Confused....

Chey's picture

I am a mother of 2 children ages 9 and 10. I am so confused and don't even know where to begin.... I have so many questions, but don't want to offend anybody, judge, or be an ignorant parent. So I will start with I believe my 10 year old son may be Gay. I don't know if he would know at this age or would even know what he is dealing with.
I would like to say I would accept my son for who is he, but I try to be honest, and I don't know how I would handle the situation. I believe I am taking the first step in writing this post.
So here is a story of me and one of my closest friends. We have been friends now for 18 years. We were driving on the freeway and she looks at me and says I am bisexual. I just continued driving and said SO? I didn't know what I was suppose to say. Her telling me that she was bisexual didn't have any impact on our friendship.
I also must state that at the time I was not following the footsteps of the Lord. I have recently been reading the BIBLE and this has caused more confusion in my life than ever. The Bible does tell me I am not to judge, that judging will be done on judgement day.
I have recently begun asking more questions and it just doesn't seem as though she wants to provide the answers..... So here I am. I don't ever want to have to bury my child because I was ignorant.
I tell myself that I am just being ridiculous that my son is not Gay. I know this statement is not going to make me popular here, but I am just trying to be honest.
I hope that I can get answers to my questions, so that if the day comes and my Son says to me Mom I am Gay, I can say I understand. I know I will always love him regardless, there is no question to that. HE is my SON FIRST and anything else seconde.
I guess my first question is this about what age do you know you are gay? I have so many, but just don't know how to ask...

patnelsonchilds's picture

A Long, Involved Answer For You...

Okay, you asked, so I'm going to answer. Forgive me in advance for my long, rambling response.

First of all, the fact that you are already willing to love and accept your son is wonderful. Second, asking questions normally doesn't offend people who are comfortable with their sexuality, but can sometimes be frustrating to those who aren't (because they don't yet have the answers for themselves).

There are as many interpretations of the Bible as there are people. Even those who claim to take the entire text of it literally don't all see it the same way. I'm not a religious person, but I am a historian, and despite what the fundamentalists say, Christianity has been evolving since its very beginnings. The Bible itself (in the form most Christians read) wasn't even canonized until nearly 4 centuries after Christ's death. Before that, there were many different books being read and taught by various Christian factions. So the idea that Christianity and the Bible were a done deal the moment Jesus died is a complete fabrication. I don't want to go on and on (though biblical history fascinates me). I just want to make the point that the books comprising the Bible were chosen from among scores of different Christian texts by men who brought with them their own prejudices and agendas. I would encourage believers to focus more on what Jesus actually said. He didn't have a lot to say about being gay, but he was big on loving people that the rest of society condemned, and in that sense, he was waaaayyy ahead of his time (many people have yet to catch up to him, in fact). I personally think that one of the most telling quotations about Jesus is Matthew 7:3, which I'm sure you're familiar with. It says "And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?". If Christ were alive today (he may be sitting up there somewhere, but that's a matter of faith), I think he would be appalled at the things that people condemn others for in his name, especially who one happens to love. He may have back in his own time, because strict social prohibitions would have made a certain amount of cultural sense in Jewish society at that time. But many of those just aren't relevant anymore, and condemning them has a lot more to do with the fear of people who are different than it does with God. Do a little digging into biblical history and you'll be amazed at what you find.

At what age do you know you are gay? Well, just about every gay person I know (and most other rational people) believe that you are either born that way, or that there is a significant genetic component. If being gay was accepted as normal and natural, then I think you'd find most gay kids would know it almost from the beginning. As it still carries such a stigma, however, a lot of the when is determined by how long it takes for kids to admit it to themselves, and that can vary tremendously. Usually, though, the onset of puberty makes it much harder to deny, so that's the point where the conflict usually begins. How long it takes to address and resolve that conflict (assuming they ever do resolve it) depends on parents, peer groups, upbringing, and a host of other things. Each of the kids here on Oasis has a different story, and their stories are greatly influenced by their life experiences. In short, there is no easy answer to that question. It is different for every child.

