I need help- is my 17 year old son GAY ?

FIRST and FOREMOST. Please do not answer this question if you are just going to respond with some rude response. I am not interested in your version of humor. If you want to be a comedian go audition at a comedy club, this question is meant for a serious answer and helpful input.

I want to be clear about the fact that the only reason it would matter to me if my son is gay, is so that I don't do or say anything around him that would make it harder for him to "come out" and I certainly don't want to say or do anything that would make him feel like I would judge him if he is gay!

My son is 17 years old and hasn't had a girlfriend since 7th grade, he is going to be a senior in high school this year. In 7th grade, him and his gf were together for 6 months, which is a significant time for a kid of that age, and they seemed to be moving very slowly (which was fine by me) but she suddenly broke up with him and he was VERY upset! Since then, he hasn't has another girlfriend, although he has expressed his interest, to me, in a female friend of his. That was the only time I know of that he has had an interest in another girl since then.

Now, he has several female friends and it appears that he enjoys their company more than male, and when he has opened up to me about it, he has said that he doesn't know how to act around boys his age. I assumed that this was because I was a single teenage mom and the only other people that he was around happened to be female, so maybe he just didn't learn how to interact like a boy would? Another issue is that I see a different person that he shows to his best friend, who also happens to be a girl. I found some webcam video on my laptop that the 2 of them made, just goofing off, and if I saw this video from the outside looking in, and never knew the people in this video, I would assume that this boy is gay. Having said that, he changes his demeanor according to who he is around. He has pretty good grades, mostly A's and B's and he doesn't have much of a social life. He is pretty much a homebody and the only time he goes anywhere is really when he goes with one of his girlfriends somewhere.

Finally, this past school year was the first school dance he ever showed interest in going to, and he took a female date. This girl is also one of his friends and she seems to be on the tomboy side. She wasn't all dolled up like all the other girls, and to be honest she looked very uncomfortable in her dress!

I really get the feeling sometimes that my son has a real crush on his female best friend, he jumps at her every need and always talks about her. They had a fight last year where he didn't speak to her for about 2 weeks and he seemed sadder about it during that time. When they made up, he was really excited and told me right away that they made up!

I am really confused by his behavior and like I said before, I only ask for help because I don't want to make anything harder for him.

When I have expressed my feelings to him about how I want things to be for our family when he grows up , for holidays, family functions and things of that nature, I have always mentioned him and his wife. Because of those kinds of things, I'm afraid that I'll make him feel like if he doesn't like women, or if he has anything other than a wife, I would disapprove of him. So I am reaching out to anyone who has a similar experience or who has any helpful input for me. Thanks for your respectful responses.

18 Answers

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    DO NOT ASK HIM!!!!! its for him to know, and if/when he feels like coming out, he will do so. if you ask him, he's going to feel like you disapprove, regardless of anything else you've ever said or done. if you ask him, i can almost guarantee you that he will say he's not gay, whether he is or is not. its possible he doesn't even know what he is. i didn't when i was his age. if i were you, i would just avoid the topic of his future significant other entirely. if you say things like "when you have a wife" then he'll assume you don't want him to be gay. if you say things like "when you have a wife....or a husband, whichever you want" he's going to know that you think he's gay, which could offend him quite a bit if he isnt gay. and even if he is gay, it would be awkward. but yeah, dont ask him if he's gay. let him come out to you, otherwise he'll feel like he's guilty of something and like he's being interrogated.

    Source(s): been there, done that.
  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    From what you say about your son it seems to be a distinct possibility that he is gay. You are obviously a very open-minded and loving mother and that alone is very good for him.

    Only he can say whether he is gay or not. Since you are his mother any questions you might ask him are automatically routed through his teenage believable lie generator before the content of the question is considered. Teenagers are extremely good at giving their parents the answer least likely to cause them any difficulty, especially another question. I mention this because you might be considering asking him flat out if he is gay. While this would not be a horrible thing to do any answer you might get would not necessarily be reliable.

