How to connect with a parent when your gay

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They might not want to talk at all — frustrating for you, but understandable. If they blurted it out, they might be shocked by what they did. Maybe you're not immediately thrilled with this news. Well, whatever. You should, however, be honoured they trusted you. Tell them. They might want to hug, they might not.

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Open your arms anyway andsee what happens. When they ask, answer honestly. This could help to forge a bond between the two of you. Nobody says that. Including you, right? While there are phases when it comes to sexuality and coming out , these have been happening under wraps, beyond your ken, for years. They might not want to disappoint, upset or shock you, so they turn to others for counsel on how to approach telling you.

Asking this question is a good thing.

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Maybe it will provide you with someone else to talk to about it. The thing here is, not growing up heterosexual or cisgender should not stop them from doing most things. Newer, less-restricting identities are becoming popular — especially among younger people — and while they might sound strange to you, listen with an open mind and show interest. There is more to being gay than sex.

It is, to sound like a Californian shrink, a state of being. Take direction from them before you steam in with too many questions. They may not know the answers, but it doesn't mean they don't know who they are. He still has a good friendship with his ex-wife, and he came out to his son and daughter — then 8 and 9, respectively — by emphasizing that it was best for their mother: He didn't want to live a lie and deny them both true happiness.

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Chet's daughter had more questions: The extended family, on the other hand, hurt. Chet grew up in the church — but his brother, the pastor, had him removed from the rolls.

Chet wanted his kids to have a relationship with their grandparents and uncle, so for a while he would let them spend the holidays with them. This was the same son who glossed over his dad's coming-out with a dinner request. But the sway of indoctrination threatened to crush that acceptance. So regrettably, Chet put the kibosh on keeping a relationship between his kids and their extended family. He hasn't spoken to his father in about nine years — but Chet knows it's a necessary distance if it keeps his kids from damaging influence.

Now that they're teenagers, though, it's doubtful it would matter.


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Chet's son is a member of his high school's GSA. And his once self-conscious daughter is now "a raging feminist," chuckles Chet.

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  7. Plenty of children — including those in many of the aforementioned families — will barely break stride while processing a parent's sexuality. But it's true that some will hit a hiccup. And if that happens, time might be the most important thing you have on your side. Take the story of Brent, a gay dad from Tennessee. He was married for 20 years — growing up in a Southern Baptist family had repressed his ability to recognize his sexuality.

    In fact, he once rejected his own brother for being gay: Brent forbade him from visiting his kids, and when Christmas cards arrived "from uncle and uncle," Brent would be quick to clarify. Of course, all that resentment was symptomatic of his repression. Brent eventually came to understand his true sexuality slowly and in stages, at first through the safe and unintimidating world of cyberspace. Beyond restrictive confines of religion was a limitless space where he could connect with other gay men through message boards and online virtual worlds like Second Life.

    He came out to his wife and they tried to work things through via counseling, but divorce wound up inevitable. And so did the need to tell Brent's son, 18, and daughter, It happened in the office of a family counselor, at the counselor's suggestion. In case it was upsetting, the kids "wouldn't attach the memories" to their home — and in this case, that may have been a smart move.

    His son took it particularly hard. My daughter did the same thing, though her swings weren't as violent as my son's. To get through it, Brent used the two oldest tricks in the parenting book: And that's paid off with progress. Today his son is a workingman and their relationship is "a million miles better.

    His daughter has come to terms, if perhaps not quite as far along. She's still religious, studying at a Baptist seminary, and maintains some reticence. Maybe she's not sure yet — but there's reason to believe that time could change that. Ok fellow gay dads: Recently, in a post titled "I met my girlfriend's parents — and realized I once slept with her father," a man wrote into the advice column at the Guardian with the following predicament:.

    This changed when I fell in love with my new partner, who is everything to me. I recently met her parents and halfway through lunch realised that I had slept with her father.

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    I was going to propose, but when my partner and her mother were away, he told me to end it with his daughter. I'm obviously in love — shall I just ignore him, or tell my partner? To tell the truth would be to court disaster: Hiding the truth would lead to toxic secret-keeping that could be equally destructive in the long run. If this whole family was as open-minded and sexually open as you, it might be possible for you to become part of it. However, the father — your former lover — has made it clear that you will not be welcome.

    Walk away now, and avoid the massive pain that would otherwise be inflicted on your partner, her family and yourself. Another said, "Walking away without explaining why would be callous and also allow the father to escape the possible consequences of his actions.

    It's worth noting that none of these commenters, nor the columnist, are or will ever be gay dads, whose perspective on this bizarre situation may be uniquely valuable.

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    Many gay dads have become fathers while still in the closet. And even those who became dads after coming out can still sympathize with the detrimental impacts of the closet on our lives and those of our families.

    Julien cried when his father first came out, a moment he's always regretted. But he's found multiple opportunities to show his support since. In an article for Vice Netherlands, Julien Goyet speaks about the experience of learning about his father's sexuality by accident, when his younger brother heard him repeatedly saying the word "gay" on the phone. When his dad confirmed it was true, Julian says he burst into tears. Though he was just a young boy at the time, it's a moment he's nonetheless always regretted.