he could change, but his parents were Catholic and he was so scared to tell them, and so scared to be gay in a world where gay people are judged, ridiculed, and sometimes even hurt for being the way they are.

Well, he and I spent a lot of time talking, and eventually he started telling other people, including his family. At first they couldn't talk to him about it easily, but they joined a support group and gradually got used to the idea, and realized that they were still a proud and loving family.

So to make a long story short, this guy is still a great friend of mine, 17 years later! Last month my husband and babies and I went to visit him and his life-partner in Seattle, where they are both college professors. They are a happy, well-adjusted, and very committed and loving couple, and they are now trying to adopt a baby.

Just because your son is gay doesn't mean he won't be happy, or won't be a parent, or won't be safe. I know plenty of other very happy gay people now, and I've heard many stories about how hard it was to come out to their families. Loving families make all the difference in the world to these folks! I know it will take you a while to feel ok about this, but please hang in there.

all the best,
N. F

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This must be an extremely hard issue for you and your family to deal with. I don't have any children that age, but if there is something that I told myself, should my son EVER tell me something like that...I'm his mother and I'll ALWAYS love him and support him. I don't have to agree with his decisions, but I will always be there for him. My job will always be a mom. That will never change.
I know that you must be taking this VERY hard and having a hard time with dealing with your emotions. Just remember, you didn't do anything wrong. I watched a friend a long time ago deal with this same issue. It was very hard for her to cope with...so hard, she dropped her son from her life. She was a mess knowing that she didn't have a relationship with her son when he got older.
Your son is coming to you because he loves you and seeks your support. He is being honest enough to tell you how he feels and wants your love. As for grandchildren, I wouldn't give up hope just yet. There's still a future. ;)

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Short and sweet.

PFLAG - Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays. A national organization that hosts support groups. Because, although I think of myself as an open and supportive parent, too, it would be an adjustment of who I thought of my daughter. I think that's a completely normal process, and thus, PFLAG is a very large organization!

We live in a country that thinks of homosexuality as sick, or at least, "different" and "other." Until the 1960s, homosexuality was included in the DSM, the medical book used to diagnoses mental illnesses. So, even if you think you are accepting, this culture still is not, and that gets passed on to you. All the judgements that you have about your son he is probably also having about himself. So try to take it easy on yourself, and on him.

In wellness,
E.

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Wow! I bet that is hard. My friend had the same thing happen to her years ago with her 18 year old son. They had a hard time and still do sometimes because it is a hard thing to understand. I would say you have had to be a good mother if your son feels that he can come to you at this time in his life will he is figuring out who he really is. The first thought that came into my head was what my mother always tells me, "Nothing is worth losing your child over." I don't always know if everything can be "accepted" but you can still love and hope for happiness for your son. Because he is technically an adult you should feel like you might be able to share feelings and try to keep the lines of communication open. Having grown up with several gay friends I have come to realize that sometimes being gay is hard for them to accept too. My friends often told me that if they could choose not to be gay they would but they also could not acknowledge and not accept a huge part of who they were as individuals. I would expect that your son knows that this is hard for you. I really don't think you should close yourself off to the possibilities that his life could bring to you and your family. Many gay men have great relationships and even create families together. I would encourage him to find some support out there in the world.....I hope you can find a way to feel at peace one day and be happy that your son can figure out who he is. Best of Luck.

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I know that Dear Abby often recommends organziations like "PFLAG" as a great resource to turn to for parents who are struggling. Good luck and grandchildren may still happen-just adopted perhaps.

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Dear T., Honey you have to stop and think about the big picture; I have 2 grown daughters and 2 grandsons, I am 49 years old so I can relate to you on that level. Through the years of raising my girls I saw a lot, I became mother to half the kids in town, and still am! This is not something that you have a choice about, he has made a decision, and came to you and you rejected him. (Sorry) You have 2 choices, you can alienate your son, which won't change his decision, or you can learn as much as you can about the gay lifestyle, and find out what ever it is that has you so afraid. I am a strong Christian, but as that, I know I can't stand in judgement of anyone, no matter who or what. And there are a lot of gay people that have kids, so you could be wrong there. If life has taught me anything, it is that we can't make people be who we want them to be, and we have to except people right where they stand allowing them to find their own path. Believe me it was no cake walk with my 2 girls, and I was a grandmother when my youngest was 16, so I don't see myself as a perfect parent, but I do try to be a place of unconditional love. I hope this doesn't just piss you off, he needs you in his life just as much as you need him, but he needs to know you can love him, no matter what. Hope this goes well for you, I will be praying for your whole family :) R.

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Dear T.,
First you need to know that you are not alone! There are thousands of moms who are broken hearted over their kids proclaiming to be gay. I can't begin to know what you are going through, but I know about a wonderful support group called "Spatula Ministries". The name is because she needed a spatula to peel her off the ceiling when her son told her he was gay. She is a very funny author who can totally relate to hurting parents. Her first book is called "Stick a Geranium in Your Hat and Be Happy". This may sound like she is making light of a very seroius issue, but she isn't. She was in a severe depression for about 5 years! And came out of it when she decided to quit moping and be happy. Any here's a link to her web page:
http://www.spatulasandiego.org/
Hope this helps,
B.

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Our children don't always turn out the way we think they should or realize all our dreams. Sometimes we unknowingly put on our children pressure to follow what we see as the only way and want them to become,be, or redo things that we feel we should have done,been, or became. There is never only one way to do things or to even be. You raised your child with the best skills and love that you had. He is still your son,a part of you, a part of you and your husbands bodies that will never change. What he is choosing is his choice it is not a reflection on you or in any way something you did wrong. You still have all the years you raised him, the love, the memories. None of that has changed. He can still and should be a part of your life. Will it take time yes, will it be easy, I don't think so. But you can and should keep in contact with him. You can love him but not accept for now or maybe forever his life choices. However it dosen't change him being your son or his love for you. Prehaps it will take a long time for your family to sit down and talk about this subject. In time things become easier. But you can talk about him, hi honey how is work going, how are your friends, have you been able to apply for school etc. Stay with the safe subjects and still let him know you care, are interested and love him. That is all you can do for now until you wrap your mind around the change and figure out why you feel the way you do. Isn't he still the same child? What are the things you always enjoyed about him, the qualities that you liked, somethings you liked doing with him those are the things to remember and be involved with. Seek help there is never any shame in that, are you hurt because he did not make the choices you wanted for him or do you feel he is wrong, are you embrassed? These are the things you might want to figure out and it might help you. I will be thinking of you and your family and wishing you all the most love that you have for each other to continue.

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First off - you are a great mother. If you weren't, he would not have been open about his preferences with you.

Second - you can see him get married and he can have grandchildren. Just as if he was straight, that can all happen if he wants it for him self.

Now, take a moment to mourn for the life that you had hoped for him and then move on to be happy that he is now free to be who he is. He can be himself in front of his mom. How great is that? Would you really have wanted him to stay in the closet, get married and hurt his family by coming out when he's hit mid-life? Or worse, hurt himself because he can't handle the secret anymore.

It's OK to be disappointed. But still love him for the courage he has in choosing the path that is most certainly harder, but will ultimatly make him more happy. Because in the end, that is all any of us can hope for our children.

Good luck, sweetie. You'll be okay.

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Hi T.,

Please remember that you are still in shock and early in the grief process--and that is NOT the time (no matter what the cause) to be making ANY kind of major decisions, especially ones you might regret later. Your child is still a child, and he is vulnerable to your anger, hurt, and disappointment. He can't deal with it as you or I, now experienced adults, might.

I feel that taking his pictures down sends a terrible message to him and also to his older siblings--hmm, maybe we can't come to mom with the big stuff.

When my cousin came out, her mom was furious--completely rejected and punished her at every opportunity. Whenever they interacted, which wasn't much, my aunt just kept beating her daughter over the head with how wrong and immoral she was. You're going to hell, what about having grandkids, etc. The result? My cousin didn't magically become un-gay, and nothing changed for a very long time. They are on much better terms now, but her mom missed out on a big portion of her life and said a lot of hurtful things that still stand between them. If you asked my aunt whether it was worth it I doubt she'd say yes.

Blessings on you both, T., as you both negotiate uncharted territory.

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You have done a good job as a mother for bringing up a son who feels he can share his deepest feelings with you.
I'm sad to hear that your "Mother's Love" is conditional.
Don't project into the future that you "will never have grandchildren". You don't know that.
You need to stay in this current moment. Talk, talk, talk to your son. Put you son's pictures back up immediately.
You have helped bring this person into the world. Your son is here for a reason. Everyone has value.

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Your son has opened up to you. This is a blessing and an opportunity to get to know him better. If he has been hiding this, I would guess that he hid other things about himself that might have tipped you off. Get to know the real him. Many parents and adult friends of teens would appreciate a new level of openness. Take advantage of it.

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You had to take down his pictures? That is a little overboard, and is stating to him & everyone else around that love IS conditional. You should love your son unconditionally-even if he chooses a different path in life than you would have chosen for him. As for you not having grandchildren from him, maybe even if he was straight, he still wouldn't want to have children. I think that he was very brave in coming out to you about this very personal issue. I think that it is very sad that you are only thinking about yourself when he is probably in a lot of pain now. Times have changed a lot and being "gay" is not as taboo as it used to be. There are a lot of gay people in the mainstream now, and many people aren't as offended by "difference" anymore. If your son really is gay, there is nothing that you can do or say to change that. People are who they are and you can either choose to accept & love him no matter what, or risk alienating him for the rest of his life. He will have to deal with judgement and rude comments from other people, and you should not be one of them. I am not saying that you are a bad Mother, and I don't think that the way that you raised him had any impact on his sexual identity whatsoever. You do need to wake-up-and-smell-the-beans though! Many young men who "come out" to their families and are rejected become depressed,feel undervalued,alone, and some attempt suicide. I know that you are hurting and disappointed, but this is about him. He is probably feeling hurt & disappointed too.

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Hi, It should not matter that your son is gay he is still your son and it is sad that you had to take your sons pictures down and can you imagine what this is doing to him.He loves you no matter what and it sounds like you cant accept him for who he is.And you can always have grandkids even from him if he is gay,being gay does not make the person who they are..Just remember he loves you and is not labeling you and you shouldnt him.Life is to short love him no matter what..

