Social Question

DominicX's avatar

If you suspected your child was gay, would you ask them?

Asked by DominicX (28762points) March 2nd, 2011

If you suspected your child was gay/bisexual/lesbian, etc. would you ask them about it or would you allow them to tell you on their own time?

Apparently this was a topic of discussion on “The View” and I found it interesting. My parents never asked me despite their suspicions; they waited for me to tell them on my own, despite the fact that it took until I was 18 to do so. But I was well aware that they were both accepting of homosexuality.

On one hand, asking your child if they are LGBT could put unnecessary pressure on the child, especially if they are not LGBT or if the parents want their child to say “no” as a response. But on the other hand, it could make coming out a lot easier.

I don’t see much problem with it, but there’s a big difference between “and we’re fine if you are” and “you better not be”.

What would you do?

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42 Answers

marinelife's avatar

I would not ask my child about their sexuality. It is their business until and unless they choose to share it.

Blackberry's avatar

Nope. I would actually be kind of relieved because that would mean he had less of a chance of some vampire bitch draining his life force…....

GoJessGo's avatar

I would ask my children. We are very close, they know I love them and are supportive of them…what’s the big whoop?

Supacase's avatar

I’m not sure. I don’t think I would ask about her sexuality, but of course I expect we’ll have conversations about crushes, dates to dances and all of that. She will grow up knowing full well that I am accepting of all lifestyles, so if I ever do ask I feel sure she will know it is not a loaded question.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

@Blackberry I wasn’t expecting that answer when I saw the question. Jeez, don’t hold back.lol I was thinking their sexuality is up to them, let them tell me if they feel like it.

Austinlad's avatar

I don’t have kids, but here’s what I’d want. I’d want them to feel comfortable enough in their relationship with me and confident enough in my unqualified love and support that they would talk to me about anything. I know how pollyanna-ish that sounds, but that’s what I’d want.

Summum's avatar

I would ask because we were and are very open with each other. I have supported whatever they have felt would make them happy in life.

MyNewtBoobs's avatar

My dad’s wife has asked her daughter if she is (and that it’s fine if she is), and the daughter has replied no. Course, she’s only 15, and hasn’t taken an interest in either sex yet (so it may be a bit premature to know how her sexuality will go.)

tranquilsea's avatar

I would ask because I would want to support them as best I could. I’ve been very up front with my kids about homosexuality and how natural and ok it is. I would hope that they would come up to me but if they didn’t and I saw they were struggling then I would ask.

bolwerk's avatar

Why would I care? Caring about gayness is so 2004!

MacBean's avatar

I think I might ask. Or… I probably wouldn’t ask but I’d try to bring it up in a way that would make them feel like they could tell me if they wanted to and would be accepting. Because goddamn I wish my parents would do that for me.

incendiary_dan's avatar

Considering that figuring out one’s sexuality is a pretty big thing for a lot of gay people, I wouldn’t. It might rush them, stress them out, or something like that. Time is sometimes needed.

zenvelo's avatar

I wouldn’t ask before they were 20. My kids know I am accepting and just want them to be happy, but that does not mean they would be comfortable being out. And, while I am straight, and therefore don’t know what runs through the mind of a gay teen, it might force them to deal with something they are not comfortable dealing with just yet.

Jude's avatar

My Mom asked me. I said “no”, at first, out of fear (of rejection).

When I was ready, I came out to her.

flutherother's avatar

I wouldn’t ask and I don’t think they would tell me. It wouldn’t be too big a deal but I would miss grandchildren.

Taciturnu's avatar

Maybe, if I felt it were really a clear answer, but I wouldn’t act on suspicion alone. I think I would put most of my focus on letting them know they wouldn’t be judged and making them feel at ease to tell me when they’re ready.

zenvelo's avatar

@flutherother Gay kids and grandchildren are not mutually exclusive. I know a lesbian couple who met a gay male couple, who jointly have two kids. What a wonderful family! The kids live with the moms, but they all get together for family celebrations.

flutherother's avatar

@zenvelo True, but I suppose it is less likely.

iamthemob's avatar

Not at all. If they wanted to tell me, that’s on them.

Asking them makes it seem like a thing. It’s not.

janbb's avatar

Being me and being the open and somewhat clumsy person and parent I have always been, I imagine I would ask. My kids have always let me know when I am sticking my nose in where it doesn’t belong and I am good at backing out. We seem to have muddled along pretty well for most of the last 30 years.

Mikewlf337's avatar

No. I wouldn’t want to put him/her through that much stress. The child may have a nervous breakdown. I don’t have any kids but if I did. I wouldn’t ask them such a question. If I had a gay kid he/she will tell me when he/she is ready. I don’t ask anyone a question like that. It seems inappropriate.

12Oaks's avatar

I don’t see why not. Daughter, yes. I been working with this guy for over 25 years, and have no idea what his sexual preference is. I never asked, he never told. But my daughter, I would ask—just not now, that would be creepy.

blueiiznh's avatar

it’s their business. All you can do is create a safe and supportive environment and relationship between you and your child.
Teach them that they can do or be whatever they wish.
Accept that it is their own choice and their own life.

Bellatrix's avatar

I wouldn’t ask because I think it is their business and up to them if they share that information. I similarly wouldn’t ask my children if they are still virgins. I put the questions in the same basket. I would (and I think I have done this as they have grown up) let my children know that whether they were gay or not would have as little impact on my love for them as whether they have brown or blue eyes. Their sexuality is just part of who they are.

