Father struggles to accept gay son.


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.

56 thoughts on “Father struggles to accept gay son.”

  1. Thank you so much for taking the time to answer me. I respect the courage in these people who can just accept this news as they did. Personally, I believe I will eventually be able to deal with this as I “age.” Not having anyone I can discuss it with makes it very difficult.

    When people like yourselves reply to my cries I at least have a place to look. What I am dealing with right now is acceptance of my son. I still love him, however, the pride I once had has been replaced with shame. I just need a little time to get used to it.

    1. I just found out my son is gay and I been crying for 4 day none stop. I can’t accept it and I will never accept this. I will fight with every breath I take to overcome this. I didn’t give birth to a girl and didn’t work so hard just so that people can tell me to live with it. If we were told to teach our children what was right and wrong then why stop here? This is like a new trend. I’m not old fashioned, I used to care for people of all kind but this is something that cause me to be so bitter and hate the world. I did everything for my son, I sacrifice so much . At first I blame myself, then I wanted kill myself to wash his sin, then now just anger, days after day I still can’t accept it. I feel that it just so selfish that they are gay and think of nothing but themselves. I told my son “if you want me to accept who you are, then you also need to accept who I am”. I am your mom and my heart is bleeding! I gave you my heart and you need to respect what you are doing to my heart.

  2. Your son has been gay all his life; you just didn’t know it. Your son is the same person he was before he came out. Were you unable to talk to him before he came out? He hasn’t changed – your perception of him has.

    You may prefer blond-haired women. Would you have difficulty dealing with him if he selected a brown-haired woman as a partner?

    Your love for your son should mean that you wish him happy. Ask him what makes him happy – and support him in whatever that is.

    Please obtain and read a copy of Always My Child by Kevin Jennings and Pat Shapiro, M.S.W., Skylight Press Fireside Books, Simon & Schuster, 2003. You will find it quite helpful.

    Dave Parker

  3. My husband and I are parents of 3 grown sons. The middle and youngest sons are both gay. When the middle son first came out to us and said he’s gay he was at the age of 21 also, he is 31 yrs. old now. At the time we were stationed overseas (my husband is a 30 yr. military man), we were in total shocked! I felt our world turned upside down. We didn’t know of any friends going through this and no resources to go to. We felt very alone with this. As soon as we were transferred to Jacksonville we attended PFLAG workshops and found out that other families are going through it. Disowning our son was never in the picture, but instead educating him and proctecting him from a cruel world was our priority. Every loving parents’ wish is to see their children happy, I believe that is what every parent strives for. When our youngest son was going through his teen-age years, my husband and I had a gut feeling that he too is also gay, but at the time he was having a hard time accepting it and making peace with himself. We sort of just waited for him to “come out” to us even though in our heart we already knew.

    My middle son is now in a happy domestic partneship and they are homeowners in NY city. The youngest son is now back in the nest here in Jacksonville after graduating from college. We are so very proud of our sons and son-in-law.

    My advice to other parents struggling with this is attend the PFLAG workshops, talk to other parents and you will realize that you are not alone. You will find strength in numbers. When you are alone, you start to think that you are the only one dealing with this and the loneliness gets magnified.

    Also, if you need to break this news to relatives and friends, ask your child first it is ok with them to do this. How you break the news to your relatives will dictate how they will react to your news. If they see that you are ok with it and accepting and loving of your child, this is how your relatives will accept your news. If they see that you are ranting, raving and depress, your relatives will view it as a big problem and may keep a distance from your child. This will just isolate your child from his relatives.

    We do have homophobic relatives and right from the beginning I made it clear that I will not tolerate any negative remarks about my children. But all in all my family is very loving towards my 2 gay sons and son-in-law. Gayness is a non-issue in my family and extended family. God bless…. Soly & Art Rodriguez

  4. I’m sure it is a very strange thing to hear coming out of a child’s mouth… I just cannot grasp the concept of feeling shame instead of pride toward a child that you would have never had shame in had you not known he was gay.

    What difference does it make who your son or daughter is taking to bed? That is a private matter anyway and not one you should be concerning yourself with if your son or daughter is an adult. I am truly sick to death of responses like this all over the nation. We are not horrible filthy beasts. Please make me understand the shameful feeling…. shocked I can understand, I can also understand being saddened by the fact that the dreams you may have had of your son/daughter having a beautiful wedding, etc. probably won’t happen…. but why shame? Have all your child’s great accomplishments that enabled you to feel such pride before become null and void?

    My heart aches for the son out there who has become shameful to his father just for being honest and open. Don’t get me wrong, I understand it must be very difficult to come to grips with, but if your son can be that honest and open with you, than he deserves the pride you used to have in him for respecting you enough to tell you about such an important part of his life. Believe me when I say it is much easier in many ways to keep your parents in the dark, and what pride this father may have lost for his son, I have gained even without knowing him.

  5. I am the parent of a gay son and the President of the PFLAG chapter in Jacksonville, Florida. I so remember the shock of finding out my only birth child was gay! I thought I would surely die on the spot. I felt like I couldn’t even breathe the shock and pain was far to much to take in. We talked and cried and talked and cried. Above all we held on to each other as if our very lives depended on it.

    See besides big a shock for me, all his friends told him that I would disown him when I found out. But I can tell you that I knew without a doubt that I really was not sure how I would survive this blow but I never thought of disowning him. He is my child and my love for him is unconditional. I remember so often telling God I wanted to be a Mother. I wanted to be a Mother since I was a little girl. I did not tell God I wanted a heterosexual son that would give me a dozen grandchildren and a wonderful daughter in law. I said I want to be a Mom.

    Well, I am a Mom and I believe the good Lord gives us what we need and what he thinks we can handle. Hang in there Dad! Look at your son. I mean really look at him! You will see he is still the same person you have loved since before he was born. You have found out something about him that you did not know but he is still the same person you have always loved. Give yourself time to heal from the blow but don’t turn your back on your family.