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I definately feel your pain and do not envy your position. I know it is hard, but you need to try to treat this as you would any other choice he made that you don't agree with. If he started smoking, moved in with a girlfriend, or whatever else your family is against. Let him know in no uncertain terms that you very much disagree with his decision and you will not support it or be happy about it, but that he is still your son, you still love him, and you are still there for him. You can even ask him no to expose you to his lifestyle for a while by not mentioning or bring over boyfriends. He likely feels very alone already and just needs you to accept him. You can accept him and love him without accepting or loving what he is doing. My sister did the same thing around that age, and it ended up just being a phase she tried out and grew out of. I wouldn't get your hopes up too high because he is not a young teen, but if he did choose to walk the straight and narrow later on, it would be sad if you ruined your relationship and couldn't get back into his life. It is not fair to blame him for the future lack of grandchildren though because even straight he may have been infertile, married someone infertile, chosen not to have kids, etc. He may in the future choose to adopt and you would love that child just as much.

I know this is really hard for you, as it would be for me, and I truely hope you don't get too much hate mail or critizism for being "anti-gay". Give it time to heal the wounds and try to repare the relationship with your son before it is too late. Try to understand his emotions and how much he wants your love right now. See if you and your husband can come up with a way to live with it and move on. I know, it will take time. Consider speaking with your pastor if you are religious or someone to help you work through it and remember that this decision on his part had nothing to do with you or your parenting.

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I can understand that it might be frustrating or even shocking at first. You obviously didn't see any of the signs that he may be gay. Or maybe you did and subconsciously chose to ignore them. I don't want to make you feel worse than you already do but you have to realize that just because he is gay does not mean he is a different person. It does not mean that you absolutely won't have grandchildren from him. Why are you afraid for him? He has obviously made peace with himself and his comfortable being who he is to have come out to you and his father. You said to think about if this were my son. Well, I have a young son and yes, it might be difficult at first because of all of the preconceived ideas that we have for our kids. We want them to have loving relationships and have children etc. etc. But even a gay person can have all of these things. My brother is gay. I think I knew before he did. He has been through some short and long term relationships, difficult break ups and everything that we have all gone through. He has been in a very loving and committed relationship for many, many years now. He is a very successful business man and is currently working on a career change and getting his masters in teaching. Would it be easier if he was straight - yes. I have two young children, one who is 10 and one who is 3. Obviously my 10 year old is starting to become more aware of his living situation and has questions. But he still my brother, he still a very important part of my life and the lives of my children. He is still your son, he still loves you, he is still the same person. Don't be afraid for him, support him and tell him you love him. Put his pictures back up, don't shut him out of your life. If you do you will lose much more than the possibility of no grandchildren.

NC.
Married, Full time working mom to two children, 10 year old daughter and 3 year old son.

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Hi, well obviously like you said most(as I) would probably say he is still your son blah balh, which you already know. I also don't have a gay son, so I can only offer what I see from here. I do have a couple of gay friends, and the only thing I can say (as gently as possible) is being dissappointed and appalled is okay. Do try to remember though that he isn't doing this to you, so try not to be hurt, because he certainly didn't have mom and dad in mind when he realized he was gay. Also, don't quite dismiss grandchildren from him yet. He can still adopt if he wants children in the future. As far as anything else goes, I'm afraid I can't offer anything based on knowledge as I don't know what I would say to my own son. But try not to take it personally or take your feelings out on him. Its okay to feel sad and dissappointed on what he told you, but deal with that within you, and try not to take it out on him.
I'm sorry, and I hope that helps a little!

K.

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My boyfriend in HS came out of the closet at about the same age. His mother too struggled with it as it directly opposed her religious feelings ont he topic. It seems like you too are struggling with acceptance of this statement by your son. I doubt that it has anything to do with you as a mother and is instead more likely a biological setting in him. My b/f in HS ended up moving out of his mothers house as her personal issues with his coming out were having a huge negative effect on him (specifically clinic depression). Now that he is away from the negative influence he has gotten his GED and an Associates and is Assistant Loan Manager at a Bank. I sincerely hope that you can find a way to accept him for who he is and love him inspite of the differences from what you had seen in his future, so that you can remain close to him for the years and years that you both have left. I wish you the best of luck on this difficult and challenging journey.

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Hi T.,
Of course his choice has nothing to do your parenting. However, he needs you now. He needs you to love him, accept him and help him deal with the emotions he feels. He needs to know he has a soft place to fall where is always loved. This is a gift for you, take a look at your own beliefs, where ever they lie the true message is unconditional love. Be the foundation for your son that you alway have been.

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I have no experience in this and I could only imagine the struggle you and your husband are faced with. I feel that if my daughter said the same thing to us, we would be dissappointed in her choice of lifestyle, but she is same person she has been all along. We don't have to approve or agree with everything our children do. Nor do you have to support it. However, I think in the long run, you will find that you still love him and although you don't approve, you will become ok with and learn to live with the situation.
It took a lot of courage on your son's part to admit that he is gay. I could not imagine that would be an easy lifestyle for any person. I think your son trusted you enough to tell you and is probably crushed by your reaction to this. He needs your love just as he did before he told you. Probably even more now. Don't shut the door because sometimes it closes forever and there will be a time in your life that you will wish you didn't shut the door.
I hope that after the shock wears off and you have time to digest everything, it might be a good thing to find support groups in your community or seek counseling.

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Hello T.-
I'm sure this is hard for you, but I would say, keep your mind open to your son. Be glad that he is trying to be true to himself and don't take this personally, like he's doing this to you. Homosexuality has ALWAYS been around, even in the animal world...it's not a fad or something someone chooses. It is a natural variation of sexuality. I hope that you find acceptance of your son. I'm sure that as time passes and you seek information about the genetic nature of homosexuality, you will understand and be open to your son. Good luck. A.

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Hi T.,
Well I know that you never expected to have you baby tell you that he is gay BUT please take a minute and remember how hard it must be for him to tell you MOM I,M GAY!!! I have two boys I give you my word If either one told me that he was gay I would give him a big hug and say honeyI am proud that you have the courage to be who you are!!! Please this is not the end of the world It may feel like it But I assure you that the quickest way to lose you son is to freak out and not except him! Just because he's gay does not mean he won't have beautiful children one day! Please feel free to contact me if you would like to talk further !____@____.com

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Hi T.,
I know the feeling that you are explaining, My Oldest came out when he was a teen also, he is now 30 years old and I am a Greatful and Proud Parent, Iam ever so happy that he is well, alive and that he is happy with who he is. I have two other son's, One's a Hard Metal Rocker in Ca. and my youngest is a Business manager in Alaska... I dream of having Grandchildren, too someday, but only want what is best for my Son's. You're Son, probly needs you more NOW, then he has ever needed anyone in his life. You, T., are his first Life Line...Help him succeed in Life and on down the years, Life will change for the better, in his life...He has his own soul and Spirit. Don't crush or take away what was already yours before you knew.... always remember the thought you had when he was a baby in your arms. That Beautiful little bundle grew up, you both did everything that you could for him as Parents. His an Adult now, it's time to let him experiance the world as an adult.... true, BUT they still need you there as a Parent and a FRIEND. From first hand expeiance, as much as it hurt me and as much as i felt betrade, I also remember'd that With what is going on in our surrounding world today, we have to hold on to our children as much as we can..don't ignor them or turn them away...
I love my Gay Son~

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T., first of all I want to say i'm so sorry for all of the negative responses you've gotten. How you feel is how you feel and it's ok to feel that right now. It's ok to feel angry and upset and confused and weirded out by your son. It's very apparent to me that you love your son. I'm not sure why you took his pictures down, but if that's your way of dealing with it then that's ok too. A very close friend of mines daughter came out when she was 15 and that was tough for her,but she (the mom) was the only person in her daugthers life at the time (her dad died when she was 5)so her moving out and going somewhere else wasn't an option. So she had to look at her daugther every day, and she said that actually helped her come to terms with the fact that she's GAY! Say it T. HE"S GAY and IT"S OK! I can pretty much guarantee that your son is hurting too, think about how he feels too, how difficult it must have been for him to tell you and your husband. Put yourself in his shoes. As someone else said, it's not something he "chose" to do, that's the way he was made. And its OK. Embrace it and embrace him. I know you didn't have him just to have grandchildren like some others are saying, its just what you hope for your children is all. It's ok that he's not going to have kids, then again lots of gay couples adopt children, and that's ok too. I have to tell you I am a Christian, and it's not my place to judge what others do, it's God's place. Every single person is a person of God, no matter what race, religion, or sexual orientation they are. All we can do here on earth is show others God's love no matter what they do or say. God will judge each and every one of us when it is time. T. have peace in knowing its OK!
W.

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I strongly recommend that you get some professional help with psychologist to help you through this difficult time. All of what you said is correct, he is still your son and hopefully you will be able to love and support him through this however in order for you to be able to be there for him you need to attend to your feelings as well. A good psychologist will help you do this and assist you in working through this coming out process with your son so that your family can remain in tact and you can provide him with the much needed support that he needs. To find a psychologist, log on to your insurance website and look for mental health providers or go to www.psyhologytoday.com and type in your zip code. Please know that you are not alone in going through what you are going through--many other families have been down this same path (even Dick Cheney!).

Good luck,
S.

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Hi T. - I am 34 now and grew up in the southern US. My parents struggled with the fact that I had gay friends as a teenager - particularly being from that region. They were worried that it might affect my choices. Given that I am an expecting mom in a heterosexual relationship, that was not the case. However, given their reaction, it did make me consider how I would feel were my child to make that choice and this is what I came up with...
My gay friends were facing a serious uphill battle - they were more confused by their reactions and situation than anyone and it was so difficult for them to process - I couldn't imagine being in their position and dealing with that sort of conflict, depression and hate from others - which really led me to understand that this was NOT something they had chosen, it was something they were forced to deal with.
Being gay was a big deal but it wasn't the WHOLE deal - it wasn't their "life" - it was a tiny piece of it - much as being heterosexual was a piece of my life. They had the same hopes and dreams and goals that I did - good grades, acceptance, aspirations, love and trust. They just had a "strike against them" that they and those around them were struggling with.
One of my friends is in a happily monogomous relationship (has been for several years), is a successful EMT, and a proud parent of an adopted child - also one of the most patient, conscientious, understanding parents I've ever met.
Yes, your son is still your son - of course that is true - but given that you've spent your whole life dreaming of only good things for your child, the fact that he is now sharing this news and living a life you hadn't dreamed of is going to be a challenge. You have a choice - you can support your son as you always have, love him and cherish his gift of life and experience, knowing that his will be a different journey with incredible challenges you would never want him to face. Or, you can take away that support, remove that base he has built his life on, and force him to make his own way. This is not something that is going to go away and he will have to battle his own demons in this arena. He made a choice when he trusted you with this knowledge. Now, you have to make yours.
I hope this helps to paint a picture and gives you some hope. I cannot imagine how difficult this is for you as a parent and I only hope this difficult choice strengthens your relationships with the rest of your family and hopefully with your son.