Prosb's avatar

I wouldn’t ask, it’s something I think they would need to feel out first. Then let them tell me when the time is right, and they’re comfortable with it.

Blackberry's avatar

@Adirondackwannabe I’m just saying…....Will Smith survived all that time in the movie I Am Legend, then as soon as a woman showed up, his bacon is eaten and he dies within 24 hours….LOL.

JmacOroni's avatar

No. I don’t think it would necessarily make it easier for them to tell me. I would think that being open and honest about how I love and accept them no matter what would be the key factor in making them comfortable telling me. Asking them would just put them on the spot for no reason.

podwarp's avatar

My mom asked me once, but I think it was more for her conscience rather than any real desire to know the answer. It bothered me, but only because I’m bothered when anyone feels the need to address that with me.

If I had kids… I’d hope they’d be comfortable enough with me to let me know what’s up. But no, I wouldn’t ask.

Supacase's avatar

One reason I would want to know is so that she would not feel the need to hide or pretend. I want her to have the teen dating life she wants not the one she feels I expect. I would want her to feel comfortable bringing her girlfriend over or telling me about a date just as much as she would with a boyfriend if she was straight.

Plus I still have to make sure the person is good enough for her regardless.~

Neizvestnaya's avatar

I’d want my child to tell me. Even if I suspected and even if others told me, I’d still wait to “be-in-the-know” to have that come from my kid.

aprilsimnel's avatar

I wouldn’t ask. But I’d let my child know if they had any questions for me at all that I was available and ready to talk to them. It’s tough being a kid; I haven’t forgotten. Were I a parent, I’d be supportive of my child and trust them to come to me when they wanted to.

perspicacious's avatar

I probably would not ask, but would make it a point to be sure my child knew I would not be devastated by such news. That would be very easy to do without making it about him or her.

casheroo's avatar

I don’t know. It depends on how openly gay they are, without officially “coming out”. If they are gay, I would hope they’d just tell me. But, I think to let them know at a young age that I’ll love them no matter what they do, who they love etc, it will open the doors so they know if they ever need to come to me they can.

SavoirFaire's avatar

I don’t think I would ask. When we eventually have children, I hope my wife and I will create an environment in which it is understood that one’s sexuality—including one’s sexual orientation—is not something to be ashamed of and in which it is clear that coming out to us would not result in any sort of disappointment. Although I really hope that by the time our children are old enough to be coming out it won’t be such a significant act anymore. That is, I hope coming out as homosexual will be as difficult in the future as coming out heterosexual is today: not at all.

Soubresaut's avatar

I know many have already answered different versions of this, but

If I were to ever have kids, I don’t think I would.
I wouldn’t want them to feel as if it’s something they have to confess to being. (Or, if my suspicions are wrong, confess to not being). I really don’t like how society has defaults in many areas that it’ll be assumed you are unless you specifically say otherwise.

I’d want them to grow up knowing that their sexual orientation, however they’re oriented, is not just a part of them, but a wonderful part. That they’d develop the confidence to be more than comfortable discovering and acknowledging all of their self, and do with the knowledge what they’re most comfortable with—I never want them to feel an obligation to disclose or withhold anything for anyone against their own preference and judgement.

Not to say I wouldn’t hope they’d feel comfortable being open about it, because I so would. I just would want it to come entirely, or at least as much as possible, from them.

MRSHINYSHOES's avatar

No. Why make a thing out of it? Just let him or her do whatever he/she wants as long it doesn’t hurt them or others, and as long as it makes them happy. I think the problem with our predominantly heterosexual world is that we heterosexuals make homosexuality a problem, or treat it as if it were some sort of bad thing, something to be avoided, shunned, or even scared of. When I hear other straight people in real life or in the movies/t.v. say things like “Did you KNOW he/she is gay?? Really?? Omg.” or “I think he’s/she’s gay. But I would have never suspected it!” Unfortunately, that sort of thinking is very commonplace and makes me cringe. I don’t want my children growing up with such a mindset.

SpatzieLover's avatar

I don’t think I’d ever need to ask him. My son tells me everything about himself.

Tonight before bed he shared that the wants to make “every single costume for Alice In Wonderland…so you’ll have to get a full sized mannequin…then I’ll need to make real sized shoes…then we’ll have to make that movie”. After that, he turned and said, “but I think I’ll be dreaming about Dorothy tonight instead”. he loves the wizard of oz, too

We’re doing our best to keep our home environment as openly communicative as possible. He already knows he’s different. He prefers to play with girls and dolls.

OpryLeigh's avatar

I don’t know what I would do but this reminds me of the time my mum asked me, in a busy cafe, “Leanne, do you think you may have gay tendancies?” She wasn’t worried either way she was obviously just curious. It has never been an issue. If I was going to do that to myu child, I probably wouldn’t do it in public the way my mum did although, it does make for a funny story!

SavoirFaire's avatar

@SpatzieLover I preferred to play with girls as a child, too. But that tendency stuck with me through adulthood!

MilkyWay's avatar

I would ask them… they might need support or someone to talk to, it’s not an easy thing to go through. I’d be subtle and want to help them, make them feel safe and want them to know they can talk to me and not make them feel threatened in any way.

SpatzieLover's avatar

@SavoirFaire Thx for the info. BTW-I didn’t mean my to imply my 5yr old is gay. We happen to be the type of parents that allow him to be who he is. Most people do not like to see boys with dolls.

gene116's avatar

@Blackberry That was funny! Unfortunately, “life force draining vampire bitches” come in both genders… Beware the ides of March and the LFDVB!

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