Questions & Answers
|Q: I'm a 19 year old lesbian. I came out to my parents a few years ago, and endured the ensuing conflict and difficulty that it brought with it. This included a huge amount of fighting with my mother (as you might expect), which has since simmered down to the rather good relationship that we now share, but my homosexuality has been swept under the rug at my house, and is never discussed. Because of this, I don't feel comfortable enough around my family to start dating someone, in case they find out and it all flares up again. Similarly, I want to help my mum with coming to terms with this, but since things are going to well lately, I really don't want to rock the boat by bringing it up again. I recently gave her a copy of 'Love, Ellen' by Betty Degeneres, but it has since disappeared from her bedside table after sitting there for a few weeks. On the plus side, she voluntarily came and watched a documentary with me last night about the Stonewall Riots in America (that is, I went to change the channel when she walked in, but she told me to leave it), which I thought was something of a step forward.
The main thing is: I don't know how to bring this up again without it making things difficult. I feel like it's becoming more and more of a problem for me, as I am young and, to be frank, lonely, but I don't think there's much I can do about it until I move out, which I can't afford at present as a uni student. I've considered making mum watch a LGBT+ movie with me, like Prayers for Bobby or The Thing About Jane, but I really don't know.
|A: Our heart goes out to you and the difficult position you are living in every day.
There are small signs your mum is trying to educate herself by watching Stonewall etc
As you have not discussed the situation with your mum recently , she may be thinking this was a "passing phase " as many parents do when first confronted with their child's sexuality.
We learn at PFlag that our sons and daughters have no choice over their sexuality as they has no choice what the color of their eyes were when they were born. Your mother will eventually understand this also.
We have an expression in PFLAG 'When our child comes out of the closet we go in to the closet' This may also be the case with your mum.
Maybe try to encourage her to ring PFLAG on our support line and/or attend one of our meetings. Perhaps you could start by printing out some of the available resources for her to read first.
Writing a letter or email to her maybe be a better approach if you are afraid it will become a shouting match.
We are concerned the pressure you are living under and the isolation you are experiencing.
Good Luck with your Mum and hopefully she will take the first step and phone us or attend one of our meetings sooner rather than later and you in turn are able to find support as well.
|Q: Our 16 year old son told us last night that he was gay, we were not overly surprisd and accept him,support him and love him no matter what but I just can't stop crying. It's sadness that his life will always be that much harder for him. Is this a normal response?|
|A: Yes, this is a common response. As parents, we have dreams of what our child's life will be like and to have that dream destroyed suddenly and unexpectedly is a shock and so we tend to grieve for the child we thought we had. The one that was going to marry a girl, have children etc.
We also worry for our child because it is natural to feel protective no matter how old our children are. We want them to have good life, be happy, have a good relationship, job and so forth.
When we find out they are gay and we know the discrimination that goes on, we worry about them and feel helpless and scared.
Please feel free to come to one of our meetings or another PFLAG group if you are not in Melbourne where you will find support and understanding from other parents and families. You are welcome to bring your son also since that can be helpful too.
|Q: Help my 18 year old daughter told me she's a lesbian am devastated so much that I made her leave home help |
|A: We hope by now you have had time to think about what has happened and talked to your daughter to try to understand. She is afterall, your daughter and you should love her unconditionally.
Sexuality is not something one generally has much choice about so perhaps you can come to a PFLAG meeting and try to learn about what it means to be lesbian and try to help your daughter who is going to be the one that will not be accepted by others and may face discrimination.
We hope to see you in the future at a PFLAG meeting. Other chapters can be found on the map of Australia to the left.
|Q: How do we tell our family and friends that our daughter is gay and getting married?|
|A: Well, if it were any of us, we would be thrilled that our same-sex attracted child is getting married since at the moment it is not legal in Australia.
It seems to work best not to get worked up about it and just do it as matter of factly as you would with a straight child.
"Guess what, our daughter is getting married to a lovely girl" :)
If they are real friends and loving family members they will be very happy for you all!
|Q: I'm 12, turning 13 in february. All my life I never even thought about my sexuality, I was just to young to care I guess. I had many "lady-crushes," on older, mentoring figures, but it was just and admiration to a strong, young, capable women who I wished to be like. Recently though, I went to my best-friend's party and met up with the youngest "lady-crush" I ever had, my age. We had been friends for a year, nothing more, nothing less. But at the party, we all sat down to watch a movie, and she claimed she wanted to "cuddle". NO one would so I took pity. She came over and sat in my lap and put her arms around my neck. Sometimes she would squeeze me tight and bury her head in my neck. I didn't blush, but I did get really nervous, and really self conscious. I got those "butterflies" that people always talk about. It's been two days. I tried waiting til morning so that I could think properly, but it didn't work. Instead, I found myself smiling at the thought of her. I have no idea what's going on... I recently came out to her and a couple other close friends as bi, but I didn't expect this at all. Do you think It's real, or just hormones and all that shit? Please help me...|
|A: You don't mention having crushes on men or boys so it may be that you are not attracted to them. Generally we know from quite a young age which gender we are attracted to. Little girls often play cute to men more than women and boys to older girls or ladies so, you see, it is there all along but it is when the hormones change in our bodies that we respond in a more sexual way.
Good luck with sorting this out; you are fortunate to recognise this at a young age and feel free to accept it rather than spend years 'beating yourself up' because you are not what society thought you should be.
|Q: Hello, my daughter came out at the age of 11 and im very supportive of her and her sexuality. From the age of 16 she has been dressing like a male, wearing bimders to hide her breast, she has told me she is transgender and although i support her i worry about her, she has been seeing a psychologist and a psychiarist, but i have not been offered any support. is there a group for parents with transgender children?|
|A: Thank you for your question and how lucky you daughter is to have such a wonderful supportive mother.
PFlag is for Parents and Families of the Transgender, Gay ,Lesbian, Bi Sexual community.
We do not know of a similar organisation only for Parents of Trans gender children.
You are more than welcome to attend one of our family to see if our group can provide the support you are
looking for during this time.
Look forward to seeing you at one of our meetings in the near future.
|Q: My step daughter told me she was bisexual. I told her her friends will except her for who she is, if they are real friends. But the reality is kids are cruel. I'm afraid that she's so young she's not sure yet about her sexual orientation to come out and say this is what it is. I don't want her to be hurt by peers. Do I encourage her to not tell anyone for now or just tell her her true friends will be there for her no matter what and encourage her to be open???? Please help. |
|A: You do not actually say how young your step daughter is. If she is in her teens, she will know and she needs your support to deal with this. It is unfair to expect her to keep this as a secret and live a lie if she is brave enough to come out and share this with others.
The fact that she told you means she trusts you to love her no matter what which is a great thing to be trusted with.
Try to help her to do what she wants to do and show her your support which will lead the way for others also.
|Q: My 32 yrs. old daughter told us she is lesbian and she has a partner , we are in shock, what I should do?|
|A: We suggest you come to a PFLAG meeting where you will get support from other parents of gay and lesbian people.
We have publications you can read and there are some in our Resources section on this site for you to start with.
It will take some time for you to come to terms with this news since you thought you knew what your daughter's life would be like and it has all changed. However, it does not have to be a disaster and, with time you will see that whatever makes her happy is really what you want for her so you will learn to accept her for who she is and welcome her girlfriend into your lives also.
Remember, it takes time to adjust and it is often helpful to talk to other parents so call our helpline or come to a meeting. All the information is here on our website by accessing the buttons on the left.
We hope to hear from you soon!
|Q: My 17 year old daughter has just said she's bi sexual how she hasn't had a girl or boy friend i think she's confused as a family we are devastated|
|A: Remember when you were young, before you had a girlfriend or boyfriend. Did you know you were attracted to one or the other? Well so does your daughter.
We don't need to have had a partner to know which gender we are attracted to. It is in our make-up.
Also, sometimes children say they are bisexual to soften the blow that they are same-sex attracted. Be prepared to accept her no matter what. This is a difficult thing for her to do and she needs your support to get through this time in her life.
We love our straight children even when they make bad partner choices because they are our children and they have to sort out their own relationships.
It is sometimes very difficult but it is not devestating when you look at it in this way.
You will find it easier to cope with if you seek some support at PFLAG or share with close family or friend if she is OK with that.
|Q: My son is 16 years old but his mental age is that of a 9-10 year old. He has told me he is gay and that he is attracted to 3-4 50+ year old married men in the family. I am not convinced he knows what being gay really means and is not very happy to talk...what do I do?|
|A: This is a tricky situation but perhaps you could talk to someone at his school about getting a counsellor to talk to him. Often an independent person will allow someone to open up when they do not feel happy doing so to parents. |
|Q: My son just turned 20 Last year he came out to me his mom Since age 17 he said he wasn't gay just experimenting...at 19 after a move to Austin he said "yes Im gay" He had a nice boyfriend that I met just over a mnth ago now he has broken up with him I noticed that he has become very thin and pierced h is ears and gotten heavy blonde streaks....walk is more feminized and he says he can't wait to turn 21 so he can have a glass of wine. Now I see on facebook one of his friends has pics of himself in drag with a man dressed in drag that sure looks like my son....Son finally admits to me it is him I further investigate and find web sites and videos of him perform ing dressed like Madonna Marilyn and others accepting tips from strange men hooting and hollering for him What next? I am concerned for his safety He lives with a cold and nondemonstrayive father who either doesnt care or is clueless I dont want my son to sell himself short and I hoped he would continue with college He goes out onto the street dressed like this and I worry so about his safety Any advice?
|A: We suggest you contact your local PFLAG chapter and there will be people there who can support you and have most likely had to deal with similar situations.
Since we are an Australian PFLAG there is not much we can do for you so please find your local PFLAG group and give them a call. We know they will support you! Good luck!
|Q: My son is 20 and gay he goes to Uni hes not very worldly and is not really mature even though he thinks he is but other than that he hardly goes out. I know by the questions he asks me and things that he says he's very lonely and it breaks my heart my question is can I do something to help him get through this hard time. I'm desperate |
|A: Most universities have a 'queer' group or similar which provides for socialization with other gay people which he could go along to.
There is also an organization called Young Bucks (see our links page) which is for young men to socialize and go out just to fill that loneliness and allow them to meet others who are in a similar situation.
|Q: I'm in my first relationship with a girl. I'm a girl and 18. I dont know how to tell my parents. Because I know how they will react and my relationship will fall apart. I dont wanna hurt my girlfriend. please help me. I dont know what's the right thing to do. |
|A: You don't say if you are in Melbourne but if so, we encourage you to attend one of our meetings and talk to the parents and other gay people who attend to help you talk it through.
If you are from somewhere else then it may be wise to contact the local PFLAG chapter and see if they can help you.
Talking to someone really helps.
Please see our meeting and contact phone number on the left if you would like to get in touch personally.
Best of luck!
|Q: How can it be that I have two bi-sexual children?|
|A: It is not uncommon for more than one gay or bisexual child to be in one family. We have had many families over the years with more than one and often there is a gay member in the extended family also.
Sometimes it is an uncle that never married but everyone just knew why and it wasn't discussed.
Although there is no real scientific evidence (gay gene) it does seem to run in families.
|Q: I have a step brother who has a tutor/homework helper my brother is 13 his tutor
is 21 he's been tutoring him for a couple years now,he's also really nice and has been keeping my younger half brother out of trouble which is great,anyway my half brother told me just recently he's bi but not to tell anyone (this doesn't count)lol, anyway I sat down with him and his tutor talked it over and i guess they do like each other but also agreed to wait a few years Any tips I could pass along to them? and don't worry i don't plan on saying anything to our mum. she would flip not to much leave my brothers tutor with out a job thanks guys
|A: Your brother is under-aged and the tutor should not be expecting him to have a sexual relationship until he turns 16. You may need to point this out to the tutor as there is an 8 year age gap and it could be construed as paedophilic attraction.
Please keep an eye on your brother with his tutor and if you are concerned, you will need to involve your parents.
|Q: My son 10 year old, at school today someone called him gay. He was very upset, how can I help him?|
|A: It is most likely that at school, the kids that say "You're gay" do not even mean it as "you're a homosexual". It is an unfortunate term that children use to mean stupid or dumb about lots of things.
Still it is not nice for your son to be called names and he may need to build up some defences against letting it upset him.
He can go to the teacher and tell them that others are name calling and get help that way. Another way to deal with it if he does not want to tell the teacher is to try ignoring it and not showing the perpetrators that he is upset which may cause them to lose interest in teasing him.
Let us hope for a better school year in 2013!
|Q: how do i bring my son up when im having a secret gay relationship with the lady we live with he is nine|
|A: It might be wise to call the Rainbow Families who are more equipped to deal with this question since most of them are gay parents not parents of gay children.
The contact details are on our links page.
|Q: My friend saw facebook photos of my nephew and it confirms like he is gay and in a relationship. I think he is open to his friends but has not told his father or paternal aunts. We have thought it likely for some time but believed he would tell us when he wanted to. He is 23 now and I am concerned he thinks we would reject him which is not the case. Should I raise it with him to reassure him of all of our unconditional love or should I continue to regard it as his information which he may choose to share with some people but not others? I want to support him but not sure what would better option.|
|A: Thank you for your question. We have heard at many of our PFlag meetings a similar situation.
Maybe if a topic comes up in the news about a gay issue you could bring it into the conversation in a positive manner and your nephew would see you are are not negative about gay people.
It is up to each person to come out as he/she chooses and as he is 23 he is an adult and has the right to choose who he wants to discuss his sexuality with and when.
The most important message is to show support and respect towards his community and the rest will fall in to place , hopefully.
|Q: Found out my nephew is gay. Whist some of his maternal family know he has not told any of his paternal family, including me. I know he would be very worried what his dad would think. However I know my brother thinks he may be. Shall I ask him or wait until he feels he wants to let me know. |
|A: If he has not come out to his father, he is probably concerned of his reaction to the news. Do you know what your brother thinks of this idea? If he thinks his son is gay, is he anxious about it or does he seem accepting?
It is usually best to let the gay person tell you but sometimes, if you think it is helpful you can have a quiet chat with him especially if you can reassure him that his dad will be accepting and loves him no matter what.
Good luck deciding what to do!
|Q: Are there forums or places I can go for help on how to deal with my 13 year old telling me she gay or at minimum bi/? I will love her the same regardless, but since I don't know those feeling, etc, I am not one to give her advice:(
|A: You are here! There are some resources you can read in our Resources section of this site. You can download some PDF files and read them later if you like.
Further more you can call our helpline listed in the Contact Us section. We have a recorded service but our phone volunteers check the messages each day and will get back to you if you leave a contact number and best time to call.
And of course, we would love you to come to our meetings where you can meet in person other parents and talk about what they have experienced which may help you also.
|Q: my sister in law has told me she thinks my brother is gay , she says she thinks he is sleepping with men, he will not talk about it to her and has no idea she has told my mum and I she is happy to stay with him if he stops,he is 48 and they have never had sex properly,what do we do keep out of it or confront my brother, noone cares if he is gay just want him to be happy,he has told her if she says anything to his family he will have to move to scotland of course he wont but sad that he thinks that, but has not openly admitted doing anything , do you think he is gay ?|
|A: What you have said makes it sound like your brother is gay and has never been able to admit it to anyone. He seems ashamed and thinks his family will disown him if he comes out so prefers to continue to live a lie.
This is a difficult situation since we normally recommend not forcing someone's hand and allowing them to come out when they are ready but if it is causing this much angst and hurting his wife, it may be that if you could approach the subject carefully and with love and acceptance, he would be greatly relieved and finally be able to live his life as a gay man.
Are you in England? If so, I am sure there must be a local PFLAG chapter you can turn to or if in Australia, you can click on the map on the left of this page to see where your local chapter is. A phone call is usually a good start to talk to someone in our group who can give you a little guidance and then you could try coming to a meeting to get some information and discuss your strategy for dealing with the difficult time ahead.
Please note: our phone line is not manned but if you leave your name and number, one of our phone volunteers will get back to you as soon as possible.
Alternatively, check when our next meeting is scheduled and just come along to meet parents and family members who will be happy to talk and share the benefit of their experience.
|Q: how do i tell my parents
|A: You don't give much detail about how old you are or whether you think your parents will cope with the news that you are gay.
If you would like to attend a meeting with us to discuss this, we would be happy to discuss it with you and support you through this difficult time.
|Q: I just discovered my daughters best friend is bi. I confronted my Daugther about and she told me that yes her bestfriend is bi then i asked hher if she was bi and she said no my question is can my daughter be influenced by her friend?|
|A: You do not say how old your daughter is but by the time people are adolescents they usually know which gender they are attracted to. It is not usual to be persuaded to change one's sexuality but sometimes there is a little confusion at this age when the person may be questioning their sexuality.
Most gay people say that they knew they were attracted to the same sex from a very young age but some feel they must hide this due to societal pressure.
This generation of adolescents are far more accepting of people with all kinds of sexuality and so just because they know someone who is gay, or are friends with them, does not mean they will become gay.
|Q: Hey I'm a gay 13 year older having trouble in my life what should I do?|
|A: Try calling the Gay and Lesbian Switchboard and talking to someone there or Minus 18 is another avenue for young gay people. Good luck!|
I am in the process of starting up a coming-out group in the Franskton area. I have noticed that there are not many servcies for the GLBTI community out there, particulalry for gay people over the age of 25. Is there a PFLAG group out that way. And if not, I would like to know what it would take to start one. I am also in the early stages of planning for a gay dads support group. I work for a couple of community organisations who are helping with this process. Anyway, i just feel strongly that PFLAG is critical for the gay community.
|A: There was a PFLAG chapter many years ago on the Peninsula but it did not get enough support and closed again.
