Jan 2nd, 2004
I am a father of a 22-year-old son. I am not gay, but I have just found out that my son is. I am having a difficult time dealing with this. I cannot discuss it with my son or my wife. I am thinking very seriously about leaving my family to be alone. What would you suggest?
Slow down. Don’t make any major decisions until you’ve had some more time to let the information sink in.
What do you mean when you say you “cannot” talk to your son or wife about this? Do you mean it is too difficult to discuss with them, or that they refuse to discuss it with you? Either way, you need to talk about it. If not with them, then with a gay-friendly therapist (but not necessarily gay) or with one of the many, many parents who were just as stunned as you when they discovered a child of theirs was gay.
These parents meet around the country through PFLAG, Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians And Gays. The groups are confidential. If you are not comfortable going to a meeting, you can still connect with a volunteer who knows what you are going through. Send an email or call the helpline listed for the chapter nearest you. To find a PFLAG group in your area, go to the “Find a Chapter” page at PFLAG’s national website.
While the situation might feel overwhelming right now, running away is not the answer. Few parents are immediately 100% accepting of the reality that a child is gay. You need time to get used to a reality that is different from what they envisioned for their children. Talking with other parents through PFLAG will reassure you that being gay will not prevent your son from become a happy and successful adult.