    Linda Kolosky
    President PFLAG of Jacksonville, FL

  6. I as a gay man think your son is very brave for tellin gyou about his sexuality, I am 20 and my father just recently found out about me from someone who outed me in spite. I always wanted to tell my father my self (my mother has known 4 quite some time) but now will never have the chance , This all actuley happend today and I am scared to death what my relation ship with either of my parents will be now. Try and take account of how scared and nervouse your son must have been … try and understand that when you live ina world are community that being gay is not accepted and is looked down upon it is very hard to build up the strength to be your own person let alone drop the bomb on your loved ones.about feeling ashamed … I can see why you may feel that way mabye you think your son being with a nother man makes him less masculine or less of a man , but thats very not true, whe i first told my mother her big fear was i would turn into a fem guy , but she didnt know i was gay before i told her and I am not going to change I am still the same person , as well is your son. I know it may not be easy but try to be happy if his life makes him happy . It could be alot worse he could be addicted to drugs a rapist etc.. I am writing this in hopes that mabye if my own father does not accept me i can help someone elses father accept them . Best of luck

  7. Hey, i just found out that im gay and i dont know what they will think of me when i eventually come out to them. Im scared i dont even know anyother gay guys. it saddens me. and i dont know what to do. thanks.

  8. Anonymous, I understand what it is like to realize you are gay and not to know what to do about it. I am 21 and have a family that I just cannot tell, I am also very religious and this creates conlficts for me all the time. Somehow I am surviving, and if you ever need to talk catch me on aim TRepublicanT.

  9. I am a straight man who is getting married soon (to a woman), and I hope to be a good father eventually. This post really opens my eyes to the realization that I may be faced with the scenario described in the original question. I would hope that I am as understanding as everyone that has written responses.

    Some of my coworkers have mentioned that if I do things like buy a kayak for my future son, it might prevent him from being gay and would avoid this situation. Is there any scientific proof of this? If I do not buy a kayak, would that necessarily be bad parenting?

    I guess I will cross that bridge if it comes, and I will look to the support of great organizations such as PFLAG and the American Kayak Association. Thank you for help and support.

  10. I just found out on Monday June 4th 2007 that my only child, my only son, is gay. The first feeling was anger, why didn’t he tell me? Then sadness, I won’t have any grandchildren or see him get married. Then I blamed it on myself, I should have never put him in dance lessons. Where did I go wrong, is it because he doesn’t have a father figure? I mean, I kinda have had a feeling he was, but I never thought that it would come true. The thing is that it’s ok to be gay. I always thought that homosexuals should be able to get married. Why not?! they pay taxes too! It’s just a sexual preferene. Although, I never thought it would effect my life. The next day I immediately called my employee assistance program to seek counseling, and I immediately called united way to find a support group. I need someone to talk to about this! I love my son, more than anything in this world. He is talented, funny, hansome, smart, witty, and …… he is gay. Since it is still new, I think that maybe this is a phase, so I ask, will you ever date a women? His answer is no. So it is true. Tonight I will go to my first PFLAG meeting. Hopefully being with others that have dealt with or are dealing with the same issue will give me peace. I have no one to talk to about this. My first counseling session is on the 14th of June. I told my son, to please give me time. He is still the same person, although, my perception is distorted. It’s me that has to change, not him.

  11. Well, I am a gay boy who is 17 years old. I found out I was gay when I was 10 years old. It was so hard for me to accept it and to understand why it happens. I have been hiding it from everybody and suffering alone. I was so afraid of what people would think if I came out. However, when I came to U.S as an exchange student last year I came out, I told my host family, my american friends and my Aunt who I visited while being an exchange student. Now, a week before going home I am thinking of what I am gonna do because my mom, my dad and my brother( who is straight) and my friends don’t know that i am gay. Even though I accepted myself and I am pround of being gay I am really afraid of what my family and my friends( most of whom are straight boys) will do if I come out. Sometimes I think I should because by doing this I would help other boys to gain courage and come out. The problem is that society shows us since we are born that the natural sexual behavior is that between a boy and a girl( which resent reaserches on sexual behavior have found this is totaly wrong) and then when a poor little boy starts feeling attracted by his male friends he thinks it is wrong, nasty and not normal. He thinks he is a moster!!! and consenquently he will suffer a lot. You guys who are not gay have no idea how horrible, sad and frustrateding for us when we see that we probably are gay. We need to fight and to show the ignorant that gay behavior is not wrong, immoral, unnormal or unnatural. I really think that a father should when sat on the table havind dinner with his family, ask his sons ” So, have you kissed a lot of girls or boys?” and not just “So, have you kissed a lot of girls?”. Because when he does that he shows his sons that gay behavior is normal for human beings and if his sons were gays or had gay friends, they would accept this way better and the prejudice ands! Parents don’t need to be concern that by showing that gay behavior is normal to their sons they will become necessarily become gay. A reaserch found that we are born with our sexual orientation and thus, a boy would’t become gay just because he has been told it is normal to be. Actually we don’t even need to see this reaserch to be 100% sure it true. We lnly need to use common sense. I mean, if a boy, who is told his entire life a certain sexual orientation is normal, was influenced by this we wouldn’t have gay boys nowadays, because we all are told that the only right sexual orientation is the heterossexual one. Besides that, another reason we should teach our kids a relation ship between the same sex is normal is that recent studyings have found that there is not only heterossexual, bissexual and homossexual orientations but there is some different orientations between them. Which easily would explain why some married men love their wife and women in general but sometimes make out with other men. I mean, they are not bissexual because they were they would feel attracted to both sex at a same “rate” and most of whom say they like more women but they still like men( but with less intensity).
    In concludion, I really hope that what I just wrote help fathers and mothers like mine to understand their children further and to think of gay sons and daughter not as a “production problem” but as a “normal human being” ( gay is not a genitic mutation or problem as Down syndome but a normal human characteristic that has been shown by the religion as unnatural and they have been wrong as they were when they said the planet Earth was the flat and the center of the universe). Don’t make gay behavior more complicate than it is. It will not change the son you know, it will not kill your son. What really will kill a lot of boys is the prejudice and the feeling of guilty they have bacuse they are gay!!! To finish, TO TRY TO GO AGAINST GAY BEHAVIOR IS THE SAME AS TO TRY TO STOP TO GO TO THE BATHROOM. IT WILL MAKE YOU SICK BACAUSE YOU ARE GOING AGAINST YOU NATURE. GOOD LUCK FOR ALL AND LET’S CHANGE FIRST OUR MIND SO THAT WE CAN CHANGE SOCIETY SHORTLY!!!

