ISO help from parents of children with same-sex attraction


#1

My 23-year-old son just told me he is gay, which didn't come as a huge surprise to me, but which was distressing, nonetheless. He's exhibited some tendencies toward same-sex attraction since childhood, but he also dated now and then, etc., so I wasn't sure if it might be something he'd grow out of.

At any rate, he's had a close relationship with my husband and me, and didn't want to keep this from us. We've met his boyfriend (who is actually a lovely person), and he seems quite happy in this relationship.

Obviously, I'm concerned for his soul, but I also don't want him to think I'm rejecting him as my son. I'd give my life for this kid, and one of the greatest joys in my life is being his mom.

I felt the Holy Spirit telling me to just pray, pray, pray for him, which I do. And I know that ultimately it will be God's grace that will lead him into chastity. I also know that often it's hardest for those closest to an issue to be the ones to directly confront it.

So, I d' like to know from other parents in the same situation, what did you do that was helpful? Thanks so much for any input.


#2

I am not a parent so take my advice from where it is coming. By agreeing to meet his boyfriend, you are sending out a message ‘It is OK’. Do not reject your son, tell him you love him but you have boundaries and his boyfriend can not come over. Everyone needs to understand that with freedom comes consequences. If he wants to have a boyfriend the consequence is he has to choose to visit you alone or skip the visits. I know it will hurt when he says ‘since you don’t want to be around my boyfriend, I will not be coming home for Christmas’. Jesus goes through it all the time when we reject his word

CM


#3

I completely disagree with cmscms. We need to be an example of Christ's love, merciful, and prayerful. I don't like that my sister has been living with her boyfriend for 12 years and has two children with him. I don't like that my mother left my father and married a man who has been divorced twice before. There is evil in this world, there are people who are misguided, there are people who are enslaved by sin. Does that mean we close out all people who are sinful? What a lonely world we would live in....

Love your son and pray for him.


#4

Jesus ate with sinners but encouraged them to turn their lives around. He did not stand idly by and act as if everything was ok. He flat out got angry and yelled at people several times. He also said that He came not to bring peace but the sword, and His gospel would divide families, mother against daughter, father against son, and brother against brother. It is sad, but oh so very, very true.
Good luck. Pray for him. I can’t recommend a particular course of action being your close relationship.


#5

Thank you for your responses, although I’d still like to hear from a parent who is in my same situation :slight_smile: .

While it is true that Jesus got angry at people, I don’t recall him yelling at the woman at the well, the prostitutes and tax collectors he dined with, or the woman who was being stoned for adultery. And I could never turn my back on my own son, just as the father never gave up hope for the prodigal son.

So while he knows I don’t condone his sexual activity, my son will never doubt my love for him and my desire for his best. If he would decide to reject me, that would be a cross I would have to bear, but I won’t reject him.

Thank you for your prayers, and God bless you.

(And again - any other moms or dads of same-sex-attracted kids out there who would be willing to share their experiences? Thanks!)


#6

Jesus also told them to "GO AND SIN NO MORE." They didn't't continue to live in sin. He loved them and he did not compromise his morals and value for them. He did not act on feelings, but on true love. And then, because they loved Him, they changed their lives. I am so sorry for your .son, as it is a huge cross to carry. Please just don't lose your faith over this. Sorry for the typos.God bless.


#7

[quote="quint, post:1, topic:212727"]
My
So, I d' like to know from other parents in the same situation, what did you do that was helpful? Thanks so much for any input.

[/quote]

it may help to put this in perspective if he decided to cohabit without benefit of marriage with a very nice young lady. How would you react, treat him and her, counsel him, and so forth? What if he told you his chosen "lifestyle" included embracing any other immoral activity that endangers his soul?


#8

I’m not a parent of a gay child, but I do have experience being the gay child, so maybe I can help a parent who was in the same place my mum was.

