A few days ago my 14 year old son left a note in my room. In this note it stated ''im sorry mom but i am gay and i dont like girls'' and i lost it. I cried for hours til he got home from school. I thought it was a joke from my older son. For close to 3 years the older son teased him about being gay and i told him to stop the name calling,i hated it too. My older son texted me he didnt write any note. When my 14 year old got home i asked him did he write the note and i was anticipating a no he stated ''yes'' my heart just dropped and i began to cry again. so many thoughts ran thru my head how did this happen, its a nightmare i'll wake up soon but no i just cried. I had asked him why or how he came to this conclusion since he is so young and he does not go out alone only to school.He told me for a whole year a boy in his school at lunch time would tell him how handsome he is, i call it brain washing! He stated he is still a virgin and in someway was a relief to me.I let him know how society is sometimes harsh and many people like bashing and verbally abuse the gay. I told him i could not accept his decision, i didn't bring him up this way. He knows how i feel about the gay people.I love my son and would do anything for him but i cannot stand around and see him kiss another man. I am old fashioned and was brought up with good moral values.I sometimes wonder where did i go wrong. It goes to show our kids are not safe even in school. I want to take him to counceling, my older son claims he doesn't need it and he is embracing his brothers decision which i find crazy in a way. I never expected this happening to our family.
The name of this column is ask a yeti, and Iâ€™m confused because you havenâ€™t really asked me anything? Your letter is just you outlining your youngest son dropping the gay bomb on you? All that you seem to want to do here is talk about you and your experience throughout this event. I think you do have a question, but you are probably too ashamed to say it out loud. I think your question goes something like this.
â€œI just learned about my gay son. How can I deal with this, and what does this say about me?â€
Well this isnâ€™t really about you, not really and if so only a little bit. Even though this is true I want to help you put your feet back on the ground and begin to understand this situation. Let me first remind you that you are not a victim here, you are the mother.
Let me go over a few facts before I get to the information that I think can help you. In a quick review on recent studies done on biology and sexual orientation itâ€™s pretty easy to conclude that homosexuality is genetic. To understand this best imagine two sets of twins one set identical (same DNA) one set fraternal (different DNA). The identical twins if one is gay or straight the other is too, they are the same. They are the same sexual orientation because their genetics are the same. Translation, sexual orientation is dictated by genetics, requiring genes, genes given to the child by his parents during conception. If homosexuality is a breach in â€œgood moral valuesâ€ as you put it. Technically you are not the victim here, he is and you the perpetrator. Technically speaking but lets back up a little here because no one has done anything wrong here, especially not you, yet.
Let me first address the elephant in the room. I get the feeling you are writing me from a more rural community which may have a little more â€œJesus created the dinosaursâ€ â€œlife in a vacuumâ€ type vibe to science and general world view. Which makes me think you may have a gut response to look for one of these â€œhomosexual reversalâ€ type counseling scenarios. Which in your mind will help him understand that heâ€™s been manipulated and that really, deep inside he is strait just like you and I. This is a mistake which originates from your in ability to accept the reality that you have a gay son. Your first challenge in dealing with this and probably the most difficult hill to climb is acceptance. Your boy likes other boys. I know, I know itâ€™s too much for you to take in at once. The reality is too intense and confusing for you but maybe this will help. It doesnâ€™t bother me at all that your son is gay. I know I donâ€™t know you, but if I did, it wouldnâ€™t bother me at all and Iâ€™m sure many other people in your life will feel the same way. It is ok that your son is gay, itâ€™s ok to accept that your son is gay. Your sonâ€™s orientation and life path isnâ€™t really about you at all. So lets look deeper into this stigma of gay men and women that is so potent it has the potential to turn a loving parent away from a vulnerable child.
Because homosexual communities were mostly underground before the gay rights movements of the 1970â€™s I say we really only have around 40 years to draw from. In that time gays and lesbians have been linked to deviant or criminal behavior without supporting evidence. This paired with homophobic ideology has unjustly reenforced that homosexuals are inferior. Probably the most damaging is the outbreak of HIV/Aids in the 80â€™s and early 90â€™s which stigmatized homosexual men as a danger to society. Thankfully this build up of prejudiced against the gay community is easing. Groups like GLAD are working hard to enforce the realization that homosexuals are a valuable community to add to the rich tapestry that is modern society. There also appears to be a large generational gap on this issue, something that is evident in your situation as well. Your oldest son is more conditioned by diversity in his surroundings, much more than you probably were at his age. This should clue you in a little more about the reality of the false stigma against homosexuals and should help you bridge the gap of accepting the fact that you are now the parent of a child with a non traditional gender role.
I think your newly outed son does need counseling for this but not by someone who has an agenda or by someone who wants to change him. If he feels alone and rejected by his mother, family or community than yeah he will definitely benefit from counseling. In case this wasnâ€™t clear in the subtext of this letter Iâ€™m not at all concerned about your son. He clearly has a loving mother and coming out so early shows very strong character. Once you learn to accept him your old perceptions of him will drop away and make room for a newer more accurate understanding of who he is as a human being. This will help you create new goals for him as a parent. If heâ€™s to growing into a healthy well adjusted gay man he is going to need your help. Help him to navigate through this very confusing and potentially traumatic period in his adolescence. You donâ€™t have to like it and thatâ€™s not really ever going to be the goal, but to move forward in your life you do have to learn to accept it. The sooner the better.