  12. To all parents out there who are struggling to accept their son/daughter’s sexual orientation, don’t despair! Just accept that your son/daughter has the same right as you, which is to live and love the way they naturally feel. Sexuality is something that an individual has no control over, as you will know from your own sexual feelings, so just accept that it is part of who they are. You don’t have to understand it, who ever really does? The key thing to remember is that whether homosexual or heterosexual, the one thing that makes us all the same is that we are all ‘homo sapiens’ , regardless of what our sexual leanings are!

    In a world where life is so precious, for parents and sons/daughters, is it really that important what consenting adults get up to in their private life?

    My advice to parents is, don’t blame yourselves and accept that it is not your fault and that no-one is to blame! You have no more of a hand in how your children develop/behave sexually than you have in determining the colour of their hair! While I don’t consider myself to be a deeply religious person, I have always liked the words of The Serenity Prayer. Hope you enjoy!

    “God grant me the serenity
    to accept the things I cannot change;
    courage to change the things I can;
    and wisdom to know the difference.”

  13. Rather than be ashamed, I would be so proud of your son for having the courage for finally being able to tell you who he really is. Think of how much your son must trust you by choosing to reveal such an intimate part of his life!

    Also, for a parent who has never considered a situation like this before, it is perfectly normal to be initially shocked, upset, or ashamed; this is a difficult and confusing time for you as well. What really matters is where you go from there. By choosing to seek support and find answers, you are already heading in the right direction! I would also recommend checking out familyacceptance.org; it is a website created by parents of a gay child that speaks out about how they were able to deal with their child’s sexuality and learn to grow as a family.

    Best wishes for you and your son!

  14. I found out 6 months ago that my daughter is a lesbian. It has torn my family apart. I do not accept this. There is no gay gene. There is no proof that she was born that way. The small percentage of gays and it is much smaller than kinsey initially reported have a very big lobby group behind them. Everyone is afraid to be called ignorant, or bigoted, or insane as I have been called. I feel as though I am already dead. I can’t wait to die rather than live with the knowledge that I raised a gay daughter.I thought we had a perfect family. I was so blind and trusting. I have sought counseling, tried many anti-depressants, and have come to the conclusion that this will never be OK. I will live my sad life until it ends. Just because it feels good, just go and do it no matter who it affects. She had lied to me for years, until I paid her tuition, sent her to study abroad, furnished her apartment,paid for her car, insured it for her. And when she was sure she was all set she told me 6 weeks before my daughter wedding. I don’t even remember the wedding. i was a zombie and still am. If my daughter was sexually attracted to her uncle
    or aunt would that be ok. If she couldn’t contol the urge to have sex with a 16 year old girl would that be OK too.Why is it not OK for me as aparent to tell my child I will not watch her live such a devint lifestyle. i’m sorry, but she and her female partner have no parts that fit together. I think it is disgusting and unnatural and I can’t even look at her without becoming naseaus. just because you want to do something doesn’t make it right.

  15. Like you Susie I have felt that I was alone in all of this. Feeling different from the way other parents can cope with this. Unfortunately my daughter came out to us a month ago and I dont think we will ever accept it.

  16. Parents of gay kids who can’t accept them and cut them out of their lives I would encourage you to watch the movie “So The Bible Tells Me So”. And listen to the mother whos daughter commited suicide because of their mothers rejection talk about her experience and pain that she now carries because of at the time she could not accept her daughter and now its too late.

  17. I don’t think we are alone in our feelings.My only daughter informed me she had a girlfriend 4 months ago.I still don’t want to give up the dream I thought we both had of her getting married her having children it will never be…the only thing I know for sure is we can’t choose our childrens partners.I will not let this ruin my life…this is a choice to act on her feelings they are choices …just ask a nun.It has changed are relationship…for some time…I THOUGHT I had done something wrong…all the while it was her living her life and not being up front.The groups for gays tell them how not to come out to parents until they are ready…she told everyone before telling us her parents.All the people who it wouldn’t have the impact on who said they supported her.I accept that she says she feels this way..I will never hold a rainbow flag,I don’t know what the future will bring…but she is dear to my heart and probably went through her own hell and our relationship has forever changed.Try to set bounderies in your mind of what you will think about when you think of your daughter.Things you can’t change that bother you give to God and let all the positive things be remembered and cherished.You need not change your own beliefs just remember the choices she makes right or wrong are hers to make.We are not alone

  18. Susan, I hope that you are at least learning to cope. It has been 9 months and I have tried everything I can think of to feel better and at least try to accept. I realize now that it will never happen. i cannot give up all of my beliefs, values, all that I know that has made me me and the kind of person I have been. I have been afraid of speaking up to my own children on this topic but no more. I recently told my daughter I was a good mom, in fact I was a great mom. She has made her choice. i will accept it but I will never give up on her. I just need to let her go to live her life and pray and wish that she will be happy. I can’t look at someone so beautiful lead such a destructive life, so will we not have any contact at all. We just go around in circles and say things that hurt each other. I don’t ever want to hurt her, but that doesn’t mean I have to stand by and watch. i can’t do it. I thought I was a strong person all my life, but I realize now I cannot be strong enough to handle this. I need to get a grip so I can at least pretend to be alive for my husband and my other children. Pretending is hard. Whenever I am not with other people, I cry. Sometimes I don’t even know I’m crying. The tears just roll down my cheeks. I hope you are a stronger person than me. I hope you can make it work for you. This pain is unbearable and I do not want you or anyone else to feel like I feel.

