Your Child is Gay: Oh What Now!
I know a police officer who is very socially conservative. He’s a Baptist who believes that homosexuality is wrong, as most evangelical do, if not all. We had the usual discussion about gay people and he expressed his disapproval as a Christian. One day I asked him a question, and knowing how he believed, I was surprised by his answer.
He and his wife had a newborn son and I asked him what he would do if his son turned out gay. He told me that he would still love him and accept him for whatever he was — not the answer I expected.
When a child, at whatever age, tells a parent they’re gay, the parent will deal with it in either a positive way or a negative way. When I told my mother, she chose to deny it by telling me it was just a phase I was going through. When she finally could no longer deny it, she reacted negatively by telling me “you need to get right with God”.
On the other hand, a friend of mine who was gay, told his mother he was gay, and though she cried, she told him that she wanted him to be proud of who he was and never be ashamed, she loved him just the same. It affected him in such a positive way and it showed in his life.
Myself, I spent a good portion of my life feeling guilty for being gay and was miserable with life through it all. It wasn’t until I could turn loose of that guilt and just live my life, did I finally ever experience happiness.
Obviously, what the parents of a child think about them is important. When someone tells their parents, they’re gay; it’s important to them. If their parents respond negatively to the announcement, it will most likely affect them tremendously.
I have known LGBT members, who have been entirely disowned from their families after announcing they were gay, or as in some cases they were found out, or caught in a compromising situation. I knew one gay teen who was chased out of his home by his own father and told never to darken his doorstep again, after the father walked in on him when he was with one of his high school friends, in one of those compromising situations.
A parent who has strong religious beliefs about homosexuality are not going to usually be opened-armed to a child who confesses being gay to them but they don’t necessarily have to be negative about it. Showing disapproval while showing love at the same time could make all the difference in the world.
There is also the parent who can’t understand why their child turned out gay. They assume that if they taught their child while growing up that homosexuality is wrong and took them to church or to temple or to mosque, then that child should have no reason to grow up to be homosexual. I can tell you from my experience, growing up in church and being taught that homosexuality is wrong, does not keep someone from being gay.
Then there is always the parent who question themselves about what they must have done that caused their child to be gay. I don’t think parents have anything at all to do with a child’s sexuality, or anyone for that matter. I have seen straight kids grow up in homes with gay parents and plenty of gay kids grow up in straight homes.
I believe a person’s sexuality is something they are born with. Perhaps some things may influence a person’s taste but sexuality goes much deeper. Being gay is not a lifestyle or a choice; it’s who you are. It has nothing to do with one’s religion or education. It isn’t determined by how much someone likes sports or how much they like to dance ballet. There are gay people in every occupation and from every race and every religion. Stereotypes are just a myth.
Times are changing and the populace’s attitude concerning gay rights has changed dramatically, even in a few short years. Still, there will always be gay children who will grow up in a home that tells them all their lives that homosexuality is wrong and gay people will burn in Hell. That child may do as I did and spend countless hours on their knees, begging God to change them so they can be normal.
There is no such thing as “Pray away the Gay”. You are who you are, accept it and move on. Their parents should do the same.