What to do about your gay or lesbian child
If you think this is an odd topic for this column … think again. Untold millions of parents have a child who identifies themselves as either gay, lesbian, or in some way not entirely “heterosexual”.
No, I’m not gay. But if I was, would such an identity serve as a detrimental mark on me to the reader? I surely hope not, when it comes to treating me equally honorably and decently as a fellow human being.
Our children are much the same way. They just want to be loved … for who they are.
We now know a tremendous amount more about the scientific, sociological, and psychological underpinnings of human sexuality than we knew when I was a teenager growing up, when it was almost a “rite of cultural passage” among us “normal” heterosexual boys to “make fun” of such “queer” people.
Thankfully, I have since learned to love everyone exactly for who they are - regardless of their sexual orientation, religion, politics, disability, ethnicity, race, or lifestyle.
Over my career as a teacher, I discussed with more than a few concerned parents regarding their child’s (or young teenager’s) apparent tendency toward a “different” sexual orientation.
Nope, I’ve never (not even once) abided by the wishes of a parent who wanted me to “help correct” the sexual orientation of their child.
An ex-student I once taught - who also happened to be gay - put it to me this way when he was a young adult, “Mr. T., when you were my age you looked at women and felt a certain way. Well, I feel that same way toward men.”
At this point in my column, my friends, if you are finding yourself disgusted, disagreeable, or defensive, you might want to do a personal bigotry check on your own soul.
But don’t feel too badly, as I’ve known many a parent to feel at least somewhat the same way … at least, at first.