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Topic: Gay Children

8 posts, 0 answered
  1. Chilli@62
    Chilli@62 avatar
    5 posts
    20 February 2014

    I was hoping someone else may have had a similar experience to me.  My son told us he was gay when he turned 21.  We had know idea he was.  We love our son unconditionally, but are not thrilled about the fact that he is gay.  I know this is not politically correct these days.  I don't know why, as his parents, we feel this way.  As his mother, I know I love him, but ever since this revelation I have felt a like I have a black whole in my heart.  I grieve for the life I thought my son would have, for the life I thought I would have with him as he grew older, got married and had children.  But more so he himself does not appear to be very happy, so it complicates the matter.  I feel perhaps if he where happier, maybe I would be, I don't know.  All I know is I am so tired of this awful feeling of blackness. 

     

  2. Neil_1
    Champion Alumni
    • Community champion volunteers who are not currently active on the forums.
    Neil_1 avatar
    4232 posts
    23 February 2014

    Hi Chilli

    I was kind of waiting for someone else to come on and post, who as you posted, "may have had a similar experience to you".  As this hasn't happened, and perhaps there hasn't been anyone in this particular boat as what you have described, I'm just going to weigh in with my 5cents worth if that's ok.

    I'm gathering that your son lives at home still, yes?

    Now I don't know how you reacted when he told you (or how the reactions or even the daily life in your family home has been since he told you), but from what you've posted regarding your feelings on the matter, I can possibly see why your son isn't happy.

    Just before I go into that, may I say that the courage and inner strength that he must have worked up in order for him to tell you that he is gay must have been phenomenal.  I have no inkling about your son at all, but I can say that for him to do that he must have one hell of a strong character - at the same time he must have been as nervous as anything.

    Now Chilli, back to the happiness part ... I'm just taking a stab here, but with how you've posted about your regret and indeed the term 'grieving' about this news, I can only assume that this is also portrayed (or at least WAS portrayed) at some stage in the family home and in front of your son.

    I would have thought that he would have been going to his parents with this news and so hoping if not for your approval, but for your understanding.  I really don't mean to sound so harsh Chilli, but I'm gathering from the messages he's received back, this IS why he is so unhappy.

    May I ask if your husband shares the same feelings that you do on this?

    Yours is a very strong post Chilli and you have every right to express the feelings that you have.  And everyone has their own opinions on a whole range of issues/topics and like you, I have expressed a little of my views here, and possibly just taken it a little to possibly show how things might be for your son and how he's coping after telling you.

    I would be very keen for you to come back and post again with a little more information if you'd feel ok to do that.

    Kind regards

    Neil

     

  3. scorch
    scorch avatar
    182 posts
    25 February 2014 in reply to Chilli@62

    Hi Chilli

    Welcome to Beyond Blue and thank you for reaching out and being honest about how you are feeling.  While I have not had the same experience as you, I do have family members and friends who are gay so I have seen some of the impacts on families due to their sexuality.

    I hope that you'll be able to find the answers and support you are looking for. 

    So it seems like you're struggling with the idea that your son is not going to be able to live the life you thought he would.  Firstly, let me say that it's good that you are admitting the feelings you are having.  Reaching out is a good way to help deal with them, and the sooner you can resolve your feelings the better you'll be able to support your son... and I can promise you, he really needs your support.

    I have a couple of links to websites/articles that may be able to help you.  One deals specifically with religious parents and their gay children, and even though I'm not sure if religion is a factor in your story I urge you to read it as it's still a good resource with some great explanations/hints to help you come to terms with your child's lifestyle.

    http://freedhearts.wordpress.com/2013/06/10/to-the-parents-of-gay-children/

    http://www.gayfamilysupport.com/

    I hope that these websites are of use to you.  Please feel free to discuss your feelings as your journey progresses.  You are in a safe zone here :)

  4. Chilli@62
    Chilli@62 avatar
    5 posts
    25 February 2014 in reply to Neil_1

    Dear Neil,

    Thanks for your reply. Our son is an adult and has his own place.  My son  told us about being gay 6 years ago now.  I know it took a great deal of courage for him to do so.  In the 6 months leading up to him telling us his behaviour towards us was terrible. He thought if we loved him less it wouldn't hurt as much if we rejected him.  He now knows this was not the case,  and we both told him at the time we loved him unconditionally and have supported  him every step of the way, as best we know how.  He has had two relationships one which lasted three years, and one only one year. Both times we welcomed his partner into our home as a member of the family.

    Yes he knows we aren't thrilled that he is gay, but I believe we cannot just change our belief system to fit in with others, I don't necessarily think that is a good example either.   His unhappiness stems more from his own dislike of what he calls the gay way of life..  He wants to find a person he can love who wants to be in a monogamous relationship and he said this is very difficult to do.  These are his words.

    All his father and I want is for him to be happy.  I want to be happy for him and would appreciate some guidance from somewhere as to how I can gain some inner peace on this matter.

