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Is my son gay? Bisexual? Confused? I sure am confused!

Discussion in 'For Parents and Family Members of LGBT People' started by Tireb, Aug 2, 2017.

  1. Tireb

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    Hello all!
    My 14-year-old son told me the night before last that he he is gay ... my first reaction was pure shock, he is an athlete, is so typical boy, never saw it coming, but I told him I loved him no matter what and we would figure this all out ... then got on the phone with his older sister and she had the same reaction, and I was going to tell his older brother this weekend after he finishes his finals during summer school ....
    I had a sleepless night, I felt as though I was mourning the loss of my future daughter-in-law, my future grandchildren, basically the future I had planned for him in my mothers eyes... and then I went on my mission to get all the information I possibly could on parenting a gay teen, this is what I do with everything, I also called my ex sister-in-law as her older son is gay and talked to her about it .... shed a lot of tears yesterday, and then I felt guilty for sheding tears, because I should just embrace who my child is, no matter what, and I do, but let's be honest this wasn't what I would ever choose for him...
    So fastward to today we had a conversation and he said maybe he was bisexual, I asked him if there were three boys and three girls equally hot in front of him who would he choose, he said he would choose both, I said so you'd have a threesome? And he said wouldn't that be a sevensome? LOL
    So I guess he's confused? And so I'm confused, is this normal I've read so many things on here that people just new at a very young age that they were gay, however it seems as though my son is struggling as to whether he is gay or bisexual, I think he's taken straight out of the equation, so at least we've elimated that ;-)
    I was planning on starting some sort of therapy family or otherwise with him anyways as his father is an alcoholic and has had no contact with him for the last few months, and I've had sold custody for the last four years, I'm thinking now even more than ever I probably need to go through with this, not sure why I've been dragging my feet, I myself have spent lots of time in therapy...
    just guess I wanted some perspective, because I have absolutely no idea what it is like to question your sexuality, I've never for a minute question whether or not I was straight, so I don't understand .... as I told him I will be here for him as much as I can but just as he cannot understand what it's like to be a parent, I cannot understand what it is like to question your sexuality, but I'm here and I will try to navigate the situation with him, he will be starting high school and is as I said before is an athlete, and of course this concerns me, however we live in Southern California so in a fairly liberal area, and as my older daughter told me society is different than it was when I was a kid, nobody really cares, but is that really true? UGG! So many questions so few answers... thank you for taking the time to read my extremely rambling rant :slight_smile:
     
  2. Creativemind

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    Sometimes teens don't fully know their sexuality right away. That's ok. I'm a woman who went through the same thing...I told my Mom I was bisexual at age 14, and ended up having to tell her I was a lesbian later on. It's not really that I ever liked guys though, it's that I lived in a society that pressured me to like guys so I didn't know anything else until I was old enough to accept it.

    I guess you'll have to give it time. Whether he is gay or bi wouldn't matter as long as he feels accepted in the end. :slight_smile:
     
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  3. Chip

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    My hunch is that his first statement -- that he's gay -- is probably correct. Our experience here is that children don't generally go to a parent and make a statemen like that unless they are pretty certain.

    The statement that he's bisexual could likely be a result of sensing that you and his sister weren't completely overwhelming with acceptance and joy, and he may have felt the need to backtrack to basically cover himself. This isn't uncommon... nor should you feel bad about it. We're all human, and the disappointment you describe is also very common. Remember that he's been thinking about this for a long time and had time to think it through and deal with the loss... while it's just hitting you. So don't kick yourself. Just recognize it for what it is, and something that you and he will work through. Now of course, I can't say for certain, but I'd give you pretty good odds that he *is* gay and simply doesn't feel completely confident owning that yet, at least not to you.

    Pushing the matter won't help... it's simply a process of letting the dust settle and taking some time with it. This is a very sensitive thing for any teen to think about, much less to discuss with parents, no matter how supportive. So a form of interrogation that's attempting to pin him down may have inadvertently "put him on the spot" and felt like you were in some way questioning him.

    The best you can do is simply take a breath, perhaps let discussion of the issue go for now, and let him know that you are fully supportive no matter what, and you'll let him be the guide as to when and how conversation happens.

    And... in the meantime, talking about what you're feeling here is a great way to help process the feelings. There are a lot of parents around EC who have been in your shoes.

    Finally, you might also want to reach out to PFLAG.org, which is a wonderful organization full of parents who have been in your situation. They have a local group in almost every town.
     
