Strained Relations

Strained Relations: Help for Struggling Parents of Troubled Teens

Teen Rejected Parents: Fears of “Coming Out”

Posted by Marcia on April 5, 2010

I was talking with the mother of a gay man, and she said they had incredible family stress for several years. Once her son was around 15, he became sexually active. She and her husband had hoped he would wait until he was older, was worried about him taking precautions to avoid sexually transmitted diseases, and worried that some of his peers or others would beat him up or even kill him.

They tried to discuss their concerns with their son, but instead of really hearing all of their fears, he only heard that their concern was that he was gay. The parents did not care that he was gay and had already received information about parenting gay kids.

Meanwhile, he felt his parents were rejecting him and he left home at age 17. He stayed at friends’ homes and even on the street for awhile, eventually tiring of the experience. When he came home, he was much more mature and ready to both talk and listen. He learned his parents loved him and worried about him all along, and they were able to gradually repair their relationship.

Have you had an experience like this as a parent or a child? What happened, and were you able to resolve your family relationship? How did you do it?

2 Responses to “Teen Rejected Parents: Fears of “Coming Out””

  1. Linda Seltzer said

    “worried that some of his peers or others would beat him up or even kill him.”
    The teenager was right for leaving home. The parents have a hysteria problem and even worse if the above is the image of their son they are thinking about. A healthy individual does not have an imaginination of bizarre things happening to others and a failure to recognize that those types of thoughts are troubled.

  2. Marcia said

    Thank you for reading the blog and for writing, but I disagree with you.

    Most parents worry about their children. This was an example of a woman who accepted her son but worried about possible things that do actually happen to gay men. Matthew Shepard is an example, and there are others across this country. Parents worry, and worry doesn’t mean a child should proactively run away.

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