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Our gay son cut us out of his life

Last year our son came out to us in his late 30’s. We strongly suspected that he was gay only after he reached his late 20’s, but did not bring it up as so many resources we turned to indicated that we should allow the child to come out when they felt ready. So we waited. Although he was initially happy and relieved with our response (that we already knew and we were happy he came out to us), he now is angry with us for not helping him navigate through his teen years, the time before it dawned on us that he could be gay. He has lived out of town since graduating high school and has always been a very private person. He gave us no clue that he was so unhappy all those years. Now he has gone no-contact, completely cutting us off. He is still in contact with his sibling, who is also accepting, but was surprised to learn he was gay. We have been to two different counselors whose only suggestion was that we should write brief notes occasionally to open the door of communication, but he throws our notes out, unread according to his sibling. Beyond that he does not discuss his personal life with his sibling and discussion of us, his parents, is largely off limits. As far as his sibling knows he did not seek counseling, although we all have suggested it to him. We have never seen a problem like ours in all of our reading. We are heartbroken and don’t know what to do to repair our relationship.

Support for parents of LGBTQ Forums Discussion Forum Our gay son cut us out of his life

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    • ljts
      Participant
      #4575

      Last year our son came out to us in his late 30’s. We strongly suspected that he was gay only after he reached his late 20’s, but did not bring it up as so many resources we turned to indicated that we should allow the child to come out when they felt ready. So we waited. Although he was initially happy and relieved with our response (that we already knew and we were happy he came out to us), he now is angry with us for not helping him navigate through his teen years, the time before it dawned on us that he could be gay. He has lived out of town since graduating high school and has always been a very private person. He gave us no clue that he was so unhappy all those years. Now he has gone no-contact, completely cutting us off. He is still in contact with his sibling, who is also accepting, but was surprised to learn he was gay. We have been to two different counselors whose only suggestion was that we should write brief notes occasionally to open the door of communication, but he throws our notes out, unread according to his sibling. Beyond that he does not discuss his personal life with his sibling and discussion of us, his parents, is largely off limits. As far as his sibling knows he did not seek counseling, although we all have suggested it to him. We have never seen a problem like ours in all of our reading. We are heartbroken and don’t know what to do to repair our relationship.


    • Jackson Alder
      Moderator
      #4587

      This sounds like a difficult situation to be in and our hearts are with you. We’re not licensed therapists, so we can only provide insight or tips on how to navigate this from our own experiences.
      It’s great that you’ve sought out counselors to help you deal with your feelings and how to navigate this. It sounds like your son is setting a boundary of not wanting contact right now, and that can be very hard as a parent. It will take time and patience to repair the relationship but your son may also not want to repair it. There may also come a time when he does read your notes but that’s up to him.
      This is not an uncommon situation for parents of LGBTQ+ children. We hope that in time your son reaches out and wants to talk. If he does, we recommend reiterating that you love and support him, and want to be there for him however he needs. Finding a local PFLAG chapter in your area may be helpful as you’ll find other parents of LGBTQ+ children at their meetings who may have been through this situation with their kids. You can find your local PFLAG chapter at pflag.org/find

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