  19. David, I understand what you are saying and I will watch my daughter from afar. Through my other children. I am not rejecting her. She does not want contact with me because I dissaprove of her lifestyle. I am not sorry for not lying to her. She has surrounded herself with people that “yes” her to death. I am her mother. I have the right and a duty to be honest with her. She is a very strong young woman and I am not worried that she will commit suicide. I refuse to accept any more guilt for this choice she has made. She knows how much I love her. I tell her all the time. She knows I will never give up on her. I just cannot be a part of this life she has CHOSEN. We all have choices to make and there are consequences for those choices. I believe my daughter is in a very destructive relationship. I think she has some self esteem issues and really needs professional help to deal with them. She is in denial. Not everything is as black and white as what we see posted here. I believe I will be the one that literally will die of a broken heart.
    Should I try to make her feel badly that that could happen? I refuse to think about what may or may not happen and be guilted into pretending that what she is doing is OK. What is not OK anymore. It seems like anything goes now as long as you want to do it and it makes you feel good. Are ther any lines now?
    I want you to understand that not everyone can accept this. I think many parents just go along with it because they don’t know what else to do. I am sad for her and for my family. It is a broken home now. Thanks to all of you for listening and commenting and just for someone to talk to. I really appreciate your time.

  20. Hi Susie, Susan and Lynn. I can see by reading your excerpts that you are going through some inexplicable times. As a parent of a gay son, I can sympathize with you. The wedding will not happen as you have planned, the grandchildren may not happen as you have planned. However, there is hope for you and your daughter’s relationship. What is important is that you love her and want the best for her. What would have happened if you had a child that was born with a severe birth defect, you would have changed your vision of how to raise that child and your family as a whole would have adjusted. What if your child was in an accident and became paralyzed. Again, you would change your vision of how to care for that child and your family as a whole would adjust. If you child contracts a life threatening disease, again you would adjust your life so that whatever time you had left on this earth you could spend together. Being gay is not a defect, disease, or life changing accident. Whatever it may be, however it may be, your child is your child, and you love them, support them, hold their hand through whatever comes their way. They did not ask to be born, you wanted to bring a child into this world and you chose to give birth to them. At that point in your life, you made a commitment to stand by them and raise them to the best of your ability, whatever may come. Your child did not ask to be gay just like they didn’t ask to be born. I know life is hard. I know that life throws us curves, I have experienced one myself. However, my son is a brilliant, wonderful, caring, successful, human being. He will start college next fall and was accepted to the 7th ranked University in the nation for the field he will study. Can the fact that he is gay keep me from being proud of him or loving him, or supporting him while he continues his education? No, it can’t considering all the other positive things in his life. I guess what I am trying to say is that try to focus on the positive side of what your daughter has to offer. There is still so much life to live. Don’t waste the time that you have together on this earth. If you think your daughter being a lesbian is a negative, then cherish and embrace the positive side of her. You don’t have to ever accept the fact that she is a lesbian, just like you don’t ever have to accept a birth defect, disease or an accident. However, for the good of all involved, you change your vision and you adjust. You can be the pillar of your family. You are strong. Thank God for giving you a daughter to love. Thank God for giving you this chance.

  21. Well I know this must be a very hard time for you, however you have to try to understand your son. If it’s so hard for to TAKE the news imagine how hard it was for him to ACCEPT it himself! I am a 17 year old gay male. Trust me when i tell you that the reason why we come out to our parents is so that they can support us, and let us know we’re not alone. when i first told my parents they had a hard time getting through it, especially my dad. Unfortunatelly i barely speak to my dad now, and it’s very hard because reguardless of him not accepting me i love him because he is my father. I think that it’s just a matter of time, take you’re time. Whatever you do don’t leave your house because your son will think that he was the reason why you left when i know that tyou know he’s really not the reason.

  22. I put the words “gay”, “accept” and “parents” in google hoping to come across something that would give me hope and now I feel even worse than I did before I started reading these comments. I came out to my family three years ago, I had been lying to them for 2 months, disappearing a lot, I had fallen in love with a girl. I told them I was bi, they sat me down in my bedroom all five of them (mum,dad,2 older sisters& younger brother) and told me they would never accept it, never want “that lifestyle” around them, and begged me to not tell people in the area that we live, they were so embarassed/ ashamed. I shot right back in the closet, I hated them for so long, I still had girlfriends but it all happened on the side, secret, away from them like they requested, so they knew it was still happening but I think they were happier just not having it in the house or spoken aloud. The weird thing is that I moved back home and told myself that living this way was not so bad, still got the best of my family, while still being able to be myself on the side and now at the age of 24 I’m only just realising how naive I’ve been. I have to get away from them or I’ll never be ok with who I am, theyve installed in me this mentality that I have to lie, that I should always expect people to be homophobic. They told me society would never accept me and if i “CHOSE” to be that way then i would have a tough life. Having cancer is a tough life. Losing your legs is a tough life. Being homeless on the streets is a tough life. I have so much anger in side of me, at the things they said to me, the way they treated me, I know they loved/love me so much and ill never understand why not one out of 5 people looked up and said “hang on, this is our daughter/sister” and just think for a second that what they were doing wasnt right, but they didnt, havent. I had a panic attack on the bus last night, just out of the blue, I staggered home up to my room and just collapsed on the floor, my hand to my chest, I felt like my heart was falling out of me, I know that sounds cheesey but it was like I had to hold it in, I was just lying on the floor hugging myself thinking “why didnt they try?” I had spent a lovely day around my sisters house with my nieces and had a lovely evening with my mum dad and brother and when I have nice days with them it destroys me because I see how wonderful they are and Im so sad that one day I will have to stop this because one day I will have the courage to not live my life on the side anymore, move out of here and put myself first. When I have children I will try my best to never let them feel anything like this because it’s agony. my parents bought me into this world telling me they just wanted me to be happy and I believed them, they lied to me for 21 years, I lied for 2 months and they held those 2 months against me for 3 years, they concentrated so much on my short term lying that it overshadowed even the subject matter, they thought they could drown me in guilt so they would never have to talk too much about what I was actually saying to them- to this day mum looks up sometimes and has the cheek to say “remember when you changed? when you were’nt a nice person?” I want to scream back- “remember when you broke my heart”. They have eachother and I have them but it’s conditional.

