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Switch to Forum Live View Struggling with my gay son
4 years ago  ::  May 06, 2010 - 11:20PM #1
momhobbit
Posts: 27

I love my son very much, but miss the person he used to be.  Before he came out, he was very religious and caring.  Now he says that he doesn't believe in God and is very negative towards most people.


I recently found out that he had his first sexual experience, and didn't use protection.  He doesn't know that I know this, because he confided this to his older brother, and he told me.  I am torn by anger that he wouldn't honor my request that he wait until he turned 18 and moved out, before doing this.  I am also worried sick that he may have contracted HIV.


First, how can I get him tested for HIV without letting him know that his brother didn't keep his secret?


Second, what is the best way to convince him to suspend further sexual encounters until he moves out on his own?  He is only 16.

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4 years ago  ::  May 07, 2010 - 7:00AM #2
darcamani
Posts: 2,152

Hi momhobbit.


I am a mom to0 and this is how I have handled and continue to manage this very interesting topic.


First I honor human sexuality.  We all have one.  The teen years are often when we need the most guidence because we, (humans),begin  driving a tank with no instructions or safety helmets until taught.!   Condoms are that helmet, and work most of the time when used correctly.


This is not a gay issue, it is a human one.  Make certain condoms are available for your sons, make them as ordinary as water and breathing. If he has a penis and it works, make certain the head on shoulders  knows how to manage this skill. 


Talk about this! Yes it is enbarrassing, yet very helpful when you come from a place of love, compassion, humor and knowledge.


You mentioned after 18 he can do... tell him this is what you would prefer.


Sexual activity requires HUGE responsibility. 


LOL, I told my kids they had to be able to pay my bills for 1 day on their  weeks allowance before they could even think about it. !   I am realistic, so I provide condoms, lube and am able to talk about these "things".


No need to "Out" him  simply acknowledge he is becoming an adult with all the bells and whistles and tell him love and sex are different things.  One has the power of creation and destruction when used as a thing and becomes something wonderful and a GIFT when loved and cherished.


Gender does not matter.


Thanks for posting.


Dar

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4 years ago  ::  May 07, 2010 - 10:25AM #3
momhobbit
Posts: 27

Dar,


 


I really appreciate your advice.  I do have condoms for the boys to use, and have talked to them about being responsible.  I leave the nitty-gritty to my husband about how to properly use a condom.


The problem here, is that my son chose to not use a condom, and trusted his partner to be "clean".  

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4 years ago  ::  May 07, 2010 - 11:44AM #4
Sirronrex
Posts: 2,675

May 6, 2010 -- 11:20PM, momhobbit wrote:

I love my son very much, but miss the person he used to be.  Before he came out, he was very religious and caring.  Now he says that he doesn't believe in God and is very negative towards most people.



Hi Momhobbit,


I am not a parent, but I am the gay son of Christian parents. I had to come out twice, because the first time my parents threw me back into the closet and locked the door.


First, if my Mom were on this thread writing this, I think her advice to you would be to immediately start dismantling that fantasy you have that the child you once knew would always be your son. That child is in there. But it's much harder to find when he becomes a man. Seek and you will find. Children grow up and as they do they become their own selves with their own ideas and their own beliefs. Please don't expect your children to be what you want them to be. You sound like a good, loving mother. Love requires you to let go and let them grow and be who they are and become what they choose to be. I think it's difficult to determine if the lack of belief in God and the negativity towards others is a result of being an open, honest human being or simply reflective of his age. Coming out is an act of love, momhobbit. Your son will be better for being who he is and being honest about who he is at such a young age. I didn't come out until I was 31 and that was only after years and years of alcohol and drug abuse attempting to live up to the standards of my parents...attempting to be who they wanted me to be...who they expected me to be...instead of just being who I am. You should honor your son for his courage and honesty in being himself and who he really is.