Please contact us via E-mail or come to our final meeting for the year and introduce yourself. We can discuss with you how to go about such a task.
You are right; PFLAG still p[lays a vital role in the gay community, serving families and gay people alike with support!
We hope to hear from you soon.
|Q: My adult daughter left her husband and announced she is openly gay.
I am totally OK with that but hurt that she did not tell me herself
and I had to learn it through others. I am confused as to how to handle
the matter and would like to talk with her to affirm my love and support.
How would I go about doing this?
|A: Your daughter would not have intentionally hurt you but fears your judgement and disapproval and so did not know how to tell you. Understanding her difficulty regarding fears of rejection will help you to approach her with compassion. Hopefully she will appreciate this and you can restore your close relationship. |
|Q: My daughter is 22 years old and I just found out she is in a relationship with another female. While I think I can grow to accept this I have a feeling it may tear me and my husband apart. We have had a happy marriage for 24 years and I don't want this to put a wedge between us. He is disgusted with my daughter and they won't evne talk to each other. My son is also very upset about this and I have an extremely close relationship with him as well. Although this is not the future I had pictured for my daughter I love her very much and just want her happiness but I don't want to lose the rest of my family in the meantime. Please help me, I am desperate!|
|A: Please try to attend one of our meetings; the next is only short followed by our end of year party but you are welcome to come and make contact so you will have something to read or someone to contact over the festive season break.
It takes time for each family member to understand and develop acceptance and so if you can have some information and do some reading so that when your son or husband say something about your daughter to you, you're ready with some answers. With time, they may read some of the things you have read or come to a meeting also.
We hope to meet you soon!
|Q: My 13 year old friend says she is a lesbian what should I do?
|A: Perhaps you can come to a PFLAG meeting with your daughter or without if you prefer and discuss how you feel and talk to other parents which may help to answer some of the questions you have.
Our meeting times and location are listed under the Meetings link to the left.
We look forward to meeting you soon.
|Q: Help, i have no where to turn....my daughter and her partner are being so over protective of their little one. He's now 10 months old and hasn't spent an hour away from either parent. As the grandparent i have tried to ask to have him but they want me at their house and not mine, until he gets used to us? How can he when we can't have him for a couple of hours? We have to do all the traveling (its only an hour)to their house and visit on their terms. When they have come to our home, the tension is awful. We have 3 dogs, that love children, but the partner don't like dogs. If the baby squaks, they grab him out of your arms to sooth him or they shoved a bottle in his mouth. The child hasn't cried more than 20 seconds in his life. Both my daughter and her partner are wonderful parents but I just don't understand why they won't let us be grandparents. I feel that Im a horrible parent or something? I see some things happening that are very concerning to me as a parent but I'm the only one saying anything. The partner is an only child and very selfish, which is far from what my daughter is. My daughter is really worrying me by the things she says "i don't want to leave him, its getting harder, I just love him so much". Help where can I go for some additional advice?|
|A: Although we sympathise with you in this difficult situation, it is not really a gay-related issue and could occur with any new parents.
You may need to look elsewhere for some advice in this matter.
|Q: I have two sons and a daughter. My first son told me he was gay three years ago. My second son told me the same last week. He is 21. I had no idea and am having trouble accepting the news. I am still in shock and in denial I suppose. With my eldest son I always knew in my heart of hearts but with my second I had no clue at all. How common is it for two out of three children to be gay in the same family? I am very alone with this. The children's father and I are divorced and I have no family to whom I could talk and I don't want to breach the boys' privacy by telling people anyway. Any thoughts would be welcome. I love my children more than life itself yet I feel so deflated by the second 'coming out'. I always imagined my second son as a family man - great with kids and very afffectionate toward women. We are very close, or so I thought, so I cannot work out how I could have been so mistaken about something so fundamental. |
|A: It is not that unusual for more than one child in a family to be gay. Understandably, you are finding it hard to process and it will take you some time to come to accept that the life you envisioned for your younger son is not what you imagined.
If possible, it would be great for you to come to one of our meetings and talk to others who may have experienced similar feelings and even have more than one gay child.
Meetings are listed in the menu to the left. Our last meeting is on 27th Nov. and will only be a short one hour prior to our end of year party. You are welcome to attend both of these if you can make it!
|Q: assistance for a Greek young man wishing to tell his tradtional Greek family he is gay- is there a chapter in the community who could assist him?|
|A: You don't say if you are in Greece or Melbourne but start at the Greek and Gay website and I am sure they will be able to help you. |
|Q: My son is 23 yrs old, all of his live he has been involved in sports. Throughout his teenage years a couple of times I have asked him if he was gay and he just laughed. He did date a few girls, one of which was over a year. When she went to college she dropped him, he took it very hard. For some reason he has always resented my husband and myself. A situation occurred pertaining to another man. The 27yr old man told me that he slept with my son. I was shocked, I share that info with me son but he denied it and laughed.
What should I do?
|A: The fact that you asked your son if he was a gay a few times indicates that you suspected he is. If your son is gay, it sounds very much like he is in denial or fears telling you for fear of being rejected or losing your love. We do not realise how many subliminal messages we give our kids which are derogatory and negative about being gay not to mention, the media and the general public.
This can have a big impact on them and often they will stay in the closet or lead a double life because they cannot accept it themselves due to all the negative stereotypes.
We would welcome you to come to our meetings even if your son has not come out to learn more yourself which may help you come up with a solution to this difficult situation.
|Q: My son who is 24 told me very tearfully he was gay two weeks ago, I had suspected but had never asked, he told me it was the hardest thing he has ever had to tell me and was fearful of my rejection at that moment. He explained it had taken him years to understand himself let alone asking me to understand in an instant! However, it was still a shock initially - we cried together. However, never once did I think of rejecting him in any way, he is talented, intellectual and a wonderful human being and still the same person before he told me he was gay. However my feelings are of protectivness and fear for him and I need to understand more so that I can help my family understand when my son feels the time is right to tell other members of the family - like his father and brothers. I love him unconditionally and he understands that and for me at this point it is the most important thing. We live in Albury, NSW do you have a PFLAG centre near here? |
|A: If you have not already seen our link map to other PFLAG chapters around Australia on the left of each page, please hold your cursor over NSW and click on it to see what is available in your state. You would be wise to talk to them and see if they can help you.
Best of luck!
|Q: I'm 14, female and bisexual, but prefer girls. My dad doesn't mind LGBT but it doesn't fly with my mom, who is a Hindu. I'm adopted and originally from England, and live in Canads now and dont mind LGBT. My mum thinks that it's wrong for people to like the same sex. I already have a girlfriend and it's hard for us to really do anything with my mum around. I haven't opened to my mom or dad and I'm not sure how to. Help?|
|A: You are still young and parents find it hard when their children start having partners anyway, but same-sex partners is even harder for most.
You probably need to bide your time a bit and perhaps you can gather some information to give them when you do decide to tell them.
Is there a PFLAG chapter near you that you can email to ask for help since we are in Australia and you will find closer groups that you can get in touch with and may be able to get your parents to attend later also.
|Q: Its been kinda a year since I came out to my parents (1 year if you count when I said I was bisexual, 2 months if you count when I said I was gay). During this time, living at home has been....I cant describe it. We will have a few good days then when I need to go out or I want to spend time with friends, there is always those questions "are they gay?" "Who are they?" and it just gets to the point where we have an argument. I'm just wondering how could I get my parents to understand my point of view? They would not be up for attending to one of your meetings, so if you could give me some tips I would appreciate it :)|
|A: Have you accessed any of our resources for parents to read? These may help them to understand a little better.
You don't say how old you are so part of their concern could be your safety.
All parents are protective of their children and if they think you may be at risk, they will try to stop you going to protect you.
Perhaps you need to write them a letter about how you feel about their questions if you can't talk to them.
|Q: Hi i'm from india m 14 and i found that i'm a lesbian i dont know how to tell my parents? This is india and its not so easy here and my dad are very very narrow minded but my mom is quite cool i think she will understand me but the matter starts from my dad he will never accept me what should i do? Please help me out|
|A: Thank you for your question.
Our hearts go out to you as you are so young and it would, we imagine be a very worrying and lonely time for you.
Do you have a sister you could talk with?
If you told your Mum would she be obliged to tell your Dad?
In India are there any Gay Support Help Phone lines or Groups you could receive support from?
We wish you all the very very best and really hope you will be able to access support from one of these groups.
|Q: My 30 yr old daughter has just announced she is in love with another women. The same day she made me aware of her new life style, she packed up my two grandchildren and moved in with her. My grandchildren are ages 4 and 10 both girls. My concern is for my grandchildren. Other than the show " Will and Grace " they have never heard of same sex relationships. My daughter shares a bedroom with her new partner and the kids sleep in the living rm. My daughter has not told the kids she is now gay and because my daughter has no idea how extreme such changes will effect the kids I fear she will not tell them before they hear other family members talking about it because my daughter felt she should "come out" via facebook. I mentioned to her we needed to talk one day when i was picking up the kids for the weekend and she yelled at me "About what my new relationship?" Her 10yr old daughter was standing right beside me. I do not know how to talk to my daughter about my concerns for the kids with out her getting mad or thinking I disapprove. Should i fear for what this may do to my grandchildren if not explained to them correctly? Do I dare talk to children myself? |
|A: It would be very helpful to you to attend a PFLAG meeting or at the very least, call our helpline and talk to someone about how you can approach talking to your daughter. Once you have your thoughts in order and have read some resources, you may be ready to approach your daughter again.
Right now she probably feels defensive fearing that she will meet with your disapproval or judgements but when she realizes you just want what is best for her children and all concerned. It is far better to be open with all members of the family and then there are no surprises that may cause upset at a later date if something is said to one of the children by others and they do not have a clue what is happening.
Perhaps if your daughter is not receptive to actually talking to you face to face right now, you could put in writing how concerned you feel being careful not to accuse her of any wrong doing but stating that you would like to discuss it because you love and support her and want to be a part of her life as you were before. (or something like that)
*Please avail yourself of our resources under green button on the left as they will be a good start to your reading.
|Q: My youngest son is gay and I'm totally fine with it - I've known since he was five years old. However, my daughter, who was in a straight relationship now says she loves who she loves and it doesn't matter if it's male or female. Now she is in a relationship with a woman and I just can't grasp this flitting back and forth concept. Fine with my straight son, fine with my gay son, but . . .
|A: Perhaps it would help you to come to a PFLAG meeting to discuss your feelings with other parents and access some resources to read.
Bisexuality is a difficult concept to grasp and, although your daughter seems to have come to terms with it, others may not understand including you. She may not realise how difficult the concept is for someone who was always sure of their sexual preferences and perhaps could also come to the meeting to discuss it to help you as well.
|Q: Hi, I've just been very confused over a matter. I'm female, turning 18 this year, and I've just recently moved to Melbourne at the start of 2011. Before that, I had a girlfriend and my parents were persistent in cutting of our ties. I'm from a South-East Asian country that does not have gay rights legislations in place. My parents are also Christian and they did not allow me and my girlfriend to be together. I haven't spoken to her since I came, and I still love her very much, but I don't know what to do, because I love my family and my girlfriend both. I've recently thought about coming out, but I have a feeling I might get kicked out of home, and get her into trouble with my parents as well. Thanks.|
|A: Thank you for your question.
We are very sorry to hear about your family situation.
PFlag is a support group for Families when a family member member comes out.
Gay people also attend without their families for support as well.
As you are now living in Melbourne , we suggest you call the Gay and Lesbian Switch Board Helpline as they may be able to guide you to a support group with young people who have a similar situation.
Their contact details can be accessed on our links page.
|Q: I have a sister that is lesbian but we are sooooooo close she is my best friend is it okay that i keep her around my kids. She is a good aunt she loves her nephews and they love her too. What do i do please help|
|A: Of course it is OK for your sister to be around your kids. She is attracted to women, not children.
You should be glad your children will have the experience of different kinds of people in their lives and grow up to be more accepting than older generations.
|Q: Hi im 13 and i am gay and i know it but i havent came to terms with myself yet and i don't know if 13 is to young of a age to come out and i also don't know how my family will react.|
|A: When considering coming out, you need to remember that if you have not yet come to terms with it, coming out will be even more difficult for you.
You may want to wait until you feel comfortable with your sexuality and feel there is a reason to come out, like being attracted to another gay boy and wanting to have a relationship. Then you would need to try to hide that or come out.
Also, coming out to a close friend or sibling is often a good way first and then you have support.
There are some publications you can access in our resources page if you want to print them so your parents can read them.
You have already done the homework of finding our site and that will help your family a great deal. If you are in or near Melbourne then you can bring your parents to a meeting or they can come without you if they feel more comfortable doing that.
Just remember to think carefully before you come out and do it privately, not on Facebook or any social media until you are very comfortable and have lots of support.
|Q: How can you help your gfs parents to feel comfortable with their daughter being lesbian? |
|A: PFLAG can help. Come to a meeting or read some of the publications made available here so your girlfriend can provide them to her parents then maybe they will come to a meeting later.|
|Q: My daughter is 24, just informed me she is gay. I and other family members did not see this coming had no indications that she might be. Now she is distancing herself,i want to talk to her about it but not sure what to say, ask? Her father does not know yet, do i tell him or is that her responsibility?
|A: She may be distancing herself because the reaction she got from you was not as she had hoped and now she feels uncomfortable. You may need to try to let her know that although it was a shock, you are supportive and interested in her life and want to help her to feel comfortable within the family as she truly is.
She needs to tell her father; at 24 she is an adult and it is her information to share alone unless she gives you permission to pass it on.
PFLAG meetings may be helpful to you. If you are not within driving distance of our meetings, perhaps there is a closer group. Check our Links or the map on the left for your nearest group.
|Q: I have a relative whose husband appears to be gay after 20 years of marriage, the have 3 kids the youngest is only 10 and the eldest is 18, my relative she is completly broken, I can´t imagine what he feels like, but I can say that she is amazing, she is willing to stay with him at leats until the kids are older, and she is really worried because he is really depressed, and can't stop crying, she cares very much for him, how can she?I can't find it in my heart to forgive him, he lied to her and he built a life of lies for the both of them, I just wish she never met him, (I know how all of this sounds,I feel like the worse person in the world but this too much he´s going to hurt so many people) I just wish this is all a misunderstanding but I'm afraid noone acts like this without really knowing what they are doing, as for me I use to care very very deeply for him and know, I feel betrayed I'm ungry at him and I can´t even say this out loud because he does not know I know, why did he do this? he dragged her into his mess and she loves him, she loves her family, I´m heartbroken I don't know how to help sometimes I feel like I'm starting to hate him, I'm not english or from the us sorry for my bad writting, I don't even want to writte in my own country because he´ll probably look for help on line too. I know my mother is trying to help and she got for him an appointment to see a therapist because she says he´s completely miserable. Can anyone understand my feelings? I know its horrible, but I have already found myself hoping that he kept the information to himself for ever, he screwed up so baddly, and know she is going to pay the broken dishes and what is worse, the kids could find out sometime before they are old enough to handdle it, I have to say for all of you to understand me better, that my family is really conservative, my grandmother doesn´t aprove of me having gay friends, and my mother thinks that gay people is people who is mentally ill, this is the education these children have been recieving. please help me process|
|A: It is easy to feel angry at the husband for getting married and having kids when he knew he was gay but it is not that simple. Some men do not know they are gay until they are older simply because they fight it and try to conform to expectations of family and society. This then sadly leads to men who eventually do not want to live a lie any more and since times have changed, many are choosing to come out of the closet and free themselves of the guilt and feeling of not being their real selves all their lives.
It is up to the couple involved to sort out how they deal with this situation and as far as children are concerned, many children deal with these changes in their lives far better than most adults.
It is a difficult time for all concerned but the husband in this case has most likely lived his whole adult life hiding who he really is and trying to live up to family and societal expectations so it is very difficult for him.
As far as family approval is concerned, it is important to try to educate family members on what being gay really means. It is not a mental illness and there is plenty of documentation to show that it is not something that a person chooses or can change so perhaps the relatives when being told need to go to some PFLAG meetings or at least read some available resources to try to understand more.
It will also help you to process this if you read some of our resources available as PDF files and see if you can go to a PFLAG meeting in your local area. There are organisations such as ours all over the world.
Best of luck!
|Q: I'm 15 and I have come out to my parents and my mum is fine with it but my dad on the other hand i have no idea what he is feeling what should I do?|
|A: Try coming to PFLAG with your mum if your dad won't discuss it. That way you can speak to others who have faced similar challenges and also borrow some of our resources to read and even get your dad to read. Sometimes a little information and meeting other parents, realising you are not alone is all a parent needs to become more open to this new information.
We hope to see you at one of our meetings!
|Q: 2 weeks ago our son 'came out'. He explained to me during a phone conversation that he was gay. He was at a party that night and I said "Are you drunk?", not believing the truth of his statement. He assured me he wasn't and I said "Well no matter what mate, I'll always love you, you're my son". He felt reassured by this as I heard the tone in his voice. He told my husband/his dad, the next day but he found it really difficult to tell him. It took him half an hour of umming and arhhing before he finally felt he could say it. My husband had a tear in his eye when he told him but reached out his arms and embraced our son in a hug. It was the most precious moment ever. We have accepted our son for who he is and love him regardless but we're questioning ourselves a lot. My husband says maybe we gave him too much affection as a child (we're a close knit family and always give each other a hug when we see each other after school or work etc, and I have been thinking is it because I gave him a boy doll with a pram when he was younger? I've come to know that it's in the gentic makeup of a person but how can we understand our son more? We want to be there for him and offer him ongoing support. We're so proud to call him our son.|
|A: It is a heart-warming story to hear how you embraced your son and reassured him that you love him no matter what. Thank-you for sharing that!