    To the parents that are struggling with this, I get that its hard, I know why my parents did what they did, though ill never understand or forgive them, i know why, but it’s your daughter/ your son, you may have no idea of the personal torment they are going through themselves. You cant help who you are naturally attracted to, I hate the word “sexuality” because it’s so based on sex, and this isnt about sex, before sex comes the natural feeling of just liking someone, you cant force yourself to like a particular type of person if it doesnt feel right it doesnt feel right and you cant change that. Your children have to live the way that feels right and natural to them, if they dont, like me, if they live it on the side of what you want, theyd only resent you, hate you for it, what kind of life is that? believe me, from experience, it’s no life at all.

  23. It saddens me that susie is so strung over her daughters lifestyle in such a way that she feels she’d rather be dead then live through it.
    How selfish of you to think the way that u do? You say your family is falling apart because of this?? Well it sounds to me that you’re the one who’s falling apart because you cant accept it and you’re just taking the rest of your family down with you.

    & to compare a gay relationship with mere crushes of a relative?? Lady come on!!! With that type of down right foolishness, is it safe to say you’re daughter is better of dead than living a happy, healthy lesbian life? & by the sound of it, had she told you sooner, she may not have gotten the good education and support that most teens could really use now days. & that situation couldve played out far worse. Would you be happier going to bed at night knowing she’s earning her dollars by selling drugs, stripping for strangers or better yet, working that neighborhood sidewalk? Of course not! If you’re daughters life and well being matters to you, then you should start trying to build that bridge and get over it. Nobodys saying its gonna be easy, but the change needs to come from YOU! Not your daughter! She obviously trusted you enough to tell you, so quit blaming her for your lack of acceptance.

  24. I never said I thought my daughter should be dead. Never would I even think of such a thing. She knows she is free to live her life. I just will not, cannot, accept her lifestyle. She is who she is, and I am who I am. I am sad, very sad and really don’t care if I die tomorrow, but I have tried everything for my depression. You have no idea.
    I want her to be happy and if this lifestyle makes her happy, so be it. You are wrong to ask me to change who I am. I never speak badly of her to anyone. I will always love her but will never accept this choice just as she will never accept me for what I believe.

    Not everything that makes you happy is good for you physically, mentally or spiritually. If my daughter was doing drugs, or was a stripper and she was happy doing that, should I accept that as well because that is just what makes her happy.

    Get over it, you say.
    There is no need for you to be cruel because you don’t agree with me.
    Are we not allowed to have our own beliefs and opinions or must we go along with the agenda for us to be accepted as well?

  25. wtf people you think its a sortof illness! im gay and my parents are super fine with it, just stop being like its the worst thing in the world, i mean just think, it was already hard for your child to come out, he or she took allot of guts to tell you and trusted you and then you go and say thoes things! you must be ashamed of your selves! its your childs life, if your child is with a man or a woman just get over it! its his/her life!!! ooh i get it are you imbarrest about it are you scared what others might think?????

    and dont think your child is going to hell because he or she is gay! i think you are the one going for disowning your child or saying thoes things! be VERRY ASHEMED SUSAN!!!!!!!!!!

  26. You do not have to accept the fact that your son is gay. You should accept him for being your son. Then as time passes, who knows how you will heal. I have always heard that time heals all wounds.

  27. Some of these comments have made me feel so much better and some have shocked me. My brother came out to us a few days ago and my house feels so strange. We were all so shocked initially, and cried and cried at the news- not because there’s something wrong with being gay, but because we had never imagined that a member of our family would reveal themselves as being homosexual. It’s just so foreign to us all, as i’m sure it is to all families when a family member comes out. I know that I will accept my brother as being gay, and I know that my mother will get over the initial shock and accept him too, but it’s my dad who I’m most worried about. Like the “question asker” -the father who initially began this blog post- my dad is taking the news very badly. He has confided in my mum, saying that he just feels so overwhelmingly disappointed and upset- upset that his son is different to what he thought he was, and that his son’s life won’t turn out how he thought it would turn out. The thought that the question asker is seriously considering leaving his family frightens me. What if my dad is thinking the same thing? Leaving his family would only make things worse. Running away would leave his family crushed and broken and devastated, and imagine how guilty his gay son would feel if he left? I know that I can’t begin to understand how difficult it must be for a heterosexual man to accept that his son is gay, and I am aware that I have grown up in a much more gay-friendly generation than my dad did, but can I just ask: what’s so bad about being gay? OK so the idea of gay sex might be strange and even disgusting to some, and it must be upsetting to think that your son will never get married to a woman and have children, but if that’s what makes your son happy, you really must learn to accept it if you love him. Regardless of how upsetting and shocking this may be for a father, why should your son’s sex life have such a huge effect on YOUR life? Okay, so he has relationships with other men, but if your son was heterosexual, issues relating to his sex life would never make you consider leaving home. Why would you leave home just because he doesn’t have a “normal” sex life? He is still the exact same person he always was, he will still have the same interests, and his personality will not change. Homosexuality is not a disease that causes you to morph into a different person. Sex life and relationships are a private thing. Why should a father reject his son for the decisions he has made in a part of his life that should be private to him and only him anyway? All I want is for my brother and parents to be happy, and, okay, life is going to be tougher for us all now, but why cant we just live a happy family life? Two parents, and two children – a straight daughter and a gay son. We will still always be the complete family unit we always have been. In fact, i think this will make us stronger.

  28. My son just came out to me tonight after I found a sexually suggestive note he accidentally left out from a male friend of his. My heart is in my shoes. I’m sickened. He is my first born son, and he thinks he is gay. He’s only 16.