Second, I read your profile and notice that you are Mormon. I was raised in a very strict Christian home. My father was in the Army so my indoctrination into Christianity was pretty much a generic, Protestant message...that being the general course on an Army post. However, my parents were both raised in the same tiny, rural Southern Baptist church in a farming community in the middle of nowhere in South Carolina. Their upbringing often influenced our homelife and often didn't meld well with the generic teachings of Protestant chapel. Most certainly, the fire and hellstone message of that small church where the vast majority of both sides of my extended family attended and that I witnessed on a somewhat regular basis during our frequent visits "home" was what had a tremendous affect on my beliefs and my own self-denigration. I heard many sermons in that church on the evils and wickedness of that "unforgivable sin" called homosexuality. I learned a great deal about how awful such people are in "degrading their bodies" like that...how God could never forgive such a "sin". As an adolescent I began experimenting with drugs and alcohol...and quickly found that it helped to quell the constant barriage of little thoughts about how evil I was to think the way I did about other boys/men. Based on my experience, a similar message is most likely found within your Mormon church. My upbringing left a gaping scar I still am trying to heal and I have been sober for almost 15 years. I eventually came to the place on my journey where I realized that it's a choice to believe in such things. I no longer believe that about myself, but that scar still bleeds. I reject the Christian religion wholly. I love God. I love the message of Jesus. The Christian religion, in all it's many forms, sects, cults, divisions, denominations, has absolutely nothing to do with either one of these. The Christian religion is primarily, and for the most part, only, concerned with the fantasies and delusions of the men that created the Christian religion. They turned the wise message of Christ into nothing more than a fear-driven cult obsessed with his death. His life and his message are rarely found in the shadows of the Christian religion. It's all about his death and the supposed prize you get for believing such tripe. Your son sounds like he is on the right track to finding the real and true meaning behind the message attributed to a man named Jesus...and that is the message of love...the greatest love being the one we find within ourselves. How can we love another as ourself if the love we have for self is unknown or non-existant?


My final thought for you, Momhobbit, is to encourage your son to be courageous in seeking that love within. He's already shown you he is courageous...he's already shown you that he is on the path...it's the love of self that will convince him he should use protection. Only his own love of himself will help in that regard. Your love cannot help him there...your love can help him love himself, and that is what your primary concern should be...to just keep loving him...who he is...just as he is.

I've been on a journey to nowhere...
and know that's the best place to be...
now...here...




If my faith isn't leading me inward, then my faith is leading me astray.

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4 years ago  ::  May 07, 2010 - 1:37PM #5
Sirronrex
Posts: 2,675

This is an excerpt from Coming Out: An Act of Love by Rob Eichberg, PhD. - it sums it up more eloquently...


 


While not feeling good about oneself is not the sole province of lesbians and gay men, consider what it is like to add to the process of living the fact that something about you is clearly not accepted or valued by society. This was the message conveyed to many lesbians and gay men through direct threats, innuendo, and by being called names. The message that it is not good to be lesbian or gay is all around us, both blatantly and subtly. There is a noticeable void when it comes to positive gay role models, particularly in mainstream media.


For someone growing up gay, most of the time the message is that you are not a valuable person. Lesbians and gay men grow up believing that their very survival depends on staying hidden and invisible. They usually don't have support for being gay from anyone in their lives. At early ages, rarely is there support from others because you dare not mention this to anyone else. The sense of shame and isolation can be profound.


Even the most loving and concerned parents often say and do things that convey the message that it is not all right for their children to be gay. Most parents want their children to be happy. If their son if effeminate they think this will lead to unhappiness, so they make comments intended to get their child to be more masculine. If their daughter likes baseball, they may suggest that she take ballet. If they find out, or even think, that their child or teenager is homosexual they may suggest therapy. All these loving, concerned and well-meaning parents intend to support their child to grow up to be "normal" - for being "normal" will lead to happiness. These reactions are an expression of love yet are likely to be interpreted by the adolescent or child as "the way I am isn't all right".


The only way to be happy is to be happy. The only way to feel good about who you are is to feel good about who you are. You are doing the best you can at any given moment. This is what you get to feel happy and good about. We grow when we acknowledge that we are all caught in this dilemma together. For in society today, it still looks like the only way to be happy is to be like everyone else. This, of course, is not the case at all.


I've been on a journey to nowhere...
and know that's the best place to be...
now...here...




If my faith isn't leading me inward, then my faith is leading me astray.

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4 years ago  ::  May 07, 2010 - 3:40PM #6
momhobbit
Posts: 27

Simonrex,


 


Thank you for your reply and the lessons you have learned from your own experience.  I'm sorry that you had such a tough road to finally find and accept yourself.


I know that right now there is a lot of anti-Mormon feeling in the gay community, because of Proposition 8.  However, the message of the Church has always been to love each other, though not condoning the behavior.  I personally don't have a problem with gay marriage, and see it as inevitable  in the U.S.


One thing that I have concerns about is my son's safety.  I have read too many stories of gay men beaten and/or killed because of their sexual preference.  One of his friends was beaten at their high school, and I fear that he may suffer the same way.


I have told my son many times that I love him and accept him, no matter what his sexual preference.  However, he does have low self-esteem.  He also suffers from bi-polar disorder, which hasn't helped the situation.

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4 years ago  ::  May 07, 2010 - 4:24PM #7
REteach
Posts: 14,774

Welcome, Hobbitmom


May 6, 2010 -- 11:20PM, momhobbit wrote:


I love my son very much, but miss the person he used to be.  Before he came out, he was very religious and caring.  Now he says that he doesn't believe in God and is very negative towards most people.



