Dear Barb—The Gay Son

Dear Barb:

I think my 10-year-old son may be gay.  He is my only child and I had hopes of him marrying and having children, but now it doesn’t look like that is going to happen.  I’ve been seeing the signs for the last few years, but I kept hoping I was wrong.  I am still hoping it is just a phase, or maybe he is just confused.  He has become an embarrassment to me and his father.  I know that I shouldn’t be saying these things and I would never say them to anyone except my closest friends.  I noticed that Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie have a child that is gay and they seem to be fine with it.  I wish I could find that kind of acceptance within myself.  Do you know of any place I could get some help for my son?   Maybe some of your readers could suggest a good counselor or psychologist for my son.  Thanks so much, Jane. 

Hi Jane:

I’m disturbed by your letter.  A parent should never describe their child as an embarrassmentChildren should be accepted by their parents.  You do not know for sure if your son is gay, but whether he’s gay or not, he is still your son.  Your reaction seems very strong, and most likely your son is picking up on your feelings about being gay.  As a result, he may not want to tell you; therefore if he is gay you are dooming him to a life of secrecy and not being able to live his truth.

Communication in any relationship is vital to its success.  Your child needs to feel love and acceptance at home and you and your husband need to provide that for him.  There are enough pressures in the world and when you add being gay to the mix it can lead to devastating consequences.

Bottom line is these are assumptions on your part.  You son may be going through a phase or he may be in the process of learning who he is.  Before you attempt to discuss this subject with your son, I would recommend you do some research, both online and possibly discuss this with your physician or a counsellor.  When you and your husband reach a point of acceptance and find peace with whether or not your son is gay, then you may want to bring up the subject of homosexuality and pay attention to your son’s reaction.  A lot can be transmitted without words.  Don’t lose sight of the fact that this is your only son and whether he brings home a boyfriend or girlfriend, what should be most important to you is that he is happy.

I hope everything works out for you.

Email your questions to Some submissions may be edited for length or to protect confidentiality; your real name and location will never be printed. This column is for entertainment only. The author is not a professional counsellor and this column is not intended to take the place of professional advice.
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