As far as what caused him to be gay, it has never been shown to be the way a child is brought up that makes them gay. He probably liked dolls because he was gay, not the other way around. Furthermore, many very 'butch' men who are into manly sports are gay so it has nothing to do with the activities they do or did.
Your son is gay because that is the way he was born. Just continue to accept him and do not let anyone tell you that you caused him to be gay.
|Q: I was married for 10 years and have 3 children. I fell in love with my best friend and ended my marriage. We have been together 4 years now. She hasn't told her parents as there isn't the ever the right time SMS she thinks this will be a catastrophe. I'm not sure what to do. I get upset over it but I feel powerless. I think my young daughters know but I can't say anything because no one knows. I'm stuck I love her but what sort of life is this for me or my daughters if we are forever hiding?|
|A: It would be good if you can encourage your partner to call the Gay and Lesbian Switchboard or even bring her along to a PFLAG meeting just to talk about it with parents. When she hears of the amazing turn-arounds some parents have done in accepting their child's sexuality then she may be able to work out a way to come out to them and others also. |
|Q: Hi I just wanted to post my thoughts for parents like me who just found out their kid is gay. I was disturbed don't know why but it took me some time to reason with get the grip on the reality. I think I read too many comments posted by some parents who were negative.
I look at it like this. When we conceived our child we are responsible for this child from the minute we conceive this child and make a promise that no matter what we will support and cherish and protect this child of ours. If that child is sick or disable we will look after it, hungry will feed it and give him or her the love that they deserve.
This is nothing compared to what lots of families go through when the kids fall sick. I know that as my child had cancer when he was a baby. So we look at him like a god's gift and lucky that he survived and we have these precious moments with him. We as people place tags on people. We call them gay, straight hetro etc. But reality is that we are all equal and if we as parents don't support our kids what can we expect from society.
So we are keeping our promise and will support our kid to the day we die.Because he is just our kid and thats that. And I wish all the parents can see that before they judge their kids.
Also I think this is a good opportunity for me to apologise for laughing at sick jokes. We love you all and so does god.
|A: Thank-you for your input. It is great that you appreciate having a healthy son and above all things, just want him to be happy. ♥
Great to hear!
|Q: How do I tell my sister her son is gay?|
|A: Unless your nephew asked for your intervention, it is up to him to tell her. |
|Q: My Daughter says she is gay what should I do?|
|A: The best thing to do is find out more about what that means. It would be most helpful if you could come to a PFLAG meeting where you will get lots of support from parents who have been through the same situation and can borrow books and resource materials to help you learn more.
Your daughter may like to come with you to the meetings which can be helpful but it is up to you and her to decide if that is how you would like to attend.
We hope to see you soon at one of our meetings!
|Q: Hi there,
I have two pre-schoolers and am looking for any recommendations for good children's books addressing having family members who are lesbians. I have seen "My Two Aunts" by Deb Bixler advertised online but was hoping there was something Australian out there... can anyone recommend something good and simple for little ones? Thanks!
|A: You can try Hares and Hyenas on our links page. Just give them a call first to see if they have any you may be interested in but they will be the best to know what is available. |
|Q: my son is 18 and has just told us he is gay, my husband is finding it very hard to understand how long do i give him he has hardly spoken in the last 4 days|
|A: There is no right amount of time for each person. Everyone processes this kind of news differently and your husband may need longer to come to terms with it.
However, it would be good to let him know that you are available to talk about it and that you know about PFLAG which may be able to help you both understand what it means that your son is gay, how others have come to terms with the same news and get some support from other parents.
If you are based in Melbourne, we would love to see you at one of our meetings. If your husband will come along, that would be great but you could come by yourself or with your son for support at first and maybe after a while your husband will join you.
You can take home some reading matter and will have information you can pass on to your husband that may help him to understand and come to terms with having a gay son.
Please use our Help phone number if you would like someone to call you back to discuss your situation and offer support.
|Q: My 20 Yr old son suggests he wishes to have a sex change, can you suggest a councillor or help group, please.
|A: Please call the ALSO Foundation and see if they can give you some information on contacts for counsellors. |
|Q: Hi, I'm 24 year old male from melbourne and not wanting to be gay. I refuse to believe that I am gay but I can't help it. I get hard for guys and not for girls but I have feelings for girls and can't act on it coz I can't get hard.
I don't have anything against gays, in-fact I have a few gay mates but I can not stand the fact that I can't change.... I hate the thought of kissing another guy and I have never done anything with the same sex and I don't ever want to. I just can't get my head around this.... I have no feelings for men whatsoever but I get hard if I see a good looking bloke but if I see a good looking chick then I don't get hard I just think about what I would do with her if I could get it up for women..... Please help explain this???
|A: It sounds very much like you have grown up believing it is wrong to be gay and have seen how gay men are treated and not wished to be like that.
Your life will have been filled with all the usual things that boys do and talk about so you have convinced yourself that you like girls and are attracted to them.
However, your biology is telling you something different and if you can learn to accept that it is OK to be gay and sex between men is not abhorrent then you may be able to allow yourself to accept the messages your body gives you about men.
It sounds like you may need to talk to a counsellor about this problem as it is not something which we can help you with in this online forum.
Good luck for the future!
|Q: I was outed by a family member and my mother didnt handle it very well. My life was hell before I fully admitted to being bi-sexual to my family. When I was outed I only just finished year 12 and the stress was too much for me to handle so I tried killing myself. I found a girl who I am now madly in love with but I feel so bad for her because my mother despisers her. Everyday I feel like crap because I live my mother so much, but she can't come to terms about me being gay. She hates it so much she has disowned me and as a result it makes me feel like crap everyday because I have lost my mother, AND the fact that she can't say she loves me kills me inside. Somedays I find it hard to live in my world but I have to pull myself out of it for my girlfriend. I am immensely depressed and don't know how to stop this feeling! I just want to be happy!! Help me. Therapy hasn't worked for me.|
|A: Try calling the Gay and Lesbian Switchboard and talking to someone there. They will listen to you and try to help or they may be able to suggest a group that can help you. |
|Q: Why do I feel so worthless as a parent of a lesbian child.
|A: Perhaps you think you have failed in some way because your daughter is a lesbian but this is not the case.
Your daughter was born lesbian and nothing you did made her that way.
So, that is just a small part of who your daughter is. She must have much more that defines her than just being lesbian just as you have much more to you than just being her mother.
No doubt she has many traits that make her a wonderful person in society, as a family member and as a friend. Things such as intelligence, kindness, humour, caring nature, musicality, being artistic, being successful at school or in her job etc.
If you can focus on all the positive aspects of your daughter then hopefully you will see past the thing that bothers you and accept that as just another part of her.
Many women are attracted to men and some are attracted to women and that is just how it is for your daughter but I am sure she does not let it define her either.
|Q: Hi. I would like to come at your next meeting. Could you tell me when will it be?
|A: All the meeting dates have now been updated for 2012 on our Meetings page.
We look forward to seeing you at one of our meetings.
|Q: Hi I have been seeing this Guy who is over the age of 18 n I am 16 I want to know is this legal and if not when can I tell people about with out my partner getting onto trouble PLEASE HELP |
|A: The legal age of consent is 16 so your relationship is fine. |
|Q: How do I tell my family and friends my son is gay?|
|A: Have you talked to your son about this? It is his information and should be up to him who is told and when. If he says it's OK to tell then you can talk about how to best go about this.
Sometimes it's easier to tell one person in an extended family that you feel comfortable with and let them tell the others. Some people choose not to tell certain family members such as grandparents.
You may be surprised with the responses you receive. Sometimes grandparents are quite accepting after their initial shock. Love is a very strong reason to accept one's relatives no matter what and most grandparents love their grandchildren unconditionally.
Good luck with your 'coming out' process.
Please come to PFLAG and share your stories with other parents and gain support.
|Q: My 22 year old son has never shown any interest in women. I think that he may be gay which is OK with me. How do I approach the subject, or do I?
|A: It is probably best not to say anything. If he is not showing signs of being very unhappy, he may not have come to terms with his sexuality himself whether he is straight or gay.
If you are concerned that he may be uncomfortable telling you he is gay, you can make sure he is aware that you are supportive of gay people when something comes on the news but unless he pursues the issue, you need to let him approach it if he is going to.
|Q: I just cant come to terms with my 21 year son being gay. I cant seem to move forward. my husband is great and has fully come to terms with it, but I have not. Don't quite know what to do next. he is a great young man and I love him, he knows I have not accepted him being gay please please help me move forward|
|A: There are a lot of emotions that we go through as parents when we suddenly realise the child we raised and held dreams and expectations for is not who we thought they were and is not going in the direction we would like. Our dreams have been shattered and it can take while to come to terms with the altered reality.
It would be great if you could attend a PFLAG meeting because you would be able to talk to other parents who went through similar feelings as you are.
If you can't make it to a meeting perhaps you would like to call our telephone message bank and a parent volunteer will call you back as soon as possible to have a talk to you.
Please avail yourself of our resources also as sometimes it can help to read a bit to help you understand a little better which will eventually lead to acceptance.
|Q: My nephew is gay he is only thirteen and we are looking for guidance to help him through this patch. He is very confused and we have concerns for his safety. We live in Adelaide and would love to join a parents support group if there is one. We have sent emails to p flag in Adelaide with no response. We would also like to get involved in gay rights especially gay marriage, how can we do this?|
|A: There are a lot of groups that would love your support that you can find on the Internetike Australian Marriage Equality - http://www.australianmarriageequality.com/wp/
Try contacting Shelley Argent who is the Australian spokesperson for PFLAG in Australia. She may have more information on the folk in Adelaide. She has a Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/shelleyargentneedsyourhelp
It's great to have keen supporters like you. Thank-you!
|Q: My 21 years old daughter confess me she is bi-sexual, we are a very decent/catholic family and it is very hard for me to accept this. I am lost i don't know what to, I of course love her but it is so hard for me, I am getting crazy, sick, nervious, i am afraid my family will know and it is a shame for us. What am I suppose to do? please i need help, i know she is not a minor but she is my daughter and it hurts, she has this young lady with her but she says she likes boys too. Is this just a phase in her life? Please HELP ME!!!!!!|
|A: We would love you to come to a meeting where we can give you the support you need.
You are having a fairly common reaction to hearing that your child's sexuality is not what you thought it was. This is the first stage and it is horrible! Worrying about who will find out and believing they won't accept your daughter and will judge you for it also.
The reality is that once you have had time to get used to the idea and come to terms with the belief that you love your daughter no matter what then you will be able to move on to deciding to tell family and friends.
What we imagine in our minds about how people will react makes the fear of telling them worse but we don't know how others will react really and we have to realise that catastrophising about their reaction is not helping us face it.
It takes time; you need to get support for yourself and then worry about how others will feel later.
Please seek support asap to help you through this difficult time.
|Q: My 13 year old son just told me he is gay..i always tought he might be cuz he liked hanging around with girls never really liked hanging around with boys.. the thing is he has always had girlfriends..now he told me he has a boyfriend..but that he still likes girls..is he just confussed? I accept my child in any way but i want help in how to coup with it..|
|A: At 13 he is still exploring his sexuality and may remain bisexual or may eventually decide he is really gay.
Society's pressure means many young people try to conform and so will tell others they like the opposite sex as well while they get used to the idea.
The best help you will receive will come from other parents who have been through this very thing.
If possible, please come to our meetings and talk to us. You will be welcomed and can just listen if you prefer to start with. We hope to see you at our next meeting!
|Q: My son who is 16 has just come out (to me only). I am not upset by this but worried as he is meeting boys online and I am worried about the safety of this. He is upset as he wants to meet other gay boys and says this is his only way to do this. Do you know of any groups for children that are a safer way for him to meet other gay youth?|
|A: Try Minus 18, they run social events for underaged same sex attracted youths.
Link is on our link page.
|Q: hi i am really scare and confuse my thirteen year old come up to me and told me he was gay at first i though he was joking we said we don't like the joke he said he was really gay so i ask him how do you know you are gay his answer was how do you know you are strait .... i have trouble to look at him or talk to him he his the baby of the family of 4 never have a problem with him always open to talk with him i really feel like i did something wrong some were i love my son with all my heart and saoul give anything for my son his father his the same way and have the same feeling like i do i cant even look at him now help how to accepte this i dont know we really need some help |
|A: Coming to a PFLAG meeting would be a first good step. You are both welcome to come and any other family member who would like to also.
At the meeting you can talk to other parents who have been through similar experiences and hear how they got through it as well as borrow books and have some casual chats at break time.
Please feel free to call our number if you need to speak to someone. We have a message bank but if you leave your details someone will call you back.
|Q: I have been in a 15 year marriage with two children, aged 12 (boy) and 9 (girl) whom I now have live with me on a fortnightly basis. I recently (6 months ago) left my wife as we have not been getting along for years. I've always had an interest in men but never took it any further. I have now started a relationship with another man who is just awesome and I love him as much as I do my kids. My kids have met him and we all get along great. My kids actually really like him and think he's funny etc.
How do I tell my kids that I am now with a man and that I intend on spending my life with him?
Kids are bloody cruel and I know if it gets out that their dad is now sleeping with a man that they will be teased. Possibly to the point of resenting me and not wanting to live with me etc.
How do I go about this with the least amount of physcological damage.
I love them more than anything but I also need to move on with my life too and a happier one.
|A: Since they are still quite young, you may want to try getting some books on the subject that you can share with them. Hares and Hyenas in Collingwood is a great place to find them. Also, Rainbow Families may be able to help you since many of them will have had similar experiences. Please see our links for how to contact those organisations mentioned. |
|Q: We have struggled for several years coming to terms with our daughter advising she was a homosexual, but making ground. She is 26. We of course love her to bits and work hard to put her first. All the Q&As below tell our story, the grief, the loss, wondering what we did wrong as parents. But make progress we did, until she broght a partner home. I find the sight of them touching abhorrent and am ashamed to say that even though the other girl is a perfectly nice person, I can't stand the sight of her. I feel sick, so physcially and mentally unwell and am worried that I in particular will end up destroying all our family relationships. I can't go on like this much longer and have no idea what to do. I can't say anything to my daughter and risk ruining her happiness. I'm in real trouble. Where to? Please.|
|A: If you are in Melbourne, I would suggest you attend a PFLAG meeting so you can meet other parents who have been through similar feelings as you are experiencing. It tends to be a common reaction at first and can take a while to adjust to.
We have books you can read as well and often just realising you are not alone and this is not as abnormal as you may think, helps you to come to terms with it. Please explore our site and find Meeting dates and times, Resources and Contact details so you can make a step forward and help yourself overcome your current feelings of helplessness and shame.
|Q: Hi, I want to know how outside supporters can tangibly assist at meetings, or behind the scenes if not living local. I have a nephew who has chosen to not come out as yet. I told him some time ago that I was fine with any aspect of his lifestyle, and more than happy to support him every step of the way. He's in a loving relationship & knows I'll treat him & his partner with the respect they deserve. I've been a gay rights advocate for several years, and I write articles regarding GLBTI rights. Thanks : )|
|A: Maybe you can give us a call and we will return your call once we get your message to discuss what you can do or if you prefer, you can email us direct and the secretary will be in touch as we can always do with volunteers at PFLAG for support. |
|Q: I'm thirteen and my mom is totally fine with me being gay but i feel closed in because i don't have any other gay friends can u help me? if not its OK|
|A: Can you get in touch with Minus 18? They are an organisation that provides social activities for under aged same sex attracted people so I am sure you would make friends there. See our Links page for their contact details. |
|Q: My 17 year son wants to live with his 29 year old boy friend. I have headed this off for now. My worried for his future education. I have tried to talk to both of them but to no avail. It's the age difference I'm worried about. Of course they are "in love". Any suggestions on what to do would be really helpful.|
|A: Though not quite an adult, your son is a young man and as you have already seen he will not be swayed by you when it comes to the love of his life. If you persist in trying to talk them out of it, you are likely to turn your son away from you and be excluded from his life. We understand how hard it is for you as many PFLAG parents have gone through similar situations.
Age differences such as this are not unusual in the gay community especially for a boy's first boyfriend and this too worries many of us. However, we have found from experience that in most cases they were safer making their foray into the gay community with an older and wiser person with them to guide them through it. He may later move on from this relatationship but will always look back fondly at the way he was protected and advised in his youth.
Since you are talking to his boyfriend, this is a good sign. You can become friends with him which will help you keep in touch with what is going on with your son and reassure you.
Good luck. Please attend PFLAG meetings to share in our stories and feel supported. We can provide resources for you to read also. Hope to see you there soon!
|Q: My girlfriends parents know that she is gay but do not know that we have been together for the last year and have moved in together. She is finding it difficult to find the right words to tell her parents I am in her life, from your perspective how would you like to be told. Keeping in mind she is 30 years old, Jewish and her family have never been great with communication(is what I'm told). I need advice that I can pass on to her. I am in no way putting pressure on her to tell them I just think for her not to hold that guilt of lying to them (her words)anymore would be a great stress lifted. |
|A: Try getting in touch with aleph.org.au. They are an organisation for Jewish gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people and may be able to give you the advice you need to deal with your situation. Good luck!|
|Q: Hi I am 30 years old. My parents were married for 15 years until my dad came out to us when I was 14, he had an affair with my mum's brother, who I have no contact with anymore.