Before saying anything to him about his boyfriend, think for a day or two about what you’re looking to accomplish with this conversation. If you’re “concerned for his soul” (I have to be honest, I really have no clue what you’re trying to get at there), do you want him to break up with his boyfriend and renounce being gay? Or do you just not want his boyfriend and any future husband to come to Christmas and Thanksgiving dinners at your house? If he’s coming out, as an adult, to a parent with whom he is very close to that he knows is a devout member of a religion that has a shoddy history regarding the acceptance of gay people, it’s not a phase. I promise you, he has considered quite a bit whether or not you’d disown him or go off on a fanatical verbal rampage. If he hasn’t been out (to the rest of the world, not just you; parents are often the last to be told because they matter the most) for very long, you need to be especially careful about everything you ever say about him about gay rights, famous gay people, and really, anything related to homosexuality at all. We’re a lot more sensitive to these things than we give away to our straight family members. Avoid using the word homosexuality too- it feels long and judgemental and creates more barriers than its surface neutrality would lead one to believe. Honestly, I’d just recommend you not say anything to him unless he wants to initiate a conversation about it with you. I’d be curious to know what you’re initial reaction to his coming out was; that has a tendency to form a very lasting impression about a person’s acceptance of the gay individual in question. But I almost guarantee he would think it’s really sweet if you told him you’d read some PFLAG literature and wanted to chat about whatever adorable thing his boyfriend did last weekend… if you’re ready for that.

So, uh, sorry for the big block of text there from someone who doesn’t know too much about Catholicism or Catholic culture. The big picture is that your son needs to know that you still love and accept him- no matter who he is or who he loves. And don’t yell or get political. Never yell.


#9

[quote="stephanie007, post:8, topic:212727"]
I'm not a parent of a gay child, but I do have experience being the gay child, so maybe I can help a parent who was in the same place my mum was.

Before saying anything to him about his boyfriend, think for a day or two about what you're looking to accomplish with this conversation. If you're "concerned for his soul" (I have to be honest, I really have no clue what you're trying to get at there), do you want him to break up with his boyfriend and renounce being gay? Or do you just not want his boyfriend and any future husband to come to Christmas and Thanksgiving dinners at your house? If he's coming out, as an adult, to a parent with whom he is very close to that he knows is a devout member of a religion that has a shoddy history regarding the acceptance of gay people, it's not a phase. I promise you, he has considered quite a bit whether or not you'd disown him or go off on a fanatical verbal rampage. If he hasn't been out (to the rest of the world, not just you; parents are often the last to be told because they matter the most) for very long, you need to be especially careful about everything you ever say about him about gay rights, famous gay people, and really, anything related to homosexuality at all. We're a lot more sensitive to these things than we give away to our straight family members. Avoid using the word homosexuality too- it feels long and judgemental and creates more barriers than its surface neutrality would lead one to believe. Honestly, I'd just recommend you not say anything to him unless he wants to initiate a conversation about it with you. I'd be curious to know what you're initial reaction to his coming out was; that has a tendency to form a very lasting impression about a person's acceptance of the gay individual in question. But I almost guarantee he would think it's really sweet if you told him you'd read some PFLAG literature and wanted to chat about whatever adorable thing his boyfriend did last weekend... if you're ready for that.

So, uh, sorry for the big block of text there from someone who doesn't know too much about Catholicism or Catholic culture. The big picture is that your son needs to know that you still love and accept him- no matter who he is or who he loves. And don't yell or get political. Never yell.

[/quote]

There are so many things wrong here. You are using the term homosexuality but then telling the parent not to use it? And all of a sudden talking about homosexuals is off limits, even though the "rights" crowd is always propping up any homosexual celebrity or figure they can find? That doesn't seem to sensitive to me. A Catholic parent can continue to support their homosexual child without having to embrace ideals which are contrary to our faith such as talking about adorable things he did with his boyfriend.

Now don't get me wrong, I'm not taking cmscms's approach, but your post left me confused.


#10

Yes, I am a parent of a gay son. He is the oldest of my two grown boys. He is now 25 yrs. old.
I want to tell you a little about him before I tell you what I said to him.

He was extremely shy growing up (like all of my family and my husbands too). He was teased and bullied in school when he did not want to participate in sports. His hobby growing up was playing war games on the internet and he loved the same kind of movies that his dad did.:shrug: He graduated high school from the International Baccalaureate program with honors. He now is a computer scientist with a wonderful job and has gained much confidence and is blessed with many friends, gay and straight.

I also was not surprised when at 17 yrs old he told me that he had a boyfriend. It still was very hard to finally hear him say it and for me to have to face the reality of it. He chose to tell me instead of his father. We are very close. I told him immediately that I loved him unconditionally and that the tears in my eyes were because I had to grieve for the loss of who I had hoped he was. He said that he understood that. I then told him that I being Catholic could not condone the practice but I would always love him just like I always had. I called my husband when my son had left and I cried to him and he said, “Well there isn’t anything we can do about it. That is just the way he is.” I was so happy that he was going to be okay with it. How could we not be he is our son! My husband does not approve of the practice either but he loves our son unconditionally as well.