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  4. Mamabadcat

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    Hi TireB. I decided to join JUST because I read your post and relate so completely to what you have written. The night before last, my 17 year old son also tentatively confided that he is bisexual. I didn't even see it coming. Not a clue. Ironically, his grandmother has long suspected, but he is very much a man's man, while not athletic. I was so confused by the news, but mostly by the term "bisexual." I am taking what he has shared at face value, but suspect he may just be trying to ease me into it all. At first, I thought he was joking, and it makes me realize a lot of the "I'm gay" "jokes" he's made in the last six months were not jokes at all, but tests to gauge my reaction.

    I don't want to hijack your thread with our entire conversation, but I asked him as well which he found himself more attracted to- men or women- and he thought about it for a long time and said "Girls." But the long pause left me more confused than ever.

    I too have never questioned my own sexual identity. I feel like the straightest female I know, and I've never had judgments about anyone's sexuality, but this leaves my liberal mind very disoriented.

    I don't know how old you are, but if you are close to my age- almost 40- I have to think some of this is a generational thing. Bisexuality seemed so....limited to females as I was growing up, and my friends who considered themselves bi at one point or another sort of did so half heartedly until their interest phased out and they settled into life as wives to men. I've always thought of myself as such a liberal and open minded person, but I realize now how narrow my scope has truly been because I did not really accept bisexuality as.....as a real thing. It was so much more black and white to me. His father and I were talking about it, and his dad said, "But....I didn't think bisexuality was real. Not really real." And I said, "Well. We are wrong. Obviously we are wrong. This is proof."

    It's so trite to say but our children's generation is so much more sexually fluid and all encompassing that nothing seems strange or alien to them.

    Like you, his father and I were....Well, we are struggling with it. And it makes us feel guilty. Because our son is a beautiful, special soul and we want nothing more than his happiness. However he achieves that. Mostly we are disappointed in ourselves because it revealed attitudes we didn't even know existed within ourselves. I mean, we had talked about it at various points and we were so confident we would be the coolest, most accommodating parents. But that was when we were operating under the assumption our child was straight.

    My son, strangely, thankfully, seems very comfortable with it all. Comfortable talking about it, comfortable psychologically. He's very matter of fact about it now that it's out of the way, though he was scared at first. He seems very aware of the fact that there is nothing wrong with him. Which is what we most want. Just for him to know that he is perfect just the way he is, whichever way that may shake out to be, and nothing could ever change our love for him.

    We are still coming to terms with it, because it does mean letting go of attachments to certain dreams. Our dreams, which I suppose we were never really entitled to in the first place, but they can hardly be helped. It is a process, but I am simply trying to reach the place where I am actually happy for him. That's how I want to feel. Happy for him. Instead of worried and afraid, or sad that his life may be harder than it might have been if he were straight.

    I still think he might simply be gay. It explains a lot now in hindsight. His almost total lack of interest in girls, for one. Apparently his friends have known for the last two years, which was even more surprising. He's thought about this for two years and I was oblivious? At least I can talk to him about boys now. :slight_smile: I have a feeling we have the same taste. He seems to have a crush on Michael Fassbender, so I'll have a buddy for hunky movie marathons.

    Hang in there. I just wanted to offer you some commiseration. You are not alone. And do not be hard on yourself. I'm there with you. You are here because you love your child so much that you are trying to relate and understand him for the sake of his happiness. I realize I have so much to learn from my son, through this. We all just have to grow together. ♥️♥️♥️
     
    #4 Mamabadcat, Aug 3, 2017
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2017
  5. gravechild

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    Your story sounds almost like a complete replay of what happened with me. Typical Hispanic family, lots of emphasis on family, so I went back in the closet as to not disappoint them. My parents were ambivalent, at best, and we don't really talk about it now. Anyway, for someone to come out to you, they'd have to be pretty damn sure by that point. A lot of members on the site say they remember being six years old (or younger) and just knowing, albeit without the words to describe it.

    Plenty of gay athletes exist. I'm also sure he's also considered what he's giving up by coming out and living an authentic life. Anyway, he might be bisexual leaning gay? Very few folk are "pure" Kinsey 0 or 6, anyway. I would just try not to push it. Let him come to you and be a rock/ear for him.
     