Given the number of rotten things "religious" people say about gay people, I don't blame him.  There has been a poster here recently saying things in the name of God about gay people that would put me off religion, too.  It is self-defense.  God still loves him anyway, and understands.  I suggest not trying to push religion right now, since religion rejects him. How religious would you feel if people constantly told you that you rejected God, that you are an abomination, that "God hates fags"?  Pay more attention to the messages many religious people send, and I think you will understand.  There is a Mormon gay support group:  www.affirmation.org/


I recently found out that he had his first sexual experience, and didn't use protection.  He doesn't know that I know this, because he confided this to his older brother, and he told me.  I am torn by anger that he wouldn't honor my request that he wait until he turned 18 and moved out, before doing this.  I am also worried sick that he may have contracted HIV.



So, he is a fairly normal teenager.  I hope you would be exactly as upset if his first unprotected sexual encounter had been with a girl. I'm really not trying to be callous--this is not that unusual for a boy his age of any orientation.


First, how can I get him tested for HIV without letting him know that his brother didn't keep his secret?



Well, he certainly isn't going to be honest with you until you get your anger under control.  You could take him in for a routine physical exam, give your provider a heads up about your questions, and then stay out of the room the whole time your son is in there.  Make sure the doctor is NOT someone so religious that he will get a sermon instead of a healthcare discussion. It might be worth finding a local PFLAG group.  Did you have a sex talk with your other son?  Have the same sex talk with this one.


Second, what is the best way to convince him to suspend further sexual encounters until he moves out on his own?  He is only 16.




Most parents of teens, including heterosexual teens, would love to know the answer to that question. If you figure it out, let them all know. 


It is really weird to find out your kid is having sex.  I was not sure until they were out of high school, but that just means I didn't know when they started having sex.  While I agree that 16 is too young, he is not abnormal.  I suggest keeping your birds and bees talks very, very similar to what you would do if he were heterosexual with a couple differences.  One is that often gays do not trust their health care providers with their orientation.  Ask that he tell his provider.  Males having anal sex are at risk for the same HPV infections that cause cervical cancer in heterosexual females. They need to watch for that.  Something I tell everyone when I am doing STD checks is that no risk of pregnancy does not mean no condoms--there is still the risk of STDs and condyloma--which can be hard to treat. 


This is a site from the National Library of Medicine about health care.  Maybe you can sit down with him and go over this.  www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/gaylesbianan...

I know you believe you understand what you think I said, but I am not sure you realize what you heard was not what I meant...
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4 years ago  ::  May 07, 2010 - 4:40PM #8
Sirronrex
Posts: 2,675

May 7, 2010 -- 3:40PM, momhobbit wrote:


I know that right now there is a lot of anti-Mormon feeling in the gay community, because of Proposition 8.



Prop 8 only served to expose the fallacies of the Christian religion in all of it's many faces. The Mormon church is no different from the rest. Ugly, hateful, and wicked. So don't feel I am singling out the Mormon church for my disdain...my disdain is for all of the rotting, decaying corpse that is the Christian religion. The very basis of the Christian religion is firmly planted in the idea that human beings are flawwed and not worthy of God's love. It is the most ridiculous baseless religion ever invented by mankind. But, feel free to think of yourself as flawwed and unworthy of God's love (or anyone elses for that matter). I don't believe it's a very good message to teach your son, but do what you will. He looks to be on the right path to discovering the truth anyway. The further away he can get from that sick and perverted religion, the better off he will be.


 


 


However, the message of the Church has always been to love each other, though not condoning the behavior.



What a sick and hurtful church you have. It's my mother's religion and the attitude she has that's just like your church's that prevents me from even trying to be close to her as I was as a child. But feel free to keep pushing your son away when he needs you most by condoning the hatefulness of your church.


Your son did not choose to be who he is. God made him just as God meant for him to be, and yet you would deprive him the same joy and expressions of happiness in him finding someone to share his life with simply because you don't want to "condone the behavior". You might as well tell your son to get out of your house now and tell him to find his own way in the world, because the message you are sending him with the attitude you have is that there is something wrong with him being who he is and loving how he knows how to love. You reinforce the idea that he is not worthy of respect and definitely not welcome to be who he is in your home.


 


I personally don't have a problem with gay marriage, and see it as inevitable  in the U.S.



God forbid you celebrate the fact that, in some states, your son is able to exercise his right to marry the person he chooses....no no no...can't do that...that would be "condoning the behavior", right?


 


 


One thing that I have concerns about is my son's safety.  I have read too many stories of gay men beaten and/or killed because of their sexual preference.



You would better serve your son and his needs if you got more educated on human sexuality. Your son does not "prefer" other men. Your son is attracted to other men, by nature. It is his nature to be attracted to the same sex. He is oriented towards the same sex. He does not "prefer" the same sex. "Preference" implies choice, and for most of us, there was no choice in the matter. Those who might be able to honestly claim a "preference" are those who are bisexual, but even then, they are usually oriented more to one sex than the other, but are attracted to both. Have you heard of PFLAG? Find yourself a meeting and go. They will be able to help you understand more about what appears to be very foreign to you.


