How do you cope with your child telling you that they are homosexual?
The first thing you do is pray.
Its usually a good idea to determine what he means. Does he actively engage in homosexual acts or is he just attracted to persons of the same sex?
It is difficult to say, “What should I do?” because all people are different. How is his personality? How old is he? What gender is he? Has he been abused in the past? How do his peers treat him? Has he delved into pornography?
The first thing you should do is pray.
I do not have first hand experience with this, but I do have a close Catholic friend with a same-sex attratcion.
After praying (Great advice, btw) I would sit down with the child and have a heart to heart, mainly outlining what the Church teaches. Basically you want to encourage the child to stay Catholic.
You do not want to condem the child at all, that is very important, but with prositive re-inforcement, lovingly outline that you love him/her, but the act is considered wrong buy our faith.
You want to soften the blow saying that any kind of sex before marriage is mortal sin, so the child should strive with all his/her might to remain chaste, just as any other young person should do…even if he/she hasn’t been chaste up to this point.
Encourage him/her to go to confession and to remain chaste after that. This will be their cross to bare untill they can sort out their real feelings and orientations.
Have him/her maybe visit church groups for similar minded Catholics, striving to maintain chastity whilst struggling with same-sex attractions. There should be such an association in your diocese.
That will be a great support. It was and is for my friend.
And pray, pray, pray!
If it’s an adult child, I’d say, as calmly as possible, “You’ve had all this time to absorb this. Please give me at least a day or two before I respond. I love you. See you later. I will call you when I’m ready to talk about it.” Be polite about it, extremely civil. I would also be as polite as possible to any lover or support person the adult child brought along to tell me this.
If it’s a teenage child, I’d say, “How did you come to this conclusion?” I’d listen and mentally take notes. Then I’d say, “Please give me at least a day or two before I respond. I love you. I’m not throwing out or belittling your announcement. I just need time to process what you’ve told me.”
I would discuss it with the child’s other parent if possible, a priest, a Catholic counselor, and somebody from Courage couragerc.net/ or Encourage couragerc.net/Encourage.html. I’d then pray some more (like I wouldn’t be praying the whole time!).
Then, I’d have a good idea of what I was going to say. But until I was ready, I just wouldn’t discuss it.
Be careful about advising him/her to associate with other same-sex-attraction Catholics. In my diocese, one inner-city parish has been pretty much handed over to gay people, who go there to cruise for dates. Nothing at all is ever said in that parish about chastity outside marriage.
Sorry to be a sourpuss, but this seems to be a reality in North America and Northern Europe. No wonder good men drop out of the seminaries.
Blessings… - Rob
I have thought about this a lot in the past in case I ever have a child.
The first words out of my mouth should be “I love you no matter what”. Even though homosexual behavior is a sin, we must remember your child when first approaching you is scared out of his/her mind of what his/her parents might say. That is why we must even if we don’t approve be as positive as possible.Out of love
If we don’t make the child feel even a scared, timid or bad, then any teachings we present in the future the child will absorb better. This is because they know you love them even at their weakest moment and you arn’t teaching them because you are disappointed, you are teaching from love. If the child thinks you are trying to change them out of disappointment not love they will never listen.
After your child tells you these feelings,I feel it is best not to question the who what where when why. The first 24 hours should be about nothing but love and support (not for the lifestyle but because they are your child)
After 24 and emotions are calm sit down and try to understand why they feel they way they do. Give a little church teaching but not much. Listen more than talk. Ask questions. Remember, finding the truth is a marathon not a sprint.
As you child talks more about their and your feelings feelings they will become more comfortable with you. This may take a week, a month, or a year. Do not hurry! You can then start doing a 50/50 convo about how you feel and how they feel.
But remember in the end the only things that will change a homosexual is love and God. As a parent give them your love, no matter what. Give them your respect, and ask they respect your opinions.
God has a plan and trust in that. Only the best parents are tested with an act of faith like this sometimes.
VERY IMPORTANT!!! - You need to support your child even if you don’t support the lifestyle. They now will walk thorough life with people judging them, making jokes about them, and looking down on them. As a parent you don’t want that and shouldn’t be the one to do it either.
We know you love your child and we pray your family will grow stronger and that God’s plan will be revealed to you.
I want to apologize for my above post’s terrible spelling and grammer
I don’t know how to answer your question since it has not happened to me. But I have 2 sisters who claim to be gay. One truly is and I question whether the other truly is. (We are all in our 40’s.)
Would it be off-topic to discuss how their homosexuality affected our family or are you looking for answers to your specific question?
Courage and Encourage are not the same as Dignity. Take it from somebody who grew up on the outskirts of Chicago’s “Boys’ Town” when the Rainbow Movement was just in its infancy, and saw a particular parish with those problems. Courage is not for “cruisers”. The organization is very orthodox, and seeks to assist people with same-sex attraction to live a life of celibacy and chastity. Why don’t you click on the links above and find out more about their work?