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A Father's Reaction to His Very Young Gay Son

Posted: 03/29/2012 3:43 pm

Over the past few months my wife, HuffPost blogger Amelia, has been asked numerous times what I think about our 7-year-old son identifying as gay.

This is not something I thought I'd be writing so soon (OK, honestly, I never thought I would be writing a blog on an internationally known news website). When my wife and I were expecting our first child, we discussed what we would do if he or she were born with a disability or with a foot growing out of his or her head. Dealing with a child with a disability would be a life-changing event and something that we had to think about a lot. Possibly having a gay son or daughter wasn't like that. We didn't even have to discuss it, because it wouldn't be a problem. Although the head-foot would need to be dealt with immediately, we assumed we had 15 years or so before any of our kids said they were gay.

You know what they say about assuming: it makes all the asses come out in the comment sections of blogs -- people who don't know anything about my son other than the few guarded things my wife has written, and yet they seem to think they know so much. Let me say that most of the comments have been very supportive, and it's great to see the same people come to Ameila's defense whenever the occasional jerk butts into the conversation with some homophobic ideas. And many of jerk-butts (and some of the normal people, too) want to know what I think about this whole "gay thing."

The idea that I would be immediately disappointed/angry/suicidal that my son identifies as gay offends me, both as a father and simply as a human. It seems the further we all move along into the 21st century in terms of technology, the more some parts of society regress to the 1950s -- or the Victorian era, if we're being honest -- when it comes to ideas of social mores and attitudes on certain subjects: Ward Cleaver would have been angry if the Beaver had come out of the closet, so surely a father 60 years later would have the same reaction. I mean, come on, that's only common sense!

Excuse me while I roll my eyes for an hour or two.

I don't see how a father, or any parent, can look at their son, the one they've loved since before the child was even born, and upon hearing him say, "Dad, I'm gay," turn their back on him. The comments from men much older than me telling stories just like that break my heart. My wife always wants to adopt the teenage kids who write to her; I want to adopt the 60-year-old men who cry when they read that I tell my son how awesome he is. I don't care if they are as old as my father; they deserve love just as much as anyone else.

So many of the negative comments have been funny to Amelia and me because the people writing them obviously don't know our son. "Isn't your son's father going to miss teaching him sports?" "Isn't not having your child get married going to just break your heart?" "How does his father react to the prancing flamer that your son must be?"

First of all, as I write this, my shoulder is sore from throwing a football with him earlier. He loves sports (American Football is his favorite), and he can throw a really nice spiral, especially for a 7-year-old (although if he grows up to be my size, he'll either be a fine defensive end or the heaviest quarterback in the history of the NFL). And again, he's 7: as far as he's concerned, he's going to play all the positions -- at the same time. And if tomorrow he wants to start ballet classes, we will go to all his recitals and cheer him on just as loudly as if he were on the 50-yard line.

Getting married is up to him; single or married, he's still my son. If he and his maybe-some-day-far-far-in-the-future boyfriend want to tie the knot, they just need to tell his mother and me where to be, and we'll be there. Hopefully by then they can get married in whichever state they want, but if not, we'll just travel to one of the cool states and have a great time.

And the "flamer" comments... where to begin? Do effeminate men exist? Of course. Are all gay men effeminate? Of course not. But does it matter? Whether he grows up to be the manliest man in all mandom or the most effeminate guy to ever hit the drag-show circuit, he is my son. I want him to be loved, comfortable with himself and his friends, and happy. If that means he's the next RuPaul or Joe Montana (or just that nice guy in Accounts Receivable), he will know that being himself is important, no matter who he ends up growing into. And he will always know that his father loves him.


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by on Mar. 30, 2012 at 5:48 PM
Replies (81-90):
by Platinum Member on Mar. 30, 2012 at 7:45 PM

 I think it's wonderful to be supportive of your child regardless of their sexual preference, but I think at that age they really shouldn't be labeling it anything. Let him just grow up being himself without labeling it.

by on Mar. 30, 2012 at 7:45 PM

My daughter is 6. Hell the fuck no I wouldn't be "okay" with it, and shame on any who would.

Quoting Mommavieve:

So if your daughter came home saying she had a "boyfriend" you wouldn't be ok with it?

Quoting .BREE.:

Children deserve to be children as long as possible.

Quoting Mommavieve:


Quoting .BREE.:

I didn't read the article because I disagree. There's no way a 7 year old should be encouraged or allowed to define his or her own sexual preference.

by I Rock on Mar. 30, 2012 at 7:45 PM
So you are one of the ones who think you choose to be gay?

Quoting SevysMomma:

There is no way possible a 7 year old can be gay. So these parents allow him to know and care about if he enjoys penis or vagina more? Seriously? Then they need to be locked up.

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by Gold Member on Mar. 30, 2012 at 7:46 PM
1 mom liked this
You can't be "turned gay." If that were the case, many, many gay people would have been "turned straight" by crazy parents who believe that crap. Hint, hint.

Quoting SevysMomma:

You can only be turned gay at such a young age through negative influences you see in day to day life. Sue me. It's the fucking truth. No 7 year old should be thinking he is or isn't gay, he should be more concerned with school and friends and toys. It's disturbing he even knows the difference between gay and straight yet, so clearly there was something in his life that is turning him like that.

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by on Mar. 30, 2012 at 7:48 PM


I'm not bi. I'm straight, and I thought I liked girls at that age too. And hell, I liked boys too. I think children at that age are attracted to both sexes.

Quoting Kris_PBG:

Quoting mamaistheword87:

LOL! Wrong again! You are on a roll.

I am bi. I knew I liked girls at that age.

Sexual activity/drive and knowing who you "like" are very different.

by on Mar. 30, 2012 at 7:48 PM

I didn't read all the article but, kids are who they are.  Let them be kids.  Why be concerned with their sexual orientation when they are so youg.  They have better things to worry about like...who's going to be their best friend that day.

by on Mar. 30, 2012 at 7:52 PM
1 mom liked this
WAY TO GO, PARENTS!!! Every individual deserves to be treated fairly and to be supported by his/her parents, family, and friends. No matter if this boy grows up to be gay or not, the fact that his parents support him no matter his sexual preference can only be a positive influence in his upbringing.
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by on Mar. 30, 2012 at 7:54 PM
Great post!! :)
Posted on CafeMom Mobile
by on Mar. 30, 2012 at 7:55 PM
2 moms liked this
Quoting .BREE.:

Well sexuality is on a continuum, it is not a "yes" or "no" option. That does not mean this child's feelings are invalid.

Thank goodness for parents who know how to love their child unconditionally.
by on Mar. 30, 2012 at 7:56 PM
2 moms liked this

I think you ladies are more obsessed with the kid's sexuality than his parents. Chill the fuck out, dudes.

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