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22 Jul 2005

My son
My son is 22, he came out to my husband and I when he was 19 and we're fine with his being gay. The problem is that he's met a boyfriend at university who visits him at home. I'm not sure how to handle their going into my son's room and closing (sometimes even locking) the door. My husband wants us to stipulate that the door must remain open but I think this would be too harsh. We also have a daughter aged 23 living at home. Any advice?
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Gay, lesbian and bisexual expert
gay, lesbian and bisexual expert

01 Jan 0001

Hi Mother and thanks for your question.

I note your concern about how to handle this situation but I'm wondering how OK you and your husband really are with your son being gay. Is it possible that you were only fine with this until you felt confronted by the fact that he may actually be interacting intimately or sexually with another man? Many parents experience a level of discomfort with the awareness that their children are sexually active. Frequently this is related to concern for their children's welfare, but when the child is gay it is possible that a few rumblings of deep-seated (and not necessarily conscious) homophobia or homoprejudice may be activated in the parent. This is fine, as long as it is resolved.

Every family has a unique 'culture' - a set of values and norms, patterns of communication and control and a sense of "this is how we do things in this home". Some families are more expressive, some eat in front of the TV, some display affection openly. The culture of your family should determine how you manage this situation. For example, how are matters related to privacy resolved in your family - how are closed doors interpreted? It becomes unimportant whether your son is gay or not. How would you have managed this situation if he was straight and wanted to take his girl-friend to his room? What norms have you applied to your daughter?

Don't discriminate against your son, but there's also no need to make special allowances for him. Treat him equally - he doesn't need special rights but he does deserve equal rights.
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