In the last 5 years my mum has also come out also, she is turning 60 and only just coming to terms with her sexuality now, even though she has been with women before she was married. I feel like I am the only person in my situation, I love them both dearly and I am totally supportive of their struggle to be happy with their sexuality, I just feel a little alone. I have been to counselling when my dad first came out 15 years ago, I feel I have some unresolved issues to deal with, can you recommend any one to see for counselling etc.
|A: Contact the ALSO foundation and see if they can suggest someone.
It is understandable that you need some support and counselling. Give yourself time to adjust; you have a lot to deal with.
|Q: My son just posted a group of photos on FB in which he appears with makeup and flowers in his head and in very feminin positions.He told me a few months ago that he thinks is bisexual (by that time he had a girlfriend). I reacted "normal" and I said that it was ok if he wanted to explore that part of his sexuality... and we haven't talked about that any more lately.
It caused an impact on me to see those photos today, although I think about me as a "open mind" person. I don't know if I should say something about the photos... or just let it go. I'm not sure how much importance I should give to the matter!
|A: This is a tricky one. You don't say how old your son is but if he is over 18 then it is less concerning.
He has decided to display how he feels and demonstate his sexuality on Face Book as his way of fully coming out to many of the people he knows. For him it will be a release to finally come out and be who he wants to be. However, for parents this can be confronting and difficult to deal with. Since reacting gives him the message that you are not comfortable with who he is, it is easier not to react and just let it go. We know that is difficult but as parents of young men who have all gone through similar phases, we know this is the best way to keep our relationship with him an accepting and happy one.
We'd love to see you at a PFLAG meeting if you live in Melbourne. You will be able to discuss all the things that concern you with other parents who have been down the same road.
|Q: My 13 year old son told me that he was gay a week before he turned 13 i told him i accept it and will love him no matter what his father has not spoken to him for the past 7 months. i have taken him to therapy but he is not trusting anyone enough to talk about what he is feeling and what is worrying him he has been cutting him self and he has been on chat sites and been on gay porn sites he gets calls on his mobile all hours of the day and night i have now taken away his mobile what must i do i am scared. |
|A: It sounds like you need some help with your son and your husband. Have to talked to the school counselor?
Your son is possibly acting out more because his father is shunning him so a good counselor who can talk to all of the family might be helpful.
Have to tried to talk to your husband about how he is feeling?
Minus 18 may be a good place to start to get some support for your son since he is so young. We have many links on our links page and you might like to try contacting some of them.
PFLAG meetings would be a good place for you to come and talk some more about your problems and get some resources to help you and your husband understand what is going on in your son's life at the moment.
Coming out can be very difficult and especially so if one or both parents react badly. There is a lot to work out for each of you.
Please avail yourself of any resources we have available on our web site and come to a meeting if you are able to.
We look forward to meeting you and hope we can help.
|Q: My son is spending more and more time with his boyfriend, who is 12 year older than him. My son hasn't finished school yet he hasn't even had a job. He has the potential to complete university and have a successful career in music. I'm so worried he will give it all away for "love". I tried to talk to him and his lover but he just doesn't want to listen. Some advice would be great.
|A: Our role as parents often involves difficult situations like this especially as our children get older and become more independent.
Once they are young adults and living their own lives, we can only advise them, support them and love them but the decisions are theirs to make. It is heart breaking when we see our children make what we would consider the wrong decisions but all we can do is be there for them when they need us.
Being critical, judgemental and pushy can often force our children to become more distant and instead of coming to us when things go wrong, they prefer to go it alone than suffer the judgement they feel they will receive from their parents.
We have the same choices to make about our heterosexual children once they are grown up and as difficult as it is, we have to let them find their own way and live their life as they choose to do so.
Show your son support and make him realise that you are proud of how well he is doing with his music and that you know he can achieve great things then just be there for him and love him.
|Q: Good afternoon,
Can anyone shed some light if there is any form of support group for Fathers who are closet Bisexuals in Melbourne anywhere. My sexuality is very dear to me, but I am a qundary as to how to deal with this virtual double life I am leading, resorting to going to a gay sauna for male to male sex, and yet having a brilliant sex life with ,y Roman Catholic wife. Our children are fairly young and it would destroy our family and all of those around us. HELP ME PLEASE!
|A: Try contacting the ALSO foundation. See link on our Links page. |
|Q: My son has has just turned 13 and has just told us on Monday he is gay. we found out as he posted it on his facebook page. Is 13 too young to know? where do we go from here. he hasn't been in a relationship yet (still young)|
|A: Thirteen is very young but we are sure you knew if you were attracted to boys or girls by that age. It is just the same for many gay people except in the past many have chosen to keep it under wraps since they have been raised to believe it is wrong or abnormal.
Your son must have had time to come to terms with his sexuality if he is posting it online and now he needs to understand that you need time also.
Coming to a PFLAG meeting is a good way to meet other parents and discuss your concerns and gain the value of their experience. We hope to see you soon.
|Q: A very simple question, Where can I get a PFLAG Badge? Thanks
|A: We don't have any badges at the present time. I am not sure if any of the other PFLAG chapters in Australia do so but you could try them. |
|Q: I would like to attend your meeting in the last Tuesday of this month could you please give me your address as I have been told it has changed and PFLG is moving to South Melbourne. Also my dtr has just come out and I would like to know if anybody can attend the Pride March or do I have to be a PFLAG Member|
|A: The meeting page has now been updated. Please refer to this for information on meetings and note that we meet on the 4th Tuesday of the month which is not necessarily the last Tuesday. |
|Q: My daughter who is 16 has just come out and although my husband and I will love and support her deep down I think Im very much still in denial and think about whether I will get pass this denial.|
|A: Allow yourself time to come to terms with this news. As parents we have dreams and plans in our heads for our children and when these dreams are shattered, it can take a while to readjust our thinking.
It will help if you read some of our resources and even more if you come to a meeting where you can hear from other parents who are further along in their journey than you.
You can also ring our phone line and leave a message and one of our volunteers who are all parents will call you back so you can talk through your feelings.
Remember, your daughter has probably had years to get used to the idea whereas it is new to you so will take time to assimilate.
|Q: My son has told me that he is transgender - that he wants to live his life as a woman, not a man. Does PFLAG also support parents of transgender children, and if not could you give me some advice on who I could contact. I feel devastated, and would love the chance to talk to someone who has a similar experience to me. I am a sole parent, and my son is 20.|
|A: There are some other organizations that may have more insight in this area than PFLAG that you could try contacting first. Try: Transgender Victoria at www.transgendervictoria.com or phone: (03) 9517 6613 or Seahorse Victoria at www.seahorsevic.com or phone: (03)9513 8222. Otherwise, get in touch with the ALSO Foundation on (03) 9660 3900 and they should be able to give you guidance as to who would be best to support you. We wish you and your son well in the future. |
|Q: I just wanted to talk!! My son finally told me 2 months ago that he was gay...I say finally because I have been a little unsure of his sexuality for about 8 years(he is 23) When he told me he said it was the hardest 3 words he has ever had to say...He also told me he has fighting it for years and years because he didn't want to be and didn't believe he was and would not accept it..He had suffered depression and contemplated suicide. I cried and he cried ...I think he cried from relief and I cried because he could not accept himself and could not tell anyone, even though he knew we would be ok about it.
The funny thing is I am fine with it he is so much happier in himself and his friends say that he is actually smiling and looks like he can breathe for the first time in years.The thing is after reading lots on the subject I think I feel like a lot of people and feel a bit of a loss as too my expectations.Its a weird feeling.All of his mates have been great and he has started seeing someone, but wont let us meet him yet as he is testing the water and just finding his way so I respect that.He will talk about him( a bit) and seems to be quite hooked so I just want what all parents want and that's for him to be loved respected and treated well.So far I think that is happening.It's all early days and our other children are all very accepting and happy for him. Anyway I thought I would just vent a little and touch base! Thanks for listening...
|A: We are so glad that your son is feeling happier and accepting himself for who he really is. This is a common story and many of the parents who have come to PFLAG have reported a similarly happier child when they have come out and found acceptance from family and friends. It must be so hard to go through that self loathing and doubt and keep it all bottled up to your self. No wonder the depression and suicide rate is so high among gay youth!
Maybe one day we will get to meet you and your son if you are in Victoria.
Please join us at Pride March on Sunday 6th February if you are able to. We march down Fitzroy street to tumultuous applause and cheering and it does the soul good to see such support!
Check the details on our events page.
Thanks for sharing your story with us and good luck in the future.
|Q: My daughter has recently made a mew female friend. This friend comes a an extremely bad family situation and has many serious issues, she is 17. From the moment I met her, I just felt that she was bad news for my own daughter, who is 18, as my daughter tends to be a person who wants to help people with problems, totally ignoring her own life.
This friend distracted my daughter all through her recent vce exams too. I had a feeling that this girl was a lesbian.
Then on christmas eve my daughter tells me that she's bisexual, and I know that this new friend is her partner.
My reaction to this news has caught me off guard and my response was not ..." you are not bisexual" as there have never been any signs..she's always chased boys and had boyfriends. I'm worried that my daughter may have been talked into thinking she's bisexual. How do I know? How on earth can she label herself now? Can she have been influenced? I hate the new friend so much, not because she is a lesbian, or has potentially influenced my daughter, but because I feel that my daughter had made a terrible choice in partner.
I' m so confused, and I love ,y daughter so much, I now fear that my initial reaction has put her off telling me anything.... What do I do? I'm so sad about it.. Only because, I 'm not sure if my daughter is clear on who she is.
|A: Please read some of the resources on our website and perhaps come to a meeting in future to discuss your worries in person.
Try to stay open to discussing things with your daughter without passing judgement but explain to her that since you love her so much, you are concerned about her.
You may like to tell her you have looked for guidance through PFLAG and show her our website as it might help her to read the information as well and could open up discussions between you.
We wish you the best and hope we can help you further when you come to our meetings.
|Q: My daughter who is 17 years of age has just come out and told me she is gay.
Although mu husband and I had our suspicion's from when she was very young we always deep down hoped it wasn't true. We approached her twice on the matter the first time she said no she wasn't then the second time she said she wasn't sure. As a teenager my daughter always struggled at school and was always in deep thought, never really socialising with family member's or her cousin's which was a concern for us she also had an eating disorder and starting cutting herself from an early age , so we now put all this down to her coming to term's with herself and accepting who she really is. Now that she has come out I we are glad but at the same time hurt deep down, my husband is dealing with it better then I am and I was the one who thought I would be able to deal with it better. I ask myself what did we do wrong I can't stop crying I am grieving for the daughter i have lost. I need help if I was to attend a meeting do I let you know or just turn up!
|A: Your feelings are fairly typical for someone in your situation. Although we all hope and think we will be alright with the news that our child is gay or lesbian, deep down we have a dream for how their life will be and the heterosexual one of marriage and children etc is a strong part of our culture so naturally we feel disappointed and worried about what the future will hold for our child.
You would definitely benefit from coming to one of our meetings and talking to others who are further along in the journey than you.
Just turn up and you will be warmly welcomed by one of our members. We look forward to meeting you and helping if we can.
If you would like some printed information posted to you in the meantime, please email via the link below or call our hotline and leave a message so we can send it to your address.
We look forward to meeting you on January 25th!
|Q: Is there any chance of there being a PFLAG group being started in East Gippsland, Victoria? I am a 23 year old gay guy, who came out to my mum but not my father. I think that I, and them, would appreciate meeting parents and youth from regional victoria. |
|A: At the moment there is not a PFLAG in Gippsland but we have an existing PFLAG dad of a gay son living there who I am sure would be happy to meet with and talk to your parents.
Please email direct and we can put you in touch with him.
|Q: Hi, I've been out to my family as a lesbian for about 20 years and thought that they were now ok with it. My youngest sister has just come out to our parents as bi. They are not taking it well and we are all upset. Apparently our parents still believe (despite all I've ever said) that homosexuality is a choice and that we are making bad choices. I have been able to direct my sister to local organisations for support (she's interstate) and right now I need support myself - about how to understand my parents and deal with my own anger and hurt feelings. Thank you!|
|A: It sounds like your parents need to learn about what it means to be a lesbian or gay and they can do so at PFLAG or via our website initially.
We encourage you to bring your parents along to a meeting to help them to come to terms with and understand having 2 gay daughters. You can borrow some books, talk to other parents and also meet some other gay people who have been through similar experiences to your family.
You are welcome to come alone if they do not want to come initially of course. We are here to help. Check here for meeting information.
|Q: Hi I'm a 24 year old Indian lesbian and basically its getting closer and closer to the time I need to.come out to my parents. It's just difficult because I can imagine the worst case scenario, disownment. My parents have jokingly said before if I was gay and recently said that I need a companion and the way my dad says sometimes a boy or girl, I don't know whether to take him seriously or not. It's getting to the point where they are beginning to talk about introductions and Everytime the conversation comes up I laugh it off or change the subject. My girlfriend and I have been together just over 3 years and we are planning on family etc but I need to tell my parents I just am finding it a whole lot of difficult. I am not financially independent on them anymore but they are a big part of my life (obviously) and I don't want them to hate me. They are not overly religious. |
|A: The fact that your dad has joked about a same-sex companion for you sounds like they are suspicious that you are lesbian and need you to confirm it. Also that maybe, although it will be a shock, they may be prepared to accept it.
You are welcome to attend one of our meetings and talk it over with others. We have parents and some gay people attending who can help you talk it through.
At least that way you can 'arm yourself' with information to give them and a place for them to come when they are ready also.
We hope to see you at the next meeting on 25th January.
|Q: I just discovered that i may be a lesbian or bisexual and if that's the case then i want to go through it with people who knows exactly what is going on. I am 20 years of age|
|A: There are groups around for lesbians that you could contact. If you are in Melbourne, try calling the ALSO Foundation (info on our webpage) and they could put you in touch with some or you may like to come along to PFLAG if you are concerned about coming out to family and friends. We have some lesbian members who you you can talk to as well as parents who can give you their insights also. Meeting dates are listed on the Meetings page.|
Today my 17 year old little brother told me he is gay. I was driving in the car and all of a sudden the feeling went out of my hands and the wind out of my lungs. I have always had a close and special bond with my little brother, probably akin to parent and child than sibling, and I am heartsick that he has struggled with this for years and just told me today.
I have asked him before and told him (what I thought was truthfully at the time) that I would love and support him whoever he was attracted to. He denied it, obviously not being ready to tell me. So why am I so distraught about this? I always considered myself pretty liberal but I am horrified to learn that I am devastated. It's like I'm grieving the loss of the dream life I had for my brother. The other thing that is absolutely killing me is that my housemate (who is gay) has known for months and has been discussing and helping my little brother through this. He was giving him the encouragement and support to tell me. I feel utterly betrayed (an emotion I am surprised to have) by someone who I know had to hold this secret and who I should be happy was there to help a person I love so much. That my housemate knew for months and never said a word and let me talk freely about my little brother and his life just kills me.
WHY do I feel this way? How could this hurt so much, and how could I be so selfish when I know this has been so difficult for my little brother?
|A: Yours is a common response so don't feel too bad about it. Most people who are comfortable with gay friends or gay people in general believe that they would be OK if their own brother, son, sister or daughter told them that they are gay but in reality it is not as easy to accept and come to terms with.
Like you said, the dreams you have had all your life for your brother have been shattered and, not only that but he did not feel he could confide in you until he had sorted things out in his own mind. This is also very common and when you think about it, quite understandable that he needed to talk through his thoughts and feelings to be sure himself.
After all, he also had to come to terms with not being the boy he and everyone else thought he was. It takes a lot of soul searching for some people to be happy with their own sexuality and then feel safe and secure enough to share that with those they love.
It will take time but you will come to understand and the hurt will go away.
If you would like to talk it out, come along to PFLAG and talk to others who have shared similar experiences and feelings. It really helps to do so.
|Q: Hi, four days ago we learnt from our elder daughter than our younger daughter who is 19 years old is gay. We have spoken to her since then and she has very calmly told us that she has had these feelings for as long as she remembers and a few years ago became certain. We are devastated and don't know what to do. We come from a very conservative culture that has no tolerance for homosexuality and are trying very hard to understand and accept this. We are reading up everything we can to try to understand this, but we feel totally shattered. We are very close as a family. As parents, my husband and I are hurting, grieving and confused. Our older daughter, who is 24 is also with us in this greif as a parent,but she has her own worries and fears.We are still not convinced that she is gay and think she is confused. What would she had done if we were in our home country? Would she have come out? We also are grieving for all these years that she has suffered, when she actually came across as a well adjusted, happy, extremely talented, beautiful, confident yet quiet girl.
What do we do? When exactly is the next meeting of PFLAG? How will it help? Who should attend? can our gay daughter come with us to a meeting? Will our coming to a PFLAG meeting anger or distress our gay daughter? Please help.
|A: We understand your initial shock and difficulty in believing that your daughter is gay.We don't know what your home country is, but understand that in some countries being gay is far less tolerated than here in Australia. Unfortunately gay people in these countries must live a lie in order to fit in with society and not be punished or vilified. In Australia, acceptance is increasing for people of all sexualities and so your daughter felt that she could safely be herself.
Our next meeting is on Tuesday night at 7.30pm - if you click on the meetings link you can see a list of all the coming meetings for this year.