Hopefully some of the younger members here will give you some feedback too, but since you are asking serious questions that I happen to know something about, I thought I should give you the courtesy of a detailed (okay maybe too detailed) reply. As this site is geared to GLBT youth, I would also suggest that you make contact with PFLAG (Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays) at http://www.pflag.org. They offer lots of support and information for parents, family and friends, including a great pamphlet called "Faith in Our Families", which deals specifically with the issue of religion and faith. I also have their literature available on my own site: http://www.patnelsonchilds.com/pflag/pflag.html.

Take care and best of luck,
Patrick

_________________________________

- Pat Nelson Childs
"bringing strong gay & lesbian characters to Sci-Fi & Fantasy"

Chey's picture

Thank You for responding. I

Thank You for responding. I have only just begun my research on both the Bible and my Son. I am not sure what I am looking for though. I have never experienced this. I am trying to prepare myself to help my son. When I say help my son, I don't want him to struggle. I don't want him to ever feel bad about himself. No mother would want to see her child in pain, so as a mother I feel compelled to find a way to protect him from pain.
My questions are very serious and sincere. I have asked everyone of our friends regardless of their sexuality if they have ever found somebody of the same sex attractive.... All said yes. So really is it out of the normal? I keep reading normal and abnormal. Just as each one of them have said they have found somebody of the opposite sex attractive. Yet with being such a vague question, I got a vague answer. I am trying not to teach my children what I was taught (which is what I believe causes most of the conflict within) that it is one of a sick mind to be attracted to the same sex.
I am a confused mess I tell you, I know I probably contradict myself, but that is just me trying to work through everything. May I become a better and bigger person from the knowledge I gain....
One verse that sticks with me through all of this is actually Matthew 7:2 For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.
To me this says if I judge then I will be judged. I have no right to judge anybody for anything. So please know I am not here to pass judgement on anybody, but to gain knowledge.

jeff's picture

Well...

We have had users as young as 11 on here, FYI.

The important thing to remember is your son is gay or not. The only part you have control over is your reaction to it.

The good thing is your role doesn't change either way. You love him, support him, help him... and the more you fully embrace whatever his path in life is, the more you become an integral part of it. If he senses you're not comfortable with it, then you'll be shut out of more of it.

Another thing that is often forgot here, since it is mainly a teen site, is that many things such as feeling isolated, confused, unsure of your place in the world, not sure how to find someone to date, etc., are things that are a normal part of growing up for everyone. It might be slightly more difficult if you're gay, but it's also easier than it's ever been before. But not everything is because of sexuality, a lot of things just get lumped in there.

You can find anti-gay passages in the Bible, and there are just as many quotes that can be taken to embrace difference. There are more books about aligning sexuality and spirituality than you can imagine. "What the Bible Really Says About Homosexuality" is a good starting point.

Of course, the best answer as to what you need to do if you have a gay son is nothing you aren't doing already. Love him, support him, guide him, and accept him. If he's gay, he already knows he's different and will sort that all out shortly if he hasn't already. He's already on whatever path he's supposed to be.

As for not wanting to bury your child, that's unlikely. That is usually a case of kids who are rejected by their parents and feel they have nowhere to turn. If you're here, you've already decided against that path.

---
"Sell your cleverness and buy bewilderment." - Rumi

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centerfielder08's picture

the main thing i would say

the main thing i would say is that (1) people can know or not know that they are gay at an age as young as ten. for some people, such as myself, i had not consciously figured this out until my later years. secondly, the most important thing you can do is to love your son. i know from experience that one of the hardest things is having parents who dont accept talk about being gay and it makes the process so much harder. for people who are gay, its hard enough to survive equally in society, we dont need to be disliked from the two people that brought us into the world.

ERIC's picture

your son

I am the proud father of twin sons and have raised them on my own since they were 5. They are now 18 and I am not sure but I think one of my sons may be gay. We have talked about this many times, myself being gay I can relate to him if he is. I have always told him not to be ashamed of what he is feeling. Just be true to yourself and anybody you are around, don't let anybody bring you down. So just love your son for whatever he becomes and let him know that you are going to accept him no matter what. You will just have to wait and see what developes and take it as it comes.

centerfielder08's picture

I have a question for you ,

I have a question for you , ERIC, my parents dont accept me for it . do you have any suggestions on how i can deal with this? my dad has yet to say one word to me about it....?
sofia / eli

Gwen's picture

I don't think I can offer

I don't think I can offer any good advice, I just wanted to say, Chey, I'm so happy to see a parent finding their way to a gay site and trying to find a way of supporting their kid! (even if you don't know yet if he's gay or not) I don't think you should worry about not knowing how to handle the situation, I think it's hard for any parent to come to terms with things like this, and it might take some time, but you certainly don't come across as an "ignorant parent".

