So you think your son might be gay. What do you do now?
Statistics show 3.8% of the U.S. population identifies as gay or bisexual -- and that number is rising.
Researchers believe homosexuality arises from several environmental factors including the quality or lack of child-parent attachment or inadequate bonding between child and parent.
It doesn't matter if the parent is heterosexual or gay, as long as the child-parent attachment is strong and your child feels secure. Studies have shown that children raised in loving homosexual households grow up to be heterosexual.
The Atlanta chapter of PFLAG (Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians And Gays) published a guide to help parents who believe they are raising a gay child.
The organization says gay children who are not accepted by their parents usually have a higher risk of depression, suicide, drug use or engage in high risk unsafe sex.
"Sadly, many parents find themselves alienating their children and lose sight of what is truly important; their child’s love and well-being."
PFLAG says parents should not rush to judgment based on their son's body language or the fact that he hugs boys.
"Some parents act on every little sign that their child is gay, only to find themselves doing seemingly crazy things to find out."
According to PFLAG, it's usually not your fault if your son doesn't tell you he's gay. Don't take it personally. But if you really want to know, PFLAG suggests creating a dialogue between you and your son.
It’s best to start this dialogue when you begin talking to them as babies, "but anytime is a good time to start. Let your child know you love them unconditionally and mean it."
Leave the door open for your son to tell you he's gay
You will not turn your child gay by letting them know you accept the idea. When you see gay people or talk about them make sure it isn’t negative. These are opportunities to express your acceptance towards gay people and open the door for your child to tell you about themselves.
Ask your son how he feels about homosexuality
Create a dialogue with your son early, but don't push. [A]sk them if they’ve ever considered being gay. Be careful not to accuse or degrade the possibility if you want an honest answer. If a straight child feels like you think they are gay it can be equally harmful as not accepting a gay child.
Schedule an appointment with a therapist who specializes in sexuality
Take action if your child seems to be confused about his sexuality. Remember that homosexuality arises from improper child-parent attachment. Sexual confusion is one of the symptoms. Make an appointment with a therapist who specializes in sexuality. "Be careful not to choose a therapist that is based solely on a religious principle. Your child will feel alienated and as though there is no place to turn. They likely already feel alone."
Never assume your son is gay until you know for certain
"[D]on’t assume your child is not gay either. Regardless of whether they are gay or straight, they are your child and they need you. As their parent, you need them too."
Please note: The video screen grabs used in this post are for illustrative purposes only. The blog owner makes no assumptions about the boy in the photos.