Usually our gay children are very happy that we go to PFLAG meetings to try to understand and learn more about their sexuality. No doubt your daughter will see it the same way.
Your entire family are welcome to attend but if your gay daughter does not want to come, you should realise that she will be concerned with what you might say and prefer you to talk about her without having to listen. Sometimes it is easier at first to do it this way.
Talking to other parents and even some other gay people will help you to see that you are not alone, your feelings are not wrong or strange and that you are understood and supported. Also, you will find that you learn a lot about what it means for both your daughter and you that she is gay and how others have dealt with telling friends and family, and attitudes in general.
At the meeting you can borrow some books, take home some free information booklets and get to know some parents who will welcome and support you.
We hope to see you at our next meeting.
|Q: hi,i am 30 years old Indian guy,live in Melbourne..i think i am a gay...but i haven't any sexual encounters with any other male person..i am very much attracted towards male as compare to female,I'm just coming out and told my teacher that how i feel and he support me very well...but i want to talk someone and want to meet persons from my community and other communities who are gay and who support me and guide me in right direction.even i m very much confused and sometimes i feel that may be its just my feelings ..coz i never touch any guy.so plz help me...|
|A: If you send an email directly to us, we have a gay Indian member who I am sure would be happy to talk to you, share his journey and offer support. Click on the Contact link. |
|Q: Hi my name is Rose and I'm having trouble with my girlfriend's family.
For the first 4 years of our 8 year relationship my girlfriend's mother wouldn't acknowledge my existence and we had no contact. Then she decided that this was not a "phase" and met me. It has been an awkward 4 years since, but I did my best to try and forgive her and develop some type of meaningful relationship.
But it has all collapsed again after my girlfriend talked to her about our plans for children and has been awfully critical of me again and revealed her underlying dislike of me and the relationship.
I want to rid my hands of her as clearly she can't accept me after all these years, but feel quilty as she is my partner's mother.
I know I should suggest something like PFLAG, but to be honest I'm just am not interested in giving her a second (or should I say third) chance anymore.
Why can't she see that her daughter is genuinely happy?
|A: Hi Rose,
Your situation is very sad but not uncommon unfortunately. Many parents like to avoid their child's partner which helps them to pretend that things are how they would like them but this is unfair to you and your partner.
Our belief in PFLAG is that you should never give up on even the most conservative people because we have seen parents who come to our meetings angry and crying the first couple of times and end up reading books, listening to others and then coming to the realisation that it is they who are missing out if they shut out part of their child's life. It is wonderful to see this happen and the transformation of the very distant relationship to a closer sharing one but it is something that takes time for many people and can cause a lot of emotional upset along the way.
Your partner would be the best person to try to get her mother/family to attend our meetings. She could bring her along after coming to one by herself or with you to find out more and grab some pamphlets and booklets then talk to her mum and see if she can convince her to attend.
We only have one more regular meeting this year then the November meeting is our Christmas party so wouldn't be helpful. There is no meeting in December and the next meeting would be the fourth Tuesday in January.
Despite saying you do not want to give her a second chance, you came to our site so perhaps you do...just one more try?
I am a single mum and have a 15 yo gay son. He needs to find a healthy outlet for his sexuality but I don't know what to tell him. He has been exploring online which makes me nervous.
Are there person to person support groups for kids his age?
|A: There is a group for young gay people called Minus 18 that would be a good place for your son to start meeting other gay boys and going to some social gatherings that they organise in a safe, supervised environment. See our links page for their contact details. |
|Q: Hi, I am a very proud mum of a 20 yo son who is gay and contented and happy with life, however we are not sure how to tell the grandparents and aunty and uncle, any ideas which line to take?|
|A: One group or individual at a time is often easiest but some people have gone so far as announcing it in their Christmas letter. It is really a personal thing and you should discuss it with your son because it is his information to share if and how he wants to.
Many of us at PFLAG feared telling elderly relatives only to find that after their initial shock, they affirmed their love for our child and were keen to understand and learn more.
In most cases, ignorance and unfortunate stereotypes are the barrier to acceptance and understanding.
Please avail yourself of our resources; they will help you to clarify in your mind the facts about homosexuality and will provide supportive back up to answer questions or even give printed copies of information for family to read and process at their own pace.
The most important thing you can impress upon your relatives is your total acceptance, support and love for your son. In most cases, they will follow with theirs as well.
|Q: How do you come out to Jewish parents... or I need some advice on services I can give my parents?|
|A: We have resources you can download and print out or you can refer your parents to our website to read for themselves.
If they would come to a meeting, it may help them to talk to other parents once they know.
You are welcome to attend our meetings if you wish to do so where you can pick up some resources and have a chat to other parents - this may help you prepare yourself to come out to your own parents.
You may find talking to some other Jewish gay people who have come out already will help - you could try Aleph Melbourne www.aleph.org.au or email: email@example.com
|Q: How do we parents tell our friends and families about our 19 year old gay son, knowing most are against gays and lesbians.|
|A: Everyone is different and so we can't give you a prescriptive answer to this question.
Are you able to come to a PFLAG meeting?
You will hear from people who have been through or are still going through the same experience. This may help you to formulate a plan in your own situation.
We hope to meet you soon!
|Q: My 16 year old son has told me he is attracted to men, but he is not sure how much. I am OK with that. But I have also just discovered he likes dressing in women's clothing and has a public photo profile on a popular teen website where he is wearing drag. I want him to know that I support his choice of identity and gender, but at the same time to strongly suggest to him that he should use more discretion on the net, and also that if he wants to cross dress, he should not use my clothes. Any suggestions about how I should raise this topic with him?|
|A: Try a talk about the dangers of social networking sites - there has been quite a bit of news about that recently with some serious cases coming up from them. See if you can find the details and point out that you are concerned for his safety.
As far as your clothes go; that is a personal thing and he should understand that you do not like seeing him in your clothes paraded in a public forum.
As long as you keep it to these facts avoiding making judgements about his sexuality then he should be reasonable and listen to you. Best of luck!
|Q: Is there a meeting in the vicinity of Stawell|
|A: No, at this stage there is only Melbourne (Toorak) or Shepparton.
Ballarat may be available soon. Keep checking our website for updates!
|Q: I am an 19 year old (bisexual) male and I don't know whether to come out to my parents/family or not. I am unsure of whether my parents care or not or whether or not they already know. I am not the sort of person to talk to them about personal matters, should that matter now that I have a boyfriend, or that I am indeed bisexual? In a way I don't really want the status quo to change. |
|A: It depends on how you want to live your life. Most people end up coming out so they can live their life without having to live a lie and avoid keeping secrets. It makes them feel like they are being true to themselves as well as others. Even if you don't talk to your parents about personal matters you may like to be able to introduce your boyfriend as who he really is. In fact, he may like that as well rather than having to pretend he is just a friend when he is someone more important to you. You might like to read "Because I love you", a pdf on our resources page that discussed the issue of coming out and gives some very good advice. Good luck with your decision.|
|Q: please help me i am a mother of a gay son who is 19 i love him more than life it self i cannot stop thinking about the HIV factor it is in my head all the time i panic i cry my self to sleep most nights at the thought of loosing him to this disease i have done a lot of research on the matter but nothing makes me feel any better it just takes one time and that is what i am so scared about i cannot talk out loud about my prob as not to frighten him or my other son so who do i talk these fears over with that really is taking over my life at the moment.|
|A: In reality, gay men can live happy, healthy lives but they do need to take precautions and it is far better that your son has a reminder of this that letting it go and regretting it later. You need to be calm and know the facts when you speak to him though or it will become a cause for tension between you which will not help the situation at all.
Try getting in touch with Vic Aids to discuss this on (03) 9865 6700 or 1800 134840 or email about their course for young gay men which would educate your son and may help to ease your concerns.
Young and Gay is a coming out workshop for guys aged 18 to 26. It gives young guys a chance to connect with other young guys, to build their social network, share their coming out experience, learn about relationship and sex, and an opportunity to find out more about the gay scene and of course having fun along the way. For more information e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
Once you are more aware of the facts and know a course of action, you will be able to talk to your son openly and calmly.
It is far better to discuss your concerns with someone who knows and then with your son than allow it to dominate your life like it seems to be doing. Good luck!
|Q: I am a proud parent of a teenage gay, who was very proud of who who was! he unfortunately took his life recently, leaving me a note, saying "he wasn't made for this crazy fucked up world". This has been very hard on his family & many friends left to wonder why? my concern is that his sister may also be gay and I'm worried about how she feels because of what has happened to her brother, they were very close to each other, I have tried to talk to her but she tells me she's OK & not to worry about her, she is seeing a youth counselor for loss & grief, she may also be discussing her sexuality, It's personal of course, I was wondering if I could ring & just inquire from the counselor if there is anything I need to be aware of, as in my concerns for my daughter and how to approach the subject?|
|A: Our deepest sympathy for your loss. It is very sad to hear of young people taking their own life.
It is understandable that you would be worried about your daughter and good to know that she is receiving grief counseling. It is likely that the counselor is keeping a close eye on your daughter and you could certainly call and ask to voice your concerns but as you seem to be aware, confidentiality is important in these situations. No-one would go to counselors if they simply divulged information to others when asked. However, as a parent just having a chat to state your concerns may be OK. The problem you may have is that if your daughter finds out she may see it as a breech of trust or that you are interfering. Tread carefully.
|Q: I have known that my son is gay for over 3 years now (he is 24). Over time I have talked to family and close friends about this - always with many tears on the first occasion. I now feel that it is time that I discussed this with my mother but i am am having difficulty raising the issue. She is 83 and has some (recently diagnosed)significant health issues to deal with, and is also the carer of my father. I have talked to my 2 sisters about this and while they haven't told me not to have this discussion with our mother, they have asked "does she need to know?" My son is now comfortable with who he is and feels he shouldn't have to hide this issue. I am torn between both. Any advice?|
|A: It is always a difficult decision whether to tell elderly relatives however many of us at PFLAG had done so after much soul searching, and with trepidation, only to find that they have taken it very well. Like we parents, grandparents have an unconditional love for their grandchildren and very few would shun them when they find out that they are gay. It may come as a shock to them and they are most likely uneducated in this area but they are still capable of learning and understanding and we have heard stories of grandparents speaking up in support of gays amongst their peers when jokes or derogatory remarks are made. It would probably be a good idea to arm yourself with some reading material first that you can leave with your mum so she can understand. If you would like any booklets posted out to you please use the email address on 'Contact Us' page or at the bottom of this page and send your postal address so we can post them out to you. |
|Q: We are international students from Russia (we are lesbians)and want to marry.
We wish to register our relationship.
Considered whether such a marriage valid in Australia?
|A: Marriage between same-sex couples is not legal in Australia. Some states allow civil unions and registration of relationships but marriage is still being opposed by our government despite over 60% of Australians being in favour of it.
You can read more about this by going to www.australianmarriageequality.com
|Q: My 18 yr old daughter is gay, and I support and love her unconditionally. The only problem is that she has decided to move out with another 18 year old girl who has a three month baby. My daughter wants to work fast food to support this girl and her baby. I cannot say anything negative because if I do it pushes my daughter even further away. I don't believe this girl is gay....she just needs someone to help with her baby. HELP|
|A: Unfortunately this is one of those frustrating situations we have to deal with as parents. Your daughter is an adult and will make up her own mind about this situation. In due course she will probably get tired of being used and it will all end...no doubt in tears. As a parent, all we can do is be there for our kids when they make mistakes and give them our unconditional love. Good luck!|
|Q: How do you support a young person who has come out, first telling his psychologist after two years of counseling (anxiety), then his mum that he is gay but sadly has told his mum he doesn't want to be gay. He has lived with anxiety now for a couple of years and has refused to go back to school since the beginning of year nine. He was bullied at school and called poofter etc the usual nonsense kids come out with.
His mum and many of us have known since he was a young boy that he is gay and love him for whom he is. His sexuallity is not an issue he 's a very intelligent, sensitive 16 year old delightful teenager. his father has said its not a concern if he is gay although I'm not sure whether he's been informed as yet.How sad it is that he does not want to be gay stated to his mother - I never asked to be born this way, its not my choice. Any opinions, ideas on how to make it easier for him to come to terms with being gay?
Of all the young gay people I've have met throughout my life they are out and proud. This is new to me.
|A: It sounds like this young man has still a long way to go to come to terms with who he is.Has he been given any resources to read, anyone in the gay community to talk to? Coming to terms with his sexuality will take time but a start would be to provide as much reading material that deals with this as possible and perhaps, when he is up to it, talking to other gay young people. There is a lot of support out there - look at our links page and download some of the resources from our resource page also for him. He and his mother/parents would be welcome at a PFLAG meeting which may also help him; we often have one or more gay people there who are great to talk to. A different school might be the best option if there is one close by.
Best of luck in helping this young man. He is lucky to have a support network around him such as you have described.
|Q: I'm a 47 year old straight man who is interested in joining P Flag.
I have a friend who is Bi-Sexual but I don't have any children of my own.
am I still able to join?
|A: PFLAG is for parents, families AND friends of lesbians, bisexual, gay, transgender, etc people so you would be welcome!|
My 14yo daughter is gay and I am totally supportive of her. My question is should we openly discuss this with her sibling who is 10yo. I do not want to hide it but I am not sure if a 10yo will understand. Also do the meetings include all family i.e. sibling, parents and the gay members or just parents?
|A: Many of our members have dealt with younger family members knowing about their gay child. Usually, it is like most things with children in that they only need to know the basics as their level of comprehension is less mature. Just saying that your daughter has a girlfriend if that is the case and explaining that she likes girls instead of boys is usually enough.
Our meetings are for any family members and friends although a child of 10 might be a bit young to be involved in some of the discussions and would probably be better coming when she is older.
|Q: My 21 year old daughter has had feelings for two women, neither of whom were gay. My daughter is not saying she is gay, she is very confused about her feelings. She has had one relationship with a man and has had sex with several other men. So far her feelings are one-sided and not divulged to the women. It sounds like a 'crush' to me. I have suggested she talk to someone professionally, she is hesitant about doing this, but I don't know what to say to her. I've told her it makes no difference to me if she is gay. I just want to help her through this phase.
Can you suggest somewhere for her to go, when she decides to. We are in Victoria.
|A: She can contact WIRE - Women's Information by phone: (03) 9921 0888
or visit their webpage: www.wire.org.au
|Q: My husband and I have just split up as he is gay. I am 29. We've been together since we were 17, and married for about 3.5 yrs. We are still great friends and hope to stay that way forever. I'm still very confused and thought that talking to people who've been through this may help. I was wondering if your support group would be suitable for me, or if you can recommend any support groups in Melbourne for wifes that this has happened to.|
|A: You might like to get in touch with Women Partners of Gay/Bisexual Men by phone:
(03)98265452 or 0403 445 125
You are welcome to attend our meetings but mostly we are parents and don't often have partners (of gays) so we may not be as helpful to you.
|Q: Hi i m an indian and i have recently told my mom that i m gay... i want her to speak to some parent who speak same native language... she is not able to understand that how come i m gay.. she thinks i am sick and i need some sort of treatment. i urgently need some help.|
|A: We do not know of any parents who are Indian for your mother to talk to at the moment. We can put you in touch with one of our gay members who is Indian who may be able to help you through this though.
If you are interested in talking to him, please email us using the Contact Us link below and we will refer your email onto him so you can talk.
My 25 year old son broken up with his long term girl friend, stating that he thinks he is Bisexual. I am very worried about him because he has Asperger's syndrome (high functioning autism) and is extremely impulsive and struggles to understand consequential behaviours. He has already started taking risks via the internet and I am just so worried that he is going to get himself into a situation he can't handle. Please understand I have no problem with him being gay, but I am scared that he is going to jump from female partner to male without thought of how his actions will affect himself or others. Do you know of anywhere I can get advice for him and me in veiw of his disability and sexuality.
|A: We don't really know of a suitable agency for your situation. You could try calling the Gay and Lesbian Switchboard
Phone: (03) 9663 2939 or 1800 184 527
and they may be able to refer you to someone. Good luck!
My 18 year old daughter is gay, can anyone suggest how she can meet other nice girls at places other than Connections, we live in Perth.
|A: She could try one of the online dating sites like the Pink Lounge. Pink Sofa or Pink Lounge|
|Q: I'm 19, and today my parents confrontationaly confronted me and my girlfriend about being gay. When we admitted we were and had a discussion between my parents and her own both set of parents immediate reaction was how sick and wrong our behaviour is and how we should just stop "being gay".
After some time my parents did calm down and are willing to accept my sexuality and life choices even if they don't agree. However my dad isn't able to understand why my girlfriend and I won't publicly declare our relationship, he see's it as unhealthy.
How can I make them understand that my homosexual feelings are not controllable, and that publicly coming out is a process we both need to be ready for, we've just had the people we love the most tell us its sick and wrong how is the rest of the world going to react?
|A: You might try to get them to read some of the resources on our website to help them understand. You can download and print off the pdf files on our Resources page. Even better would be to encourage them to attend a PFLAG meeting where they will have access to more information via books and talking to other parents who have been through similar situations. |
|Q: What is the legal age for a lesbian to have sex in Canberra as my 16 yr old girl is in a relationship with another girl?
|A: There are no laws regarding female-female age of consent in the ACT.|
My 23 year old daughter has recently come out as being gay. I don't have an issue with this at all and have totally embraced her sexuality and her girlfriend into my home. I attended the Pride march with them in February and joined in the celebrations on the beachfront. Was actually very refreshing to see so many people from all walks of life socializing in such harmony.