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You're right to feel disappointed, but he had a lot of courage to come out and be honest with himself and you. It may not be what "your plan"as mother may of had for him but it is his plan. It's going to take time. You may not approve but you do need to except and love him for who he his "unconditionally."Please put his pictures back up. If you don't show exceptance eventually it could lead to further problems.Put yourself in his shoes for one moment, and think about how long he had to possibly hide this!Good Luck!!!!!

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T.: I swore I would never respond on this site, it was just something interesting to read. However, your posting really touched me. My son was 16 when he said "maybe" he was gay. I too was devastated. Then we had a life-changing incident a few weeks later and I forgot all about the gay thing. The earth-shattering event: my son took his hunting rifle to school and held his AP English class hostage. No one was injured, but it rocked our very small community and changed our family's lives forever. You may wonder what this has to do with your son, but let me go on. After many months of wondering why, we discovered that our son's antidepressant was the cause of this bizarre, out of character behavior. We have done much research and have discoved that when they warn on the commercials for these medications that you may have sexual side-effects, that can mean promiscuous behavior, a total disinterest in intimacy, or even a change in a persons sexual orientation. Has your son been on antidepressants, ADHD medication, or even acne medication? If so, the side effects of his medication may be the answer to why. If this is not at all helpful, just know that I understand your feelings toward your son and pray that you will find some peace. Love K.
P.S. It's been nearly 7 years since that terrible day. Our son is doing great. He has a full time job and has had many GIRLfriends.

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You need to give your head a shake and wake up to the reality that your son has his own life to live. It's ignorant to say that you will never have grandchildren...I know many gay couples (male and female) who chose to have children of their own or adopt them. They are wonderful parents and if their own parents don't accept this as a real part of the family, they are just missing out because of their own bias.

You should be proud that you have raised a son who is brave enough to be open about who he really is and honest enough to share it with you. Would you feel better if he just shut you out of his life and was that "perennial bachelor" from the old days when people could not be openly gay?

I can understand shock and even disappointment that your son did not turn out to be exactly how you expected him to be but like most parents I hope that at the bottom of your heart you mostly want him to be happy and to be loved and to live a full and successful life. He can do all of these things as a gay man and if you don't believe that, the problem does not lie with your son. You need to be open enough to educate yourself or you will miss out on what he has to offer and that will be your fault, not his.

Good luck. I feel sorry for your son that you have made him feel bad enough to leave the house over coming out, but maybe it's for the best if he's almost 18 and ready to be more independent anyway. I hope he will eventually be able to open your eyes.

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HI T.,
I don't really have an answer, but I want you to know that you are not alone. It is hard when something is different that what you had invisioned for your childs life. I have different challenges than you are facing, but it is still hard. Not many people will know what you are going thru, but rest assured you are not alone. My daughter just turned four and she has autism. It may seem a bit odd to use this as an example, but the feelings that you are going thru are a lot like mine and other parents who finds that their child is different. It is hard to accept at fisrt, you really don't want to believe it. You want your child to live a normal life and do all the same things that are "normal" This is where our challenges begin. Know that your son loves you and I know that you love him. I hope you learn to love him and accept this and work through it together. Tell him things that you feel from your heart, but make sure it is with love. It may take you a while to figure out all of your feelings. I know for me I am still figuring my challenges out with my daughter. I have no idea if she will grow up and get married or have children. Only time can tell, but know that our Heavenly Father loves you and he loves your son. I am not sure if you attend church or have beliefs of a supreme being, but know that I do and that he loves all of His children. He loves all of us and wants the best for us. He would never leave us alone, especially when we need him the most, but he wants us to love one another. I hope I have helped. If you ever want to talk, please feel free to email me. ____@____.com

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T.,
I am a lesbian and my brother is gay. Could you imagine what my parents went through, having their only children, end up gay. To their credit, they have adjusted well.

My advise to you is take your time to mourn and move on, but do it quickly. As a parent, which I am now, it is my responsibility to make sure that my child feels loved and supported. Statistically your child is in danger. The suicide rate is extremely high in teenage males who are trying to come out. You should join a local organization called PFLAG(Parents Friends of lesbians and Gays) It not only will serve as a support group for you and your family, but will also serve your son by letting him know that you are doing everything possible to support him dispite yourself. Being gay is an extremely hard thing to get past for some parents. The support is their for you, its up for you to go get it.

Do not wallow in the "I am not going to have a grandchild" thing. That is just selfish, besides plenty of gays and lesbians have children.

Consider yourself lucky that your child is healthy and do not abandon him or demean him for his choice to be true to you and himself. Be proud that you raised a strong son.

I believe there is hope for any situation if you live and work through it with love and not judgement.

Best regards,
T.

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Unfortunately, being "gay" is a new fad. I don't know how something like that can be a cool thing to do, but it is. Some people claim it for attention. One of my sister's best friends claimed she was a lesbian after 3 failed hetero relationships and stuck with it for about 5 years. She tried to convince her friends that they were all gay, too, but now all of a sudden, she is back to dating guys. It was just a phase, she says. She did it for attention and got a ton of it. I have seen and heard of the same thing with many of my old friends and classmates, from high school and college. It's stupid, but there really isn't anything you can do.
As a parent, you CANNOT take the blame! Kids are going to do what they are going to do. My mom was an amazing mom who raised us as Christians, pumped us full of morals and values, and still 4 out of the 5 of us lived with boyfriends/girlfriend before we were married (two still aren't), my brother experimented with drugs and ran away from home several times... the list goes on. You can only do so much as a parent and then pray that your child makes the right choices. I can't even begin to imagine how hard it would be to do that, as I am not a parent yet, but I have a pretty good idea. I took personal responsibility when my two younger sisters started doing things they shouldn't to keep them from getting hurt, but I just pushed them away for a while. I can't make them stop what they are doing, and I don't have to accept it, but when I let go of that responsibility and started just loving them anyway, we became good friends again. All you can do is love regardless, welcome him home always, and be there for him. Be as open as you can and you won't lose your son. If you pray, then pray your heart out.
I wish I could give you more hopeful words, but I hope this helped at least a little. Good luck!

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I'm sure that you are dissappointed because the picture of his future now looks alot different than the future you imagined for him and being gay is a lot of baggage to carry in this society. As for not having grandchildren by him, you still may. Many gay people eventually decide to have children, either biologically or through adoption. I have friends who are gay, both men and women and they all agree the best gift that a parent could give them would be acceptance of who they are but at the same time be able to offer real guidance to grow up and find a rewarding direction in life. I have two young daughters and I have thought about how I would feel if either one of them were to "come out" as gay. There would be far worse things. Does you son have a career direction? Is he college bound? You could still discuss these items with him as they are not dependent upon sexual orientation. You could also tell him that you love him but you are very worried about his future because of AIDS and him putting himself at risk with other irresponsible behavior. What kind of friends is he living with? Are they stable, employed, etc.? Why did he decide to leave your house? Of course you have the right to enforce house rules about acceptable hours, people in his bedroom, etc. just as you would with any teen, gay or straight. Does he have problems living with your rules?

A good place for you to find support would be PFLAG ( parents and friends of lesbians and gays) as many parents have had to deal with these issues.

Good luck!

H.

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It took great courage for your son to talk with you and your husband about his sexual orientation. First thing to remember is that this wasn't a choice, this is who he is. He's the same son you gave birth to, the same son you took to his first day of school, helped with his homework, tucked into bed. The dreams you talk of are yours, but the biggest one you had and still have is that he find that someone to love him unconditionally, like you love him. I suggest you contact the local PFLAG office or see a counselor. Your son did nothing wrong, he's still your son. He is who he is. It's sad that there's such a stigma about orientation, that we think we've failed as parents, there is no failure on anyone's part. Be proud of his accomplishments. Be proud of the fact that he could talk with you about this. He can still have grandchildren for you. There are so many gay and lesbian couples who adopt kids in need of loving, stable families. He will probably date his fair share of companions, just as he would have if he were hetrosexual. This is the means to the end, finding a life long partner. Hug him, Mom. Don't take his pictures down. Nothing has changed, because he's your son. This is the way he was made. Don't deny him or yourself the love of one another. You want him to be happy, be happy for him.

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To all of the people who responded to T. by saying she is selfish, judgmental, and a terrible mom who needs to ‘get over it’ and love and accept her son for who he is, you seem awfully quick to be judgmental yourself! If you are going to dish out responses like that, which frankly are harsh and unsympathetic, how can you expect her to take the advice you give that you yourselves are not practicing? Hello? Am I the only one seeing this?!?

Trish… I can completely understand how, as a parent, you have dreams for your children. Don’t we all as mothers have dreams for our children to grow up to be happy, well adjusted, successful people? Of course! So when your son ‘came out’, you as a mother are inundated with all these emotions, fears of how his life will be from this point, questions of if he will be happy and safe, and of course what role, if any, did your part as his mother shape this decision of his?

As mothers we ARE responsible for shaping and molding our children. God gives them a personality and we are to make the most of their strengths and help them with their weaknesses. Of course it is only natural as a mother to feel like you failed somewhere along the line. As Heather C. pointed out, there really isn’t any definitive scientific evidence to support that being gay is a biologically inherited trait. There isn’t any evidence to support that it isn’t, either. We don’t know at this point. But regardless of that, most mothers instantly ask that question whenever our children go through hard times, act out, are sad, etc. It isn’t an egocentric question to ask because the fact of the matter is that we DO affect our children’s lives to a significant degree. And there are scientific studies to back that statement up.

