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31 Jul 2008

Advice needed.
My son recently let us know he is gay. I somehow cannot accept it as it is a HUGE shock to me. I strongly need some advice as how to handle this problem. He has now said that when we go on holiday at the end of the year that he would like his " friend"  to go with. I am so so strongly against this as I know i will not be able to enjoy my holiday not knowing what is going on behind my back. I stress very easily. We know some of the people that holiday there and i would feel very embarrassed if they had to see my son with another man. Please give me some advice as to how to try and accept this shock and how i can put it across to my son that his " friend"  cannot come with us. My son said that if he cannot come then he will also not go and stay home. How can i tell him how i feel? Please any advice will do.

Answer 440 views
Gay, lesbian and bisexual expert
gay, lesbian and bisexual expert

01 Jan 0001

Hi Priscilla, a warm welcome to the forum and thanks for posting.

Many parents experience a crisis when their child comes out as being gay or lesbian. You son has been processing (and coping with) this for years, but you have suddenly had reality hit you like something from another planet. I don't think it right, however, to say you "cannot" accept it - but I do it fair that you are having great difficulty, right now, in accepting it. I am sure that with time it'll become increasingly easier for you until, at some point, it simply won't be an issue any more.

The problem you refer to isn't the fact that your son is gay, but rather your difficulty in accepting it. Just by posting here you've taken a giant step, and I suggest you learn and read up as much as you can. Above this forum in a link to gay-related articles and I encourage you to read a great article by another mom of a gay son - hopefully Ferny will see your post and respond to you as well.

About the "friend"... How would you feel if your son was straight (heterosexual) and invited his girlfriend along for the holiday? Would you also be so stressed, wondering what they were up to? I suggest that you make a point of meeting your son's boyfriend - spend some time with him, get to know him, before you dismiss him. Your son obviously has strong feelings for this guy. Being gay isn't only about sex, although we always refer to it as a SEXual orientation - gay people are also emotionally attracted to people of the same sex and our love is as valid and as real as heterosexual love. Love is love and I'm sure you're familiar of the intoxicating power of "first love". You don't tell us how old your son is but he deserves credit for being brave enough to stand up for his relationship with this guy.

About what people think? I can relate to your embarrassment, since this is all totally new to you, but I doubt your son has the words "I AM GAY" tattooed on his forehead, and neither does his friend. In that light, what's so wrong with your taking your son's friend along on holiday? I know others will ask you why you care what other people think but I think I can hear where you're coming from: a position of shame. And that's OK right now because this is all new to you, but I bet that with time you'll feel incredibly proud of your son for being honest about who and what he is.

Of course you can tell your son how you feel - once you've figured out for yourself how you actually do feel. Shocked? Sure. But I doubt that you'd want to tell your son you feel ashamed of him or embarrassed by him? He didn't choose to be gay and he can't help being gay. In fact he really deserves your love and respect for standing up for himself, respecting his own sense of integrity and for being honest about who he is as a person.

As a loving mom I know that, in the long run, you'd want only the best for your child. And that includes his being honest with himself and with others. A final comment: Mary makes a wonderful point - what would your 'rules' be if your son took a girlfriend on holiday with you? There shouldn't be any difference simply because he is gay.

Please keep posting Priscilla.

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