Next year I would like to march with Pflag to show my support to my daughter and to encourage those in our community that may have issues with this lifestyle.
Even though I don't need help in acceptance, is there a place for me within your organisation, to possibly assist others in acceptance? I don't know. Is this group only for those who have issues?
We are glad you don't have any problems accepting your lesbian daughter and we agree it was great to see everyone joining in the celebrations at Pride March. We would love to see you at one of our meetings; we need parents who have come to this acceptance also to support new parents and would welcome your contributions. Please email via Contact Us below if you need a personal answer otherwise we look forward to meeting you soon!
|Q: I have 26 year old son who has just told me he is gay,i have never been so devestated in all my life,and was told to check this site as it supports parents? im disgusted to see you give parents no hope of change regardless of some kids being so young and that the only thing that you seemto be supporting is homosexuallity ! |
|A: Our advice is based on many years of accumulated experience and on the results of research which concluded some time ago that although we are not exactly sure why some people are homosexual (approximately 10% of population is estimated) they cannot change that just by trying not to be. Just as most heterosexual people cannot change being attracted to the opposite sex/gender so gay people cannot change being attracted to the same gender.
Not only has science proven this after many years of inhumane shock treatment by some organisations but many religious groups have now accepted gay people into their congregation because they accept the facts also and realise that being gay does not equate to being a bad person. In fact, homosexuality is just a small part of who they are and they should not be discriminated against because of this.
At PFLAG our motto is "Keeping Families Together" and we are proud to say that over the years we have done just that by educating parents and helping them to realise that their child's sexuality does not change them from the person they are with the same strengths and lovable characteristics they had before we knew they were gay. We accept that due to society's intolerance they may face a difficult life with some inequality in rights and even hatred but we know from experience that they can lead happy, fulfilling lives and we are always deeply saddened when we meet wonderful, caring people who have been rejected by their parents/families on the grounds of their sexuality.
|Q: Hi, my 19 years old son come out to me year ago. I still love him very much, I tried to accept him and want to support him in the best ways so I learn and read about everything book about the boys adolescent and manhood and also all information about homosexuality.I come from moslem and eastern culture so it is very difficult for me to cope with this situation. Could you help me to meet and talk with the family or person which is in the same or similar circumstances and can I just come to the next meeting which I assume will be on 23th of February. |
|A: It sounds like you are making a big effort to understand your son's sexuality and accept him which is great.
We certainly can help you meet others and we would love to see you at our next meeting on 23rd February. See the Contact Us page for details. If you would like someone to phone you or email directly before that time you can use our Contact Us email address to let us know your contact information detailing a convenient time to phone if necessary.
We look forward to meeting you.
|Q: Hello. I have recently discovered that my 18 year old daughter has had lesbian relations, but has never had sex with a boy. I'm very confused and sad. I don't want to make a mistake of pushing my daughter away, but I don't think its fair that I should be expected to accept this and I'm scared that if I show her support I'm encouraging her to continue on this path, which I believe is wrong and a mistake. What will I do. I cant stop crying.|
|A: Your daughter's sexuality will not be influenced by your reactions. If she is a lesbian or bisexual then that is what she is but she has to work that out for herself. For some people, it seems it is not so clear cut as for others and they need time to work out their feelings. Your support for your daughter whatever the outcome are what will help her to be a happy girl with a good relationship with her parent. Please read the Sexuality is not a Choice and Making Sense booklets on our website to help you understand what your daughter may be going through. It will take time to come to terms with if your daughter is lesbian especially if you feel so negatively about it but in order to retain a good relationship with her and not push her away, you should try to understand it by becoming educated in this matter. |
|Q: Hey, I'm a 16 year old gay male who came out to their family (mother and sister) and who is out to close friends also. There is no problem with my friends they are wholeheartedly accepting and comfortable with the topic. I know my family accepts me, there was some shock on my mother's part, and she expressed her concern for my safety and happiness, but did say she loved me no matter what. The only problem is that there is this awkwardness whenever homosexuality is mentioned, or when someone trips and says eg:"well, when your married". I mean it doesn't offend me, but it just feels like making reference to my sexuality in day to day life feels like coming out again and again. I don't know if my mum is just awkward about talking about my sexuality as her son in general, for she has no problem with me being gay, we have both reconciled and came to accept our christian faiths with my homosexuality. I just ask you, is there anything I can do to make it easier, to communicate it when necessary with an awkwardness so strange between people so close. I was so accepted because of the fact I am close with my mother and sister, and they love me for who I am which did not change along with their assumption of my sexual orientation. I love our relationship, and wish the awkwardness to go, an awkwardness that is not present in any other element of post-coming out life and conversation. Thankyou|
|A: It takes time and it sounds like your mum and maybe you also need more of it to really come to terms with feeling comfortable discussing issues around your sexuality and homosexuality in general. Have you provided your mother with any resources so she can read about it or mentioned PFLAG to her as a place to call or go to discuss how she is feeling? It may be beneficial to do so. First off, either download some of our resources on this website for her to read or email or phone us and we can send you the Making Sense booklet via post. If your mother would like to call or email also, one of our parent volunteers would be happy to talk to her. Tell her the phones are not answered by a person but she will need to leave a message and contact number and we can call her back. In most cases we find when parents learn more and speak to others who are in the same situation ie. parents of gay people, they find it easier to communicate with their own child. You are all welcome to come to one of our meetings also if you can. You will get lots of support and meet other parents and gay people there in a relaxed, friendly atmosphere. We hope to hear from you soon if you feel we can help.|
|Q: Does gayness run in families. In my husbands family there are 5 siblings, 2 sisters are lesbian and one brother is gay. More than half of siblings are gay, is this normal. Myself, my husband and my parent in law are having a hard time dealing with so many gay children in the family. Also my gay bro in law lives with us and constantly uses my computer to look at gay porn, even though I have asked him many times not to do so. My husband and myself are trying hard to be accepting to them being gay, however when we stumble across his gay porn and it is right in your face, we feel disgusted and angry and wish that they all will be straight. |
|A: From our experience and from what you can read online and in books on the subject, it appears to be not too 'abnormal' or unusual. Scientists are still trying to determine what genetic factor (gay gene) causes some people to be gay but haven't really found anything definite.
Your problem with your brother in law is one you could have even if he were straight and should be dealt with in just the same way. If he does not respect your wishes about using your computer then just don't let him use it! It is inappropriate to find porn of any sort on your computer whether it is gay or straight. You need to take a stand.
As for your parents-in-law; they probably need some help from an organisation such as ours. You could start by downloading some of the information we have in the Resources section of this site for them then once they have had a chance to read them, suggest a call to PFLAG. They may eventually want to attend a meeting and might need your support when they do. If you/they live in the Melbourne area then we would be only too pleased to meet you/them and share our resources and support.
|Q: My 20 year old son has recently told me that he is gay. I have always suspected this, regardless I am devastated by the news, however I am supportive and love him dearly. My concern is that he told me he has been in a relationship for a year with a 35 year old divorced man with three children. I am very concerned by the age gap and the different stages they are at in their lives. In addition, the older man cannot disclose for work reasons that he is gay, so my son "is a secret" Thank you.|
|A: This is by no means an unusual situation in the gay community from our experience; many of us have had to cope with our sons being involved with an older man and it is a difficult thing to deal with. He will eventually move on and probably meet someone closer to his own age but it seems to be like a mentoring role that older men provide when young men first come out. The secret part of this situation is the most difficult thing and it makes the relationship seem somewhat illicit and unfair to your son but he is a man and you will have to stand back since it is his decision to remain in this relationship for the moment. However, be ready to support him when things change as he will need your support not judgement or criticism. That is the job of a parent, to love unconditionally.|
|Q: I have recently learned that my 45 year old married daughter has been in a gay relationship with a married woman for two years. Each have two children, their ages ranging from 11 down to 7. My daughters husband fully understand the situation and they have committed to stay together for the sake of the children and assure me they are able to make this work because of their deep friendship, and shared interests. My daughters partner however cannot/will not allow her husband to know because she fears he is not emotionally stable enough to handle it and she fears she would lose her sons. My daughter has been selective in whom she has come out to but is not willing to tell her father who lives overseas, for fear of his judgement or her siblings who are here. Having been made privy to this whole new "construct" within the family and sworn to secrecy I personally feel caught up in a bad nightmare! I adore my daughter and wish to be supportive but cannot help but see this as a disaster waiting to happen as the two families are very close and my daughter is held in very high esteem by her partners husband! How best to handle this? She likes to talk to me about her relationship and has asked to visit when she and her partner are in town. I have explained that it is hard for me to come to terms with the situation because of the complexities and the secrecy. I would celebrate her/their happiness otherwise. I hope you can help facilitate a better perspective on all of this! Thanks. |
|A: You do indeed appear to be caught up in a difficult situation. Whilst your daughter has the advantage of sharing her secret with you, it forces you into your own private closet. You have to lie by omission to your family about her which can cause feelings of guilt in you. Until your daughter and her new partner come out to more people, it will be extremely difficult for all concerned. Many people who are being deceived in this situation will feel very hurt and angry when it finally comes out which no doubt it will eventually. It may be better for your daughter and her partner to start planning how best they can tell the others to limit the hurt rather than hoping that day will never come. In the long run, they will be much happier.|
|Q: Can you point me in the direction for resources/books etc that can be helpful for the older generation parents.(say 60+) Coming out in your 30's and 40's is also difficult to explain to the parents - any literature to give them that might help would be GREAT!|
|A: The Making Sense Booklet we have in our Resources section in pdf format should help and also the other documents there such as "Sexuality is not a Choice" We have other books available to borrow at our regular meetings but there is not another one now until the 4th Tuesday in January.|
|Q: Hi, I am a 50yo single mother who became involved with another single mum 5 months ago. Neither of us have had a relationship with a female before, but we love each other very much and both feel we have found our life partners. My partner's daughter is 5 and seems to accept our relationship. However, my 10yo daughter does not. She is constantly trying to drive a wedge between us. She liked my partner a lot before we became involved and moved in together, but keeps on telling me she wants things to go back the way they used to be, i.e. just me and her. Prior to my current relationship, I had basically not been with anyone since my daughter's birth. Thus, I think some of her jealousy would exist even if my partner was a male. However, I do know that she has been the brunt of some teasing at school due to the fact that my partner is another woman. Do you have any advice, or can you direct me to any useful websites or support groups? Thank you.|
|A: You might like to try Rainbow Families - they are listed on our Links page and have a support e-group that may have some members who have had similar experiences. Best of Luck!|
|Q: Hi, I am a mother of a girl who has just turned 15. I beleive that she is gay. She has not come out and told me but there have been a lot of indicators. 18 months a go she was the victim of a 22 woman who likes to have relationships with 12 -13 yo girls. My daughter was totally messed up by this person and the consequences, it has also had a profound impact on our family. Not because she was a female, but that she was a predator. Because of this experience there has been a lot of negative talk (not in the family) about lesbians. This I beleive has caused her to feel ashamed and scared to be who she really is. I told my daughter about a year ago that it was okay to be gay if she felt she was, that upset her terribly and she said that she wasn't gay. My daughter is not happy, she is very angry and negative, in trouble at school for fighting and abusing teachers and she self harms, but she will not have counselling. Could you please give some ideas on supporting and helping her through all this ? |
|A: Your daughter may wrongly believe that she has been 'turned gay' by the woman that preyed on her. Maybe you can download some of our resources, read them and talk with her about them so that she is clear that if she is gay, that is how she was before and it is OK. The Making Sense booklet and Sexuality is not a Choice may be helpful to you. Please take a look at them and good luck with your daughter. |
|Q: I believe my daughter is gay. What troubles me the most is that she hasn't told me about it, and I don't know whether to mention it or not. It is like the elephant in the lounge room. Is it any of my business? Should I ask her about it? I would never reject her.|
|A: Your daughter needs to be ready to come out and it should be her decision when she does. But sometimes some casual comments when the opportunity arises showing your support for gay issues such as the current one on Equal Marriage might spark some discussion between you. You could make it clear during these talks that you would never reject your child if they were gay. It takes time; be patient and she will come out when she is feeling comfortable and has maybe tested the water with regard to the reaction she may receive. |
|Q: What is the legal age for a girl to have sex with another girl?|
|A: Information which comes from the Legal Aid site (http://www.legalaid.vic.gov.au/745.htm) states:
"The law in Victoria says if you are:
* under 10: no-one can have sex with you or touch you sexually or perform a sexual act in front of you (even if you agree)
* 10 to 15: a person can’t have sex with you, touch you sexually or perform a sexual act in front of you if they are more than two years older than you, even if you agree. However, it is not an offence if the person honestly believed that there was less than a two-year age difference between you.
* 16 or 17: no-one who is caring for you or supervising you, like a teacher, youth worker or foster carer, can have sex with you or sexually touch you or perform a sexual act in front of you, even if you agree, unless they are married to you. However, it is not an offence if the person honestly believed you were 18 or older.
An older person can be charged with a sexual offence if they perform a sexual act that breaks these age limits, even if you agree to it. No adult can have an ongoing sexual relationship with you if you are under 16, unless they are legally married to you."
Similar laws apply in all states of Australia.
|Q: Hi there, i'm a 14 year old female living in Melbourne. I've pretty much known i am gay since i was around 12 years old. It took me a while to come out to my friends and tell them how i'm feeling, but i've done it and they've all been really accepting.
MY LITTLE DILEMA IS, coming out to my family. I know for a fact MOST of my family wouldn't have a problem with my sexuality (except for my grandparents) so coming out to the shouldn't realy be a problem.
The only thing i worry about is them assuming it is a phase, and not taking me seriously. And yes, i know i am fairly young and what not, so i think it would be difficult for them to understand how i'm feeling without patronizing me.
I have a strong feeling that my mother might know already just considering the way i dress, the people i hang out with and the fact i never make comments about hot guys, only pretty girls ;D haha.
OKAY so to sum it all up, my question is, should i wait until i'm a little older to come out to my family?
I don't really like sneaking around behind my mums back because we used to be really close...not so much anymore though. AND it's getting harder and harder to be with people without getting caught.
SOYESS! a little advice would be appreciated xD
thank you :)
|A: From our experience, many people know they are gay by your age. It is entirely up to you when you come out to your family. It is you who has to be ready and feel comfortable with it but remember that although you think your family will be OK, it could still take time for them to come to terms with. Make sure you have information for them to read and invite them to attend the PFLAG meetings with you. That will be a good start to getting the communication and understanding going between you. Good luck!|
|Q: Hi, I'm a 17 year-old girl and at the start of this year I finally started to come to terms with my sexuality. I've been attending a support group every week and I am now very confident, comfortable and proud of the fact that I like girls. I've also been coming out to some people at school and attending gay events. Recently however, i came out to my my parents. They took it better than I thought they would but I think they are still in the processing stage. They forbade me to tell even one more person - literally telling me that I was not allowed to tell anymore people until I was older (maybe 20-24 years) and i know for sure that I only like girls. I told them I am always open for change in my sexuality in the future, but right now I feel gay. But I think they are just hoping this is a phase I will get over, which I don't think it is. Also, while I know they are processing still, I'm quite sure their feelings on me coming out will stay the same. I know I should give them more time,but I would really like to come out at school and start a support group next year. It is what would make me feel comfortable and happy and I feel like it is the right time for me, yet if I do this I know my parents will hate me. I feel like I have to choose between doing what's right for me and making them feel comfortable. Do you have any advice? How much say do you think parents should have in their child's coming out? Is it wrong to choose myself over their wishes? And is there anyway I can make me coming out easier for them (because even thought they don't understand this completely, i do love them dearly)? Thankyou so much!! =)|
|A: This is a difficult situation but one that many people face. Although you are comfortable with your sexuality, your parents still have to get there. Try giving them any information you have on sexuality to read. We have some in our Resources section that you can download which may be helpful too. If you are in Melbourne, you may be able to bring them to a PFLAG meeting where they can talk to other parents to help them come to terms with this news. |
i'm a 19 yr old female, who's parents have recently found a piece of paper in my room, and from this they have concluded i am gay. To be bluntly honest i do not feel my sexuality is the issue in these circumstances. But this piece of paper was taken from my room, photocopied and hidden in a draw... i was never told until many months later... when my mother had a brief health scare and thought she was dying. I was shocked to think my parents would do this, but more shocked to hear they did this on the advice of a councelor... they will not tell me why the councilor advised this or what counciling service they used... I guess my question is: has anyone had a similar experience and know the reason why anyone would be advised this? I feel its just broken the trust between me and my parents and it seems talking to them about my sexuality in a civil way is no longer an option... I would just like to know why any councilor would advise this... or if in fact they would.
|A: We don't know of anyone who has had a similar experience and have no idea why your parents would have been advised this way.
Perhaps in time, you and your parents can talk about it when things have settled down. Having some information available would be helpful in order to assist them to understand more about sexuality. Please refer to the Resources we have available on this site.
