‘Mom, Dad, I’m Gay’
“Mom, I’m homosexual.”
Those three words changed my life dramatically. Our son Tony was 17 when he told me. We were at the psychiatrist’s office where my son was being evaluated for depression and suicidal tendencies.
I can’t say his homosexuality came as a complete shock. We had seen signs; but until the words were spoken, we never really wanted to believe it could happen to our child.
I couldn’t help thinking back to the beautiful little baby I had held in my arms, that adorable little boy on his first day of school, all the years that had passed since those innocent years.
The signs. We had been paying outrageous telephone bills for 2 years. Tony was making calls to a pornographic phone line. He had no male friends we knew, and he seldom left his room. My son would listen to depressing music, his appetite was poor, and his grades in school were terrible.
My response. My thoughts came back to the doctor’s office as Tony sat across from me waiting for some reaction. My heart was breaking as I cried silently, God, what do I say? How do I act?
It would have been easy to condemn, yell, threaten, get angry. But God impressed me, “I give you unconditional love; can you give him anything less?”
God was right. This was the same child I once held in my arms, the same child I watched go to his first day of school. He was the same person I loved last week, last month, last year. I couldn’t condemn him; I must give him my unconditional love.
I won’t say it was easy. There were days that followed when I wasn’t sure could hold my tongue or my temper.
What now? My son seemed a happier person after telling us he was gay. He started inviting his friends to our house. My husband and I welcomed them into our home and into our hearts.
I had read that homosexual desires arise from unmet love needs. I believe that is true because each of the 26 young men and women who came to our home wanted desperately to be loved. Not all of them were adolescents-they ranged in age from 14 to mid-30s.
Family interaction. After seeing us with our son, many of Tony’s friends decided to tell their parents about their homosexuality. I wish I could say it worked out well for all of them, but it didn’t. One boy was thrown out of his home. Another was severely beaten by his father. Some parents said, “OK, now that you told us, never mention it again.”
I must add that the news of Tony’s gay life-style was not well received by our entire family either. We have five children, four of whom are married with families. Our oldest son and his wife have decided to stay away from us. One of our daughters accepted Tony but not his friends or our acceptance of them. She stopped visiting our home. Our oldest and youngest daughters continued to love their brother and his friends as though nothing had happened.
My struggle. My son may have seemed a happier person now that we knew about his homosexuality, but I was confused, and felt alone. Whom could we talk to? Al-Anon was for families and friends of alcoholics. There were counseling groups for families of drug users. But what about families struggling with homosexuality?
Our family members were apprehensive and uncomfortable talking to us about it. Friends couldn’t understand what we were going through, and they didn’t want to discuss the issue. With the fear of AIDS most people treat us as lepers.
It was my experience that many churches weren’t doing anything to help. They tell you that the Bible condemns homosexuality, but they don’t tell us about God’s love for the person – the prostitute, the drug abuser, the alcoholic, the homosexual. We needed to hear God loves all people no matter how bad we think we are. God loves the sinner not the sin. When I found myself alone with no one to talk to, I talked to God. He always listens. He not only listens, He answers. I learned to hear Him.
Another world. I found certain terminology confusing. This was a whole different world to me. People talk of the “gay life-style.” Well, when I was growing up, gay meant happy. I have met very few happy people who are in the life-style, and those who claimed to be happy admitted that the happiness was not lasting.
Strange as it may seem, the support and understanding I received concerning homosexuality came from two young men in the gay community. Jay and Mark were both older than my son. Mark was a compassionate 27-year-old man. He let my son know all the hurt and pain that was ahead for him in the gay life. Jay was a young looking 33-year-old. He had been in the life-style for 17 years.
Jay gave me books to read to help me come to grips with my emotions. He told me to call him anytime day or night with questions or concerns. And call him I did. I had so many questions-some were delicate and some personal. But both of these young men were honest and direct and helped me tremendously.
Getting straight. Many people reading this will ask, “If they are so unhappy, why don’t they change?” Many would like to change, but they don’t know how. It can’t be done alone; there are too many issues. But the bottom line is that only God can change our children.
Parents must set an example. Someone must give them God’s Word. Most times children won’t listen to a parent, so find a Christian friend who can relate a biblical message to your children. Many people n the gay life-style do see homosexuality as sin; they need to know the truth of what God has said in His Word. It is their only chance for freedom from the bondage of homosexuality and their only chance for salvation.
Find the right church. Shortly before our son’s announcement I started attending a different church. I had always believed in God and attended services regularly. But I did not have a close personal relationship with Him. This new church was excitingly different.
I felt the presence of God for the first time in my life. After a few weeks I knew the Lord was by my side, helping me so I could help others. My attitude changed. Many people remarked that I seemed different. Even my son noticed the change and came to church with a few of his friends. One weekend the church sponsored a seminar-a group came to speak on topics related to homosexuality. This was a wonderful outreach ministry to the gay community. The main speaker had lived as a lesbian for 10 years, but with God’s help and deliverance she had been out of that life-style for 20 years. I attended the workshops that weekend and learned a great deal about helping my son. We had a service on Sunday evening, and I asked Tony to attend Then he said, “I don’t think so,” I left the house with a heavy heart.
I prayed on the way to church; and when I arrived, some of my friends prayed with me. About 30 minutes into the service, as I was praising God with my eyes closed, I heard a voice say, “Look who I brought with me.” I looked up, and it was Jay. He had my son with him. Tony hugged me and said, “Are you surprised I’m here? I sure am.”
I just cried. I knew God had heard my prayers, and this was my answer.
That evening the group prayed with my son, and he accepted Jesus as his Lord and Savior.
Changes. I am not going to say Tony changed completely overnight, but he started on a long road to change. Over a period of several months our phone bills got smaller and smaller until one month there were no pornographic calls.
Tony stopped hanging around the usual places. He stopped seeing many of his gay friends. He took a girl to a school activity.
He sometimes is tempted to slip back, but he knows God is only a prayer away.
Success stories. A year and a half have gone by, and Tony is happier than I have ever seen him. He is not the only success story. A 25-year-old man in homosexuality for 6 years was saved and is now engaged to be married. A 33-year-old man, a practicing homosexual for 17 years, is now out of the life-style. He says with God’s help he knows he will never go back.
The message. Parents, there is hope. God can help your child.
Satan would like us to think nothing can change a homosexual. But with God nothing is impossible. I say this because I have seen the miracles God can do.
(The above information was published by the PENTECOSTAL EVANGEL, January 1990)
Christian Information Network
HOW TO HELP YOUR CHILDREN INVOLVED IN HOMOSEXUALITY
1. Love them unconditionally. It won’t be easy, but you must do it.
2. Provide a listening ear, a place of warmth, security, and wholesomeness that sin can’t offer. The gay world is full of change, instability, unkept promises, and broken relationships.
3. Tell them you love them. Show them by writing letters, sending cards, phoning periodically, and inviting them for dinner.
4. Don’t condone what they do. But do be concerned with meeting the emotional and spiritual needs to set them free to live productive and fulfilling lives. God forgives them; can we do any less?
5. If you don’t know God, seek Him. Attend a church that preaches a full-gospel message. If you don’t find God in your church, find another church.
God hears prayers. It may mean you have to change before your child changes. Parents, get to know God and serve Him. Let everything you do in life be an offering to Him, and He in His infinite mercy will pour blessings on you and your family.
Change will take time. Have faith, praise God continually, and change will come.
Is it worth it? I am here to tell you, “Yes, yours and your child’s eternal life make it worth it.”