    I suggest you lay the groundwork for him to tell you when he is ready. If there is a relative or family friend who is gay or lesbian you might talk about them in a neutral and non-judgmental way (as I'm sure you would) and then add a few words describing how you feel about gay people. After a dramatic pause and maybe a "Can I go now" you could up the ante by saying something like "I will always love you no matter what" or "You can talk to me about anything no matter what it is."

    A young gay person is most likely to come out when they believe their news will be well received.

    You seem to realize that the highest moral value is the love within a family. For that reason I think this will work out very well.

    To really move things along contact your local branch of PFLAG, get some of their absolutely wonderful literature, and "accidentally" leave it where it might be seen.

  • 1 decade ago

    As a 26 year old heterosexual man with a few homosexual friends, I see nothing in what you have described that would suggest that your son might be gay. In fact, many young men face the same issues that your son seems to be dealing with... that of not relating to his peers and seemingly having some trouble in his relationships with the opposite sex.

    His lack of a girlfriend for the past five years is not something you should be worried about... some teenagers are in and out of relationships every other week, others date rather sparsely. It sounds to me like your son's breakup in 7th grade was something that he took pretty hard. He may have some confidence issues stemming from that which make it difficult for him to be assertive when he's talking to a female he's interested in. I would be willing to bet that a few of his friendships with females have come about because of him not getting around to expressing his interest in them soon enough to avoid becoming "stuck" in the "friend zone." I know that that happened to me more than once in my own teenage years. If I recall properly, I only had three girlfriends during high school, one relationship lasted a year, the other two for a month or so. A friend of mine only dated two girls in high school. In my opinion, teenage dating isn't all it's cracked up to be... I know my love life certainly got much much better (and easier) in my twenties.

    As far as his seeming lack of male friends, there are several potential reasons for this. The first one that comes to mind is that if your son seems like a bit of a homebody, it may be that he isn't interested in the same types of activities that some of the other boys his age are in to. And if you know about the drinking, drugs, and partying that many teenage boys pursue, you'll know that this can be a very Good Thing. Good kids kinda get the shaft when it comes to things like this because doing the right thing means not doing what everyone else is doing. Another reason could be that he simply prefers the company of women, maybe because he finds them easier to talk to or maybe because he just prefers being around women, a sentiment many straight men would share with him. Finally, it may be that your son doesn't relate well to other males because, as you said, he was raised by a single mother. If this is the case, the first thing you need to do is realize that it is not your fault. The second thing you should do is to try and encourage him to spend some time with some good male role models... relatives or friends of the family. Whatever the case, it isn't that something is "wrong" with your son.

    From what it sounds like, your son sounds like a lot of other teenage boys out there. I didn't see anything in what you posted that strongly suggests that he's gay. The video you spoke of may have just been him goofing around with his friend... who it does sound like he may have a crush on. But whether he is gay or straight, just be there for him and give him the support he needs. I don't think you should ask him about it because he may get offended and withdraw from you. I hope that you have found this at least somewhat helpful and I wish you the best of luck.

  • laocus
    Lv 5
    1 decade ago

    He could be gay, but he may also just have some self-esteem issues. It could also be that he's a bit more on the feminine side and thus has trouble relating to the more macho straight guys. That wouldn't necessarily mean he's gay.

    The best thing you can do is be supportive of him and make sure he knows that you love him. You might introduce the topic of homosexuality in relation to an issue in the news -- something that would allow you in a general way to let him know that you have no problem with a child being gay. "I read an article in the paper where parents kicked out their son for being gay. I think that's just horrible. A good parent loves their child regardless of whether they're gay or straight."

    Source(s): I'm a transgender lesbian.
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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Don't worry about him. He is what he is. Don't waste time trying to convert him. Nature made him that way. He had a girlfriend before as he was not sure of his sexuality and likely fought his true feelings. The only problem in this situation is that he has to surpress his sexuality. Be open with him and ask if he is gay. Make him comfortable and in no way allow him to feel threatened by his response. Good luck.

    P.S. Expressing your feelings about "holidays, family functions, etc" in a manner of how things should ideally be likely makes him feel horrible. He can still be the same part of the family if he doesn't produce a wife and children.