The bottom line is that you have some strong feelings to work through. That’s okay!!!!! But do remember that he is still your son and this recent development does not change that fact. Don’t close the door on him because of your pain. Let him know you still love him but that this is very hard to accept and you will need time to work through things.

Taking his pictures down is a symbolic act of trying to remove the hurt that you are feeling, but it isn’t going to help. Not only will your feelings remain, but he will be hurt, too. If you are spiritual just remember that God is right there with you – and your son – and through God all things are possible! Pray through your hurt, and God can help mend your heart. I know of a strong Christian woman who was the speaker for Bible Study Fellowship for a long time, and her son is gay. She prays for him all the time and while she does not agree with his lifestyle choice (and yes, at this time we have to assume it is a choice because there is no scientific evidence to the contrary at this point), she loves him and maintains a strong relationship with him. It didn’t happen right away, and she went through so many of the feelings and emotions you are going through, too.

God bless you, and remember that we grow stronger when we pass through difficult times.

Jen - mother of two beautiful red-headed children!

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Hi T.,

Love him, love him, love him. Put his pictures back up. When he comes home (he will, because you love him and he loves you) he will know you still love him. Be honest. Tell him you're having a hard time accepting this - and you love him. He may not have had grandchildren if he was straight. He may find a fantastic partner and adopt. None of that matters right now because you're hurt now and he's hurt too. It took a lot of courage for him to be honest with you, love him for telling you the truth. The number of children that are willing to do so is dwindling.

I hope you and your husband can find comfort with your son very soon,

C.

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Oh, this is a big shock, isn't it? I can understand your feeling confused, disappointed, even uncomfortable about sexuality that does not meet your idea of normal. With the amount of information you give, I have a harder time understanding why you feel hurt, and wonder if your son is deliberately "hurting" you, or your thoughts are the source of the pain. The distinction could be important as you work through your confusion.

If he merely shared with you a truth he has discovered about himself, then he could be reaching out to you for the loving connection that he still needs, and hopes you will be able to offer. If that's the case, congratulations on maintaining a strong enough relationship with him (through his teens, no less) that allows him to trust you this much.

Or did your son come out in a way that disrespected or insulted you? If he told you about his sexual orientation with the intention of being hurtful, that suggests great defensiveness on his part. Couple that with the usual angst of the teen years, add in the kinds of communication problems that youngsters and parents tend to develop, and I hear your son rebelling in a fairly normal way, but with a great big complication. Rebellion is a different matter than sexual orientation, and you are likely to have an easier time sorting through your confusion and eventually reconnecting with your son if you think about it as a separate issue.

It sounds as though you have some earnest work to do to get at the thoughts and judgements that are causing you pain. One of the biggest wrenches that gets thrown into this conundrum is the belief that homosexuality is chosen. I've known quite a few gays and lesbians over the years, and many say they knew they were "different" long before they even knew what sex was. Many have tried desperately to "be straight." If you can accept that your son has a certain hair and eye color and certain aptitudes that make him unique, I hope you can come to accept his sexuality as a God-given part of him.

I hear that you are scared for him. That might be something you can share with him – a conversation starter that might allow both of you to be vulnerable with each other. Please don't think I can't stand in your shoes; I thought for a couple of years that my daughter might be a lesbian. I had a twinge of fear for her, but only because I figured her life would likely have been much harder. It was still her life to live according to her own needs and wishes, and I never assumed that she owed me grandchildren.

And of course there are no guarantees of grandkids, even among straight offspring, so please don't lay that guilt trip on your son. He will see that as unloving and manipulative, and it won't change his sexual preference.

Hang in there, Mama. You say your son just came out. Your shock is evident. Give your feelings some time to settle. Then I hope you will become acquainted with your son for who he is, not for who you thought he was.

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Oh dear how your message touched me.I have 2 boys (4 & 5) and even though they are so young I have often wondered myself what if... this situation would occur. All I have ever been able to think is love them more and harder than ever. I don't mean to get reglious on you but really what would our Heavenly Father do... not turn from him but embrace him and love him. His choices are HIS choices and even though they are difficult and you as his mother see all of the obstacles in front of him. Try, and try hard to let him make those and just love him through his process. I am not saying you have to accept his decisions but respect that they are his and don't turn away from him. Put his pictures back up and be proud that you have a beautiful child and remind yourself Heavenly Father has intrusted you with his care. And from one woman to another, I know how it is in our nature to questions every decision we ever made and somehow want to find fault with ourselves, DON'T! YOU WERE THE ONLY MOTHER YOU KNEW HOW TO BE! Let any guilt go, and just love him they way you did when you first met him. Good luck to you and your husband, I will keep you in my thoughts.
R.

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its okay to have reacted as you have. I totally understand, I haven't dealt with anything like that, but being a mother, you will always love your child no matter what happens, and some things just take longer to accept than others. over time things will get easier i am sure. instead of taking down all of his pictures and trying to force him out of sight though, I think you should have at least 2 pictures of him where you can see them and remember him. one of his mas your little boy, and one of him as your young man. I have an "uncle" who is gay and he is one of the funniest most sincere people i know. he could become one of your best friends if you were willing to reevaluate the situation. I know it will be hard, and my gramma says "its always hard knowing I will never have grandchildren from him, but I wouldn't change him for the world." just rambling now, but give him another chance, not as your used to be truck playing boy, but as your friend and always loving son.

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I have a gay brother, uncle, and nephew. The only thing I can say is pride yourself in being a great mother by accepting him for who he is.

I can't imagine anyone making a choice to be gay. Do some reading, it helped my mom immensely! Get educated on the lifestyle, it is very different than the heterosexual one.
Try to keep your disappointment to yourself. He is going through enough as it is. Alot of gay couples are seeking out surrogates to have babies- don't discount a grandbaby just yet! I actually have a friend who is carrying a baby for a gay couple right now.

If he was my own, I may feel a little disappointed, but only because of how hard it is for him and what he is going through coming out. The suicide rate is much higher for homosexuals- one of my uncles succeeded, my brother tried several times......

Show compassion- isn't that what we all need to teach our children?

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Hi T.,

I am a mother of a 2 year old with another on the way BUT my brother is openly gay. you said that you had no idea, well really try to look back at him growing up. Did he do anything a little different.?? Any way that doesnt matter. We have always "know" my brother was gay from a very young age, Dolls, dress up, etc... but he still was very "manly" placed sports was a ladies man, is really handy. When we was 18 he came out of the closed as well. My mom and dad had a really hard time with it. Me being the older sister was like no big deal hes still my little bro. I have another brother and he was fine with it as well. they were in high school at the same time and already knew of some gay/friends.

My mom took it the hardest like you. Thinking of herself. i will never get grandkids out from him, he will never marry, etc.... all the things as a mother you look forward to when your kids get older. My dad was a little taken back, he is a firefighter. He still thinks its a "stage" but he is the first to stick up for my brother.

My brother may never have a traditional wedding, but some day he may have a commitment ceramonie, he may never have kids, but he loves his nephew and my mom gets to see him interact with him. Think of it this way, what if you had a daughter or even a son that was married and found out they couldnt get pregnant for some reason, you wouldnt be mad at them ?? or what if one of your other children just never found the right one to marry.

This was one of the hardest things for you son to do, by coming to you and telling you he is gay. He will have to go the rest of his life being "differnt" he is the same person just chooses to love someone different. Its not much differnt then when people started loving people of different races. You can not choos who you love.

He need to quite being selfish and tell him you still love him, and alway will. it may take awail to get used to his friends. But once you get to know him for who he is and the friends he brings home. You will find they are no differnet then you and me.

Best of luck, If you need to chat more or even maybe chat with my mom email me ____@____.com

He is your son and he loves you and you love him. Try and look at it from differnt asspects. Remember this is alot harder for him then it is for you. He needs to know you love him and support him...

yours
N.

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Please don't shut your son out he needs you now more than ever....There are support groups for parents of gay children....I dont' remember their name I think it is parents of gay and lesbian children. Please please look into this.
It will give you and your family the help you are looking for.

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This will no doubt be a long post. I have two 18 year old sons, and a brother whos partner of 16 years had AIDS. My brother is negative for it, has been dating again, and continues to be negative. Yes, it is hard to say he is dating, and know that he is dating other men, but it is getting easier (and it is now possible for he and I to go to a movie together and drool over the same men openly, and humorously.) I say that only because it would not have been possible when he first came out, when he was in his mid-twenties. I *do not* think about his sex life. When he did, my parents took it well, although my father did tell him that it made him unhappy that he wouldn't have grandkids from him.
How much of your feelings - the disappointment about grandkids, and your fear for him- have you been abe to openly and honestly share with him, and doing your best not to sound judgemental -if that's how you feel?
My boys have not begun to date yet, and that scares me, given their age. If they are gay though, I think (and pray) that they will tell me. I know they know about the risks, because they watched their uncle Kurt- who they greatly loved- die.
Now we talk sometimes about safe sex, which is a relief for me. I can only imagine my reaction, I know I would be crushed by the thought of no grandkids (unless they adopted, which is possible.) I know I would be frightened, I might even be repulsed, and that those feelings might never go away (especially since they are my only children, and I am too old to have more.). I truly beleive though, that they would not prevent me frpm loving them less, or wanting their company less.
I know you are in a far different boat than I am, but I am not going to tell you that you'll "come to accept it without question or whatever, because you may not. But maybe thinking about the alternative of not seeing your son any more because of your initial reaction would mean to you, and whether or not that would be an acceptable alternative. Try counseling. Do talk to your son, and share your feelings with him, if you think you can do it without anger, self-pity, or recrimination.
I would like you to know that I am deeply and truly envious that you even have grandchildren at all, because if the tenency to homosexuality *is* heridity, since my twins are identical, I may never have grandchildren, and to me, you saying you will never have grandchildren "from him" sounds demeaningto him. He is who he is, and you are who you are, and if you are truly deeply homophobic, you may have to withdraw from his life altogether.
There are no easy answers for this. My heart gors out to you, and you will be in my thoughts for a long, long time.
BTW, I've talked with my brother's friends whose parents just flat out turned their backs on them, and the harm and grief that caused them is almost incalcuable, not to mention the bitterness.
Thank you for your question, it has helped me to examine my current feelings about my brother, and my hopes and fears for my children.
May God be with you.