  6. RavenTheRat

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    Confusion, certainly at such a young age, is definitely normal. I went through it real bad- lesbian, bisexual, lesbian, pansexual, bisexual, gay, pansexual again xD It was pretty bad.

    Like creativemind said, really the only cure for this is time. Let him grow and learn about himself. The most important thing is to be supportive (which you're already doing, which is wonderful) and to make sure he doesn't feel rushed or pressured to 'decide'.

    Don't feel bad about shedding some tears over this. What's important is that you support him. We all know that parents often have a specific life in mind for their children, and being gay definitely isn't a part of it. It's hard to control that expectation, and obviously this threw you a curveball. I'd just advice not to ever tell him it made you upset, because trust me that will instill a crap ton of guilt in him.
     
  7. beenthrdonetht

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    Just a note here on crying. (Everybody else has said the right thing — you too by the way.) Loss hurts. And, paradoxically, losing something we never had — just hoped for — is worse than losing something you had. You had dreams, even just mere expectations. It's normal to feel so stripped of identity (worse than you think you deserve to feel) in this situation. So sorry for your pain, but happy for your boy and his confidence in you.
     
  8. johndeere3020

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    Tireb, Thank you for being accepting of your son, you have no idea how much it will mean to him through out his life. I struggled for over 30 years before I come to terms with being bisexual. It was complete hell almost ending in taking my own life when I was younger. Support your son who had the courage to tell you his deepest secret. I'm sure it too every thing he had with in himself. Don't get hung up on societies views of what lgbtq people are or are not, we could be farmers, police officers, firemen....

    Take Care
    Dean
     
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  9. Gravity

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    My hunch would also be that his initial statement is accurate - that he's gay. He may very well still be figuring things out, but if he's told you, then he's probably taken the time to be confident enough in the idea.

    As far as where to go from here - a couple ideas. First, you might look around for LGBT centers in the area that have youth/teen events. It would be really great for him to be around other people his age who are gay or otherwise not straight.

    In addition, while it's certainly healthy to talk about this with other family members, especially others who have gay children and are going through the same process, I would also hold back on informing all his siblings, etc. - basically, if people don't need to know, then let him come out to them in his own time. It will be good for him to get used to the process. If you've already told all your children, don't sweat it, just something to keep in mind for future reference.

    Finally, therapy may well be something to explore if he's struggling with coming out, or if he's struggling with not having his father around - but let him be the one to make that call (either by agreeing that he'd like to do it, or displaying behavior that suggests it's needed). If he's not struggling, then there's no need for therapy. :slight_smile: On the other hand, if this is something you'd like to continue having support on, seeing a counselor periodically yourself may be a great idea!
     
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  10. EnigmaToMyself

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    I can't help much with which identify suits him best. That is something only he can really decide. If the two of you want a better understanding, I suggest possibly looking the at Kinsey Scale and seeing where he thinks he falls on that, just for a bit more clarity. As for school, I don't think you have much of a reason to be worried. I live in rural Ohio where many people are conservative and not widely open to homosexuality. One of my best friends is openly gay, and I have never seen him get picked on throughout all of junior high or freshman year of high school. There is also another openly gay guy in my class. He has been on the football team and runs track. No one has ever picked on him or given him crap for it. Honestly, most teens just really couldn't care less. The ones that do have a problem with it would much rather just ignore the "problem" than confront anyone anyways. I'm sure your son will be fine with his peers.
     
  11. Tireb

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    Thank you everybody for the support, I so appreciate it!
    I am of the opinion he is probably gay as well, I just probably over analyzed it, but I am letting him take the wheel now and see where we go with it, I love him and I will love him no matter what life path he chooses, I just want to be the best mom to him I can ....
    And as I read through all these responses, I had to chuckle, I too thought I was super cool and liberal, until this hit my own home, as I am slowly coming to terms with it, I am learning some things about myself that perhaps as open-minded as I think I am there is probably always a butt .....
     
  12. Twist

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    Hi @Tireb It's encouraging to see a parent that wants to support their child rather than push their own expectations. That's what really stood out to me in your post... you want to support him, no matter what.

    Teens is a time when there's a lot of confusing signals going on. And honestly? Bisexuality is a spectrum where people fall all over it. Some are "almost straight" except for that odd same sex attraction now and then. Some are "almost completely gay" except for an occasional opposite sex attraction. Some like both (or all) genders equally. Some (like myself) find its not about the gender and/or anatomy at all.

    It'll take him time to figure it out for himself. :slight_smile: