A few years back, my Mother who has custody of my kids, walked past my youngest sons room where he was talking to a friend of his. She overheard him say that he likes both boys and girls. Her reaction was minimal considering that her own son, me, had come out in 2011. 

I remember her telling me about it and she hoped it might be a phase. I knew better though. I did my best to brace her for the reality which was that the kid was going to need to be able to talk to her about it. She was going to be parenting a gay child whether she was OK with it or not.

Thankfully she is a great parent and took the whole thing in stride and understands that she doesn’t know everything. So she reaches out for help frequently. Having said that, the other night my Mother and I were talking and my youngest came up again. I wondered if they had any more conversations about him and his sexuality. After all, he was now eleven and most eleven year old boys were exploring at this age. I wasn’t shocked to hear that he had just plain told her one night that he was gay. I think he told her in secret and asked her to keep it that way. She took it fantastically and now she is going to reach out to PFLAG (Parents & Friends of Lesbian And Gays) for tips. 

But, I have to wonder, my son didn’t know I was gay. He still doesn’t. So that means he came out thinking he was the only one in the family. This begs the question, is it genetic? Did I pass this on to my son? I believe that I did and I truly think its a blessing and not a curse. I know some think different. (His youngest does know he is gay, all his kids do. Mom)

I have met a few other parent/child situations where the child was gay and the parent either came out before or after the child. Its things like this that I lean on when I get told I’m making a choice. My son didn’t make a choice and I know it. The difference is he was able to talk to someone about it early on, which makes him a lot stronger than I. I waited until I was 28 and thought life was over. 

I would be real interested to view the latest research on homosexuality being a genetic predisposition, like skin tone or hair color. 

Something else to celebrate if you ask me. “oh, she has your eyes dear!” is the usual remark, now it could be followed with “maybe she got your gay too!”. 

All right, maybe that’s a little far fetched…I know, I’ve written better!

With Love
Jeff Utnage