16 Answers

My 14 year old has never shown any romantic interest in boys before, so it was a shock to me when he told me he thought he was gay. The same day I also received a call from the school counsellor to say he was suicidal. He suffers severe anxiety and is autistic. Last December he was very sweet on the girl next door, so I was shocked. I asked him why he thought that and he said he felt more attracted to males at the moment. I told him that doesn’t necessarily mean that he is gay, it could just be hormones, and that it is also ok to be attracted to members of the same sex, without being gay. He is a bit of a loner, no friends of either sex. I honestly can’t imagine him being gay, he certainly doesn’t act like it, so I am very confused. Either way it makes no difference to how much I love him, but I wonder if it the trendy thing to be nowdays? He goes to a rather progressive school which although fantastic, has some odd ideas of the world. So I guess my question is how do I help him know for sure, before he tells anyone else?

Posted anonymously, 17th March 2020

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  • Please reassure him that no matter who he is attracted to it’s okay. I would be more concerned about his suicidal thoughts. I would seek professional help and keep reassuring him that you love him. Hugs to you both.

  • First of all I want to say, good on you for supporting your son. Often for kids the hardest thing is talking to their parents about issues like this. I agree with the other comments, definitely seek professional help, but please keep in mind that sometimes it can take a little while to find a counsellor who your son “gels with”. Also there are some great animated videos available via amaze.org. It addresses issues in child friendly terms from primary to high school aged children. I suggest you watch them first and see if you think your son will find these helpful for his situation. Good luck mumma.

  • Please get him immediate help for his suicidal thoughts. Let him know that you love and care for him and show him nothing has changed. I’m also not sure what being in a progressive school has to do with him feeling this way and its not “trendy” to feel ostracized or confused.
    Maybe get some guidance on how to speak with him to help support him. It’s not easy so best of luck!

  • It might be he was rejected by a girl and now feels girls aren’t attracted to him. You are obviously talking to him and trying to reason with him. If it’s not working then I suggest getting a referral to someone who can help … a trip to your local doctor would determine this. I wish you all the best in helping your son.

  • Of course seek immediate help if he is suicidal, this cannot be easy for anyone.

  • Encourage him to talk about his feelings, he may be going through a questioning phase. Tell him he is loved and accepted no matter what

  • Oh wow, what an awful situation for you all. I hope you’ve got a lead on some professional help by now

  • I think “you’re gay” is still an insult to some kds; if your son does not understand interactions well, he may have misunderstood something said to him.

  • I think you discrediting what he is saying can make him feel more uncomfortable and want to keep thoughts in. Go with the flow and act supportive. He will figure it out. Whether he is or isnt, you being there will make the world of difference in his confidence

  • Struggling with his sexual identity appear part of a much bigger picture that your son needs professional help to untangle. A suicidal teen should never be left to sort it out themselves. They’ve gotten to the point of hopelessness because they can’t sort it out themselves

  • I agree with other comments the gay bit is not the problem it is the suicidal thoughts where professional help is needed.

  • When he is autistic and has severe anxiety I think that is already reason enough to seek professional help and maybe you have that already ? When you add him being a bit of a loner with suicidal thought I think there’s even more reason to seek psychological help and possible help from an OT. I wouldn’t worry about him being gay or not, at the age of 14yr old it’s rather normal to question your identity.

  • Suicidle is what concerns me more. Children are under intense pressure in this sometimes confusing World and being Autistic also compounds the problem. Speak to your local GP and get him some help so he can work through his emotions.

  • At this stage I wouldn’t be worried about trying to work out if he’s gay or not, but I’d be trying to get him help for his suicidal thoughts. There are so many great organisations you can access these days either face to face or via phone/online. Talking to qualified person will assist with the suicidal thoughts and perhaps even assist with his choice of sexualty

  • Dont worry about whether he is gay or not. Worry about his suicidal feelings. Get him to a psychologist to talk this out and find out if he needs help with anything.

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