Thursday, February 24, 2005

A homosexual in the family

A homosexual in the family

By Bob Garon
TODAY Newspaper
Thursday, February 24, 2005 2:18 AM

He was a tough military man, an officer who had spent his life as a soldier, and now he was very angry with his son. The boy was 14 and had admitted to his mother that he thought he was gay. He confessed that he had no interest at all in women but felt strongly attracted to males.

He had kept this to himself, with the exception of a few similarly oriented friends. It was precisely his band of friends (all gay) that had alerted his father and caused him to confront his son. Trembling with fear, the boy nevertheless was able to tell his father the truth about how he felt. His dad was furious and belittled him and told him to “grow up and be a real man.”

The situation threatened to get out of hand and I was called in. The dad refused to listen and kept insisting that all the boy needed was to get into sports and have a few women and he would be just fine. In the meantime, there was no way that he could or would accept that his only son was gay.

There are few problems that cause more distress in parents than the discovery that their son or daughter isn’t “normal.” It is a shock for them to learn that Juan is a homosexual, or that Pilar is a lesbian. Long after all the evidence is in, parents will still remain in denial for quite a while. And some go to the grave without ever accepting the reality of their child’s sexuality.

The rejection of the child’s homosexuality is soon interpreted by him as a rejection of his person. It is difficult to imagine just how painful is the agony that young people experience as they deal with the reality of their own sexual orientation and the overt hostility they feel coming from a parent who is unwilling to accept the teenager’s homosexuality.

When a youngster is faced with the thought that he might be gay, he will initially go into denial. He instinctively knows the consequences of being gay. He is aware that if indeed he is gay, his lifestyle will be very different from most boys. He understands that he will be in the minority. A minority that is all too often mocked and scoffed at, made fun of and openly rejected by many.

He wonders too about his standing in the Church, which is quick to say that it condemns homosexual behavior but not the homosexual. This even if the Church expects him to refrain from any homosexual acts, never mind that he feels no urge to have sex with women. In fact, for many homosexuals, the thought of having sex with a woman is as abhorrent as is the prospect to a heterosexual man having sex with a male.

He fears the reaction and rejection of family, friends and strangers if and when they come to know the truth about himself. He worries even if God will understand him.

More tomorrow.


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