Oh the Drama my Family Creates

Discussion in 'Relationships, Discrimination, and Jealousy' started by Gabriel, Sep 24, 2006.

  1. Gabriel

    Gabriel Member

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    Tonight was an especially awkward night for me. I'd go to a MySpace or a LiveJournal, but I hate those and no one ever has any real advice. So, I'm here.

    Hopefully the more than helpful members here can aid me.

    My nephew that I saw born, now 18, is a senior in high school. My family is extremely cultured, so he's mixed and stand out in his crowd; he hangs out with a lot of the preppier people at school and excels at sports like Football, Baseball, and Swimming. Anyway, I've always been close with him, he's always told me everything. Hell, I bought the kid his first condom. But today, he came out to me, and it was the most painful, excruciating thing I'd ever been through. He was more than scared, and more than concerned. I've never seen a person act like that before.

    He made some very good points as to why he was afraid of being gay. Surprisingly, his "friends" didn't bother him, but his future was what he was concerned of. He was afraid he'd never have children of his own, that he'd never be fully accepted by our family, and that he may not ever even find his true love, which makes coming out altogether "pointless."

    When I asked him what made him tell me, he told me it was because I was the only one that would understand. Now, me asking him that was probably stupid, as my family knows I'm gay, but I just wanted to know if there was more. And there was.

    Apparently, he and his best friend have been "innocently experimenting" since their freshman year, which I guess is normal. However, like always, someone got more attached than the other, and it happened to be my nephew. I didn't know what to tell him. I basically just let him spill everything, but I had very little input available for him. Someone, please help me out with this. I really don't want to ruin my nephew's senior year and I don't want him losing his best friend.
     
  2. findfirefox

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    Something that I still think about today...

    About the Best Friend thing, the only thing I could think of telling him is that some people just are not Gay, but how sure is he that his BF is really straight? I almost want to tell him to go for it... I'm really not helpful.

    *Points down at Sorcerer* Thats advice
     
  3. D_Elijah_MorganWood

    D_Elijah_MorganWood New Member

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    I can only speak from personal experience and informal gathering of information but it seems most of us go through something like what is happening with your nephew. It sounds like you're doing the best thing you can, being there for him. Be flattered he came to you and know you've already helped him more than you know.

    Being gay and having children are of course not mutually exclusive. His fears are real to him. Personally, my process of coming out was a long one lasting almost to my 30's. I've only stopped switching pronouns in the last 5 years. Coming from a "good" family, it's difficult to reconcile their expectations with being gay. High school is a terribly homophobic environment. Once this kid gets out of school and (hopefully) leaves home and goes to college, his life will change.

    Regarding his experimenting with his friend and becoming attached, this sounds like something I would have done. I was always the hopeless romantic and not into just having a romp (although I've done plenty of that too). Tell your nephew not to make a fool of himself clamoring for this guy. Remind him that there are many, many other young gay guys out there and that he has the whole world at his feet being 18. He has already changed his friendship and nothing can be done abou that. It's future lies in their ability to move on from this situation which may require some distance for aa while. You might mention it's not a bad thing getting a little experience before settling down. Being sensitive and romantic will make his journey more difficult. True love is out there, in spades. BTW, I don't believe in the one true love thing, I've been lucky to have had two. I'm lucky to have a wonderful partner who is the total package.

    Best of luck to you, I think you're doing great.
     
  4. Lex

    Lex
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    Fox and Sorcerer have given sage advice. I would add on the children point that many states are more open minded about gay men and women adopting children. Then, there are of course gay men who have children the old-fashioned way (before or after they relize their true selves).

    Supporting him as you are is the best thing for him. The isolation that can come from being gay is the first hurdle to overcome and he will need help with that at his age.

    Bravo to you.
     
  5. Rikter8

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    Good advice Gang...

    But your forgetting to Diffuse a MAJOR issue that I see (Coming from the depression and anxiety world)

    Be very cautious that this guy doesn't try to commit suicide.

    I know exactly what he is going through, and he being of "Preppy Mind" may think that this is the end of the world for him...and the only way to escape it, is to commit suicide.

    Sorcerer, Lex and Fox have good sound advice.
    I would tell him that High School is just that. People are cruel, Immature, and many don't even know what their own sexuality IS, so its perfectly normal for him to be experimenting and playing the field.