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I have read your posting several times before replying and I have to say that it still leaves me with the feeling that you are really only thinking about your feelings involved. I understand as a Mother how hurt and disappointed more than anything that you feel as I have 2 sons myself, and that would not be the choices I would choose for them either,but that is not our decision we as parents can only do the best we can at raising them to be upstanding individuals, but this in no way is a reflection on you as a mother and that is the impression I get. You think you have failed as a mother and you haven't! What you are failing at now is giving your son your love and support. I am just guessing that this was something very difficult for him as well to deal with and come out with as he I'm sure knows of your disproval. I think that taking his pictures down is a bit extreme and although we may not agree with the choices our children make sometimes we still love them unconditionally, and as a family work through issues. Don't give up on your son. I'm sure he needs your love and acceptance more than ever.
K.

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Hello T.:

I want you to know that it is ok that this is hard for you. Your feelings do not stop because this is your son. However, this is a very trying time for families from all sides. I would suggest that you not try to do this alone. There is a grieving process, for some, that comes with this news. It sounds like your son was very brave and loves you very much to come to you with the honesty of this part of who he is. Please remember is it not all of who he is and he is the same boy that he was the day before he told you. My hope is that you can all find some peace in this process as this is a very fragile place for gay teens to be in and there is a high rate of suicide and risky behavior. I am very happy for your sons awakening to living his true and best life and wish you all the best in your journey thru this process. I would like to suggest contacting PFLAG(Parents, Families and Friends
of Lesbians and Gays) to get the support that you will need. http://www.pnwpflag.org/oregon.html The best to your and your family.

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Hi T.,

Obviously you are facing one of our deepest fears as parents, but a bigger fear would be never to see your child again. I am a young parent so I can't imagine what you are going through, but the thought has crossed my mind. What would I do if my kids turn out to be gay? my answer is I would love them no matter what, I am sure I would hate it but what can I do. I think you should see a therapist to help you cope with your feelings. The best advice I can give you is to love your son and be apart of his life because life is too short and you never know what might happen in the years to come. I know you probably already heard this before but let me tell you this, I only have two kids five and two and I don't want anymore. I never wanted kids and I was not maternal at all, all my friends would run to new babies and I would be like yah watever, but once I became a mom I surpased all my expectations and have surprised all my family. I was blessed with two bright, beautiful and healthy children. That said there is nothing I wouldn't do for them and I don't care if I ever grandchildren from any of them. All i want from them is for them to be succesful and happy. One last thing, how awful, sad, dissapointed, hurt you may be feeling your son, YOUR BABY is probably feeling a hundred times worse. It takes time to get used the fact and if you ever do accept it, it doesn't mean you have to hear every detail of his relationships. We all choose who we want to love but it is how we love that person that defines us.

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You don’t have a choice whether your son gay or not, but you do have the choice of how you adjust to it, and taking down his pictures sounds like a short road to exile. It's okay to have conflicting emotions in tough situations like this, but you are at an important crossroads that will affect you and your son’s relationship for the rest of your lives, and the reason that you feel so horrible is because you love him so much, and love is a good place to start. A.

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OH, gosh....I would have a really, really hard time with this one myself. I guess the best advice is to just realize that your son is going to be making many more decisions in his life that you won't agree with. He's an adult now and there is really little you can do except realize that you have done the best you could to raise him. His decision to act on his emotions that he may have been feeling for a long time have probably lead to a lot of freedoms for him. Freedom to express who he is and how he feels. Yet, it tears out the heart of those who love him and know the very difficult road that he has in store for him.

Mom, try to just love him for who he is. It doesn't mean you have to embrace his sexuality....HE is a separate person from his intimate expressions. He just needs to be loved.

Now, for me....I'm actually a conservative. Funny thing that I would right this. It doesn't matter whether I believe in homosexuality or not....the issue is just meeting people where they are at and embracing THEM as a person.

S.

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T.,

http://community.pflag.org/NETCOMMUNITY/Page.aspx?pid=194

This is the link to Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays.

You will certainly find more empathy, support & practical guidance for dealing with the issues you & your husband have around the fact your son is gay.

Honestly, I understand the anger directed at you as well. The biggest mistake most people of a religious bent have in regards to homosexuality is thinking it is a choice. Who on earth would CHOOSE to be gay? Did you, your husband, or your other children choose to be straight?

But the anger progresses nothing. Get in touch with more parents who have dealt with/are dealing with this revelation from a child. You are not alone in trying to rectify long held beliefs/religious training with the reality that your son is gay.

BE PROUD that you raised a son who was ABLE to tell you the truth about a core aspect of his being, despite the fact that he knew it would be difficult for you to accept. But don't assume he's strong enough to go the rest of his life without the love he's always known from his mother. He needs you now more than ever.

My mother always told me that God never gives you more trials than you can deal with: so God must believe that you are strong enough to deal with this.

And God certainly doesn't hate gays: he created them that way! It's we mere humans who have to learn to accept differences in others.

Put the photos of your son back up. Get in touch with PFLAG. Find the strength within yourself to rise to this challenge & LOVE YOUR SON FOR WHO HE IS. You can do it.

My prayers are with you & your family.

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I can tell that you are in a great deal of pain. You must be so disappointed and angry that things are so different than you thought they would be. It's always hard to get that kind of shock, and you have to greive the loss of what will not be happenning.

Coming to grips with something like this is a long process. However, there are two **very** important things to do now.

1. Make sure your son is safe. Young men who have just come out without the support of their families are at HUGE risk of suicide. Young men who have just come out and are not very worldly or sexually experienced will also begin exploring and are at HUGE risk of being raped or hurt.

2. Get some counseling for your family. If you are still too angry/hurt to go with your son, then go alone. (although Family Counseling would be best). This gives you a safe place to say what you need to say to each other, express yourself and ask questions. It won't fix things overnight, but it will give you an honest base and good practice for working through the emotions.

Just deal with these two issues for now, and the rest will fall into place.

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I don't know where to start. Growing up in a very religous home and going to church, you would always hear is that what god wanted... Well god does everything for a reason; if it sounds right or not.

God made him that way... In the comandments it says ALL MEN TREATED EQUAL. I can understand that, its not what you wanted for him... BUT THAT MAKES HIM HAPPY. You did your job in raising him, Now its his turn to make it on his own. I have had many Gay friends, and to tell you the truth They are the best kind to have.

No one chooses to be gay, Its how he is and thats that. You need to still be his parent, as he is still your child. You can't continue Being frusterated and mad at him for something he can't help. You can't just jump to "what about my grandkids" Maybe he doesnt want kids, and thats his choice.

If you start treating him any different from your other children, then he wont talk to you anymore about ANYTHING. He still loves you, and its not your fault that he wants to be with a man... ITS HIS CHOICE.

I think you should sit down with just him and your husband and have a decent conversation about his lifestyle, and how its going to be... Its your child, you will still love him no matter what.

I have a one year old son... I tell my husband (who is very against GAYS) that if Carter wants to be with a man then thats his choice, as he gets mad at me and tells me he will dissown him. Gays are human just like you and I and if thats what they want then thats there choice...

JUST BE SUPPORTIVE, INVITE HIM OVER FOR DINNER.
JUST DONT RIDE HIS BACK ABOUT IT... HE WILL RUN

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I have plenty of friends who are in same sex relationships, and have wonderful children - which has given their parents amazing grandchildren.

Remember when your son was little, and you swore you would never let him get hurt, and you would always love him? Your son needs that unconditional love right now. He did a really brave thing to be honest with you - so many people don't feel they can come to their parents with this - and live in fear, and shame.

Be proud that your son thought enough of your relationship with him, that he felt safe enough to come to you with this.

I think the issue here is you need to examine why it is difficult to even look at your son, when he did such a brave act by coming to you and your husband. I suggest that the emotions you are feeling are real, however misplaced, and that you seek professional counseling *immediately* with you *and* your son to fix this rift between you two. Remember you promissed him you would do anything for him when he was a baby - this may be hard, but if you want your son in your life, this needs to be addressed now

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i understand that you are shocked and it may be a let down to know that you will never see him the way you had hoped for him...wife, kids, smiling and all. but you have to realize that is the dream YOU had for HIM, not what he wants for himself. he needs you and his dad more than ever right now. think about the fear and courage he had to deal with in coming out to you! honestly, if he had to "come out" to you he probably feels you didn't really know him to begin with.

give yourself some time to grieve the loss of your dream but don't shut him out of your life for long. this is the time when he could turn to people or things that aren't healthy for him. you need to support him in making healthy and safe choices if this is the life he chooses.

you may never be okay with his lifestyle but there are probably many things you love about him and if you focus on that you might be able to reconnect with him.

please, don't let this end your relationship with him!

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I can only imagine being in your shoes, though of course it's not the same.I don't yet have a son..only a daughter.BUT if she was to come to me saying she was gay, I would honestly be ok with it.Yeah, it may come as a shock but I'd rather hear that then she's pregnant or something life threatening.Wouldn't u?What about him saying he's gay bother u and husband so much?
Since your his mother, I'm sure your going to love him unconditianally (sp?) no matter what so why does it matter of his lifestyle.He can still have kids of his own some day by using a sarogant if he so chose to or even adopt.Should'nt matter how he becomes a father, if he chooses to of course, because once he makes/believes that child as his own makes it your grandchild.

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I understand he is your son and I haven't dealth with this as my kids are only 2 1/2. However, as a parent, advise him of the health risks and let him know you are struggling with it and need some time to adjust, but that you still love him. I can't imagine and I just hope you have a support system around you that you can lean on when the times get tough - at some point, you may need to accept his partner into your family which I can't even imagine how hard that could be. You always have support here, and I will keep you in my thoughts. Take your time and don't feel guilty...you didn't do anything to make him gay. Take care T.

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Hi T.,

I can't say that I fully understand what you're going through, as I have yet to be in that situation myself. With that being said...I would recommend looking into support groups for parents of gay and lesbien children. They may be able to help you and your husband adjust to the situation and answer any questions you may have. Off the top of my head I can't think of any specific groups, but you might start with searching online. I hope this helps!
K.