At PFLAG we feel that keeping families together is important and worth working on even if it takes some time. Good luck in closing the rift between you and your parents.
|Q: Hi, I am a teenage gay male who has just recently come out to my grandma and several friends. i live with my grandma and it has been quite a shock for her as she never suspected i might be gay. she is the only one in my family who knows that i am gay. she is in denial and doesn't believe im gay. thankfully she is not mad. she does think that while it isn't a choice initially to be gay she does think that it is a choice later on. in other words she thinks its a phase. any advice on how to help her through this(i know it might sound weird considering that im the gay). also like i said she is the only one in the family who knows. i dont have any proof or anything but i strongly suspect that the rest of the family could be seriuosly homophobic. this is complicated by the fact that the family including my grandma and myself are all christians. any advice on how to let them know too?|
|A: You might like to download and print out for your grandma some of the resources we have available which, if she reads them, may help her to understand more about homosexuality. She could also try calling our support line to talk to someone about this. It can be very helpful to speak to others who have gone through similar experiences. Of course, you are both welcome to attend our family meeting on the fourth Tuesday of each month as well where you can speak in person to other parents. Check our Contact Us page for details. |
|Q: I was reading some of your questions and answers today and was really touched about the loving and caring in the responses. I am a 32 year old female that has a gay father. My dad came out to me when I was 23, but I probably suspected that he was gay from around the age of 15. I love my dad and we are very close. I am thinking about coming to one of your meetings. I would also like to be a contact person for people like the writer's friend in the December 2008 article that have gay parents as I haven't been able to find a specific support group targeted to that group.|
|A: Thank-you for your kind words and your offer to be a contact person for others with gay parents. We look forward to meeting you and talking about it at one of our meetings. |
|Q: Hi our 12 year old son (only child) has always played with girls. Being very articulate he has gravitated to girls since an early age. He has always liked to wear colourful clothes and dress up and wear his hair a bit longer than the other boys. He has a great sense of humour and great drama skills which has always attracted the girls. We have let him be who he is and encouraged him to wear what he likes and to be himself. He has been called 'gay' at school by both boys and girls on numerous occasions. He is now in grade 6 and is the Captain of his school. However, the girls who were once his friends have changed and are no longer accepting of his differences, calling him Gay and excluding him from 'girls' conversations. He is really hurt when they call him this and now gets really upset at school which only makes it worse because the other kids then use this against him. His Dad and I have made it clear to him that if he is gay that's ok with us. 'You are who you are'. He has told me he is not gay as he has a crush on a girl. He has not gone into puberty yet. He has done some resilience sessions with a psychologist to help him with his sensitivity but it's not really working yet. As he is starting secondary school next year (Co-ed), do any parents out there, have any advice how we can help him stand tall and love himself in the face of such injustice? The school we have chosen has a great name with regard to bullying. But I fear that the 'gay, faggot' name calling will still be a problem for him anywhere he goes. In his adult, mannered world, he is bright, full of confidence and happy. In the playground, where anything goes, he is lonely and hurt and confused. Is there anything else we can do? We're scared our bright, sensitive son, who has a lot to offer the world, is going to carry the scars made by homophobic school kids. We fear the next few years are going to be very hard to get him through school and we don't even know if he is gay or straight.
By the way, this website is great - Through our son, we've had a real insight into the plight of homosexual people and how far we still have to go to accept diversity in our country.
|A: This is a difficult situation to be in and one that is not easy to answer in this way. Could you email us direct via the Contact Us link? We may be able to help you on a more one-to-one basis as there is a parent in our group who has more experience in this kind of situation and is happy to talk to you.
Thank-you for your praise of our website; we appreciate the feedback.
|Q: My 18 year old son is gay.I am supportive and caring but since the beginning of the year my son has been very public about his sexual orientation. I have asked him to be discrete as he has younger siblings and other relatives that i have not told as yet. I would like to tell them when I think they are ready. My son continually refers to his sexuality on twitter, Myspace etc. He is defining who he is as a person by his sexuality when he is a many other things as well as gay.He takes great pride in being gay and the attention he receives from playing up the gay bit.I would like to normalize the situation as to not make it big deal but a part of everyday life.Any suggestions?|
|A: Your son may be just doing what many gay people do when they first come out; exercising the freedom he has to be himself instead of hiding his true identity as he was before. This usually settles down after a while but like all young people trying to rebel or stand out, he may want to be an individual on his terms and so at the moment it is by 'flaunting' his sexuality. It may be his way of belonging to a culture or group where he probably hasn't felt he fitted anywhere before since society is geared towards heterosexuals.
It could also be a test of yours and others' acceptance of him and although it seems like he is making a big deal of being gay, he may feel you are making a big deal out of hiding it. Unfortunately when our children come out of the closet, we tend to go into it worrying what our relatives and friends will think. Try talking to your son and explain that although he has had time to get used to being gay, you are still coming to terms with it and you need more time to 'come out' yourself. Reading books like "When our children come out" listed on our Resources page can really help you and your son to understand the process and each others feelings
|Q: I'm worried about my 21 year old son, I think he may be gay and unable to deal with it. I feel that he's confused and unhappy and doesn't know where he fits in. He hasn't spoken about this to any of us. i think this is also affecting his work, he works in a very blokey environment and i think he would be too scared to come out there. I think he just doesn't know what to do and i don't know how to help him. I don't want to push him or pry into his life so how do i let him know that we love him and want to help? |
|A: This is a difficult situation since he really needs to be ready to come out and shouldn't be forced to do so but on the other hand, if he is becoming depressed or showing signs of stress it is understandable for you to want to help him. Letting him know that you love him unconditionally will help him to realize that no matter how bad his problem seems to him, you are there for him. If you are able to talk to him and let him know that he can tell you anything and he will not be judged or thought less of may encourage him to open up to you. Good luck with this; it is hard to see our children struggling and unhappy and even harder to let them work it out by themselves once they grow up. Please avail yourself of any resources we have on this site as reading them may help you to better cope with your situation. |
|Q: Our 15 year old son just came out to my husband today that he likes boys and girls. Yesterday, I stumbled upon him in his room with his 14 year old (male )friend. They were in an embrace. I have 2 gay brothers and our best friend is gay, and I have always been open, tolerant and supportive of gay people. But right now, i am teary, emotional and just don't quite know how to process this information. As a mother, i feel very alone, and confused, and protective and such an overwhelming urge to cry. What do i do? Why am I so overwhelmed, when i thought I was so open and tolerant, yet when it is my son, i am not coping? I think I need counselling, do you have anyone to recommend?|
|A: It is not about being tolerant but more about how you feel that your own child is gay and what it will mean to you as a family and him in particular. Yours is a fairly normal reaction to the news that your child is gay. After all, as parents, we have dreams and expectations of how our child's life will pan out and when it is suddenly not going to happen it can be difficult to come to terms with. There is also the disturbing thoughts that our child will face a life of discrimination and not have a happy life. All of these emotions can be overwhelming and at PFLAG you will meet many people who have gone through or are still going through what you describe. Are you able to attend our next meeting tomorrow (4th Tuesday of the month) night? We are sure you would gain some help and support through, not only the other parents, but also the publications available to take home and read. You may not want to talk to the group but during supper break might find it helpful to talk to individuals and also browse our library. We don't have a counsellor we can recommend but you can call our hotline number and a parent volunteer will get back to you ASAP to have a talk. Please use the Contact Us email below if you need any further information. |
|Q: hey im 19 year old and just moved to melbourne from a country town shepparton im in caulield and just wanting to find some friends in here like me (gay) any social groups or clubs or anything friendly like that around my age group would be good if you could suggest anything?|
|A: Welcome to Melbourne!
Assuming you are a gay male, you could try Young Bucks - see our link to their website by clicking on the yellow Links button. They are a social group for guys aged 16-35 and may be what you are looking for. Have fun!
|Q: My country-raised gay son is 21 and living in Melbourne, sharing a house with his school mates - all straight, who all went to the city together to study. He is out and totally comfortable in his skin, and his friends are all completely supportive.
I think my son would like to meet like minded young men, but is worried (as am I) about going to gay clubs/venues. He's really very shy and gentle.
Are there social groups that are less predatory until he finds his feet a little? While he has a great social life with his hetero buddies, they really can't take this journey with him.
He lives in the eastern suburbs, but has transport.
|A: Young Bucks may be a good start for your son. It is a group for young men aged 16 - 35 yrs to meet regularly and socialize and enjoy having fun away from the 'scene'.|
|Q: Hi. My nearly 17 year old son has just come out to me 10 days ago. I have always thought that he might be gay (but never said it) and tried to be as understanding as possible. My problem is that my son has not yet shared this news with my husband and I am finding it REALLY hard to keep this secret. I am profoundly privileged to think that my boy trusts me so much, and I'm trying to be as supportive as I can. I don't want to push him in any way to tell anyone until he's comfortable - he has only told 3 people. I just feel so proud on one hand that he is able to be true to himself as such a young age, but on the other hand I feel pretty disloyal to my husband - who I'm sure will be okay with this news. I have told my son that too. I have also asked my son if he wants me to tell his dad but he said no. Any advice would be helpful. Thanks|
|A: It sounds as though you are handling your son's news really well but it is just that, HIS news, so you need to respect his need for you not to tell your husband just yet. Your son has been courageous to come out to you and has to work up to telling his father since he is unsure of how he will react. Coming out to those you love is a risk for many gay people since they may lose their love and respect and is particularly difficult for boys to come out to their dads since they feel they have let them down in not living up to their expectations of what a man should be. Your son just needs more time however, you can both be prepared by having some information for your husband to read from our Resources page or if you email us direct, we can post out some information to you. It's a really hard to have a big secret like this; now that your son is coming out of the closet you are seemingly going into it but being a support to your son is just what he needs and you have already taken steps in the right direction. |
|Q: Are there anymore support groups in the eastern suburbs?
We are in Cranbourne.
|A: PFLAG Victoria is the only one to cover Melbourne and surrounding suburbs.|
|Q: Hi my names Chris and I am having trouble with my family they don't know that i'm gay and I'm afraid to tell them and now when i talk to them I feel angry and start to yell I'm afraid that they won't accept me for who I am...
They never talk to me about anything and won't ask me if I'm having trouble.
and now I'm slowly alienating them and they don't even notice What can I do?
|A: It sounds as though a communication break down is occurring between you and your parents. Both of you are probably too afraid to open up the conversation for fear of what might come out. They may suspect that you are gay but are hoping they are wrong and so won't ask you what's up. And you are afraid to tell them so are alienating yourself from them. It is a shame when this happens but it appears to be a common scenario just before a young person comes out to their parents. It must be so hard for you to be worrying about what they will say or think all the time but you need to start thinking about how you can prepare to tell them. First of all if you can access the information on our site(On our Resources page). Read it yourself as it may help you to formulate the right words to say then maybe you can pass it on to your parents or at least get them to look at it online when you have told them. It will help if you have information to give them so they can understand and a support group they can turn to if they need to talk to someone. Some people find it easier to write down what they want to tell their parents and either leave them a note and come and talk to them later or give them the note and ask them to read it all before saying anything. That way, the emotions and rash and hurtful comments are not said before an explanation is given. You need to make your parents aware of how you have agonized over telling them and how alone you have felt so they realize it is not something you take lightly and is real and important to you.
We wish you well in this endeavour and invite you to call the hotline or email directly if you would like some more support in this. Go to Contact Us for our phone number and email address.
|Q: HI,MY NAME IS KATIE . I WOULD LIKE TO KNOW ABOUT MANAGEMENT OF PFLAG.PLEASE ANSWER.THANK YOU.|
|A: HI Katie,
PFLAG is managed by a committee elected by its members. If you look at the latest newsletter on the News page of this site, the committee is listed there. We are simply volunteers who meet regularly to manage things and we have regular meetings for all members once a month.
|Q: I was wondering what your position is on the issue of gay marriage and is a relationship registry enough? |
|A: As parents, family and friends of lesbians and gays we would like our loved ones to have the same rights as everyone else and not to face discrimination in any way.|
|Q: i m 24 gay.i m not comfortable in my socity and family .what i can do.|
|A: Are you uncomfortable because you are gay and haven't come out or have come out and haven't been accepted by your family and friends? If you are leading a double life in order to hide your sexuality from them, it could be very stressful. Coming out, though often a difficult thing to do can bring relief to many gay people since they can be themselves instead of having to hide who they really are for fear of ridicule or non-acceptance. If you live in Melbourne, you may like to come to our next monthly meeting to talk to members of our group about ways you can deal with your situation. You would be most welcome.|
|Q: My brother has just come out to our family that he is Gay. My Mum and my Step Dad (my brothers father) are devastated. How do you make them understand?
My brother also bags gay people and says its disgusting, and they make him sick so we tend to think that this is a stage he's going through. What does that mean? We are all very confused???!!!!!
We love him so much but need to understand things a little more.
|A: Please avail yourself of the publications on our resources page and print out or refer your parents to them also. This may help you and them to understand more about what it is to be gay. It sounds as though your brother is going through a difficult time coming to terms with his own sexuality so maybe he would benefit from reading some of these too. There are also many books available on the subject which you can either buy from a specialist bookstore such as Hares and Hyenas (see our Links page) or borrow from PFLAG when you attend one of our monthly meetings. We welcome you to attend one of our meetings with or without your brother and/or parents to talk to others who have been through similar experiences. We meet on the 4th Tuesday of each month - see our Contact Us page for details. |
|Q: Response from 37y/old lesbian: Just wanted to thank you for your reply.I have been thinking more about this topic since i wrote it and been speaking to more people and yes i can see it from the point of view that it is definetely more than a lifestyle choice and we are really on the same track. thanks again and i will endevour to come to a meeting. it so great to have an organisation like yours. |
|A: We look forward to meeting you.|
|Q: My brother is blaming our parents for him being Gay saying its genetics. Is this true?|
|A: The jury is still out on the actual reason that some people are attracted to those of the same gender. There has been some research that indicates a genetic connection and we often see it 'run in families'. That is, there tends to be a gay uncle, aunt or cousin in the same family as someone else who is gay but we really don't know the answer at this stage. |
|Q: I am a 37yold lesbian and just wanted to comment on your information about why people have a homosexual preference. I think there is a very unessesarily strong accent on homosexuality not being chosen by a person. this seems a very blanket and one sided statement in the hope of settling parents about there unessessary guilt and shame that thier child is homosexual, and that they may have contributed to this "abnormal" quality in their child. I think more so it is a bit of both -we are naturally gay (as if feels very natural for us) and that we also do have a choice who we fall in love with and the choice of how we want to live our lives and express ourselves. I love that there is so much support for us being seen as just human beings living in the world how we deserve and want to and the fantastic fight to stop prejudice.. but just a little worried that this blanket statement may be sending out the wrong message to new parents going through and adustment. a review of this may be good. just to let you know i am a psychologist as well. thank you for listening. |
|A: At PFLAG our experience has been that sexuality is very rarely identified as a choice by individuals who are GLBTI. Certainly we all make our own life choices as to who we spend our lives with and what kind of lifestyle we lead, however at PFLAG we believe sexuality is more than a lifestyle choice. This can be seen in relationships where years after marriage one spouse realizes they identify as GLBTI despite the choice they had made to commit to a heterosexual relationship. This is one example in many as to why we support the belief sexuality is not a choice. We would never try and deny others the right to express their views however and if you would like to discuss your experiences and opinions we would be happy to have you along to a meeting!
|Q: hi im in a wonderful relationship with a wonderful girl.... but her family is embarrassed to even admit that she is gay. (father brother and mother)I can tell they love her very much. They say they are supportive and would "die for her" yet cannot even openly speak to people about the fact that she is a lesbian. they feel they have to impose behavioural restrictions on us when we go to functions with others to save themselves embarrasement and offense to others. they tolerate her bing gay yet do not accept her for who she is totally yet they cannot understand that. these behavours are hurtful and show how much more they care about public humiliation than their own daughter. any discussion about it obviously brings defensiveness because it is seen as an attack on their values and parental role. they say they cannot understand what the "big deal" is that they have to cover up their daughters sexuality in public instead of standing beside her proud. My parents are very understanding and i have been allowed to be myself fully so this situation is very awkward and disturbing for me to deal with. I feel oppressed and very uncomfortable in their company now. is there any way out of this situation? |
|A: Your girlfriend's parents obviously have not really accepted their daughter's sexuality and would prefer to stay 'in the closet' themselves. This is a difficult situation for you when your parents are totally accepting of yours. It is really up to your girlfriend to try to work this out with them and we are happy to provide support to her (and you also) at our regular monthly meetings if you would like to come along. We have a lot of books and other information that she may find useful as well as providing the opportunity to discuss your situation in more depth with others who have possibly gone through similar experiences earlier in their journey to acceptance. |
|Q: Is it illegal to be in a relationship with a 16yr old and I'm 24?|
|A: No, the legal age of consent in Victoria is 16.|
|Q: Hi, I am a mother of a 17 yr old gay son, I have just recently find out that my son is gay. I love him to death and being gay has not changed that. When do you think it would be ok (if ok) to ask him what it means to him to be gay, as I am aware that sexuality if different for everyone (gay or not). It came as a real shock to find this out. But I know that all will be ok, because he is well supported (always has been in life) by family and friends. Thank you for any advice.|
|A: You need to allow him time to come to terms with being gay himself and if you are supportive and have a good relationship with your son he will talk to you about this. You will know when he feels comfortable as he will share more of his life with you. It takes patience on the part of family members but your support and the space you give your son will make it all worthwhile as it will make him realize that you trust him but that you are there for him if he needs you. |
|Q: Could you please tell me if there are any meeting places in or around Dandenong I am a mother 2 gay males and one gay daughter and would love to express my 100% support.|
|A: We are not aware of any meeting places in or around Dandenong. You could try calling your local council to see if they know of any. Otherwise if you don't mind the trip once a month, we would love to see you at Toorak for our meetings on the fourth Tuesday of every month except December. Our members come from all around Melbourne.
|Q: I'm a 27 year old lesbian who has an amazing mother.
She has NEVER shied away from talking to people about who I am and how I live my life.
She defends me against attacks from family and strangers alike and is just generally my hero.