 As for your son's safety, his being gay is no reason to be any more fearful than you would be regardless. Unless, of course, you live in a conservative Christian town where beating up the queers is seen as the honorable and Christian thing to do.


One of his friends was beaten at their high school, and I fear that he may suffer the same way.



One of my friends was raped in high school. Should I be fearful that all girls will be raped in high school? Fear is an insidious thing. Feed it and it grows larger and larger. The Christian religion feeds that incessant appetite incessantly. Fear is in opposition to love. Where there is fear, love is not yet made whole. Where there is whole love, pure love, fear cannot exist.


 


I have told my son many times that I love him and accept him, no matter what his sexual preference.



You can tell him whatever you want, but the truth is obvious. You may love your son dearly, but it's pretty clear to me from just the few posts you've left on here that you wish he were someone else...at least, you wish he would love someone with a vagina. You do understand that's what we're talking about here, right? If you were concerned about him marrying a woman you disliked, I'm sure it would have to do with something other than the size of her boobs. I'm most certain it would have something more to do with her character. But when it comes to gay children, so many parents are obvious in their disdain that their child has chosen a partner with the same sex organs. The message is clear at how shallow love flows in some. It's about body parts to most Christians. It's very rarely, if ever, about the heart.


 


 


However, he does have low self-esteem.



Do you think you help his self-esteem by being afraid for him because he's gay? Nothing would make me happier or would boost my self esteem than to have my mother call me one day and say to me "I was wrong...you are perfect just the way you are". But I won't hold my breath. The Christian religion has too strong a grasp on her heart to allow such a thing. Don't get me wrong, my mother puts up a good facade when my partner and I visit, and I truly sense that she loves him as she would a daughter-in-law, but it's very clear she struggles with the dreams she had for me even to this day...but, again, those dreams are all based on the delusional fantasies created by her religion and are not founded upon reality. You know the dreams...a happy home life with a wife and 2.4 children, a couple of acres of land, and membership in a "good" church (as if there is such a thing). Don't you find yourself holding on to those dreams for your son? Start there. Disassemble them and recreate them knowing who your son really is. Or hold on to the fantasy, it's your choice...but holding on to it doesn't help your son be straight.


 


He also suffers from bi-polar disorder, which hasn't helped the situation.



I would hope that you are getting professional help for the bi-polar disorder.


Perhaps you could find a good therapist, some professional help, for yourself. And if you do, you won't be served by any Christian one or one that hangs a cross outside their office or has a descending dove or something on their business card. Best you find someone who is based in reality and not in the fantastical world of religion to help you with this one.

I've been on a journey to nowhere...
and know that's the best place to be...
now...here...




If my faith isn't leading me inward, then my faith is leading me astray.

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4 years ago  ::  May 07, 2010 - 5:31PM #9
darcamani
Posts: 2,152

momhobbit,


I was raised mormon and was thankfully excommunicated when I was about 17.  That was absolutely freeing and I was able to keep my belief and spirit alive as I came out.    Thank goodness for the feminist movement and womens' studies!  That was 30 years ago.


Because of these forerunners, your son can go just about anywhere and find out VERY quickly how "clean" people are and how to really protect self and still live a happy healthy sexual/spiritual life. 


My coming out was very different than Sirrons', I was never IN, lol.  However I survived the horror of the 80's and watched helplessly as one after another of my friends died, after just once...because... and they all wern't "gay" either.  Women and kids too..


Support your son in keeping his very human sexuality safe, sane and consensual because it is ethical. Codoms always. If the partner refuses, go fishing instead!   And keep your nose out of his spirituality, this is completely up to him too.


Both PFLAG and Affirmation are great support groups.  Take advantage and keep in touch.


Dar


 

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4 years ago  ::  May 07, 2010 - 7:43PM #10
Sirronrex
Posts: 2,675

Hi momhobbit,


I just wanted you to know that I've been thinking about you. I walk my dog every day in a park near my house. It is a peaceful place with walking trails through forest, alongside ponds, and through a meadow. It is the highlight of most days. It is my time and place each day to contemplate life. As I walked today you came into my thoughts and I felt like I had been a little sharp in what I wrote to you in an earlier post. I chose to dwell on how I could better help you. I meditated on that. Soon, the still small voice within was repeating this.


 


God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change.


Courage to change the things I can.


And the wisdom to know the difference.


 


 


 


Peace.

I've been on a journey to nowhere...
and know that's the best place to be...
now...here...




If my faith isn't leading me inward, then my faith is leading me astray.

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