I do wonder what makes you think he's gay?

Personally I think I knew when I was eleven, though I only accepted it when I was 16. One of the main reasons for this I think is because I had tried for years to fit in in my primary school and unconsciously just didn't particulary like the idea of not fitting in in high school either. But that's just me =)

perple's picture

As a christian and a

As a christian and a lesbian, I feel connected to this. One thing you have to remember, that boy is still your son, no matter what he does. I'm sure you love him as well as any parent could, and that's important. Just be a good role model for him, and remember what Jesus said when asked about the rules in Leviticus: It's not important what you eat or how you do things, it's what is inside of you and how you act w/ other people.

jmy's picture

Chey

Chey,
I am only 16, been out to my parents for a year and have know for nearly 5 years that im a lesbian.
the best thing you can do for your son, if he turns around and tells you he is gay, is to just act the same, dont be different around him or awkward, just let each day go on as per usual.
he may not tell you for 10 years, he may tell you tomorrow, there is no set age for knowing and coming out,

It makes me smile that you have noticed this in your son and come looking for advice and help, that shows true love. Your son should be very proud that his mother cares so much about him.

I suggest looking into PFLAG and see if they have any meetings or facilities close by, they will offer you great help and advice,

I am not religious and neither are my parents but i do know that religion is a very personal thing and although it plays a major part in life, at the end of the day, your son is who he is and no belief can question that.

Best luck and for now, just be your sons best friend, that will make everything easier.
But also remember, he may not be gay.

Chey's picture

To answer the question as to

To answer the question as to what makes me think my son may be gay. He is only 10 years old, yet he has qualities within him that some parents may describe as in touch with his famine side. He enjoys sports such as basketball and football, both widely accepted upon males. I wish I knew how to put it into words, but there are no right words to explain my feelings.
I don't feel his playing house as a child as being a sign, but yet that the children always have 2 dads leads me to believe might be experiencing some feelings he doesn't know how to express.

hellonwheels's picture

i don't knwo what to say chey...

since i didn't have time to read all of it or time to properly respond. but why exactly is it you feel he is gay? jsut because he has effeminate qualities? i have known a few guys in my life who were totally femme and or flamboyant who are straight as an arrow, so i wouldn't say you can determine one's sexual orientation by that alone. hell, i am a harly riding, gun shooting, ex bible totin' redneck who no one expected to be gay. jsut a normal guy except for the fact that i am attracted to guys,

to answer your original question, i kinda always knew i was a little different from other guys, even as young as 4or 5, but i didn't know for sure that i was gay until i was like 12, although i kinda knew by age 8/9....puberty onset age, i guess.

all i can say is, although it may be hard for you, if you can accept yoru friend as bi, you should be able to come to terms w/ the fact that your son MIGHT be gay. don't overreact. just let him live his life as a kid right now, and quit all that parental worrying.
you should be more concerned w/ drug usage, girls, and things like that as he goes into his teen years. lol.

but seriously, if you want to talk, i am coming on here more and more often again, and i think i know exactly where you are coming from. not trying to attack you or anything, but your post was kinda like my first one on here five years ago- sporadically spread out and thoughts flinging all over the place.

Mental wounds not healing, driving me insane, i'm goin' off the rails on a crazy train- the ozzman

bulldyke's picture

First of all, thank you.

First of all, thank you. For loving your son, for asking these questions, for looking for the answers, and for being honest. That is so huge, and if you son is gay, his life will be so much better for you being willing to try to understand him.

I came out when I was 13, but looking back, despite not having the words for it, I knew as early as 11. Coming out is a very personal, very emotional thing to do, as anyone on this site will tell you.

If he is gay, your son will come out when he's ready...you can't rush that. What you CAN do, is to talk to him about prominant gay figures, and show him that you accept them. Talk about gay marriage, talk about God, and how He will love your son, no matter what.

I'm angnostic...I'm not sure if there is a god, but if there is, I find it impossible to believe that he could be so petty, so HUMAN, as to hate ANYONE for who they are.