    Having children, in my opinion is STILL an option.
    I know MANY guys here in Michigan, that either had a child with a willing woman (The right, Legal way), OR adopted. But I know where he's coming from wanting his own.

    I would re-inforce him with confidence, and tell him that he IS NORMAL, and that College will bring so many new exciting opportunities to him.
    Get him in college - It will be the best thing in the world for him.
    Open minds, Open hearts, (and probably LOTS of open pants!), diverse culture, etc etc...the list goes on.

    College is the experimentation years.

    My best of luck to you, him, and If I can provide further help, dont hesitate to contact me...or him contact me.

    C
     
  6. fortiesfun

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    Already good advice here. I think the one thing you might do to help is separate the two concerns your nephew is presenting.

    1. Coming out is a big process. These days there are lots of good materials available, including a couple of interesting threads here at LPSG you might point him towards. Helping him get connected to a gay community is one of the most valuable things you can do. If he is concerned about coming out to the family, then an online community may be his main support while he sorts the issues.

    2. High school heartbreak is far from being a "gay" issue. I saw my own very het son go through it, and as a teacher I've seen it a million times in both gay and straight permutations. You can help him most on this front by sharing with him that it is a very normal experience to get too attached to a first love, and learning to protect one's heart a little is part of life no matter one's orientation. We all fear constantly that we'll never find love again, but it is perenniel. Reassure him that Mr. Right is out there somewhere, and until he finds him Mr. Right Now can be fun if he doesn't pressure him too hard.
     
  7. DaveyR

    DaveyR Retired Moderator
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    Some great advice already in this thread but I think No 1 quoted here might be most useful initially. You can't address all his issues immediately but conquering that feeling of being "different" or "isolated" is always a good start. Pointing him in the direction of a gay community would be a great way of addressing these and give him someone else outside the family to talk to which is often easier.

    You are doing a great job already.

    Dave.
     
  8. hot-rod

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    Just a few comments if I may....I'm now 58 myself but I felt the same way your nephew does. I think we all have a mean crush with our first experience. You are afraid and don't know what to think or how to feel. We all have to feel our way thru this. He's just 18 so really he doesn't even know what life is about yet. He will go thru so many changes until he becomes at least 30. My first was 9 years older than I was and I was 18 too. I worked with this guy and he was straight with a young family. I thought I was going to die because I couldn't have him. Couldn't eat or sleep, etc.. and I din't have anyone to talk to about it. As he gets older, a lot of these things will take care of themselves. I just think that as he gets older and more mature he will know how to handle these things and he will start to meet so many people like him and that will certainly help him grow. Just be there for him and try to keep him from doing something crazy because this will pass. He's so lucky to have you in his life. Many of us never had any one to help us thru this period in our lives. Anywho, I hope all is well and good luck. It will be OK.
     
  9. hot-rod

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    Great advice, great advice...wish I could have had someone like you to talk to way back in the day.
     
  10. Lex

    Lex
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    The statisitics on depression, suicide, drug use/abuse and risky behavior among gay men and women are staggering, especially among the younger generation. As he is introduced to the community, he will also need to be carefully taught how to protect himself from falling into the many pitfalls than are there. Sadly, there are older (than 20, let's say) men who would take advantage of a young man in your nephew's delicate situation. I comprehensive crash-coruse education is not a bad idea.

    Best of luck to you.
     
  11. jfrsndvs

    jfrsndvs Member

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    there has been a great deal of great advice given here, it's going to take him time to sort through some things in his mind, you being close to him, and that he can come to you is a great thing for him, he is so young, life will offer him many challenges, but as he gets older and matures more, he will learn how to handle them more, he is so young, his heart will get broken many times over, monitor his actions and what he is telling you.

    good luck.


     
  12. jdcnow

    jdcnow New Member

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    Great Advice thus far.

    Also, I would say, you MUST MUST MUST emphasize his personal self-worth. You have got to pound it into his thinking and shove it down his throat that he is a valuable human being with a great deal to contribute to this world...that he is a strong young man with a good heart REGARDLESS of his orientation. You are his soft place to fall (that every human being needs) -- that's good, keep it up.

    How he sees himself is KEY. If he has a poor opinion of himself because of this situation, you HAVE GOT TO make him question himself regarding that opinion and why he believes it. And he must do this questioning of himself in brutally honest fashion. Does he see himself as an asset or a liability to this world? And why? He has got to ask himself the tough questions, and he needs to be honest about the answers. You can help him with that.

