Frequently Asked Questions

In this web site we have outlined some questions and concerns which we have found to be some of those most often asked by parents who have recently found out that they have a child who is homosexual.

Q. Where did we go wrong?

A. Many parents feel a sense of guilt, that perhaps in some way that they are to "blame". The medical profession have been telling us for years that the way that the child turns out is the parent's fault. This may apply to some behavioural problems, but it certainly does not apply to homosexuality. You might feel that you should not have been so protective of your son, or that dad was not involved enough in his formative years. Or, that you should have made your daughter wear dresses more and encourage her in very feminine pursuits. All of these thoughts are natural for you at this time but they are all ‘false' notions. No one is at fault. To date, nobody knows as to what determines sexuality, whether heterosexual or homosexual, but we believe, with our experience with our children, that all sexual orientation is determined at birth.

Q. But isn't it "just a phase"?

A. The short answer to this is NO. By the time your child has worked out who they are and have decided to share this with you, it is definitely not a phase. This is a false notion that sometimes we as parents cling on to in the early days. The hope that some nice girl or boy will come along and "sweep them off their feet". As explained in the previous answer, sexuality is not a choice. This is not a phase.

Q. Should I tell family & friends?

A. The best advice we can offer to you is refrain from telling anyone until you have reached the point when you can tell without being upset about it. However, you may feel a tremendous need to share this news with someone. This is perfectly natural and we suggest that if you feel this way that you choose that person carefully. Be sure, that the person is someone who really cares about you and if possible, has known you and your child for some time. It does take some time to learn the truth about homosexuality and to be totalling accepting and unless you can be really positive about it, others will pick up on anything negative. Also, you must respect your child, as it is their life you will be discussing and you should ask your child's permission before you tell others. It is difficult to deal with the questions, which are so often asked by friends about each others children - Does she have a boyfriend? Do you think he will ever marry? After a while you will get tired of answering with the usual answers of – "They're too busy setting up a career" - or – "There's no one on the horizon at the moment". When you do feel that the time is right to tell people, it is probably a good idea to discuss it with one person at a time.

Q. Why did they have to choose to be homosexual?

A. Some parents feel that their child has chosen to be homosexual, sometimes as an act of rebellion. But this is furthest from the truth. No one "chooses" to be homosexual. Sexual orientation, whether it be heterosexual or homosexual is something that comes from within us all. It is part of our whole being and is not a decision. Do you remember the time when you made a conscious decision to be attracted to the opposite sex? No!!-- No that is right. It was not a decision on your part, it just "was", and this is exactly the same for anyone who is homosexual, it just "is".

Q. Aren't homosexual relationships purely based on sex?

A. This is utter nonsense. Whether homosexual or heterosexual, all humans want and need someone to love and share their lives with. Homosexual relationships are based on attraction, love, caring and sharing, just as heterosexual relationships are.

Q. It's okay, but why do they have to show "who they are" in public?

A. This is often something that we as parents feel uncomfortable with - open displays of affection. We only feel this way because of what we have been taught ourselves - all the negative things about homosexuality. Why shouldn't homosexuals be able to show that they love and care for someone, just as heterosexuals do all the time. This is our problem and we have to learn to deal with it. It may take some time for you to feel at ease with open displays of affection, but remember this is your problem.

Q. Should we take our child to a doctor or psychiatrist?

A. If you are thinking that your child needs to be "cured", this is a fallacy. Homosexuality is not a mental disorder or a disease. If your child is having trouble coming to terms with their sexual orientation themselves, it may help to get some psychological help for the reason of self-acceptance and self-esteem. Because of all the negativity out there regarding homosexuality, some young people may have a real struggle accepting the fact that they themselves are homosexual. This is when professional Counselling may help.

Q. Will my child suffer discrimination?

A. Well, unfortunately, yes. But changes are taking place and some peoples attitudes towards homosexuality are much more positive than they have been in the past. It is against the law in South Australia to discriminate against anyone in any areas of everyday life because of their sexuality.

Q. Now that we know that our child is "gay" and we are coming to terms with this - why do they "flaunt" themselves in various ways eg. Dress, hair styles, voice, effeminate or unfeminine behaviour, that they haven't expressed before?

A. In some cases this is continuous testing for final acceptance, but in other cases your child has now a real sense of freedom and can now be themselves. There is also the resetting of family limits. Really, this applies whether your child is heterosexual or homosexual - you may find some of your child's behaviour and dress, at times, to be quite outrageous. Usually there is a settling down period after the initial 'coming out'. If you can imagine being restrained for so long and then suddenly releasing yourself from those restraints, what the immense feeling of freedom would be like.

There are many more questions and answers. If you have some specific questions that you would like answered, please write them down and when you have the opportunity feel free to ask via E-mail.

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