Accepting and supporting your gay child may be hard, but your whole family’s happiness depends on it
This may come to you as a weird request for advice, but I believe you are my last resort.
My family and I live in a small community in the mid-west. We, meaning my family and I, recently became aware of our 19 year old son being homosexual. It totally took myself and my wife by surprise.
At first we didn’t know if it was just some phase he was going through or this is what he wanted for the rest of his life.
We love our son and would never turn our backs on him, yet his choice of sexuality is not a topic that is common or looked highly upon in our community.
We want to stand behind him as much as possible and want him to know we are there for him.
The thing is, I, nor my wife have any experience with homosexuals or how to even begin to understand what it is to be a parent of a gay child.
I know there are going to be a lot of obstacles that will be put in front our son due to ignorance and prejudice.
I just feel like I could better handle certain situations that come up if I am better informed.
Are there any publications you could suggest to better inform myself and my wife of how to adapt to what has changed our entire lives forever.
Are there more parents that are out there, that feel like their lives are never going to be the same?
Our son is the youngest of 4 children and in fact our only son. So you could only imagine our shock when he informed us of his sexuality.
Like I said before, I will never turn my back on my son.
I just want to be able to help him as well as my entire family as we all come to terms with this.
I look forward to reading your response.
-A Concerned Father
Related: My Family Treats Me Badly After I Came Out
Dear Concerned Father,
Thank you for your honesty. We can feel the love and I hope you have been as open with your son as you have been with us.
One thing we all want to hear from our parents is how much they love us and how proud they are of us.
Remember that your son is the same as he has always been. It’s just that you now have learned something very important about your son and who he really is.
Be thankful that you did!
Way too many families drift a part because people are afraid of being honest with each other.
Sometimes it’s easier to live separate lives than it is to let your loved ones in on your biggest secrets.
But it is very important that you understand that homosexuality is not a choice.
Those beliefs can be damaging to your relationship with your son as well as to his mental health.
It was never a choice for him to be attracted to guys, the same way you never chose to be attracted to women.
You never choose your sexuality but you can choose how to live your life and who to include in it.
And with the right people in your life, you can overcome any obstacle.
Make sure that you are one of those people in your sons life and stand by his side when he faces the ignorance and prejudice you describe.
It’s important to know that gay lives are as diverse as any other human lives and also include “traditional” families like Devon & Rob’s, who share their family life with the world on Instagram.
Went to pick up the youngest son from daycare the other day. One of his peers ran up to me and asked, "Is it true that he has TWO DADDIES?!" I looked the kid straight in the eye and said "YEP!" while my son smiled nonchalantly. The kid reacted as normally as if I'd told him my son had a pet dog. I don't know how many kids in that small town (where they live with their mom part time) have gay dads but I'd hope it's less of a strange thing to see today. #gaydads #twodads
Fortunately you are far from alone in dealing with these issues.
There are support groups around the country for families and friends of LGBT people.
And there are even tolerant religious groups you can contact if you need some spiritual guidance.
Here are some links that can help you understand your son better:
Related: Why It’s OK to Be Christian & Gay