  29. My son told my wife he was gay and asked her not to tell me. She just broke down and told me straight away. I actually hugged my son and told him that I will always love him and would never disown him — but I also told him I will never accept homosexuality. I am now on anti-depressants and just cannot see a way forward. My wife says she has stopped living and that now she feels she just exists. I feel like I just want to die and leave it all behind. Homosexuallity digusts me, I’m sorry all you gay people on here asking for acceptance — some people just can’t.

  30. I stumbled across this page trying to find some help in rebuilding a relationship with my dad. I’m 23, and my parents found out I was gay when I was 19. I hadn’t told them, my dad had been using my laptop and my emails were open. So it was a horrible situation from the get go. From that day we have never had a proper conversation. We say “hi” and “how are you” like you would to work mates you barely know. I know he’s upset and will never accept it, but I feel hurt every time I see him because he’s my dad, and we used to have a great relationship. We played golf together, went to the gym once a week, we were really close. I had a huge amount of respect for him. I lost my relationship with him overnight, and after 4 years all I feel towards him is a mixture of hate and bitterness. My mum, after time, has taken it very well. I also have a sister and we have become very close, although I resent the fact she is very close with my dad. Basically my sexuality has ruined what was a very close family.

    My reason for posting this is to encourage other dads who are confronted with the same situation, to take time to think. I am well aware it’s not what you dreamed of for your son, but your biggest concern should be “is my child happy?”. I would give a limb to have a relationship with my dad, and I cannot help who I am or how I feel. What you need to realise is this is your SON, your OWN flesh and blood. Do you want him to grow to resent you? The best advice is to talk to him, be honest about your feelings and work together to build some mutual respect. I now no longer spend time with my dad. Find something you both enjoy doing, make an effort to do it together (golfing, bowling, whatever) which will give you a chance to talk and maintain a relationship

  31. A parent’s inability to accept their child’s homosexuality is selfish because it is based on their beliefs and level of comfort. It is equally selfish to inflict the turmoil, that comes with “coming out”, onto people whom you already know will suffer with this knowledge. No parent raises a child so that they can later say “I cannot accept you”. We are all selfish creatures, it is always “all about us.” But the heartbreak and pain one feels because his/her family is not able to turn on a dime and see red as blue is unreasonable.

  32. my dad hated me for being gay and i have never felt normal since that. i am only human and cant help who i like. YOU CANNOT HELP WHO U LIKE.

  33. I stumbled across this page trying to find some help in rebuilding a relationship with my dad. I'm 23, and my parents found out I was gay when I was 19. I hadn't told them, my dad had been using my laptop and my emails were open. So it was a horrible situation from the get go. From that day we have never had a proper conversation. We say "hi" and "how are you" like you would to work mates you barely know. I know he's upset and will never accept it, but I feel hurt every time I see him because he's my dad, and we used to have a great relationship. We played golf together, went to the gym once a week, we were really close. I had a huge amount of respect for him. I lost my relationship with him overnight, and after 4 years all I feel towards him is a mixture of hate and bitterness. My mum, after time, has taken it very well. I also have a sister and we have become very close, although I resent the fact she is very close with my dad. Basically my sexuality has ruined what was a very close family.

    My reason for posting this is to encourage other dads who are confronted with the same situation, to take time to think. I am well aware it's not what you dreamed of for your son, but your biggest concern should be "is my child happy?". I would give a limb to have a relationship with my dad, and I cannot help who I am or how I feel. What you need to realise is this is your SON, your OWN flesh and blood. Do you want him to grow to resent you? The best advice is to talk to him, be honest about your feelings and work together to build some mutual respect.

  34. Thank you all for commenting on this subject. I would have never imagined going through this. I am a father of 3 sons, my youngest just told me he was gay five days ago, he is only 19 years old. I accepted the news better than I thought I would…..And, no I don’t blame myself (what is there to blame?) I have been in law enforcement, (a cop), for almost thirty years and I thought I had experienced “it all.” But this floored me. I will pick myself up, dust myself off and get on with my life. But know this…….I WILL NEVER DIS-OWN MY SON AND I WILL ALWAYS LOVE HIM!

    Writing this has actually helped me, but I am saddened still. He will never know the pain I felt that day, and I pray to God the pain goes away or subsides soon. Although, I am accepting this and our relationship will flourish (I hope), it still hurts.

  35. My son informed us about 10 days ago that he was gay. First let me say that I have always loved and will always love my son. Regardless of what he does. If anything I’ve been calling him more since he spoke with us, because I want to make sure he’s not getting depressed or self destructive.

    He says that he and a friend decided that they were gay in 7th grade. I cant help but see a couple of confused kids leading each other into bad decisions. He’s had 8 years to deal with this, but he’s dealt with mostly in secret, or with people that take pains to be politically correct, or people that support homosexuality. In all that time he didn’t feel he could trust those that love him.

    There is verly little in the way of unbiased information available to him or us. I saw the suggestion to speak to the “gay friendly” therapist. Some people speak to church counselors. Neither the gay community nor the gay condemning community will allow honest discussion.

  36. I am male 30 yrs in india. I have been going thru this problem for almost more than 15 years but hate my homosexual feelings. I have been struggling with this and have gone thru some of the websites to change person from homosexual to straight. I have been struggling with and have approached some father figure persons to help me out but no one was interested to help me. I request if your is having homosexual feeling just give him a hug and tell that you are there to support for a change. Sure you can see a change in him. Its really very tuff when u have homosexual feeling eventhough you hate that have been going thru some sort depression for 15 yrs. Its really very tuff for kid going thru this pain. Hope my reply would be helpful some of the peoples here.

  37. My son announced he was gay when he was 20, 4 years later I no longer have a son as I cannot and will not have any part of this lifestyle in my family.