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Dear T. and Family, God bless you! The emotions you are feeling are real, and heartfelt. If you didn't love your son, you wouldn't be going through all of these feelings and thoughts. As a parent, I think this would be just about the hardest news to get from your child. I mean it! If it is of any comfort to you, I will be praying for you and your family. All of you! Cling to your husband right now. Each day you will think a little clearer, and the hurt will be lessened. Again, God bless and take care. S. Teague

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There is such a bad stigma on being gay, and it is for sure his life is not going to be easy. He is going to be riduculed by small minded people who dont understand what is going on. One of my best friends is a gay man and he is the most wonderful person in the world, but he has been put through the ringer because of his sexual oreintation. I have put myself in your shoes, and I wonder what I would do in your position, but it all comes back to he is your son, and he is going to need your support. There is no guarantee that you will never have grandchildren from him. The courts are getting more lenient about adopting to gay couples. Theres also surragacy. They have lots of options if him and his partner do decide they want to have children. If my son were to come home and tell me he was gay, yea I would be a lil upset, but not because he was something he couldnt help, but because I know what kind of life he is going to have, and there isnt a thing I can do, as his mother, to help him in it. I have always tried to teach my children that there is nothing wrong with it, they are just different. God makes everyone different. I really wish I could help you with this, because I can see that this is hard for you. I wish you lots of caring and understanding in this difficult time.

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You need to find a local support group for parents with gay children..
Just to note you can look to the bright side of it and think thank god he isnt hitching up with a golddigger that has babys, being a bad mother that only wants him for money so she ruins his life for 18 years.. and FYI some gay men ask woman t have there kids. SO you might be in luck in that department in the future!!

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I know this must be hart breaking for you but it sounds like you really have a bad impression about guy people to start with. I think you need to address this first, try reading about it to understanding the way guy people feel. You may be a very reserved mother who really can't imagine the thought but this is life! And life will always send you a curve ball just to see how you will react. At least it was not an accident where he died or became disabled. Maybe you are being selfish because you wanted grand kids? I am not gay and have 3 step kids, if any of them decided that they were gay then yes I would be upset but there is simply nothing you can do about it. You just have to deal with it. Over time it will get easier but not contacting your son will be harder and the longer you leave it the harder it will get. At least he told you many people just don't because of the reaction there are afraid they will get. Try praying about it, God put gay people here for a reason although I don't know what that may be, I'm sure there is some reasoning there? Good Luck !

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Try putting yourself in his shoes. I hear a lot of how it is affecting you, what about him, how is your reaction and his discovery affecting him. It is not about you.

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I feel strongly about this subject. I want to simply say two words, "unconditional love". Another word comes to mind, "acceptance". Your story makes me feel like crying. It has taken my mother and father 15 years to accept me. I am not gay. Don't let this tear your family apart. I read a quote in a special book that may give you comfort. "It may be that the feeling of needing another kind of child to love visits all of us as parents from time to time, when things feel particularly bad or hopeless. Sometimes that feeling can, if unexamined, turn from a short-lived impulse into a steady current of disappointment, and a yearning for something we think we don't have. But if we look again, we may find that after all, we can know and love well the the children who are ours to love." - Everyday Blessings, The Inner Work of Mindful Parenting. This will take a great opening of your mind and heart. Be careful, and don't be afraid to get help.

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T.,

I wish you the best, it can be difficult to see those you love in a different light then how you thought you knew them. But his being honest with you does reflect on how great of a mother you are. Would you want him to lie to you and have a false relationship with you?

Most gay people don't choose being gay. Why would they? It's not an easier lifestyle. If he told you he had diabetes, would you love him any less? Probably not, but nonetheless, the news would come as a shock.

There are many gay people in my life, one is a sibling who came out 3 years ago. We're 1 year apart, and I'm 46. It was a shocker, but I love her and always want her happiness.

I think Kori offers you some very loving and kind advice. Also, don't shut the door on the possibility that your son may not father children. The future has wonderful possibilities.

I wish you the best. God bless you.

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I think your suffering is all about you and that you need to think about your child and how hard it was for him to come out to you. He trusted you and needed your support and now he feels unsupported at a difficult time in his life. He didn't choose that lifestyle because he thought it would be easy. Yes he still is your son and his sex life is his business. Can you imagine what it must of been like for him to play along for years to please everyone else and feel "normal".
Thinking about that you might not have grandchildren is limited. You might have grandchildren and you can volunteer to grandmother hundreds of children that crave just that in their lives.
Why are you hurt and disappointed? Is he not still your son that loves and trusted you? Stop thinking it's all about you and that he's done it to hurt you. He's hurting.
If it's a moral issue, it doesn't seem moral to withdrawn your love and support to someone you cared for for 18 years. There are support groups out there.
I hope you can see this point of view and be there for your son.

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Try to remember the son you loved before he came out. Still love the son he was. In time you will love the son he is. You don't have a choice in who he has decided to be but you do have a choice to love him or not. You can't change who he is but you can change your heart. Good luck.

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Hi T.!
Its Ok!
Your son is gay!
Its going to take some time to adjust!
My husband and I work for a major airline and know alot of gay people!
Dont be hurt and disapponted OK!
We dont have children also and have been together for 16 years!
Our parents are cool with that!
Has nothing to do with you being a great mother!!!
You did not fail!
I suggest some couceling with your whole family to talk about this!
I know what Im talking about, because my 40 year old brother is Mentily Ill!!
Parinoid Schizoprania!
Try dealing with that scince you were 14!! im almost 40 now!
Having a gay son is not bad!!
Embrace him now, and show him all the love you can!!
He needs all your love and support right now!!
There is a high suicide rate among gay teens!
Hugs!
C.

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Instead of us thinking like he is our son, I think you should think of being in his shoes. How you would feel if your family took your pictures off the wall because you were gay. I think you need to seek professional counseling for YOUR feelings. Because what you are doing to him is damaging what relationship you will ever have with your adult son. It's not like he just came to you and told you he was a serial killer.

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I also have a 18 year old bother who is like another kid to me and he has been making some crazy decision since becoming 18. You shouldn't feel bad for feeling the way you do. I think that you should pray if you are a praying person and give it time. It maybe the people he is around or something someone has said to him that makes him feel this way. I know of some other great parent who's daughter decided that she was gay too. It's okay to tell him you love him as a person as your son, but you don't except his new found lifesyle and leave it at that. Tell him that he can come around and share things with you as long as he doesn't force to you except his new life choices. This is a bit of tough love. My whole family has had to do this with my brother, and he forced my hand 2 weeks ago when he decided to peirce my 11 yr old belly button to get a rise out of the family. I then chose to press charges. It wasn't that I wanted to, but I wasn't going to allow him to force his new life style on my family. He knew how I felt and believed, and with that he kept pushing. So my best advice would be just set boundries for your family and let him know what is acceptable and what isn't. Then you will have no reason to fight yourself with his decisions. And maybe he will decide in the long run that this lifestyle isn't for him.

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Being gay doesn't mean no grandchildren. I have several same gender friends who have adopted or used a surrogate. That being said don't expect to feel great about this news right away. Just love your son and make sure he knows that you love him. Look into joining Parents of Gay Lesbian and Transgender children. That group will be a great help as it is made up of other parents in your situation.

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Hey T. M,

Wow, I realize that what I am about to say may not be of much help but here goes. This reaction that you are having is about you not your son. In your mind you have always seen a plan for your son and now he is taken control over that plan and changed it forever. You may never have grandchildren from you son, but you do still have your son. I think that you should take some time to discover what your disappointment is all about. What I mean is it about something you have built up, about a plan you had and still want to hold on to for him, or is it that you just do not understand his choice about his lifestyle. I am hoping for the both of you that you seek out some advice from some gay support groups for parents. Again, I am not sure that what I have said helps you in any way but I certainly hope it does. C. K.

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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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Oh T., My heart totally goes out to you. I have two 15 year old sons and a 10 year old son and know I would be absolutely heart broken if I found out any of them were gay. I don't have any advice for you, but I just wanted to tell you that I am SO sorry for what you are going through emotionally right now. The only thing I would say to you is to try and remember that this is not your fault. I'm not sure how you are feeling, but I think I heard in your e-mail that you might be blaming yourself and your parenting in some way. Non of this is a reflection of your parenting in any way! Rather than asking yourself what you did wrong, try and focus on what to do and where to turn now. Do you have a church or a group of women friends that can offer you support. There might be a support grounp in your community for parents processing the pain of their children's choices. You will really need that right now as you process all the pain and hurt from this. I wish I could give you a hug. I will be praying for you. Joyce

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He could have been straight and decided not to have children, this would be the same thing. So that shouldn't be an issue. Maybe because he will never know what it's like to love a child of his own as you love(d) him? That is legitimate. But my family is just as sad for my straight, married sister who has decided not to procreate, so you might not have had grandkids either way from him. At least you have some from one or more of his siblings!

Like others have said, you have to figure out how you feel about all of this and make peace or not. He is not out committing crimes, like some mother's sons do! I personally feel that God loves us all regardless, as long as we are good, forgiving, kind people, which I'm sure your son is. And I'm also sure that this isn't the first thing one of your kids has done that you don't necessarily agree with, as they all do!

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I think you need to stop being concerned for yourself right now and think about your son. He obviously feels unwelcomed by you and your husband since he's moved out and is living with friends. You are being very selfish in thinking about not having grandchildren from him. For one thing, there are millions of kids in this country alone living with same sex parents. For another, he's 16, hopefully he won't be having kids soon anyway. I don't know the root of your feelings toward homosexuality. I'm assuming it's ignorance of some sort. Accept that your son is who he is. Be happy for him for discovering this for himself and coming out at such a young age. Wish him the best and love him like you always have. You didn't do anything to him to make him gay and he can't change who he is. The way you decide to treat him right now will affect your entire life. Do the right thing.

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Hi T.-

This is a hard place to be in as a mom. I am 47 and the mother of two boys, 13 and 15. I thought of this scenario a time or two. Being, gay, is not a natural thing. This is not the way men or women were born either. I don't care what kind of propaganda you get from people it is not right and not how we were intended to be. I guess I would have to think that these are the people that your son has been accepted by and has felt he could trust and share things about himself with. We are all sexual creatures and want to have that experience too and it seems that even in this area he is gratified in this way too. But, you do have to show him that you love him and that no matter what the choice is that he HAS made that you are still there for him too. If you peel away the layers of your son these is a reason that he went this way. It may have been from a lot of places. The whole world wants to say that this way of life is right and okay. 'Let it all hang out' or 'Live and let live' but that is a lie too. Somewhere along the line your son has bought into a lie and does not see the truth in the same light as you and many, many people in the world - not the media but the mainstream. You need to seek some Christian counciling on this issue. There are a lot of books to read and these may help. But, when it all comes down to it in the end we can only be responsible for ourselves and how we act and behave.

