Dialogue between parents and sons
In order to create a form of mutual respect and genuine affective contact between parents and sons, parents have to set aside all the predetermined roles and have to play without hiding behind comfortable attitudes that actually prevent their cons from really knowing their own parents.
Generally speaking, for a gay boy, perceiving that parents play a role, even in a positive way, but are not themselves and are not sincere, is equivalent to a refusal. And that perception is objectively correct.
In a serious dialogue, and especially if it is about sex or even homosexuality, there can be no a priori presuppositions. If the answers to give to your son already exist before each comparison of ideas, dialogue is only apparent. Whenever a parent tries to talk to his homosexual son aiming to convince him of something, i.e. by taking for granted what he will say to his son, regardless of the dialogue with his son himself, that parent is offending the dignity of his son and is creating a false dialogue.
With sons, and in particular with gay sons, it is indispensable to be 100% honest. In most cases, sons do not speak to parents about their homosexuality, and I would add that in most cases they do the right thing.
What I’m saying is that sons are often afraid of the reactions of their parents, and when fear comes into the relationship between parents and sons, the relationship between them is strongly spoiled. The guys I met through Gay Project, and with whom I often meet in chat, want to hear from me the confirmation that being gay means having a dignity, a morality, a high human dimension, not less than that of any other condition of life.
Often the less informed or less seriously informed parents have a completely prejudicial view of the gay world, identify it with the most striking and spectacular stereotypes seen on television … but no! Gays, the real ones, they have nothing to do with these things, I know so many of all ages and are people very reliable who work, who try to believe in what they do and who often live in conditions of non-liberty because where they live homosexuality is not accepted.
There are people hiding (the great majority!), I call them “the invisible people,” and hiding because they are afraid, not because they have something to hide. I’ve seen gays living very deep forms of love, with or without sex, no matter who gave them a serious affective response. I saw young boys literally destroyed by their parents’ misunderstanding and a thousand times repented of having come out in the family.
Coming out to parents usually causes anxiety and big hesitation in boys because very often the relationships between parents and sons are formalized and are reduced to relationships between roles rather than between people.
Parent’s role of support.
What must a parent do if he/she comes to know that his/her son is gay (from the son’s coming out or otherwise)? The answer may seem trivial, but a parent who realizes that his son is gay, if he/she loves him, must help him to be gay. A boy told me: “After all, I had had a lion’s courage to talk to them … but they just took it in a strange way and said I had to cure myself.”
Such a kind of attitude for a gay boy is equivalent to abandonment, a non-acceptance. Accepting does not mean trying to change the situation and not even hope for it to happen if there is an attempt to change things or the hope that things change, this means that acceptance is not there.
Being gay is not a choice but it is a basic quality of a person about which there is nothing to decide but everything to accept. Rejecting the fact that your son is gay means refusing your son from every point of view. Loving sons means loving them as they are!
Parents and sex education of gay sons
Gay-friendly parents, generally, often in good faith, believe they have nothing to say about affective and sexual education of their sons, but they are completely wrong. A gay boy must learn from his parents to be a serious gay, to consider sexuality a fundamental thing and to live it in an affective dimension characterized by honesty and respect for himself and others.
But apart from moral principles, parents can also play a major role in directing boys to responsible sexual behaviors in order to put aside any risky behavior. The parent’s insistence on this point is generally considered by the boys as a form of positive interest and, in essence, as something rewarding. A twenty-year-old gay guy, who had a good relationship with his family, told me an episode that I quote for you here below through a passage of one of his mails.
At a certain point, I had quarreled with my boyfriend or maybe I was just a little tired of him, and although I was still in touch with him, I had begun to attend gay clubs and look for guys to have fun, without him knowing it, and my dad did something for which I will never stop thanking him. One night he waited until I went home, in practice until the morning, and he clearly told me that between loving a guy and going to be crazy to have fun there was a huge difference but if I wanted to get along with him, I had to do things seriously, he said to me: you must respect your boyfriend, because he is a boy like you and you are now cheating him, and if you behave in a less than respectful way toward the guy you say you are in love with, you lack of dignity. And he concluded like this: a gay guy must be a guy as he ought to! I think I will not forget such words anymore!
With this example I mean that a parent can and must play a role in relation to the gay sons and that role is to convey to the son the sense of dignity and respect for himself and for others, which are fundamental values for everyone.
If you like, you can participate in the discussion of this post on Gay Project Forum: http://gayprojectforum.altervista.org/showthread.php?tid=131