    It is abnormal and disgusting despite what the left leaning sympathziers want us to believe,


  38. I came out to my dad –a military man — when I was 17. Five years earlier my little sister told a joke about how “God created Adam & Eve, not Adam & Steve.” My dad laughed and seemed very pleased with her. I felt so rejected inside because I always knew I was attracted to guys. I wanted to blurt out that I was gay! It took five years for me to tell him! When I did, he said he was proud we had a relationship where I could talk to him about this and that he and his father were not close and that he loved me. I could tell he was really shocked though.

  39. My only son came out to us 2 weeks ago. He is 19. He has an older sister who is straight with a long time boy friend.

    My wife cried for a bit and got over it. I cried also, but have run out of tears. I love my boy, but will never accept homosexuality. I know me, and this will never happen. The very thought of homosexual conduct has always been disgusting to me.

    I coached him, went fishing with him, I poured my life into him and for that matter both of our children. I feel cheated and angry. The soundest scientifically done, non-politically motivated, studies indicate the chances of an only son being gay is about 2%. Why my only son?

    I’ve also come to realize however that because my son is different than other sons he needs my love more than most. He will always have it. I will do what most men would do. I will keep my thoughts to myself, and carry on the best I can everyday. As I write this I cannot even imagine the concept of true happiness however.

  40. I’m sitting here, with tears in my eyes. Had feelings my 19 year-old son was gay, but after reading his texts on his cell, I know. I don’t know how to deal with this. Reading these comments does help, but man, I have a long way to go in dealing with this. Being African-American, our community is really tough on the gay lifestyle. He’s in for a hard life and it kills me knowing how he may be treated.

  41. It’s been three years since our only son let us know. It has gotten only marginally easier. I try to remember how much I loved him…but it’s as if all those years were a lie. A lot has happened, the incidents between our son, my husband and I have been traumatizing. We take one step forward and two back. I don’t know if we will ever truly be a family again.

    It’s hard to watch your son be gay…the manipulations that are used to shut up the parent and force acceptance does nothing…but the opposite. I thought I was strong…and could face anything…not true.

  42. I have always known my son was gay from the time he was in his pre-teens. My entire family has always known including my husband. My son has tried his hardest to be what society thinks as normal… date girls but honestly it was painful to watch. Finally he told me, not his father that he was gay… and I said “duh!!” I celebrated with him the relief he now felt and of course we cried. I cried because I’m so afraid of how people will treat him and I want to protect him but I can’t. I can’t even protect him from his own father who said horrible and unforgiving words to him. My son handled his father like a champ but I’m so angry with him for being so hurtful that I’m thinking of leaving him. My children are my very soul I can’t imagine feeling anything but pure unconditional love when my son needed me the most and I’m having such a hard time wondering why my husband couldn’t do the same. He needs help but he would never seek counseling… maybe the threat of divorce will do the trick.

  43. I thought I would check back on this site after a couple of months. I hope other parents are doing well.

    It’s been 4 months since my only son at 19 came out to us. My wife and I get through each day. That’s about it. To a large degree it’s ruined our lives. I wish it were not so. We keep our feelings to ourselves. It is best to spare him the knowledge of the impact of this situation on us.

    My wife and I are educated people, not very religious, etc… Our objection is the abnormality of it, (life depends on male-female attraction, any other rationale is intellectually dishonest), and moral. It’s simply disgusting.

    If anyone has an idea when the pain goes away, let me know.

  44. I just finished reading all the comments of gays and their parents, almost all of them had touched my heart and my cheeks are wet and few drops are rolling over my chin.

    I am 21 years old only son of my parents along with a sister but unlike her I am homosexual and I knew this since my early childhood. Believe me its really tough to be gay here, being a citizen of Pakistan, a country where homosexuality is religiously and legally punishable and shameful and gays can get death penalty, i have always find my self pretending to be NORMAL, I have always molded me for others, but still my relationship with my father isn’t satisfactory although he don’t know about my homosexuality and we hardly talk with each other, because according to him I am not that strong and masculine that his son should be, it really breaks my heart and that is the reason he feels more comfortable with company of my cousins than mine. Its really very tough to be gay, I am an abstainer and still in closet but I don’t know how long will it work.

  45. Wow, all of these intolerant posts are very disturbing! I don’t even know where to begin. I think you simply believe your son is less of a man because he is gay. Is that it? If that is true then I feel sorry for you. I am going to make the not unreasonable assumption that your assessment of one’s manhood is based on things like how well one can throw a baseball, how hard one can swing a punch, and how many women one has slept with while you overlook the courage and fortitude it took for your son to be true to himself in the face of such adversity, and how he delivered you honesty at the risk of losing everything. And that right there is the real shame.

    Though a fundamental part of our being, sexuality is a small part of who we are overall and has very little to do with what we have to offer the world or contribute to society. I could never understand the fears you people expressed. All the gay people I know live lives as normal, happy, fulfilling, and as meaningful as their hetero counterparts.

  46. When my 20-yr-old son told me he was gay, he cried, he was scared that I would disown him, and throw him out of the house. This thought did not enter my mind once.

    I love my son unconditionally. Accepting his homosexuality, however, is a different story. I feel like my heart is being gripped tight. I am sad and hurt. But this is not about me. His homosexuality is about him, and the very real and tough lifestyle this has. People will ridicule him, people will discriminate against him, in the real world, it is a tough life to live. And I don’t want to add to his struggle, with what I regard as my own selfish feelings.

    I feel a lot like the earlier father, i cannot talk to anyone, I don’t want to talk to my wife or son, I just want to get by and live. For now, I will swallow my sadness, hug my son, and hope for the best.

  47. Ok…Not sure where to begin. I just found out yesterday that my son has been talking to his openly (Everyone in school and all his friends know it) gay friend. I have never disallowed my son to have this boy as a friend….But now this gay friend is pressuring my son into having some kind of relationship to find out if he (my son) is gay.
    I have read their IM’s and my son is stating he is bi-curious…My son knows that there might be a chance, That I will disown him.

    I might deal with this differently if he approaches me….But I don’t want him to kill himself either…I read all the time that this is what happens to teens that have no idea…and that even just having these thoughts…Does NOT mean they are Gay!!!

