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After getting the help I needed here, now my nephew needs help

Discussion in 'For Parents and Family Members of LGBT People' started by Tim, Mar 28, 2021.

  1. Tim

    Tim
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    Hi there. I haven't been in EC in over a decade. I used to live here every day for years. This site made me have the courage to come out to my family when I was 18.

    I was informed today that my 11 year old nephew is being called gay at school, and he's not sure what he is now. And apparently wants to talk to me about it because he knows I'm gay.

    My mom and his mom want me to talk to him, as they feel he'd relate to me.

    But honestly I'm such a lost soul at the moment I'm not sure I'd help Anyone.

    I thought about directing him to this site for him to have his own experience here that would probably be more helpful than me.

    I'm just unsure. Any tips are appreciated. I've never really been in a position like this.
     
    #1 Tim, Mar 28, 2021
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2021
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  2. Comrade

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    Welcome back! Is your brother gay or are they just calling him that?
     
  3. QuietPeace

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    Welcome back.

    Just because people call someone homosexual does not mean that person is homosexual. It is a common insult that is just used to say "there is something wrong with you" or "we just want to hurt you". You could let him, your mom and your aunt know that while it would be perfectly fine if he is LGBT in any way that people saying he is does not mean that he has to be.

    First, it is really common for anyone who is marginalized to be told that they have to represent the whole group and that they must know everything about being "x", it is unfair and wrong.
    Second, if you are not up to being your nephews counselor you do not have to be. Just say that you are not up to it.

    13 is the minimum age to have an account here, I think it has to do with legal issues where the servers are based as 13 is a common minimum age.

    If you are not up to it you could tell your mom and aunt that he could see a therapist to help him through the bullying, no matter what his orientation might be. If you are you can just reassure him that if he is gay it is ok but that if he is not it is also ok and that bullies will be bullies and that you will be there for him.
     
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  4. Mihael

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    I think it's a fair point that if others call him gay, it doesn't mean he has to be.

    You could help him do some basic figuring out like: if he thinks a lot about certain boys, if he wants to kiss and hug them, if he finds their bodies attractive, if he fantasises about always together with certain people. But it might be tough at 11 to determine that... the attractions are just emerging at this age.

    I think it's probable that classmates call him gay because he likes something that is considered girly, like a girly toy or drawing. Maybe, if he's not gay, it would be worth it to equip him with a response that he just likes x and anyone can like that, it's not gay or for girls.
     
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  5. Tim

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    Oh, definitely. Apparently he literally told my sister that he thinks he's gay, but isn't sure. If it was just bullying I would've told them to just tell him to be strong and don't listen to the bullies. Etc.

    You underestimate my family. I was guilt tripped hard by my mom "He's your nephew. He's only 11. He needs someone he can relate with." Etc.

    Should've clarified I meant later on. Even though I knew I was gay at 10, it takes some people longer to figure that out. It's part of why I don't want to? Because I don't want him to feel pushed to "make a decision." I know if I had been pressed to decide who I am that young, I'd have struggled a lot more.

    They live in Idaho. The teachers actively get in on the bullying, and the principal/school board refuse to do anything about it.

    His teacher called him "weird" and that they couldn't in good conscience pair someone up with him as lab partners because it wouldn't be fair to be stuck with the "weird kid."

    Because of this, he doesn't really trust adults that he doesn't know, like a therapist.
     
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  6. Chip

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    We have other members under 13. It's perfectly ok as long as there's parental permission. And COPPA (the law that required minimum age of 13) has never, ever been enforced, as far as I know.

    The school situation sounds absolutely appalling, and unfortunately, not that surprising. As for the bullying... bullies seem to have a sixth sense for kids who are gay (though plenty of kids get bullied for other reasons). If he's getting that *and* he thinks he might be gay, there's a good chance he is.

    EC would be a great place with him. As long as, when he signs up, his mom sends us an email giving permission for him to use EC (she can reference his email address so we can match it) it will be fine. I've worked with many adolescents and so if he wants an advisor to talk to I'd be happy to take him on.
     