I think at least one person suggested this, but look into PFLAG, if you haven't already. They are there to support you, and to help you and your son. you can find your local chapter online (just google PFLAG), and e-mail them, or go to a meeting.

The most powerful thing my parents said to me when I came out to them was "we love you." Not "we love you anyway", not "we'll love you if you hide this," just "we love you." Even if you don't understand, even if you're not sure how you feel about homosexuality, you love your son, and the best way you can help them is to tell him, over and over again.

About your friend who's bi...give her time. Coming out is, like I said, huge. And nothing against straight people (truly, nothing at all), it's ten times harder to come out to a person who's never thought about their own sexuality, who's never questioned themselves. So give her time, keep telling her that you still love/accept her, that your friendship will stay the same. As she comes to understand more about herself, she'll tell you more, too.

Sexuality is a spectrum, not a set of absolutes. (There's a book, called Am I Blue? that I would highly suggest you read...it has a wonderful depiction of this idea.) Very few people are completely straight, or completely gay. Of course, there are varying degrees of each. My aunt (who was finally allowed to marry her parter of 35 years) identifies herself as bisexual, but leans more toward women. Most straight people, in their lifetimes, will have at least one 'homosexual' thought. Most gay people will have at least one 'heterosexual' thought...it doesn't make us gay or straight, respectively, it just means that we're thinking about something that we don't necissarily want to follow through on.

As hellonwheels said, you are more than welcome to message me (I'm on this site every day) if you have more questions, or just want an open mind to talk to.

You're doing the right thing. You're looking for answers, outside, and within yourself. Just the fact that you're thinking about it makes you a better human being than some, and your willingness to learn and change your thinking makes you a better mother, and will make your son's journey (if he is, in fact, gay) smoother and safer.

I know I already said this, but thank you. I've been having a bad day, and seeing you here on this site...it gives me so much hope. More than I can express. :)

Bulldyke
"I think some mistakes are meant to be made, because we can't help but hope that they won't be mistakes."

When I call out Your Name Do you Hear's picture

There's really no one age

There's really no one age someone knows they're gay....sometimes it takes awhile for a person to realize that they are gay or lesbian. Good job for loving your son even though you think he may be gay. If he does one day go "hey mom, I'm gay" that doesn't mean he isn't your son anymore. He's still your son and will always be. Don't believe the myths or lis people tell you aboiut homosexuality.

Call me....Squeegee Beckinhyme!!!

Izy's picture

I came out as gay when I was

I came out as gay when I was 12. Its scary coming out especially if you are worried if you are going to get acceptance. The best advice I can give you is even if you don't want him to be gay support him the best you can.
My mother supported me more than I expected and it was something that made me much closer to her and made me trust her with more of my life. My step-mother has had issues from the first time she even thought I might have been, and it has caused a rift with us. I can't be close to her becuase of how she acts over me being gay. Love and support is what you should give, it seems that you do love him so you are on the right path.

fox333's picture

good for you for being

good for you for being accepting. my parents are accepting of me and it means more to me than i could possibly say.

"I feel like Nacy Drew in the mystery of the midlife crisis."
-Roger Bannister
The Stepford Wives

howie's picture

Chey's post

Chey, the previous comments have explained much of the non biblical realities that address your "predicament". I commend ALL of the previous comments regarding this issue for you, Chey. As someone much older on this site, I am VERY impressed at the knowledge and compassion that the previous comments have offered. Biblically, all I can say is check out the original translations of the(King James Bible). They have been translated from the original Greek, Hebrew and Latin before being translated into the English language as read at this time. Many verses are time dated. That's to say many of the words chosen no longer would be used to translate what came from the original transcripts that are in Greek, Hebrew and Latin. When you use a Strongs Concordence or companion Bible,(there are mistakes there also), you come away with a much different translation regarding many scripture. My Pastor says to check out the REAL words rather than to rely on his own preachings solely. There are more false teachings regarding churches today than ever. And by the way, my Pastor is Not of the many gay friendly churches that are out there today. Faith is just that, faith. Sometimes it feels like you are blindly going at it(God's teachings). But none of us in this body will ever know the EXACT truth on biblical verses. We pray that the Lord gives us as much information as we need for our own salvation.HOWIE