I’m the father of a gay guy and I read your forum several times together with my wife to understand how to behave with our son and undoubtedly it was useful. I will not tell you about our worries and doubts, and above all the uncertainties about how to start a direct dialogue with our son, but in the end we succeeded, and our relationships have always been good, or rather they would have always been good if there had not been a point on which our son’s attitude worried us a lot.
He is now 17, he has a special friend, let’s call him so. In the past I could not deal with my son in a direct way, since he did not, we often spoke of sex, especially of prevention, but my wife and I were always very careful not to intrude too much into his private things. The other guy, whose name is Steven, came to our house several times, and we talked a lot, he’s a mature and responsible guy, he had dinner with us and once he even went to sleep at our house. I also knew his parents who seemed to me very good people, until a few days ago I didn’t know what they knew about the son then Steven spoke with us explicitly and said that his parents know everything. I asked Steven if, according to him, it would have been useful for him and for my son that we would contact his parents and he said yes.
A few days ago, in the afternoon, my wife and I went to see Steven’s parents, Steven and my son were also present. At first it was a bit embarrassing, but then the guys themselves got us out of trouble. And here comes the sore point. My wife, Steven’s parents and I were all in agreement to advise the guys the utmost caution, and Steven agreed, but my son didn’t want to know reasons and made it a matter of principle. Generally he’s very reasonable but it seemed to me that in this case it was just an obstinacy. We tried to make him reason in every possible way. Steven reminded him of the example of one of their comrades who was put in serious trouble by the gossip of other comrades, some parents and even some teachers, because, even if it may seem incredible, the teachers who make stupid gossip and who address the guys in a homophobe and rude way still exist.
There was only one argument that made my son recede from his obstinacy. Steven told him: “Louis, look, for you the coming out is a fundamental thing and you say you will do it anyway, but for me it’s something to be avoided, not absolutely, but because today we cannot afford it. In short, if you want to feel free to come out, I cannot stop you, but I cannot even be forced to do something that I just don’t want to do. That is, if it is just as you say – an inalienable issue of personal dignity – well, then it is good that I put myself aside, because I don’t want to feel forced to do something like that.” This speech put my son in crisis, he who did not accept his parents’ prudent speech was sensitive to the idea of not forcing his friend to do anything against his will.
At the end of the evening, the weather seemed quiet and the three of us came back home, but evidently our son was not at all convinced. In the car he began a tirade, that no longer ended up, on courage, dignity, self-respect and so on, I told him that he knew what we thought and that we and his mother talked about it so much and we had reached the same conclusions. Then I added: “You have to deal with Steven first of all because you can put him in great difficulty.” He tended to minimize, trivialize, to do a moralistic preaching, but I closed the speech: “Obviously you are free to make your choices but we don’t follow you on this ground.”
The next day, after school, he came home together with Steven and, in front of us, he quarreled furiously with him, something I would never have believed possible, he called him “designated victim”, said he was “plagiarized by his parents” and other things that I avoid mentioning, Steven got up, greeted me and my wife (not my son), took the door and left. My son made a scene with us, he seemed like another person, he raised his voice, tried to verbally vent against Steven and also against us. My wife intervened to close the discussion, and we left for our room. Louis went into his room slamming the door.
My wife and I looked at each other very worriedly, we didn’t know this side of Louis at all and it troubled us a lot. The following morning Louis left the house early to avoid meeting us and didn’t come back home at the usual time after school, but around five o’clock in the afternoon. I didn’t know where Louis was and I called Steven, who replied: “Oh, hello, listen, I’m a little busy now, I’ll call you as soon as I can.” Such a conversation could only mean that Louis and Steven were together and I didn’t worry.
Shortly after five o’clock Steven called me back and told me that with Louis they had arrived at a “truce” but added that he thought he would be able to change my son’s opinion. When Louis came home he expected an underlining of the fact that he had arrived very late, but neither my wife nor I said anything but that lunch was on the table in the dishes, and that if he wanted to have lunch he could do it. My wife and I prepared to leave the house, we already agreed that we would leave Louis alone to avoid scenes like that of day before, but he stopped us.
“Where are you going? You never leave at this time!” My wife replied: “We thought maybe you’re better alone and we leave you your space …” He continued: “Enough with these stories! A minimum of prudence is fine … but as soon as the conditions are favorable, I will do my coming out all the way, because I don’t want to live in the sewers but in the light of the sun!” And so I said mine: “No! You still don’t understand something very important, as long as you stay with Steven you are not the one who decides but you have to decide together! Do you think that your mother and I always agree on everything? Sometimes she gave up and sometimes I gave up … otherwise you cannot go on!”
He looked at me in a defiant attitude, but also with a half-mocking smile: “Look, Daddy, if you’re in the mood for sermons you can even go for a walk, if I give up it’s not because you and mom and Steven’s parents made you get scared … I don’t want to lose Steven, I give up for this.” I remained silent and raised my eyes to heaven. My wife and I put our coats back on and Louis told us: “Order four pizzas at the pizzeria for tonight, because at eight o’clock Steven is coming, Neapolitan for me and capricious for him, ok?” “Ok!” I do not know if I can say that now we are out of danger but it seems to me that the worst is over! The story is basically trivial and at the moment it seems that it ended fine, but I think it can be useful to someone. Obviously you can publish the email, the facts are those, but there are no sensitive elements. Thanks for everything.
Danilo and Albina (invented names, of course)
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