Your son probably knew he was different long before he told anyone.

Raising a Gay Teen Boy

by Candace Webb

An estimated 10 percent of the population is homosexual, according to an article published on the KidsHealth website. Whether finding out that your teenage son is gay is an affirmation of what you already suspected or a shock because you had no clue, the way you handle it can affect the rest of his life. Raising your gay teen son with acceptance, support and understanding will help him overcome obstacles that he'll invariably confront in this world. Your attitude and unconditional love will give him the confidence to be proud of who he is and move into adulthood as a happy, secure man.

Understand it's Not a Choice

Well-respected medical organizations including the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Psychology Association have determined that sexual orientation is not caused by the way a person is raised but is most likely instead a combination of biological and genetic components. Recently, it has become more acceptable to be open about sexual orientations, therefore, children are coming out to their parents at younger ages than ever before. Society's pre-determined belief about what a man should be like can make it especially difficult for a gay teen boy to have the confidence to be open about his sexual orientation.

He Has Probably Know for a While

Adolescence is the time when most people begin to recognize their sexual orientations. Heterosexual teens get crushes on members of the opposite sex. Homosexual teens get crushes, but with members of their gender. In many cases, the teens have known since childhood which gender they were attracted to. Your son might not have recognized it as homosexuality, but he probably knew that he was different than the majority of his friends.

Making Home a Safe Place

The typical concerns about grades, sports and friends might be even more stressful for your gay son as he navigates his way through adolescence. He might be unsure of how he is received at school, wondering if others will judge him and wondering when to come out to his friends. If he already has declared his sexuality, he might worry that his friends will drop him. Home should be a place where he can be himself and feel safe that he is accepted and loved. Open discussions should be encouraged and if he knows that his family stands behind him, he will be better equipped to deal with the world.

Seek Help if Needed

Supportive parents, good friends and an accepting school still might not be enough to keep your gay son from getting depressed or feeling alone. While society has come a long way in the past few decades regarding the acceptance of homosexuality, with 90 percent of the population being straight, your son might feel at odds with daily life. Therapy or group sessions might be helpful if he starts to feel overwhelmed.

About the Author

Candace Webb has been writing professionally since 1989. She has worked as a full-time journalist as well as contributed to metropolitan newspapers including the "Tennessean." She has also worked on staff as an associate editor at the "Nashville Parent" magazine. Webb holds a Bachelor of Arts in journalism with a minor in business from San Jose State University.

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