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31 Mar 2003

Gay seun: my seun van 25.
Ek is 48 en my seun het onlangs ons as ouers vertel hy is gay. Dis n groot skok vir ons - ons het 3 kinders, 2 dogters en dan hy wat sopas erken het hy is gay. Ek weet regtig nie watter kant toe nie. Hy is 25en is suksesvol met wat hy doen - op 25 besit hy sy eie motor (kontant betaal op sy eie) en n huis wat oor 19 maande klaar afbetaal sal wees - en hy het als op sy eie gedoen - geen finansiele hulp van ons af nie. Hy was 2 jaar in Engeland gewees waar hy nogal n hele bedrag gespaar het. Ek en my vrou weet nie watter kant toe of wat om te doen nie - kan iemand net raad gee asb. Dankie - besorgde ouers
Answer 1,573 views

01 Jan 0001

I get many letters from young people taht ask me how to tell their parents that they are gay. I understand that this must have been a very difficult letter to write, but also accept that your son possibly took many years to build up the courage to tell you.
Why should your gay child be treated any different than your heterosexual children? Do you love your gay child less. One of the goals of National Coming Out Day (October 11th) is to motivate people to say, "I am proud of who I am." Whether or not your son's decision to talk to you about his sexual identity was inspired by this celebration, bravo for his desire to be honest, to grow, and to be more true to himself.

I tends to favour the direct approach: "Hi mom, I'm gay...this is important to me, and I would like to talk with you about it." Or, "I'm a lesbian...if you'd like, we can discuss what this means." This "cut-to-the-chase" method can get you right to th e "where will we go from here" stage, cutting out much of the agony that commonly precedes publicly saying, "I'm gay, lesbian, or bisexual." However, I realise that being direct can be painfully difficult for both parent and child. So, in l ieu of a litany of suggestions for direct and indirect coming out strategies, and also how to deal with them, as a parent, here's a list of books and organizations that will likely boost your confidence and generate a variety of ideas during this important process:

Outing Yourself, by Michaelangelo Signorile

Coming Out to Parents, by Mary Borhek

Is It a Choice?, by Eric Marcus

Now That You Know: What Every Parent Should Know About Homosexuality, by Betty Fairchild and Nancy Hayward

G _ pact (Gay parents and children together)
(011) 646 - 4567

The Gay and Lesbian National Hotline
A nationwide peer counseling, information, and referral line
(011) 487-3810

OUT (Pretoria)
A peer counselling centre that offers services pertaining to sexual orientation and coming out issues (012) 344 - 6501

There's a British movie, "Beautiful Thing," about the coming out struggles and joys of two teenagers and their families. Try and get a copy at your local video store.

Good luck
Dr Elna McIntosh

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