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No idea how to deal with this...anyone else done it before?


ironfreak247

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Ok...here goes:

 

My ex-wife and I believe our son is gay. Here are the details:

 

My son is 12 years old. My ex called me tonite and wanted to know some things about web browser history. I told her what I knew. I figured my son was probably lookin at some porn or something, but wasn't expecting to hear what she told me.

 

She told me the websites that were appearing in the browser history, when they were visited, etc. I checked em out...they were 100% gay-only porn sites. Not a mix of various porn...just exclusively gay porn. There was a hentai (animated porn) site also...and it was also gay-only. She also was typing in a search in Google...the subject she was looking for started with the letter "A" and when she hit the key, it auto-completed "anal sex". He's the ONLY one who's been using her laptop since I reformatted it and did a clean install of Windows 7 on it a few weeks ago. In fact, tonight was the first time she's used it since the reformat.

 

We are not intolerant people. We will still love him and accept him no matter what lifestyle he leads. But we need some advice on this. Is this confirmation that he is gay? If so, how do we approach him about it or do we even approach him at all right now? He's only 12 years old! He hit puberty kinda early...his voice is already changing and he's already got a moustache and body hair. Honestly, this comes as a shock but not as big a shock as what I thought it would be. He's always been feminine his whole life, both in his body movements and even how he talks sometimes. He never really seemed to take a "curious" interest in girls, although he's always had plenty of girls as buddies and even his fair share of girl admirers.

 

Has anyone here went through this, especially with a kid so young? I was curious about sex at this age, but homosexual tendencies are something we don't know how to deal with. What is the best way to handle this? Any help would be appreciated.

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Hmm...a pickle....I was going to say just let him explore etc etc but the internet can be a dangerous place.

 

He may come accross something much too "hardcore" for his age or even worse, be approached by undesirables.

 

Perhaps you could have internet security installed where pornography is blocked.

 

I wonder if you could talk to him without embarrassing him too much, saying something like "You know we love you no matter what...."

 

Tricky to answer! I'm sure more experienced people with kids will have better advice

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Difficult one unless he knows you look at the browser history - but you know, gays often want to be 'discovered' and I wouldn't have left that on the history if I'd been him and not wanting to be found out.

 

If you are able to be tolerant about this, which is great, then it's sort of the perfect moment to broach it with him, I'd say. Not in a heavy way, just, "We saw this - we were wondering - are you gay? Cos you know that you are loved whatever" (or however you would put that in your family).

 

My Ex husband is gay and he didn't come out to his Mum until he was over fifty - and was so scared (I later - YEARS later - discovered that he took our daughters, young teens at the time, when he told her). It's not unfair to say his whole life has been blighted by keeping that secret, it's affected him in so many ways, made him devious and furtive when he could have been open and loving.

 

So - if you are really okay with it, I'd say get it out in the open. And well done to you for being so understanding! (As my Ex's Mum was once he told her, what a waste of 40 years!)

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Well, he definitely doesn't know about browser history. And the "anal sex" search thing happened a while ago and my ex actually approached him about it. She said she made it clear that he wasn't in trouble, but just asked him if he had searched that term and he freaked out and denied it so she left it alone when she saw how he reacted.

 

I'm wondering if that was a preview of how he'll react if we confront him about it. We don't want him to clam up and deny everything, get angry with us or feel threatened or alienated.

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nature > nurture

 

At 12 to be looking at porn is a little more worrying than the subjects themself. I think I was something like 14 when I started to think that way, but I suppose it's more 'in your face' these days, and the internet has made it so available.

 

most important thing though is he's probably still struggling with the concept, so you're talking to him before he's ready probably won't help things.

 

perhaps your wife can drop into conversation every so often how much fun it would be if she had someone to help her with fashion (etc) referencing modern shows such as 'Gok's fashion' etc... where the gay men are celebrated . Even if it's as subtle as renting a DVD of a series like 'Modern Family' 'Six Feet Under' 'Gavin and Stacey' etc... where gay men are embraced and accepted in their family, I don't know. The more he realises it's ok, the more he's likely to open up about it in his own time.

