My son who’s 12 has told me and his father that he’s gay. His five close boyfriends also say they’re gay. They’re in Grade 7 at a small private school and are online all day. They’re often talking about all being gay.
We’re unsure how to respond. We don’t have a problem with him being gay if that’s so. We just don’t want him to feel he has to conform with his friends.
I haven’t spoken to the other mothers, so I don’t know what they’re feeling or saying. I’m pretty sure that one of the boys is gay but it seems odd that the others are suddenly sure of it. Or are they afraid that if they don’t go along with it, they’ll lose these friends.
My son’s sexual orientation doesn’t change the way we feel about him. We do want him to be true to himself.
So, if he’s gay, it’s not an issue/problem for us. I just don’t feel sure he really believes he is.
How do we talk to him about this?
So far, you don’t know if your son’s maintaining acceptance in his group or experimenting with the idea of being gay or is actually identifying as a gay male.
But now, it’s your response as parents to his opening up to you that matters. What he’s shared may be true, or a concern he’s carrying or confusion, given the others’ stated certainty.
If you and/or your husband react negatively or express disbelief, it could affect your relationship with him.
All adolescents and teenagers experience what psychologists call a sense of sexual identity formation, while not necessarily aware of it.
They start to feel attractions and recognize their preferences. They may be influenced by friends but eventually explore these inner feelings on their own.
Your son may not yet be sure whether he’s gay or searching. But he’s trusted you both.
He needs your support for him to figure things out. Stay close and express confidence in his ability to decide who he is and what he feels.
I just don’t understand why my wife’s unhappy. We’ve been married 17 years, our son’s 14, our daughter, 11, both good kids.
My wife’s job has always been home-based. I’m in an essential medical service and following all the protocols for staying safe when I get back home.
We’ve had a pretty smooth relationship with normal issues while adjusting from being a happy carefree couple to becoming responsible parents.
Now my wife says she’s unhappy but won’t specify why. I think she doesn’t really know the answer. She’s withdrawn from my hugs due to Covid and less interested in sex. She swears there’s no one else and I believe her.
If you’re finding some clues from this account, please share them, because I have none.
You’re currently living in different bubbles. You’re fully involved in high-stress situations among essential-work colleagues, till you return.
Your wife is running the household, working there and helping part-time home-schooled teenagers, all of it demanding activity.
The pandemic’s a wedge between you and it’s no one’s fault. She’s unhappy because it’s tough for everyone who’s isolated from extended family, restricted from socializing with friends, barred from most recreation and entertainment venues.
Tell her that you love her and believe things will improve. Vaccinations are happening, some areas are gradually opening up. She needs your support.
FEEDBACK More regarding the man with many health issues who fears that his wife may be poisoning him in order to receive his life insurance policy (March 5):
Ellie - Due to the worried responses of two doctors who wrote for yesterday’s column with their concerns about the man’s condition and the possibility of his having a Pheochromocytoma, here’s further information:
The website for National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD) states: Pheochromocytoma is a rare type of tumor which mostly originates in one of the two adrenal glands above the kidneys. Associated symptoms include high blood pressure (hypertension), headaches, excessive sweating, and/or heart palpitations.
Reader #1 – “I’m wondering if his house should be tested. Mould, asbestos, lead, environmental toxins could all have very serious health concerns.”
Reader #2 – “I couldn’t help noticing his ailments fit the classic signs and symptoms of “arsenic poisoning.” He should be checked ASAP to verify or eliminate this possibility.”
Tip of the day:
When a teenager confides to parents about sexual identification, they’re expressing trust and caring about their parents’ reaction.