    What I have just told you has helped me personally a great deal.:smile:
     
  13. NCbear

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    I second the advice here. I wish I'd had someone to speak with, when I was dealing with thoughts of coming out.

    When I was 12 and had just found out about "Gay-Related Immune Deficiency" (which later became HIV/AIDS) from a Newsweek cover article, I was sure (1) that I'd be ostracized by most people when they found out or were told by me or others that I'm gay and (2) that I'd be dead from AIDS before I was out of college, because at that time no one knew what caused it, how to prevent it, or how to protect yourself against it. And I'd swallowed all that negative bullshit about gay and lesbian people prevalent in the early 1980s.

    But when I was 18 and came out to my parents, while their reactions weren't the best, I still had a home. My true friends in college remained my friends. I was able to date, have safe sex, stay alive, and enjoy my life.

    I guess what I'm trying to say is that your nephew needs to know that everyone goes through the heightened emotions of a first crush, the fears of abandonment by friends if significant differences are noted, the self-questioning associated with beginning to date. Certain things, like holding hands or kissing in public, will be more difficult for him in most venues, but if he can learn to rely on himself and to tune out the negative bullshit, he can truly be happy -- whether by himself or with his life partner.

    Just let him know that he may have to be patient and wait for himself and others to mature sufficiently to sustain the kind of relationship he wants. Until that happy state of propinquity coalesces in his life, he should simply try to behave with honor and dignity, respecting both himself and others.

    NCbear
     
  14. fortiesfun

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    That is astonishingly profound in a small number of words. Plus, I learned a new word. Propinquity (once I found out what it meant) is poetically perfect.

    I have a strong respect for all the posters here. Lest we scare Gabriel too much, however, we should note that coming out to an older relative is one of the counter-indicators of suicidal intent. Keeping a close eye on the nephew for a while is a good idea, but unless he is voicing a suicidal ideation he is not an obvious candidate. It is the repressed and isolated that are in greatest danger.
     
  15. NCbear

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    :tips hat to fortiesfun:

    No, sir, you are the one with the way with words. I've enjoyed all of your posts--a rarity, truly.

    NCbear
     
  16. fortiesfun

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    Ah, shucks. :redface:
     
  17. SomeGuyOverThere

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    Apart from all the stuff already posted I would like to add that you should emphasise how much of a big step it is to get as far as to tell you.

    It probably took a lot of courage and a long, personal journey of self discovery to get where he is now. He isn't at his destination yet, but he made a good start in having the courage to tell somebody, and I congratulate you for being there.

    Relating to my own experience a bit - I have nobody I feel that I can tell, and am still hidden away from it all. It's difficult, but LPSG has helped. Maybe he'd appreciate that too, though that might jepordise your ability to speak frankly here.
     
  18. fortiesfun

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    Here is a quick word of support for you. This is a very difficult time for anyone, but I am glad that LPSG is a place that you find some assistance. Hope you will continue to talk this through with guys here. Lex's amazingly courageous posts sharing on this topic are worth a re-reading. Keep us posted, and know that the gay and bi men here are a greatly supportive community while you decide if and when you want to share your sexual identity with family.
     
  19. Lex

    Lex
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    This thread is LPSG at its best. Hands Down.
     
  20. Gabriel

    Gabriel Member

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    I definitely agree with that. Thanks everyone so much, I really feel like these are some things I can use to help him. He's spent the weekend at my house so we could talk things out, and right now he seems pretty normal.

    The suicide topic really hit me hard because he has Bi-Polar disorder and was only diagnosed correctly last year, so I am afraid that he very well could be a candidate. I'll definitely keep my eye on him for that.

    Thus far, I have offered up ideas of adoption and he immediately shot them down. He definitely wants his own children that come from his genes. Not sure how he's going to handle that one. He has the ability to sleep with a woman, so obviously he's somewhat bisexual, but finding a woman willing to carry a child for 9 months and completely part with it is a very difficult task.

    I've always known my nephew's best friend as I watched them grow up together. He's somewhat a part of our family though these past few years I haven't been a present figure at home. I'm not sure of his orientation, but he always came off as an arrogant guy, fitting in with the jock stereotype perfectly. Honestly, this entire thing still has me somewhat shaken. But all this advice has really, really helped and the fact that everyone took the time to help really means a lot. There aren't enough times I could say thank you.
     
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