Tag Archive: coming out

Parents and Gay Sons

Coming out: how parents talk to their child about being gay

Coming out: how parents talk to their child about being gay

Talking to your child about being gay and coming out is a challenge for every parent. It’s the parent that wants to be respectful and wait for their child to come to them, to talk about their sexuality. The question of a child’s sexuality can be difficult to talk about. Rejection is the biggest fear your kid will have, while the parent will be concerned about respecting their child’s privacy. Parents also worry about mis-interpreting things, getting it wrong, not knowing how to approach the situation, or by offending their child by bringing up the question when in fact their child may not know or have discovered his or her own sexuality.

Children wrestle with their sexual identity. When they figure out for themselves that they are gay it takes a while to become comfortable with the their own awareness. Once they’ve established that comfort of sexual orientation and identity, it then becomes easier to learn more and talk to others about it. It’s important for parents to know that a child is less likely to discuss his or her sexuality if there is any fear of rejection.

Parents need to create a safe and accepting environment. This can happen with gay issues are in the new, on TV, or in a movie. Parents can show acceptance of people who are different and discuss positively how being gay or bisexual is not an issue for the parent with friends, co-workers, or even other family members.

Talking about issues about how gay rights have evolved over the years, including marriage and adoption, are great ways to show acceptance, tolerance and understanding. Avoid using gay jokes and negative humour; gay men remember these jokes and comments for years and recall these negative expressions and concerns about how their parents would respond when they tell them they are gay.

In the book, All Out: A Father and Son Confront the Hard Truths That Made Them Better Men, written by leading Canadian broadcaster and anchor of Good Morning America, Kevin Newman and his son Alex Newman, address the challenges when Alex tells his family he is gay. In the book, Alex tells how he calls the family together to make an announcement. He was so anxious that he could hardly speak and could not tell his family he was gay. After a minute or two of seeing his son struggle to talk with his family, Kevin Newman asked Alex if he is gay. Kevin Newman writes about how difficult it was to ask Alex if he was gay and feeling that if he was wrong he will have damaged his relationship with his son.

This book is very helpful to understand the feelings Alex had, as well as providing insight into how his father experienced his feelings about his son being gay.

If the parent is not accepting of their child then it is important to talk with your about your struggle.   Learning more about gay culture is incredibly helpful and talking to other parents who have gay children is often very helpful.

Acceptance of a gay child can be a challenge for some parents. Most parents end up accepting and continuing to love their gay sons. Sometime this can take years. For everyone’s benefit the sooner the parent can find peace with his or her gay child the better everyone will be.

– See more at: http://www.thehomoculture.com/author/billcoleman/#sthash.izn6gr3H.gWdkW4Vv.dpuf

Gay Guys have to find their Own Way in the World; Straight guys are given a Life Plan

The complexities of the life path for gay men

The complexities of the life path for gay men

Heterosexual people’s lives are pretty straight forward. Go to school, get a job, find a girl friend, get married, have kids, retire, and enjoy having grandchildren. It’s been this way for generations. It’s engrained as the ideal North American lifestyle path that every man shall follow for a successful, happy life. At least that’s what we are told and meant to believe. But wait, what if you’re gay? That doesn’t work at all.

Gay men don’t follow the same path at their heterosexual counterparts. Essentially, there is not template for gay men to follow. While you think it might be obviously for a gay man to come out, find a partner, settle down, and live a great life with dual-incomes, it doesn’t exactly work that way.

Some gay men never come out of the closet, fearing retribution or rejection by friends and family. Some guys aren’t interested in finding a life-long partner or want to settle down in a relationship. Other gay men have no interest in investing in real estate or creating an estate to pass on. Without a model to follow (or to rebel against), for gay men, finding their way through life can be incredibly difficult and pose challenges along the way. On the flip side, gay men often have stronger character, are independent thinkers, and are creative problem solvers.

Young gay men often feel alone, scared, and lost because they aren’t able to follow the same path as heterosexual men. They face separate challenges of coming out, dating, bullying, and relationships. Their struggles are tougher. Young gay men who finally figure out they are gay, and accept the heteronormative idea of what a traditional man’s life is like, often has a harder time coping and adapting.

For men who realize they are gay when they are at an older stage of life have completely different challenges to face. A young gay man merrily goes along, creating his own template and expectations of life, throwing away the ideals of a heterosexuals life path into the trash. Whereas men who are further along in life feel confused about how to proceed on who he is, how it will impact his life, and what changes need to be made. Many men at this stage discard their old identify and create a new one. It’s a huge challenge. Going from having a planned out life to creating a new path in an incredible change, and it’s not easy.

Gay men have to find their own way through life, developing valuable skills and taking pride in their accomplishments along the way. But the awareness of this lifelong challenge is daunting. When gay men become aware of their altered path, they often feel alone on their life path and that they want to give up. Suicide, drugs, and alcohol are common coping mechanisms used to overcome the overwhelming feelings of stress and confusion.

The great news is that many gay men do find their way and create their own life path. Their paths are usually much more vibrant and very unique to their own personal needs, compared to their heterosexual counterparts, because their plans take into account the challenges they face along their journey. It may seem scary, but in fact, it’s beautiful and full of wonderful experiences many heterosexual men don’t get to understand.

– See more at: http://www.thehomoculture.com/author/billcoleman/#sthash.izn6gr3H.gWdkW4Vv.dpuf