    Where are the support groups for people that don’t want to accept their gay child????
    Yes I’m hurt…confused…and yes..intolerant to all this.
    If it turns out that he is Gay….Damn It…so be it…and if he does take his life…oh well…one less in the world.
    Wow…That hurt to write. I have written/deleted/rewritten this so many times..I have lost track.
    Guess I’m just as confused as my son.

  48. RESPONSE TO RAUB – OHHH MYYY GOODNESS I cannot believe your comment “oh well…one less in the world” I’m SHOCKED! I was reading the posts because I’m confused and still working through personal issues about finding out my 20 year old daughter is in love with her best friend. It was not the Life Plan I had for her but it was my Life Plan NOT HERS. So even though I am working through some of my own personal struggles accepting this news I will come full circle with acceptance and OF COURSE I WILL NEVER EVER LET this news affect my LOVE or RELATIONSHIP with her. I told her that NOTHING would ever change HOW MUCH I LOVE HER and that I will stand by her in whatever life path she choosses. She is my sweet little daughter that she always was and its me who has to work through issues and support her and walk along her with her chosen path in life. Just reading posts like yours makes me sick to my stomach. ABSOLUTELY sick to my stomach. LOVE your son even though you do not understand him. He needs your support. Your LOVE for him should be BIGGER than your self pitty.

  49. And yet, generation after generation, GLBT people are born and in about the same numbers each time. Isn’t it time we started simply accepting that this is natural. loving those who are our family and friends and leave judgement alone?

  50. You all make me f*****g sick. I am gay and 25 years of age.
    Never in my life have I ever read such disgusting, rude, close minded hateful comments. Gays, lesbians, transgendered people DO NOT CHOOSE, DO NOT, to be gay or to have the orientation they have. For many they wish they could change it. When I was 16, every night without fail I locked myself in my room doing drugs and trying to cut into a vein, all because insecure close minded a**holes like you ridicule the different, I did not want anyone knowing what I was for the simple fact it was perceived as unnatural. Let me just tell you coming out was the most heart wrenching yet best experience of my life, I know who loves, cares and truly support me now. My parents said they loved me, LOVED me. Not anymore.

    I want to say to every ACCEPTING person on this forum you make gay and lesbian people’s lives so much easier. I have so much respect and if it wasn’t for the great people that see past the orientation, I would be in a coffin in a ground. You make us all feel so welcome and actually accept us for who we were born to be.

  51. The comments here are incredible. Some are great and encouraging! Others are frankly sickening. I don’t understand what it’s like to have a gay child and I’m sure it is very difficult, but I just don’t see how parents could disown a child for that. I struggle with same-sex attraction and am 24 and believe what the Catholic Church says about it, but do not understand how people can be cruel towards gays. Fathers, love your sons and be there for them even if you don’t agree with the lifestyle because your sons and daughters (regardless of orientation) need you in their lives. I’m so proud of all the parents who are standing by their children in spite of not being able to accept their orientation. It reminds me so much of my great and loving parents who are Christian and my mother is a strong believer which has contributed to me being very close to the Church. To the parents who have broken contact with their children over this, shame on you and I just feel so sorry for you that you’d let something like this change how you feel about your babies, your children. No, homosexuality is not a healthy lifestyle and just like any extra-marital relationship, it has the potential to be very, very dangerous (even more so than heterosexual fornication), but we cannot judge people based on their choices and make greater attacks on the already very low self-esteem that plagues the gay community because of not being accepted and having people make assumptions about our persons based on a difficulty we have (although I realize not everyone considers it a difficulty of struggle or sin).

    To the Question Asker, you’re doing the right thing by trying to get help and I hope things have gotten better 8 years later… My heart goes out to you and your family and to all who have shared their stories looking for help.

  52. I got the news today from my 20 yr old son.
    I have learned a lot from reading the above heat-felt posts.
    Thank you to all of you.
    It will help me cover the ground I need to do in order to claer the prejudice I have grown up in about homosexuality… when I was a teen it was illegal and perverted. The idea was ridiculed and gays were perverts.
    I understand now that my son, whom I love, had no choice to feel what he feels, and I admire him for telling us.
    I feel sorry for his private pain.
    And I hope he doesn’t find unhappiness from people who despise gays.

  53. Our son 31 is well educated, has just received his MBA and has a terrific job……His friend whom we have met is a nice person and we like him very much…..Our son introduced him as his partner, boyfriend to a couple who was standing with us at his MBA reception and my husband and I were shocked and devastated….We new they were good friends and had traveled and lived together but not boyfriend……… We are having a very difficult time accepting this….Our son has had girlfriends in the past and can function……..He says if we loved him we would accept him for who he is………We don’t agree….We will always love him…..He is our Son….But my husband and I are having a very difficult time accepting the lifestyle he has chosen……….I found this website very helpful materinglife.org (There is no evidence that people are born GAY)

  54. in all honesty whilst the idea of a gay child may well frighten you, well….think how your child must have felt, shocked yes, struggling to adapt maybe but all going on about how you will never accept or your families are torn apart….that is selfish, your children are human beings, creations of you…so what if they don’t become parents themselves or get married, it is not some divine right that you can expect grandchildren or marriage. at least you have children! no law says they must have a heterosexual marriage or procreate….please try and understand your children,

  55. God bless you all firstly. I am late seeing this but I still wanted to respond. Particularly to a man. Yes, the black community is rough on gays. Love your son! Help him to be strong enough to deal with what he’s going to have to face. Dont let him suffer alone or in silence! Think of how hard it’s ALREADY been for him!! It’s almost impossible! Especially here in the south (idk know where u live). My mom is coming around now slowly after I told her 13 years ago! It’s almost too late. I suffer from low self-esteem and I grew up being so ashamed of myself it turned into self loathing. I attempted suicide! You think it’s hard in him?! Imagine his hard it is for a gay back man living in homophobic black America with internalized homophobia existing within himself! Don’t let that happen! All if you! Please!!!

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