I went and spoke to my very orthodox priest and he agreed with everything I had told my son. We are called to love everyone. Hate the sin. Love the sinner. A few years later when he and his boyfriend were in college I asked my priest if I could help my son and his partner move into their apartment. He said, “This is called fraternal love.” :slight_smile:

It all has worked out well for us. He and his partner come to all the family get togethers and my younger son comes with his girfriend. We all go to my parents house for Christmas too. They always leave when the party is over and have never stayed over night together. They are very respectful and I have never had to tell him that he cannot stay with his partner at our house. My son comes and visits on his own and stays the night sometimes when he is in the area. This year he wanted to go to Italy and he asked my husband and I to go with him. We had a wonderful trip and it was so nice to have this time with him again. We laughed a lot just like when he lived at home.

Hope this helps.


#11

I wanted to add that I pray for both my sons and my husband everyday because none of them are Christian.


#12

Contact Courgage. www.couragerc.net They have a listserve for parents and family members called Encourage.


#13

I haven’t been in the situation, but I don’t understand the heavy-handed approach to this particular sin.

Getting drunk is a sin, but there is such a thing as a genetic predisposition towards alcoholism.

If my adult child started drinking heavily with a close friend who is otherwise a wonderful person, but shares the same propensity with my child, I wouldn’t refuse to meet the friend, nor would I shun my child. There would be no getting drunk in my house and they would know I think drinking heavily is a sin and I would pray for them.

Jesus said “sin no more” to the woman when she was ready to repent. He otherwise spent time with individuals engaging in different degrees of different sins - as we all are all the time, drawing them slowly towards the light with His presence, always telling stories, never directly condemning a person.


#14

Hi

I have often wondered what I would do, if I were in your situation.

I think all you can do is pray, pray and then pray some more.

Like you, I would not refuse to know his boyfriend. I would want to be a part of my son’s life, and I could not shun him or his partner.

God bless, I’ll keep you and your son in my prayers.


#15

I guess I can't give any better advice than to follow the calling of the holy spirit. I would also encourage you to redouble your efforts to truely live your faith, so that you can be a good witness of Christianity to your son. Above all, be honest, loveing yes, but above all honest with your son should he ask about the Chruch, Homosexuality, and probably most painfully whether or not your going to support the churches views on homosexuality.

Remember, a repudiation of the sinful life style is in no way a rejection of individuals. Your son will be your son no matter what, though you are compelled to reject the life style you should always make it clear to him that you'll never reject him.


#16

[quote="onmyknees, post:10, topic:212727"]
Yes, I am a parent of a gay son. He is the oldest of my two grown boys. He is now 25 yrs. old.
I want to tell you a little about him before I tell you what I said to him.

He was extremely shy growing up (like all of my family and my husbands too). He was teased and bullied in school when he did not want to participate in sports. His hobby growing up was playing war games on the internet and he loved the same kind of movies that his dad did.:shrug: He graduated high school from the International Baccalaureate program with honors. He now is a computer scientist with a wonderful job and has gained much confidence and is blessed with many friends, gay and straight.

I also was not surprised when at 17 yrs old he told me that he had a boyfriend. It still was very hard to finally hear him say it and for me to have to face the reality of it. He chose to tell me instead of his father. We are very close. I told him immediately that I loved him unconditionally and that the tears in my eyes were because I had to grieve for the loss of who I had hoped he was. He said that he understood that. I then told him that I being Catholic could not condone the practice but I would always love him just like I always had. I called my husband when my son had left and I cried to him and he said, "Well there isn't anything we can do about it. That is just the way he is." I was so happy that he was going to be okay with it. How could we not be he is our son! My husband does not approve of the practice either but he loves our son unconditionally as well.

I went and spoke to my very orthodox priest and he agreed with everything I had told my son. We are called to love everyone. Hate the sin. Love the sinner. A few years later when he and his boyfriend were in college I asked my priest if I could help my son and his partner move into their apartment. He said, "This is called fraternal love." :)

It all has worked out well for us. He and his partner come to all the family get togethers and my younger son comes with his girfriend. We all go to my parents house for Christmas too. They always leave when the party is over and have never stayed over night together. They are very respectful and I have never had to tell him that he cannot stay with his partner at our house. My son comes and visits on his own and stays the night sometimes when he is in the area. This year he wanted to go to Italy and he asked my husband and I to go with him. We had a wonderful trip and it was so nice to have this time with him again. We laughed a lot just like when he lived at home.

Hope this helps.

[/quote]

Wow. My sister's gay. Wish my parents had dealt with it like this. They do now, but I think it would have helped her a lot if they had done this right away.