 

Till then, maybe you should consider getting an anti-porn filter for your pc?

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It could all be plain curiosity but, if it were, then I would have thought he would have visited straight porn sites too.

 

It really is a difficult one to handle, mostly due to his age. At 12, your son can only be at the very early stages of discovering his sexuality and he could be completely confused by his feelings as he must be aware that his feelings go against the grain of what is deemed normal amongst his friends.

 

I think it would be best for you to approach him as soon as possible so that he doesn't feel alone in his thoughts or that what he is feeling is wrong or shameful. Far better for him to grow up comfortable with his sexuality than to feel the need to hide behind a lie as speranza's ex-husband did. I'm not sure that I would admit to seeing the websites he has visited though as that will embarrass him no end ... its rather like your parents finding, and reading, your secret diary. If it were me I would approach him with a father/son talk on sex and tell him that no matter where his sexuality takes him you will be supportive and will love him no matter what. Tell him you are there to listen if he feels the need to talk about things. This way you are making him aware that you have your suspicions and are completely comfortable with it but you are letting him come to you when he is ready to talk.

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I completely agree with this.

 

Honestly, I would NOT suggest mentioning the porn to him. When I was 9 I looked at lesbian porn and my mom confronted me about it and I was so embarrassed for weeks. I denied everything and it was extremely awkward and uncomfortable. I think that by mentioning this, he would DEFINITELY deny it, and then it would set things back even further. I WOULD change your internet settings though.

 

I would just have a regular parent talk with him about sex and mention that you will accept him and support him no matter what.

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If at 12 years old I had the internet available to show me all the things in the world I'd heard of but couldn't fathom, I'd have been all over it. If my parents were to make assumptions about me based on the kinds of searches and continued indulgences they would have found, I'd have been locked up.

 

Fascination doesn't equal intention.

 

I'd put parental controls on your family's computers and call it a day. I'd initiate talks and cautions and precautions about sex in the way you'd intended otherwise, only this is a big neon sign that you'll need to talk about that stuff earlier than you may have thought.

 

Kudos to you and your ex for your care and concerns.

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I love what jellybaby has written.

 

Just to add - I know quite a lot of gay men and they ALL without exception knew they were gay before they hit puberty (which astounded me at first). Most have told me they knew at 9. Of course it was more a general 'I'm different' kind of feeling to begin with - but still, they knew before I'd have assumed they were even aware.

 

Good luck to you with this, you sound very caring and loving, and that is what will get him - and you - through.

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If at 12 years old I had the internet available to show me all the things in the world I'd heard of but couldn't fathom, I'd have been all over it. If my parents were to make assumptions about me based on the kinds of searches and continued indulgences they would have found, I'd have been locked up.

 

Fascination doesn't equal intention.

 

I'd put parental controls on your family's computers and call it a day. I'd initiate talks and cautions and precautions about sex in the way you'd intended otherwise, only this is a big neon sign that you'll need to talk about that stuff earlier than you may have thought.

 

Kudos to you and your ex for your care and concerns.

 

Agree.

 

How much open discussion has there been up to this point? I would start talking - regularly, not one 'man to man' talk - and in general terms, not aimed at him. Raise issues and let him talk, listen to his opinions. Imagine him wanting to confide in and share with you about the kind of person he is...making wild assumptions is not the way to go.

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When my D19 was in junior high, I'd see kids making out all over the place - I mean, groping, humping, tongues, you name it; 12 year olds today are WAY past being curious - they already have it down pat. There was a study recently about what KIDS do, and what their parents THOUGHT their kids did...and it was about a 70/30 difference - the parents thought their kids did 30% of the stuff suggested, while the kids really did 70% of the stuff suggested. Just sayin' - we all want to think our kids are still our little innocents, and for the most part, that couldn't be farther from the truth. Your best bet is to just admit they know more than you want them to.

 

One thing boys DO do these days, is search the internet for everything under the sun. They just do. All D19's friends admitted that. If they don't do it at home, they'll do it at their friends' houses. So, no, that's not a guarantee he's gay. And you really don't want to make that assumption TO him. Let him come to you about that.

