The need for intimacy, for connection, and the attraction to others is the foundation of same-gender attraction.  The complexities and pain come from a lack of understanding of our need for connection, both personal and in society as a whole, combined with greed, pride, doubt, and fear of something different from accepted norms.  The solution is what it has always been:  love, acceptance, patience, moderation, hard work.  

My son taught me this today.

As my wife and I get more comfortable with our situation, our conversations are getting more and more open.  In addition,we have been to firesides hosted by SSA groups and have taken our kids, been to dinner with like minded individuals, we plan on volunteering at a local center supporting LGBT youth, and we are blogging about it.  My children are observant but most are young enough be in that wonderful state of ignorance from innocence.  My preteen son has begun to take notice.

My wife and I well aware of the need for privacy or being selective about who we share personal matters with, but we do not want to be secret.  God is not a god of secrets and secrets like this tend to come out sideways, in unhealthy ways.  It doesn’t help anyone to keep it secret and I can do much good by sharing my life story.  On the flip side, we don’t usually start conversations with, “Hi.  I’m SGA.”  As far as our kids went, we always intended to tell them but had not yet arrived at one of those conversations.  Mostly a developmental thing, I suppose, and it has been fairly new to us as well. Our younger children will grow up with it this way.

Today was the day for one of those conversations.

The pre-teen and I were sitting close together on the steps, my arm around his shoulders.  He was playing iPad, a strategic move on my part.  My theory is that semi distracted would be good at a time like this as it would allow him some form of control of the situation.

Me: I need to explain something to you.  I think you’ve begun to notice girls a little?

Son: (Playing Temple Run 2)  Hmm... Maybe.

Me: Maybe a little?  You know that feeling where you just like to be around them and it feels good and, and they make you happy and...well, you know?  (Almost all ability for coherent thought has been lost at this point.  I am so nervous.)

Son pauses playing long enough to give me a “what” look.

Me: Well, I think you have.  (Son gives the briefest nod of agreement.  Or maybe it was just in my head but that was good enough for me.)  This is for a reason.  We are supposed to want to be with other people and to help other people.  Also, when you start getting interested in girls some times you’ll feel really interested in them.  You might even start to get hard.  We’re supposed to want to have sex so we will want to get married have a family.  And it feels really good.

Son:  OK (still playing)

Me: But for some people, for some reason, something got mixed up and it made them be attracted to guys.  Or girls to girls.  It’s really confusing and hard to understand.  Your dad is one of those.

Son: (Stops playing suddenly.)  You?  Oh.  (slight pause and then a shrug). OK.

Me:  Yeah.

Son:  Is that why you have so many guy friends instead of girlfriends?

Me:  (Feeling validated in my belief that he had noticed, but also slightly confused at why he would think I would have “girlfriends”.) Um, yeah.  We understand each other and help each other out.  It helps us figure things out.  It’s pretty complicated being this way.  A lot of people don’t understand it.

Son:  That’s really good.  And did you think I wouldn’t understand?  I’m your son.  Why wouldn’t I?

Me: Thanks.  (I’m on cloud nine at this point.)  There’s a church in our area that hosts a group that helps kids that are like this.  A lot of them aren’t accepted by their families or are made fun of or looked down on because they’re different.  Sort of like people used to discriminate against the blacks.  

Son:  That’s stupid.  It’s not like blacks are any different than anyone else just because their skin color is different.  Same with you.  I mean, God made you that way so what’s wrong with it?  It’s just the way you are.  Why wouldn’t people accept it?

Me: (Floored.  I have never told him all of this.  I never said it’s just the way I am.)  Yeah, you’re right.  Do you know how many adults don’t understand that?  I guess people just get afraid of things that they don’t understand or that are different.

Son:  That’s stupid.
Posted by Lucas Jones On 2/02/2013 02:13:00 PM 3 comments

3 comments:

  1. Oh, if only my grown kids would have reacted with so much maturity and wisdom as your son did! You've raised him well for him to have such tolerance and compassion. And he did it all while multitasking with the iPod. Remarkable.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I love this! I hope when I'm married with kids that they will respond as well as your son did :)

    ReplyDelete
  3. That made me cry... You guys are an amazing family and you have amazing children!

    ReplyDelete

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