Below are questions submitted by parents from the comment section of our popular article, “Loving Your Gay Child.” Answers are short but direct. If you would like to hear more about a particular question, please comment below. Additionally, if there is a question you want answered, leave it below.
I think my child is gay. What should I do?
As a Christian, you shouldn’t do anything without first praying. So, take a deep breath and pray, first. Then I would really process why you think your child is gay: mannerisms, interests, associations, or sexual. If it’s the first three, I wouldn’t jump the gun and say that your child is gay if he likes art and she likes sports. Many teens today like different things, and they are simply trying to figure out who they are. I would be more concerned if your child is getting into same-sex relationships or sexual activity (porn, sex, etc). If this is the case, see below. If it’s not the case, talk with your child, invest time into their world, regardless if you can relate with their interests or not. The more time you invest into what they are about, the more they will be open to you about who they are.
I caught my son viewing gay porn. Help!
If your son (or daughter) is viewing porn – gay or straight – then you need to help put a stop to their access. Whether you need to move the computer into a centralized place, install a web-blocker or internet accountability, or you need to get rid of the internet all together, as the parent you have full authority to control what your teen is viewing online. Viewing porn, especially gay porn, won’t necessarily make your child gay, but it will cause their attractions for the same-sex to increase, in particularly if same-sex attractions already heavily exist. It would be best to confront your teen, preferably by the appropriate parent, as quick as possible instead of allowing their actions to continue. Here are two great websites to connect with in regards to this area: www.xxxchurch.com and www.covenanteyes.com.
What do we tell our other children about their gay brother (sister)?
It would be good to sit down with your other children and communicate with them what’s going on with their sibling. Some counselors say to do this without your gay child around, and others suggest doing the opposite. Both options are ok to do. I think the main point is to talk openly about the situation. Making it a safe place, allow your children to express their emotions, questions, and other reactions. Assure them that their sibling is still the same person they’ve always known, and that our love for them does not (will not) change. Do they have a right to know, yes, especially if your children are close relationally and in age. My parents didn’t tell my siblings until they found out on their own, which wasn’t right.
How do we deal with other family members rejection or fears?
My grandma told me, that after I had told my dad I was gay, he called up his family and told them that “Shawn is gay, and if you have a problem with this, you’ll deal with me.” Now my dad never told me this (I wished he did), but his words meant a lot to his family and me. First, his message told the family that it wasn’t their job to accept or reject my decision, rather it was to love me as he loved me. If anyone had a problem with my being gay, they were to express their concerns through him, not with me. Secondly, by doing this it showed them, and even more me, that I was his son – no matter what. I think parents would be wise to convey the same message to their family members.
My son says his dad and I being too judgmental. We have affirmed our unconditional love for him but cannot approve of his choice. We need some guidance.
Kids want to be totally accepted by their parents. When a parent shows disapproval towards a decision, the child is often offended and takes it personally. This is especially true for those who are gay and have parents who do not approve of their decision to pursue a gay identity. Some parents totally shut out their gay child and refuse to amend anything until the child ceases to be gay. Flat out, this is a wrong and costly position to take. Some parents are able to fully embrace their child’s sexuality and look past what scripture has to say about the situation. I feel this is a wrong position to take as well. Then there are other parents who reach out to their son or daughter in unconditional love, while choosing not to condone their child’s decision to pursue a gay identity. Sons and daughters in this situation take offense at this and accuse parents (family members) of being judgmental. In this situation, I believe that the parents are right and the child is wrong. Not every decision he or she makes will be a good one, and parents have every right to not agree with a child’s wrong decision. The task at hand for your gay teen is that they understand this and respect this, just as they expect you to understand and respect them. Showing unconditional love to your teen does not mean supporting everything they say and do; it means you love them in spite of the good and bad decisions they make.
Help, my daughter has a girlfriend!
Gay teens want to feel accepted and loved for who they are. As they walk through the halls at school, they see their friends holding hands with those they love, and gay students want to do the same thing. Therefore, it shouldn’t be a surprise to you if your son or daughter comes home and says they are now dating someone. Fair questions to ask yourself would be, how do I handle their dating relationship and what boundaries do I set into place? A simplified answer would be, set into place the same boundaries you would set if your child were dating the opposite sex. It’s your house, and you have the right to lay down specifics about relationships, people coming over, sleepovers, parties, etc. However, I would make two big cautions. Not every gay teen is interested in having sex; they mainly just want some normalcy in their life through friends. Second, the same rules you apply for your gay daughter should be the same rules you apply to your other straight children, too.
My child is getting bullied in school, what should I do?
If your child is getting bullied in school because they are gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgendered, than you need to approach the school principal and board about the problem – and do not quit until a tangible solution has been carried out. The issue of bullying is a raging problem right now, and this is especially true for gay students. To ignore the complaints from your child about being bullied, or to brush them off as “just a phase that will pass,” will do more harm then good to your child. Gay teens are killing themselves over being bullied; this isn’t something that will just pass, action needs to be taken.
I’ve been reading reports, is it inevitable that my gay son will get AIDS or kill himself?
There are tons of reports out there about gay people – some correct and some incorrect. Yes, AIDS still highly exists within the gay population. However, if your son (daughter) is careful and monogamous in their relationships, they have a less likely chance of getting AIDS then if they weren’t. As for suicide, yes, chances rise for gay teens over straight teens. However, if you provide a safe, open, and unconditional loving environment for your child, then the chances of them committing suicide lessens. Not every gay person gets AIDS or commits suicide. A lot depends on the family structure and support they have standing behind them. Cover your child in prayer, and raise them in the love and understanding of Christ, and He will handle the rest.
If my gay child acts upon their same-sex attractions, are they still a Christian?
This is a heated and heavy question. Scripture tells us that it is by grace we have been saved (Ephesians 2:8-10), and that our lives should mirror that of Christ (Ephesians 5:1). For those of us in Christ, we are God’s adopted children, saints, and servants. Nothing can separate us from these things (Romans 8:37-39). The Bible is full of many examples of Godly people participating in sinful actions; the majority of them did not lose their position in Christ because of their sin. However, scripture also warns us of grieving the Holy Spirit and living against the ways of God. We are His children who have been set apart from the world. Your child being gay doesn’t forfeit their salvation, but it does put into question their commitment to Christ. I wouldn’t cast any stones, rather I would continue praying that God’s hand would continue to lead my child closer to Him.
For more info, check out the above links for “Youth Workers” and “Parents.”