 

That said, a great way to get kids talking is to get them doing something where they are not facing you. Working alongside you, doing something together, and my favorite - going for walks. If you have a dog that needs walked, even better - instant excuse. Spend time with him where you are getting comfortable being side by side in some capacity, and have a 'reason' to talk. Kids love it when you give them examples, so they don't have to bring up their own. If I were you, I'd search for some good examples of news stories you've heard about people exploring their sexuality. As in, "You know what I heard about today, son? They had a story on the radio about this kid who saved a rabbit from a tree. Cool story, and it turns out he had been at that store because he was looking for a book about being gay. He said that he'd been wondering if he was gay for several years, and he was afraid to talk to anyone about it, so he went looking for books. Wow, I can't imagine that. I sure hope you won't be afraid to come to ME if you ever need to talk about something like that. That's what dads are for, you know...being there for his kids."

 

Find some way to segue into it like that.

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[...] Spend time with him where you are getting comfortable being side by side in some capacity, and have a 'reason' to talk.[...]

 

This side-by-side positioning is more important than many people realize. It's non-confrontational and the best way to approach discussions of any kind, especially with males.

 

I believe there is something hardwired in the human brain that relaxes defenses and prompts open exchange among equals when someone is at your side rather than face-to-face.

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I always took my daughters for a drive. Even if they WANTED to talk, which they usually did, they would ask to go for a drive, although we talk loads face to face too.

 

When I am working with kids, I often draw silly cartoons as we talk, I ask them to doodle along or colour them in. Or for older ones, I ask them to play me at a mindless Internet game... they are comfortable then and can access their feelings.

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Thanx for all the advice guys n gals. We've decided not to confront him about it right now since he's so young, and we haven't told anyone else in the family about it. We are going to bring up the subject a little more, non-chalantly and not aimed at him, just show him that we're open and accepting of that kind of thing.

 

The side-by-side conversation is a very good idea. My son and I are very different when it comes to interests. I'm into weightlifting and sports, tattoos, piercings, metal music and drums. My son isn't into being athletic, is a lil too young to care about piercings/tats, and his music tastes lean toward house/trance type music and he's really into japanese anime. But we DO have a few interests in common...video games and drawing lol. We're both game nerds and he's gettin more curious about PC's and I'm also a big PC nerd so we've been talking about that stuff alot lately. So I've got my activities to initiate one of these side-by-side convos.

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Oh and I'm gonna block out porn on the laptop he uses. Straight or gay, I really don't like the idea of him seeing porn so young, especially the kind of stuff that can be found on the internet. He's also gonna end up infecting the laptop with viruses and some of them are a pain to get rid of.

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  • 2 weeks later...

ok everyone...just an update on what's been going on.

 

My ex-wife and I have decided not to confront him about this just yet. I am in the process of blocking all porn. Yes, he's still been looking at only gay porn, even using my desktop to do it now, which is something I didn't think he'd do since he knows how much I keep tabs on everything that goes on with it.

 

I've gotten used to the idea that my son is probably gay...what really bothers me now is his google search history. He googled "suicide" and "homicide". This really disturbs me. He visited a site called link removed. I surfed it...seems like it tries to persuade people away from suicide and what may be making them feel like doing it. I can't comtemplate that my son would even be thinking of this!! He's 12 years old!! And he seems pretty happy-go-lucky here lately. When his mom and I split up...yes, he went thru a depression. But she and I are great friends, there are no arguments between us, and we even took him to see a movie yesterday and he really seemed to enjoy it. It was my weekend to keep him and his lil brother and we played video games, had some family over...it was a good weekend. He seemed pretty happy and talkative. It doesn't seem like he would be contemplating suicide, or homicide! Why in the world would he be looking something like that up??

 

I've told his mom about this also. We feel like we should talk to him...but will it make it worse? Maybe if we don't mention it but start to show him more attention, more consideration, more interaction...he'll realize life is not horrible, but a gift? I feel like we really can't mention the suicide google searching without it leading to the gay porn viewing. Maybe we should just get it all out in the open...damn I feel like this would be easier if he was a few years older.

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