Praying for you,
M. F.

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Dear T., I had my son when I was 41, he is almost 16 now. He is my only child, and I love him with all my heart and soul. I read your letter, and I felt your pain, and I am so sorry you are going through this. My suggestion is to give yourself time, all the time you need to grieve for the son you lost. Only then can you embrace the son you have. You said you took down his pictures. Can you find a picture of him when he was a tiny baby? Can you look at it and remind yourself that he did not choose this? Remember what it was like to smell his head and hold him. You were the one who defined what love and nurturing is, and you are still that person. I hope that you find your way through the sadness, and find your way back into his life. He will always love you and need you, no matter what. Good Luck to you. A.

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WOW WOW WOW! T., that would most definitely be a shock to hear. (Especially being a conservative Baptist :-P) I don't mean to make light of your situation, honestly I too think I would be devastated. I have 5 sons and two daughters ranging from ages 32 down to age 13. I have thought of this scenario before having 5 sons and with the youngest who acts somewhat 'feminine.' (he is now 15)
I do know that if he were to ever tell us he was "gay" I would still love him but would try to discourage this behavior. Be honest with your son, tell him you will always love him but do not approve of this. In our beliefs this lifestyle is wrong, I have always tried to live with the rule that you can hate the sin but still love the 'sinner.' I think we can be the best of mothers and still our kids will do things to disappoint us or not live the life we expect them too. Like I said before, I don't know if you have any religious beliefs in your life, but as for me, I pray alot for the strength, wisdom and guidance to handle these parenting situations that are at times overwhelming.
(((HUGS))) to you, I will say a prayer for you and your son and family.
C.

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I hear what you're saying. We're all human and only want the best for our children. Any life changes: sudden death, I'm getting married but I've only known her a month, etc., take time to process and accept. I think you all need time to try and sort thru your son's coming out. I'm sure that it was as hard for him telling you with the anticipation of your disappointment as it was for the two of you to hear this and then him moving out. At this stage the separation is for the best. Please keep talking to each other. Your son is an adult and you are the parents but he must understand that this is a shock to the two of you. You would be less than honest if you said anything other than I'm not ready for this right now, eventually yes but now I'm unprepared. Keep talking.

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Dear Mom and Dad

When I was 29 I found out my brother was gay and when I asked him about it he was so scared I would turn my back on him and walk away. I told him that I didn't like the way he was living
his life but he was still my brother and I would always love him. I couldn't understand why people turn that way. But the only way they is to let him know that you will always love.I pray things will work out and he will find a nice girl.

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Hi there,
First of all, I have to say that I have no idea what you are going through. With that said, I think that if I were in your shoes, I would look for a book that might help me. There have to be books written by people who have gone through what you are going through. I definately would not want to see your son and your relationship go estranged because of this. I do have two best friends who each have a brother who is gay and I see their families and how they handle the situation. Both of them have great partners who are incredibly fun to be around and who are a part of the family. I am not sure how your son is or will be, but the men that I know are very respectful of those around them and you never see any form of affection with them toward each other when they are around other people. They are all very happy and living their life to the fullest. Please, for your sake, put your son's pictures back up and take these emotions head on and figure out how you can get through it. Visit a children's hospital and see what you can be thankful for. I am not saying this to be rude....I have actually done this and it puts your troubles into perspective. Good luck!

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You've had a lot responses and advice, some of it more helpful than others. But here's a couple more thoughts. Like what was said earlier, he came to you to tell you, that shows courage and confidence. Often when someone has a child with a disability or something happens that greatly affects the outcome of what was expected for that child we feel loss. Loss similar to a death - the death of the hopes and dreams we had for that child. Understand 1. this is his life, while you may not agree with his choice of lifestyle, it is his choice and the sooner you can accept him (regardless of how you feel about his lifestyle), the sooner you can start to repair some of the hurt I am sure you all are feeling right now. 2. While he is almost a man, he is still a teenager in many ways and teenagers are trying to figure themselves out - sometimes by "trying on new hats". This could be a phase, or it could be a lifelong lifestyle. Either way he needs love, support and acceptance. Taking down his pictures tells him you only love him when you approve of him. While you are going through a lot of hurt and confusion right now, so is he. And chances are he has been for some time now. Pray for yourself and your family as a whole and pray for your son individually. (Even if you've never prayed, now is a great time to start). My advice: put back up the pictures and with unconditional love charge forward to face life and its challenges together. Good luck!

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Hello.
How is your son doing? Think about that. Isn't the most important thing that he is Happy? Are you telling all of us that because he is gay you don't love him anymore? How do you think he feels about you taking down all his pictures? Him being gay does not make him any less of a person, you should be proud of him for having the guts to tell you the truth! That shows how well you raised him! And hopefully he is smart and use protection so he does not catch any STD's.
You are just a few years older than me, and I do understand that it must have been a shock for you and your husband, but who do you think it was hardest for? Your son. It is not easy being gay among so many predjudice people, and I hope you as his parents will love him and accept him for who he, is and not who you want him to be.
You are hurt, have you asked your son about his feelings?
And why are you so dissappointed, besided being gay-which he can not help- what did he do that was so bad? Did he commit a crime, or steal from you? Did he hurt anyone?
I hope you will read this and think about it. And I truly wish you and your son the best. Remember he is your son and you don't know how long you will have him, so don't waste any time not being with him or being bitter or hurt. Enjoy him now.
Mom of 3
Mom of 3 in Post Falls

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Hi, I'm 49 and the mom of a 21 and a 22-year-old. We are a Christian family who have discussed this very topic, although it happened to be concerning 3 of my cousins, not my own children. And our kids have been confronted with similar situations with classmates as well. So, here's what we came up with as a family. First, communication IS important. Gay behavior is exactly like any other indulgent behavior--gambling, maintaining excessive weight, and straight people living together. And gay members of the church, community and family are like any other people. We all engage in behavior that is not acceptable to God. And He never takes our pictures down or stops talking with us, so if we do that with our kids/relatives/neighbors, we are also behaving in a manner that doesn't please God. What to do now? We do the next RIGHT THING, confess our attitude or behavior privately and move on to do the NEXT right thing, maybe calling your son and inviting him to coffee. A regular weekly or semi-monthly date with you and your husband, or alternating with time alone with each of you, would be so meaningful. My initial reaction was similar to yours, denial and keeping away. Ah, we recognize the grieving process, which is something you will have to go through, so it would benefit you to know what the grieving process is, and get counseling if you find that you cannot move through the stages given some time. Your husband needs this information as well. Focus on the Family (Family.org) has some excellent resources on accepting gay relatives' life choices, and some from people who are no longer gay. Other ministries also have wonderful information to help you.

A point of communication with your son might also be what would annoy you with a heterosexual relationship, like promiscuity or public displays of affection, so you could speak with him about being responsible about his relationships and not push the matter of sexual behavior. There are lots of other subjects where you can surely be on common ground. My husband and I once attended a cousin's toga party on Capitol Hill for an hour or so. We also visited him in the hospital when he was suffering from AIDS symptoms. Another cousin (unrelated) got a picture taken with his dog that my aunt and uncle really love and have up on the wall with their other kids. The other cousin has been in the same relationship for over 10 years, and we see his friend every few years at holiday gatherings, but otherwise we see my cousin alone. They are polite about not being affectionate publicly and do not discuss their relationship around the younger kids. So with mutual respect, the family can remain quite happily intact while providing your son time and space and support to discover who he is and how he fits into the world, whether you agree, or only partly agree. Best wishes for a great day of picture hanging!

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i just wanted to say that i feel the same way. my brother just confided in me the same thing. he will be 22this aug, i am 24. we have always been so close and so i suspected and tried to tell myself that i would be very open minded and my feelings would not change. they have i am ashamed to say. i too am grieved to know that my daughter and son will never have cousins. i have not told my family as it is not my place, but i know they too (especially my father) will be devestated. i love him reguardless, but i understand your emotional upheaval. i hope we both can find ways to deal with it.

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Hi T.
I know this is a shock to your ego that your Son may be gay. The fact is that it is your problem NOT your Sons. True Gayness is not something one chooses and one does not use this to hurt any one els. If your Son is truly Gay there is nothing you can do EXCEPT TO LOVE YOUR SON and his partner the way you would if it was a girl. Now for the grand children that you want, that can happen as well. There are plenty of Gay parents that raise non-gay children and the family unit is just as strong with two Moms or 2 Dads. You may say this is not of god, than you might want to reread the part about ALL THINGS ARE OF GOD even satin was created by god. If you truly LOVE your Son than there should be NO problem excepting him for who he is. Yes this is a disapointment to you and your husband, that is YOUR disapointment not your sons. Your Son is hurt and disapointed as well, he did not choose this, yet he is being thrown out of his family for something he has no controal over. If your Son had a disease would you throw him out? In the real world there are a maney flavors of sexuality only the human anamil has put a sick spin on that whitch is natural. There are several species of animals and fish that chainge sexes, if the balance of Male or female is off. In this world of hormones getting into our drinking water and in our food, there is a greater number of people that are born Gay, or Hermorfidite (have both sex orgins) than ever before. You or your husband did not DO anything to have caused this to happen, It just happened.... You were not a BAD mom or dad, it just happened.... What I want for my 4 children and 6 grand children and 1 Great Grand Child is to be happy and healthy.... Yes one of them is gay. and 3 are black.
It may take you a while to get past your disapointment and ego, When you do and you except your Son as he is and who he is and his life choices than you will have peace.
Your Son came to you the people he TRUSTED AND LOVED to shair with you the deepist part of his sole and you slapped him in the face and threw him out for what, for why. This terobly saddens me that FAMILY treat each other so badly. The message here is I love you only if I agree with you. That is not love, Love is UNCONDISHINAL and does not HURT.
I hope you will get the DVD "What the Bleep do We Know" AND "The Secret" and watch them severail times, it might help you to understand the real world better so you can make better choices.
I hope your family can get past this . Find a Chapter of P.F.L.A.G... Do reserch on Gayness, and all the other flavers of sexuality and diversity that make up this great nation of ours. If I am dying I do not care if the DR is gay or has no sex orgins at all I just want good care.... For your Son I would want him to be happy and healthy with good relationships with all the family.