  • Ryo
    Lv 4
    1 decade ago

    Nothing you've said would suggest to me that he is gay, but that's pretty much irrelevant to what you're asking. You want to know what you can do to help make your son more comfortable and make it easier for him to come out IF he's gay. That's an admirable sentiment for any parent.

    The one thing my mother did was make a point of ensuring I knew, every now and then, her attitude towards homosexuality. She never really sat me down and talked about it specifically, but she would occasionally mention news stories or films or books she was reading where a gay person or couple were involved, expressing her opinion in a way that made it clear that she was gay-friendly. She also told me on several occasions that she didn't care if I was gay or straight, if I got a job as a cleaner or a doctor, if I lived in this country or abroad, just as long as I was happy. I found it a very non-threatening way of letting me know that she was ok with it.

    She also made a point of never referring to girlfriends or wives in my future, but rather "partners". I do remember her making a comment one Christmas about hoping that when I was grown up and had a family of my own my partner and I would come see her on Christmas Day.

    There are really two approaches you can take. The first is to be open and frank, sit your son down and tell him outright that if he's gay you will love and accept him. However, if he's straight, or not ready to come out, his reaction may not be what you're hoping for. The other is to subtly make your attitude towards homosexuality clear to him. Even if he is straight, this conveys a message of tolerance that he will hopefully respect.

    Whatever happens, I hope it works out for you and your son.

  • Anonymous
    4 years ago

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    Listen, I am 19 and confused about my sexuality. I like girls, they turn me on and I think they are gorgeous and would love to have a family one day. However, sometimes I feel attracted to guys and its something that has puzzled me since I was 16. I haven't had male figures in my life which may be a cause of my confusion, maybe i just want a father figure or a brother. In this matter I obviously can't relate to your son, since you have been there for him since he was a kid. But It is possible that your son is also trying to figure things out. I mean as confused as I am I can't just wake up one day and say "Mom I'm bisexual" or "Mom I think I may be gay". What if I "confess" today and tomorrow when I wake up I realize Im neither? How do I take it back? "Never mind, Im not gay or bisexual"...................... Things don't quite work that way, right? Even if I was to say that, that doubt about whether my confession was true or not will always be in their minds and very present in the future when (and if) I have kids and a wife. That would certainly make me uneasy. It is very possible that your son feels the same way. He may just not be ready. Im glad you support LGBT. Not because of my confusion but because I believe in equality. You say you make it clear but you should say things like "How can parents neglect their children for having a different sexual preference? I would never do that, I love my children more than anything." Now that the Don't ask Don't tell policy is on the news comments like that can be easily used without making it weird and so direct. Try saying things like that when he thinks you're not paying attention to him or he's at a fair distance where he can hear you but not feel like you're talking to him. I know I would like to hear something like that from my mother or sisters. Instead I hear "That's disgusting!" Hearing things like that makes me ask myself: What the hell am I gonna do if I can't figure this out? I have no one that I can talk to. Your son is very lucky. Give him time and don't make bold conclusions. Good luck. By the way I am also very comfortable being a male. I do not have any interest in being a female, looking like a female or acting like a female. I 100% accept my gender, no confusion there.

  • Anonymous
    6 years ago

    A lot of the previous answers make good sense, especially

    Ryo's answer.

    Try to avoid speaking about plans for the future that involve

    referring to "a wife". If he is gay, he needs to feel secure that

    his home and mother are a safe haven. Love him, no matter

    what his sexuality may be. If he is not sporty he could find

    solace in hanging round with girls, whether or not he is sexually

    interested in girls. Only time will tell, and 17 is still young enough

    to be unsure of his sexuality.

    I hope that you find a happy medium in discussing these issues

    with your son, but the onus is on him to express his feelings to

    you when he feels the time is right.

    Good Luck to you both.

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  • 1 decade ago

    It is refreshing in my old age to hear of someone like you, I am severely betting that you wouldn't try to run me over, ( I am actually being serious). as for your question, there are ways to find out, but unless you are well trained in being a stalker, just ask, ask if he is gay, or his opinion of gay people, be open, and don't say anything that may seem like if he is gay he will go to hell, or you will disown him, make him comfortable, anything afterwords will happen on its own accord...

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