    #6 Chip, Mar 29, 2021
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2021
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  7. DecentOne

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    Glad that Chip can help if he can sign up.

    You don’t have to be a mentor, but for the kid to know that you’ve made it this far is good. Even if you say you yourself aren’t perfect, but say you know this place is great (EC).

    The other thing that gets to me is playground taunting still says “weird”, or “gay”. Ugh! I had people around me who were better than that, and in a way we were all unique, and we decided that was ok. If you have ever found that hanging out with people who appreciate diversity helped you, tell him a story about a time that helped. Even if now you are in a bad place, maybe that’s good for you to get back in touch with a memory of a time you had a group. If it was only here on EC (why you were on here all the time a decade ago) that would be a genuine way to be saying “you can find others”.

    Did you find weird musicians, comedians, anyone who spoke to you when you were on your path? Tell him he might find someone. There are movies about weird kids - Stargirl is pretty recent, though very Disney. Weird Al Yankovic is someone who has been around for most of my life, and makes fun of weird but embraces it at the same time. If it were in your situation, I’d pull up YouTube and say “this guy is somebody I like, he always plays the weird one, and is famous for weird. Weird is good.” If he looked at me as weird, that would be great, I’d smile.

    The other is the message that he can’t be you, he has to be himself and get there in his own time. Remind your family you can’t be his model, he has to be himself not a clone of you.

    I hope this helps.
     
  8. Comrade

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    I found out I was gay at age 11, and by then I had known a lot about sex.
     
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  9. Tuesdayok

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    With support from your mom & his mom that’s a great start to open the conversation with him. The fact that he wants to talk to you is reassuring as he knows you wont judge him & understand. You mentioned feeling like a “lost soul”, to be able to share your experience/s feelings with your nephew will also help you as you are being a positive role model for your nephew & can only presume you experienced similar feelings around his age. It will help you as well I feel , and empower you to feel better as well. Helping others makes us feel worthy & I feel it will also lift you up as you have no doubt walked in his shoes. Be there for him, he wants to confide in you, & I know & believe you can help him. You got this. You have support of his mom & others plus he wants yo talk to you. Take that as a compliment he looks ip to you & feels comfortable knowing you will be understanding & know so much about what he’s feeling. Please talk to him. Open your door to him even though things are tough for you, it is very cathartic to help others. And he needs your advice & understanding. You got this. You have support on here, & you can do it. My daughter came out to me as BI & to be honest, nothing changed, just told her I loved her & as long as she is respectful that’s all that matters. I worked with many gay colleagues as a flight attendant. We are all human beings the same needs. No one has any right to judge your sexuality. It is a deeply personal thing. The fact that your nephew wants to talk to you shows me he respects you, your opinion & knows you will be supportive. You got this & sending strength to you. Helping others helps us as well. So doing good things for others has ways of doing the full circle & comes back to us. Like Pay it Forward. We all have our struggles & I totally understand your plight. I guess put yourself in his position which Im sure you can, & know how lucky he is to have someone like you who knows exactly what he would be feeling, the challenges ahead and most of all knowing someone understands him, & supports him wholeheartedly without fear of being judged. At 11 years old he is vulnerable, impressionable & no doubt possiblly a target for bullies at school. Showing you care will mean the world to him & let him know he is not alone & can confide in you. You have the opportunity to support him by listening & letting him have a voice which is so important that his feelings are validated. D05EC279-EBEB-4D8A-AD18-06BBFEEF2EBD.jpeg
     
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  10. Jakebusman

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    Hope your nephew is doing ok
     
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  11. Tuesdayok

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    How is your nephew doing? Were you able to get to chat to him?
     
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  12. quebec

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    Tim.....I just saw this thread so I'm a little late joining in. I am a retired teacher from Idaho. I worked with students from 6th grade through high school for 41 years. I loved my kids and we had a great time together. If you or your nephew or your nephew's parents have ANY questions that they think I might be able to help with...please don't hesitate to message me...I'll do my best to help in any way that I can. :old_smile:
    .....David :gay_pride_flag:
     
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