  5. Chris B
    Community Manager
    • Works for beyondblue managing these forums. Not a mental health professional, but here to help. Email: christopher.banks@beyondblue.org.au
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    Chris B avatar
    1757 posts
    25 February 2014 in reply to Chilli@62

    Hi Chilli@62,

    This will be a difficult time for yourselves and your son, the emotions involved are complicated and it's great that you want to do the best you can to support your son. 

    Beyondblue released an online resource last year called Families Like Mine, it includes stories from other parents like yourself about how they coped when their children came out. The conflicted emotions you're feeling are not uncommon, hopefully you will find some useful info and guidance here: http://www.beyondblue.org.au/resources/for-me/lesbian-gay-bi-trans-and-intersex-lgbti-people/families-like-mine

    As a gay man myself, the way you describe accepting your son's partners into the family the same way you would if he were straight, and just being there for him to love him unconditionally is wonderful.  Many gay men and women do not have this support from their parents. 

    If it is any help, there is no one 'gay way of life' any more than there is one 'straight way of life'. Finding and maintaining a long-term relationship is difficult no matter what your sexual orientation, the high rates of divorce sadly show us this.

    You might want to refer your son to this page of our website, to get some clarity around his feelings of unhappiness and to see whether he is experiencing depression: http://www.beyondblue.org.au/resources/for-me/men/take-action-before-the-blue-takes-over

  6. Chilli@62
    Chilli@62 avatar
    5 posts
    25 February 2014 in reply to Chris B

    Dear Christopher

    Thanks for your reply.  I agree with you that finding a lasting relationship whether gay or straight can be difficult.  I have explained this exact point to my son.  I feel that as his last relationship ended badly, it has influenced that way he sees things in general. I don't know if he is depressed or could just do with talking to a counsellor to give him some guidance.   He tells us that we don't necessarily understand the "gay way of life" and perhaps we don't.   I guess I thought that being gay was just in relation to your sexual orientation but he implies it is more, its hard to explain.  In my ignorance I presumed ok you bring home a boyfriend rather than a girlfriend.   Perhaps he has just been unlucky in love, which can happen to anyone. 

    I have ready the articles recommended by Beyond Blue, and  have found them somewhat helpful.   I will continue to read and hope to gain a better understanding.

    Regards

    Chilli

     

  7. Suzbj
    blueVoices member
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    Suzbj avatar
    300 posts
    26 February 2014 in reply to Chilli@62
    Hi Chilli, First of all, can I say that you have been very brave and strong in being candid with your post in relation to how you and your husband are feeling. It is valid and understandable. Why I say this, is that as parents it will take time to adjust to your son being gay – because you had a whole different ‘picture’ of your son and his future. Not because there is anything wrong with being gay. There isn’t. It is as normal as being heterosexual. Hang in there, you will definitely be okay. I do not have a gay child, but if a child of mine now came to me and said they were gay I would be perfectly okay with that. However, I would have gone through the same fears and confusion as you even 10 years ago. I do have friends that have had children let them know that they are gay and have shared in that adjustment period with them. Both are fine with their children being gay and one is now even an advocate for gays and lesbians, although when I first met her, she was against people being gay – so we would debate – hers was a religious perspective. She is so proud of her son, but it was an adjustment period for her too. I was also fortunate to work in a large organisation for many years with people from all dynamics in life, culturally, sexually, disabilities, religions. There were a number of openly gay and lesbian people who I count as friends. And it was great to see the relationships between people from all the above dynamics not caring about their differences but just liking each other for who they are. Ultimately, gay and lesbian is just a label. We don’t say, “I have a heterosexual friend etc”. But for the sake of this email and making sense of what I am saying to you, I am using that definition. Chilli, I would strongly advise you and your husband to be open with your son about your feelings and fears and that it is difficult at the moment adjusting. Reinforce you are supporting him. I’m sure he will respect that and appreciate your openness as he too has had to adjust to being gay while he was growing up. He has had the courage to be honest and open with you and that shows that he trusts you both. There is a support group that I would definitely recommend and that is PFLAG. They support gays and lesbians and also their parents and families. Google them to find where they are in relation to where you live. Actually, I’m pretty sure there is a forum on Beyond Blue for PFLAG?? Ring Beyond Blue – they can give you contact details.  I imagine some of your concerns would relate to the potential stigma that you fear watching your son go through and also, it is possible there may be some of your friends and family who have expressed negative opinions in the past. There are all sorts of concerns that are valid for you and PLFAG can certainly help you. Also, if you can get hold of the book “Prayers for Bobby” which is about a son letting his parents know that he is gay and what happens from there, it is a real eye-opener. The book is much more in-depth and powerful than the movie so I would recommend the book.   All the best Chilli, I hope this message helps. Cheers Suz
  8. Chilli@62
    Chilli@62 avatar
    5 posts
    6 March 2014 in reply to Suzbj

    Dear Suz

     

    Thanks for taking the time to reply.  Your support is appreciated.

     

    Chilli

     

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