#17

I would just be careful of being permissive, if you truly believe that the Bible is the inspired word of God. We are called to love as Christ...true love, not love based on feelings. To "love" someone into Hell is a very real and dangerous thing. You can love, and be a part of his life, but not enable his sin, just as you wouldn't encourage an alcoholic child to drink, or a heterosexual to cohabitate outside of marriage, or let teenagers drink at your home in the hope that they wouldn't go out and drive afterwards. You have to have a standard, and if you take your Faith seriously, you need to read up on true Catholic teaching, the standards will become clear.
Unfortunately, it may take awhile for your child to see that you truly are setting limits out of love, and that you still want to be a part of his life. But I guarantee you, that once/if he ever faces the reality of the sinful ways he has taken, he will thank you for it. And, we all have sin that we must face. To say that we don't is saying we are our own god, and thus breaking the first commandment. God wants us to choose Him, to put Him first, and it isn't always easy. It really isn't a homosexual issue, like most people want you to believe, it is a sin issue. We are called to love people of all orientations, colors, ages, etc. We are called to love each other. However, when someone wants you to compromise YOUR morals and values that are based on the Faith of our Lord and Savior, who died for us, then I would ask "why?" Because if the answer is to prove your love for that person, then, I don't think that person is being honest with themselves or fair to you. I don't think they are the ones truly loving. They need to be truly loved because they are hurting, but please don't water down your love by pretending everything is alright. He deserves more.
God bless!


#18

[quote="onmyknees, post:10, topic:212727"]
Yes, I am a parent of a gay son. He is the oldest of my two grown boys. He is now 25 yrs. old.
I want to tell you a little about him before I tell you what I said to him.

He was extremely shy growing up (like all of my family and my husbands too). He was teased and bullied in school when he did not want to participate in sports. His hobby growing up was playing war games on the internet and he loved the same kind of movies that his dad did.:shrug: He graduated high school from the International Baccalaureate program with honors. He now is a computer scientist with a wonderful job and has gained much confidence and is blessed with many friends, gay and straight.

I also was not surprised when at 17 yrs old he told me that he had a boyfriend. It still was very hard to finally hear him say it and for me to have to face the reality of it. He chose to tell me instead of his father. We are very close. I told him immediately that I loved him unconditionally and that the tears in my eyes were because I had to grieve for the loss of who I had hoped he was. He said that he understood that. I then told him that I being Catholic could not condone the practice but I would always love him just like I always had. I called my husband when my son had left and I cried to him and he said, "Well there isn't anything we can do about it. That is just the way he is." I was so happy that he was going to be okay with it. How could we not be he is our son! My husband does not approve of the practice either but he loves our son unconditionally as well.

I went and spoke to my very orthodox priest and he agreed with everything I had told my son. We are called to love everyone. Hate the sin. Love the sinner. A few years later when he and his boyfriend were in college I asked my priest if I could help my son and his partner move into their apartment. He said, "This is called fraternal love." :)

It all has worked out well for us. He and his partner come to all the family get togethers and my younger son comes with his girfriend. We all go to my parents house for Christmas too. They always leave when the party is over and have never stayed over night together. They are very respectful and I have never had to tell him that he cannot stay with his partner at our house. My son comes and visits on his own and stays the night sometimes when he is in the area. This year he wanted to go to Italy and he asked my husband and I to go with him. We had a wonderful trip and it was so nice to have this time with him again. We laughed a lot just like when he lived at home.

Hope this helps.

[/quote]

Onmyknees, I just wanted to thank you for sharing your story.

Your dedication to Christ-like love in loving your son unconditionally is very heart warming. I think you handle this reality in your son's life beautifully

Your story made me smile :)

God Bless you and your entire family.


#19

I am not a parent, but I am of a generation (the same as your son) that tends to condone homosexual behavior and lifestyle as "just the way someone is." I have many friends who are gay or have been gay or experimented with being gay, and many who are very supportive of the gay lifestyle. This topic comes up from time to time and it is always hard to explain that I support and love my friends, but not what they do. I think I heard Fr. Corapi once tackle this subject and I cried when I heard it. I'm paraphrasing here, but he said "you have to love your child. All you can do is love them." I thought it was really wonderful that he said "love them" not just "pray for them." I think a lot of people don't understand that prayer without love won't do too much. Sometimes it's showing love that can make sinners want to stop sinning, because then you are being an example of what you preach.

Just a thought.


#20

pentacostbaby and Marie5890,

I would like to thank you both for your very kind comments. May God continue to bless you both!:slight_smile:


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