Good Luck
S.

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Hello, T.. I haven't been through this as I am a mother to two young boys (only 2 1/2 and 9 months), but as I was reading the different responses you've gotten I thought maybe you could use some encouragement instead of another opinion. Because you are a mother, you already know in your heart what's right so I'm not going to remind you.
There's Someone bigger than this who has you and your son in His hands. God has a plan and a future for you and your son. One thing I love about God, is that He tells us we don't have to worry! He's taking care of it! What a relief to know that we don't have to stress about life, God's got it handled! We just have to love others and trust Him with everything. It's amazing the peace we get when we let Him take control of our lives.
T., you will not be forgotten in my prayers. I will be praying for strength for you, and comfort, and peace.
- A.

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You must know that your son being gay is not a personal attack upon you or your parenting. He just is, it is not a lifestyle choice. I suggest you get some professional help in dealing with this new transition in your life and way of thinking. Mourning the possibility that you won't have his grandchildren is one thing, but mourning the loss of this son from your life forever would be tragic. Find a therapist or the local PFLAG group for support. The sooner you come to accept him as he is, the sooner the healing for the damage that has already been done can happen.

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T., I have not read any of the other responses so I am not sure if someone has said this already, but to me it sounds like you are going through a normal grieving process. You have "lost" the son you thought you had and it will take time to grieve that loss. I have experienced the same thing when I divorced my first husband and when my daughter was born with birth defects. I hope that your son has friends that understand what all of you are going through. Maybe you need to tell him you still love him but it will take some time for you to come to terms with this. Please seek counseling or talk to a minister or someone who can help you through your grief. And honor your process, don't try to force it, it will resolve in its own time.

[[hugs]]
A.

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Hi T.,
I am new, here, & I just had to respond, even though it's over a year later since your poost. I hope you are coping with this better, by now. It can't be easy! I wouldn't care if my son was gay, but instead, he is dead. If your son finds a loving realtionship, try to be happy for him. This is a cruel world, & anyone who can find true happiness is blessed. One day, he & his partner may adopt. Why not? If they are good candidates for parenthood, they will no doubt find a way. You will be there with open Grandma arms, & fall in love with the child just as you did your son. Some kids just don't turn out the way we dream of, but with time, & with open communication, your wounds will begin to heal. You will find a "new way" of loving your son. It's probably already happening.
With respect,
S. H

T., I'll be brief as I see your post has generated many comments. First, let me say I see how this is very challenging for you. Secondly, let me share a little about myself. I am a 36 year old woman who has known since early adolescence that I am gay. I live with my partner of 14 years and our 2year old wonderful son. I am happy, safe, healthy, secure. My life is very positive - I have good friends, a good job, a great wife and son and belong to a wonderful Lutheran church: www.centralportland.org My partner's mother and father are the proudest Grandma and Grandpa on the planet and my dad is the happiest "Opa" any little guy could have. One of my only regrets in the whole journey of things is that my mother passed away before ever really being at peace with who I am and without ever getting to know her Grandson who she would love so dearly. Your son's coming out to you is a process and your acceptance or rejection of him will be a process as well. There is nothing anyone can say in a simple post that will answer the feelings you are having. I really encourage you to make connections with others - parents especially, and to get yourself as much information as you can - books, documentaries, etc...you may not agree with all view points expressed but they will help you pin point how you do feel. Visit PFLAG and we would love to see you at our church!

First you have to ask yourself, why are you disappointed? He hasn't done anything wrong has he? My brother has been with the same guy for 9 yrs. And though most of us suspected he never came out and said it. Then last year he brought his "friend" to our parents for Christmas. I think as kinda to to confirm without saying it out loud. We are all more hurt by the fact that he feels he can't say it. My sister's father in law AND sister in law are gay and we accept them. But it is different when it is someone so close. I worry for my brother because he is not "normal" and I just want him to have the happiest life possible. I remind my self they are still a few ignorant people out there, and that he IS happy and that is all that matters. i don't think there is any great words of wisdom to ease all the emotions you are going through. But I have heard there are support groups especially for parents of gay children and maybe counseling? Just to help you all through this transition and understand each other better. Good Luck!

I am sorry you feel this way. Not accepting his lifestyle may be something you never get over, but accepting your son for who he is is something you can do. I am 33 and have seen too many of my friends attempt suicide, get into drugs and even have unsafe sex because they can't come to terms with their parents not accepting them. How you react to this can mean he can't accept who he is and make him plummet out of control. Just because he is gay does not mean you wont be able to have grandkids. There is adoption and artificial insemination, just like if you had a daughter who was not able to conceive. I hope you can accept your son.

Your reaction is sad. Counseling will help you to come to terms with your emotions. He is still your son, and if my son "came out", I would love him for everything he has been and is to me. Your son hasn't changed, this is who he is and always been. I personally wouldn't be disappointed, scared for him maybe.

I know this news is hard to take, but try to remember that this is not about you, it's about him. Coming out for him is probably the hardest thing he will ever do, and your not accepting him is only confirming his greatest fear. There are worse things a child can do, and in the end, if you don't want to lose him forever (through exile or by suicide), you will need to try and see it from his perspective.

T.,
I hope that you are not blaming yourself. You sound like a caring mother who only wants the best for your son. You are talking about how hard it is for you, but have you considered how difficult it is for him? How frightened and alone he must feel knowing that his own mother can't even look at him? Put yourself in his shoes and think about how hard that decision to "come out" must have been. Yes, it is difficult for you, but you are being rather selfish. You have other children and grandchildren. Is is really that important to have grandchildren from ALL of your kids? Or should you be happy with the ones that you have? As a parent we are supposed to love our children unconditionally, why are you setting conditions? I honestly believe that you want the best for your son. Then give it to him.....your love and acceptance.

I don't understand why you're "hurt." Being gay is not something your son is doing to you. It's much harder on him than you. You should be supportive, you're his mother. Most of the world is not supportive and you're supposed to be there for him during these times. I understand being upset about not getting some lovely grandchildren, but even that's not certain. Many gay men and women end up in wonderful loving relationships and decide to adopt, or find ways to have their own children.

Dear hurt Mom,

I can not even imagine how strange it must be to realize that you don't really know your son. However, I encourage you to think about how strange it must be for him to not be able to share himself wholly with you.
You said that you were scared for him. I can see where this would be terrifying for you, sending your child into the unknown. Let me share a bit with you, in the hopes that it might make things a tiny bit easier. I have known many gay people in my life, friends and family. I believe that they would all agree that it is a difficult life, being different from most other people. (Though reactions are changing) Yet, every single one is living a happy and fulfilled life.
So I would ask, why are you upset? Is this against your religion? Are you upset because you wanted grandchildren? Is it because he kept it from you and know you don't feel close to him? Really truly look inside yourself and see why this is a big deal. It's shocking, for sure. But in order to move on, you must know why it is upsetting.
If it's about your religion, I'm not even going there. That's up to you and God. If it's about grandkids, then I would mention that every gay person I know is in a longterm, loving, stable relationship. I know that their parents are terribly attached to the partners, and have become very close to the inlaws, thus making their own sort of family.
If it's about your son feeling like a complete stranger, then I encourage you to embrace him. You are his mother, no matter what. He will love you no matter what. Chances are, he's feeling pretty awful about this whole thing too, and would probably love to be able to confide in you.
Whatever is going on, I encourage you to keep this in mind: "What meaning am I putting on these events?" and "Is that meaning empowering to me?". You choose what meaning you put on events. You can choose to put an empowering meaning, good for both you and your son. Because at the end of the day, all you truly have is your family.
I hope that this is in some small way helpful to you. I'm sending all sorts of good thoughts your way.

I am a 37 year old, straight, married mother of a 8 month old daughter and have friends who are gay. I guess the question you have to ask yourself is "Why are you hurt and disappointed?" Who says you can't be a grandmother some day. Gay men have kids. Are you more embarrased by what "Society and your friends will think?" And yes, he is still your son and feel lucky he did confide in you. He loves and needs your support more than ever now. I bet your husband is having a hard time with this and you are torn between supporting your son's gayness and sticky by your husband?

People need to consider parents feelings too. Everyone tries to say accept your child no matter what. I say love your child always,but realize that your feelings count too.

don't refuse to love or speak to your child but if you have strong feelings about this. You have just as much right to your feelings as your son does his. Simply tell him so.Society says don't try to change your son if you love him. Well, I say if he loves you he shouldn't try to change you either. I seen people who are "gay" for a while then later without any pressure from any one they fall in love with some one of the opposite sex, get married and have kids. Interesting huh? You can allow your son to come to you house. But if you and your husband aren't comfortable you don't have to meet any significant others same as if you had a issue with a heterosexual partner. Your moral and values count also.That's who you are. And you're a special person,too. Keep being a good Mom.

I'm horrified to hear that you have taken your son's pictures down stating that YOU are hurt and disappointed. A gay child is not a reflection on the parents it is who the child is. If you are scared for him you should give him the support that he was hoping for when he trusted you with a truth that he has struggled with and knew that you would not easily accept. That you are hurt because you will not have grand children from him is a completely selfish point of view. Maybe you will have grand children from him. If you are nurturing and accepting (or not) your son will hopefully find a stable, loving relationship (like he could if he were straight) and adopt giving a beautiful child a loving, stable home. If you continue in your current actions your son will cut you out of his life and resent your selfishness. Put his pictures back up, invite him home and give him a long hard hug. Explain to him that your initial reaction was selfish and that you are working on yourself to overcome your fears in order to accept him as is and help him through life like a mother is meant to do. After all, deep down inside you know you saw signs that he was gay from a very young age.

Not to be rude. But maybe you should think about his feelings and stop worring about yours. He's the one that will have a much harder life because he is gay. Taking down pictures?? He's just gay. What's the big deal? His choice to come out will give him a difficult life. You obviously don't know many gay people. But it isn't easy for them. Try supporting him. Wouldn't you do that if he we're making a diffent choice? I'm not sure how you can be hurt & disapointed. You don't become gay from how you were raised. It's the way you're wired. It's not like he woke up one day and said I want to be gay. The grandkid issue. That's just a little selfish. And why can't he have kids?? There are so many "couples" that adopt kids.

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