In what ways would she be able to help out in P-Flag??
So many people have suggested she could be of help to other families who don't find it as easy as she has.
|A: Congratulations on having such an accepting and supportive mum. Your mother would be very welcome at PFlag meetings if she would like to attend and would be helpful in talking to new parents and family members about her experiences and helping them go through the journey from shock/disbelief/grief/non-acceptance to where she is now. We always need members who are willing to support others in person or by phone and we would love to hear from your mum so she can be a part of that.
Thank-you for offering help on your mother's behalf.
Please ask her to call us on our hotline or email - see the Contact Us link to the left and someone will get back to her to discuss it.
|Q: We just found out that our 16 year old nephew is gay. He told his parents who are very supportive. In what ways can we be supportive of our nephew? Is there anything in particular that we can do or say that is helpful or supportive? |
|A: You have already shown that you are accepting and supportive by looking for answers as to how you can be supportive to your nephew so congratulations!
Read as much material as you can to help you understand what he has been going through and the challenges he faces as a gay person. Just being loving aunts/uncles is a good start and accepting him for who he is. Showing when topics come up in the news that you support gay equality and rights will also make him feel supported. There is some reading material listed in our Resources section and some Acrobat Reader files available to read as well but we have many more resources at our monthly meetings if you are able to attend at some stage. See our Contact Us page for details of when and where our meetings take place.
|Q: Is there support groups for parents in Victoria. Where can I find where they are?|
|A: Assuming you mean regional Victoria since PFLAG Victoria is the Melbourne chapter. There are no actual PFLAG chapters in regional Victoria but there is a support group in Bendigo called Gay Family Support, GV Pride in Shepparton, Mildura has a Gay and Lesbian Support Group and Geelong has the Geelong Adolescent Sexuality Project.
The links for all of these are on our Links page. Click on the Yellow Links button to the left.
|Q: We have been married for 15 years and my husband has revealed that he has always had feelings towards men but as society is not very accepting, the easiest thing to do was to get married, have a child and hope that all works out. There is noone more important in his life he says other than myself and our 12 year old son. After so many years, it is such a huge shock, one of disbelief, denial, acceptance, understanding, confusion and rollercoaster feelings. Having been nothing other than a close family, spending so much time together, travelling etc, how does one fully try to accept this? Life does go on, there are greater tragedies in life, but how does one move on especially with as little impact as possible on your child who means the world to you?
I felt my world was perfect but to discover this at 37 I just need to know what is the best way to handle this? We do talk about it in depth and but it seems to be a repetitive cycle? I'm a very strong and positive person but this obviously is very hard to deal with at present although I fully understand that sexuality is not a choice with most people. Thank you.
|A: It sounds as though you are dealing with this news very well but, understandably, you are upset by it also. Your perfect world has been shattered by it and naturally it will take quite a bit of time to sort out and come to terms with. At PFLAG we are happy to be an avenue for anyone who is trying to come to terms with the news that they have a gay relative and invite you to come to our meetings if you are able to do so to talk about it in a supportive environment. Otherwise you may like to call our hotline and someone will call you back to allow you to talk about it by phone.|
|Q: My brother and his partner will be visiting this Christmas. My 7 year old son has met my brother and has gotten along with him in previous years, but he has not met my brother with a partner. My brother is very affectionate, and although I think that he will not be inappropriately affectionate for a 7 year old, I am concerned that my son may be shocked and will not know how to respond. I want to have a talk with my son prior to the arrival of our new family member but am not sure what to say to him. How should I approach the subject in the first place? What makes this especially difficult is that we are Christians. My husband and I have different viewpoints about homosexuality, but we both love my brother and accept him wholeheartedly. We are at odds about what to say to my son on a Christian level, so I want to speak with my son about my brother and his partner on a human level. Can you help? I value your suggestions, and look forward to hearing from you.|
|A: Congratulations on seeking a solution to a difficult thing to deal with in your family. It is hard to reconcile between your religious beliefs and your love for your brother and indeed, your husband's love for him also.
Unless your son has had anti-gay ideas put into his head from very young, he will probably not have even thought much about the subject. Children as you know, come as a blank slate and it is what we say to them and the things they see and hear elsewhere that start to form their attitudes. Therefore, you can help him develop accepting attitudes to gay people and in particular, his uncle and partner by being matter of fact and accepting in your attitudes.
Tell him that his uncle is coming to visit for Christmas and that he is bringing his boyfriend. He may ask if you meant girlfriend or why he has a boyfriend and you can explain that some boys like girls and some like boys and further, some girls like boys and some like girls. If he asks why you can say that you are not sure but that is just the way it is. Children usually just accept information like that and we know of many children who have been brought up with a gay uncle or brother in their lives from very young who just think it is the norm.
Remember, it will be your attitudes and responses that he will pick up on and learn so you need to show him how much you love and accept your brother the way he is.
Good luck with the visit. I am sure you will all have a lovely time with so much love to give. Happy Christmas!
|Q: Hi there, I'm writing on behalf of a friend of mine, who has just told me that he has never told his mates about his Dad's coming out 10 years ago. My friend is 33, and really open minded about a lot of things, sexuality included, but hasn't been able to process the devastating effect of this on himself and his current relationships , his mother (who was married to his Dad for 20 + years, and his two brothers. In my research, I've found COLAGE in the US, but is there anywhere here who can offer him support, advice and guidance as the son of a gay father. |
|A: You could try Gay Dads Australia I am not sure if they will know of another group for children of gay parents but it may well be worth asking.
You can email them at: email@example.com
|Q: I think that my 18 year old son is gay. He has been very non communicative about his social life and has just quite suddenly moved out without telling me where he's moved to or who he's living with. I don't know how to broach the subject with him, but want to let him know I support him and love him. Thanks|
|A: It is a difficult time for you and your son; he needs time to be ready to come out to you but you are obviously worried about him and concerned about why he is shutting you out of his life.
When someone considers coming out to those they love, usually their parents, they are often unsure of the reception they will get, whether they will be rejected and whether they can trust others to keep their secret until they are ready to share the information themselves. Letting your son know you support and love him unconditionally is important right now and also that he feels he can tell you anything without being judged or criticized. He may be working up the courage to tell you his news and his first step has been to move away and come to terms with his sexuality himself before he does so. Be supportive and patient without being tempted to ask lots of questions; simply letting him know that you love him and are there for him will help. Given time he will be ready to talk to you knowing that you love him and support him no matter what. Best of luck!
|Q: I was wondering if you could give me some ideas of where to find books/articles of letters to parents from their gay daughter? My family are struggling with my sexuality and I just want to read some examples of what others have written to make their parents better understand. Thanks in advance|
|A: A really good book that explains a lot is "When our children come out" by Maria Pallotta-Chiarolli. There are many other books you could get also either by coming to one of our meetings and borrowing some from the huge range we have available or buying them. The latter is the expensive alternative but your parents may like a few books of their own to read at first before they feel comfortable to borrow others. The best shop for books related to gays and lesbians is Hares and Hyenas. The link is on our links page so you can go to their online store and purchase or call into the shop and browse at leisure.
don't forget that you can download some articles in our Resources section in PDF format too.
Good luck in finding what you are looking for and helping your parents to understand.
|Q: Thank you so much for responding to my question.You have no idea how happy you made me feel.I did not think there was a PFLAG in the Geelong area.However giving me a contact name and phone number is more than than I had hoped for.Once again,thank you so much.To become a member of PFLAG and to help gay rights is something I have always wanted to be involved with, even before I knew my own son was gay.Perhaps that is another question you could answer.How is this possible. How could someone like me possibly help|
|A: We are happy to help!
As far as what you can do to help gay rights, it depends on what you are prepared to do. As parents of gay children we can help further acceptance by educating our friends and associates about gay issues, following developments in the law on many issues and signing petitions where possible, writing letters to politicians on subjects we feel passionate about to let them know there is support for gay people and their rights.
Further to this, PFLAG members sometimes talk to students in secondary schools to educate them and promote acceptance of sexual diversity.
Good luck with your future pursuits in this area!
|Q: I am a mother of a gay son. I have no problems with this at all and accept him for who he is.What I would like to know is there a PFLAG in the Geelong area as I would like to talk to other parents of gay children|
|A: There is no PFLAG chapter in Geelong but it does have a youth service called GASP (Geelong Adolescent Sexuality Project) which caters for young gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender young people. If you get in touch with them, they may know of a group or perhaps they can refer you to other parents that you can talk to. It is always nice to talk to other parents who are experiencing similar things and that you feel you can speak openly with.
Try calling or emailing Jami Jones on 5272 4977 or firstname.lastname@example.org
OK, well this is very confusing. I'm 16(male) and well I think I might be Gay or Bisexual, but I don't really feel much attraction physically to females mostly just men.
I have never had a relationship with another guy and even though I have had relationship with females there never really was an attraction. I have been dwelling on this for a few years now and I'm really confused as to my sexuality, I checked out your information just before but it didn't help me much. I feel I may be more gay then anything but I'm still not sure, I have no problem with this if it does turn out this way. At the moment I have revealed that I am bisexual to my sister, but not the possibility of being gay. It's when I know for sure thats really daunting on me, my parents are homosexually friendly, and have even told me and my sister from a very young age that if this did indeed be the case that we could tell them I even have a cousin who is gay and they accept him just fine. But the thought of having to tell my dad that his only son won't carry on his family name is quite scary, I just don't think I could deal with seeing my dad so upset like that. As for mum we'll my sister is openly bisexual and mum has had no problem dealing with that.
So I guess when I get down to it the question is, how do I tell dad really my parents are divorced so mum wouldn't say anything but I don't want to keep that a secret from him. Any help in this process would be greatly appreciated.
|A: It sounds like you have a very accepting family to start with so speaking to your father about your sexuality should not be too much of an issue. If he is as informed about gay issues as he sounds then he will know that being a gay male doesn't completely prevent you from becoming a father in some way and although having grandchildren from his only son may have been in his dreams, many people do not end up with grandchildren for many other reasons, including their children choosing not to have children themselves. I am sure your father loves you and will accept you as you are because he wants you to be happy as we all do with our children. If you think it will help, you can get him to call our Helpline or come to a meeting so he can talk to other parents or you may want to do so also. We have many books and videos available for loan at our monthly meetings also that may help him to come to terms with your sexuality. Our next family meeting will not be until the 4th Tuesday in January as we do not have a meeting in December.
|Q: Hey, I have been with my girlfriend now for about 1 year. We are very happy except her family doesn't accept me or her because we are a lesbian couple. I understand that they are hurting, but her family has been disrespecting me for a whole year and I'm just getting fed up. First off, she went through a very hard time last year when she was in China; she was raped and of course I was there for her because we were already dating. I knew her for about a year before we actually got together. What am I supposed to do or feel? Her family says that I am playing off of her rape and I am taking advantage of her. I would never do that because I have been in her shoes before. Please tell me something because they are starting to tear us apart and I feel that if we ever break up it will be because of them. |
|A: This is a very difficult situation to be in and will take some time to resolve. Your girlfriend needs to try to gain some understanding and acceptance by her parents first before you can deal with their attitude to you. You and your girlfriend need to discuss this and work out how it can be implemented but it sounds like she needs to talk to her parents and provide them with information to enlighten them about what it means to be gay or lesbian. There are a few resources available on our site that you can download for them to read and perhaps they can be encouraged to contact PFLAG to talk to other parents who have been through the same thing. We all feel very overwhelmed and at a loss at first when we hear the news since it is just not what we expected our children to be but with time we learn about it and realize that sexuality is not a choice and as long as our children are happy then it doesn't matter what their sexual preference is.|
|Q: Hello I have just been told by my married with 2 children son that he's gay please help me to understand.|
You have just had a big shock and it will take some time to come to terms with the news. Although you have just heard this news, your son has been living with the reality of his true sexuality for some time and obviously living a lie which must have been very hard for him.
You have taken the first important step in trying to understand and accept your son's sexuality by asking this question on our site and if you avail yourself of the resources on our site and perhaps when you feel ready come to a family meeting we are sure you will reach the understanding and acceptance you are seeking.
If you would like to talk to someone on the phone in a purely confidential manner then please call our hot line on 9660-3960. Our volunteers will call you back at a time convenient to you to have a chat. We hope to meet you in person but in the meantime, we wish you well.
|Q: I have a friend who cant deal with the fact that her mother is gay. She is finding it difficult to talk to anyone because she thinks that no-one could possibly understand how she is feeling. Whats really unhealthy about it all is that she can't even talk to her mother about it. I think she would really find value in talking to people in the same situation in order for her to gain some understanding about it all. So my question is what type of support groups are there out there for families? |
|A: You could try contacting the Also Foundation - their link is on our site and they may be able to tell you what is available. |
|Q: Hello, I'm a 16 year old from Melbourne. I have been having Intercourse with a 21 year old, I don't know if its illegal or not, its not really a serious relationship but i do like the guy very much.|
|A: When a child is between 10 and 16 – a person is not allowed to have sex with them if they are more than two years older, even with consent, unless they had reason to believe the child was over 16.
A person is not allowed to have sex with a 16-17 year old if they are under their care, supervision or authority, even with consent. Consent is only a defense if they believed the child was 18 or older at the time.
So, as long as you are not under his care or supervision then it is not illegal.
|Q: My husband has just told me after 7 years of marriage and 12 years together that he thinks he might be gay. I am in limbo at the moment because he "doesn't know". He has not had any sexual encounters with other men so I don't know how he is supposed to reach a decision one way or the other. He says he loves me but hates himself and know he doesn't want to lose his family (we have a 4 year old daughter) I am trying to be supportive - we are still living together and sharing a bed. As we have only had sex once in almost 5 years nothing is really that different. He has been seeing a counselor who encouraged him to tell me but I have no one to talk to as he has only told me at this stage. I need answers! Could he just be confused...? and not gay after all...? or am I in denial...?|
|A: It is highly likely that your husband is gay since it is not something anyone would admit to lightly and he may have been able to suppress his attraction to men for a long time due to trying to conform to societal expectations but feels unable to do so any longer.
This must be a very difficult time for you especially if you have no-one to talk to about your situation. I recommend down-loading and reading the PDF file in our Resources section called, "Sexuality is not a Choice" On page 22 begins a short chapter called, 'When your partner comes out' This should give you some guidelines to begin with but you have a long way to go to come to terms with this. Good luck!
|Q: I found my son engaged in an internet chat room and asked him about this. He told me he thinks he might be gay. He is 16 years old. What can I do to support him? He seems upset and embarrassed but is open to talking about it.|
|A: Well, it's great that the lines of communication are open. Most parents who discover their child is gay find the best thing to do is avail themselves of all the information they can about homosexuality by reading books, booklets and information available on the internet as well as talking to others who have been through the same thing. There are a couple of valuable publications available as PDF files in our Resources section of this site. If you are unsure how to access them maybe you and your son can do it together.
You are welcome to call our hotline listed in the Contact Us section or come to our next meeting which is on the 4th Tuesday of each month to talk to other parents of gay children. The phones are not answered 'live' but if you leave a message with information on how and when to contact you one of our volunteers can call you back. It will help your son to know you are trying to understand and learn about what being gay means and open up more dialogue and understanding between you. Good luck with this and please don't hesitate to contact us for more support.
|Q: My son aged 17 has been accessing images of naked men for some time now. I am unsure as whether I should bring this up with him. He is in his final year at school. Should I wait until he has finished school? |
|A: It depends a lot on whether it is a problem for either of you; if he seems unhappy and withdrawn from you or your family then perhaps he would be happier being able to be open with you about his sexuality but sometimes we just have to wait until they are ready to tell us. Please read some of the resources down-loadable as PDF files in our Resources section as they may help you to understand what he is going through and be more prepared when the time comes to talk about it.
If he seems happy enough and is getting on well at school it may be advisable to let him deal with that first and then, when he is ready, he will probably be happy to talk about and deal with his sexuality.
|Q: I just find out my brother is gay although I had a feeling he was because of his behavior. Now I am finding it difficult to cope with and put a brave face together in order to help him because being gay seems overwhelming to him as well. This is just the beginning, please help me understand how to help him and also how to help my self? |
|A: It takes time to come to terms with news such as this and you and your brother will both need time to come deal with it. He is lucky to have a brother who wants to help him and understand such as you. Please look at the resources we have available on our site that you can read to help you understand what being gay is and how best to deal with it.
You may like to call our Hotline where you can leave a message with your name and phone number at any time and one of our volunteers will get back to you discretely at a convenient time so you can talk to someone who has been through a similar experience. Later you may feel that coming to one of our monthly meetings (Click on Contact Us for details) to talk to other family members of gay people, hear their stories and perhaps borrow some of the many books we have available may help you also. We are here to help if you are in the Melbourne area or otherwise the map at the left links to other Australian PFLAG chapters .
|Q: Hi, I'm a 20 year old bisexual girl from around Melbourne. I'm out to two of my friends and my boyfriend but I'm not out to my family at all and I'm worried about how they're going to feel if/when I do finally come out to them. I haven't had any dating experiences with girls as I've never actually met any other gay girls, so I've been scared to come out to my family because I feel like maybe I shouldn't tell them because maybe I have no reason to..
I don't like flaunting my sexuality so I have only come out to people if the topic has come up. But I really would like to be out to more people..
I'd be really interested in hearing from parents who have had older teenagers or even children in their twenties come out as either gay or bisexual even if their child hadn't had any experience with the same sex, but I don't have the confidence to go to a PFLAG meeting so is there some other way I could hear from some parents?
Also, I'm sort of confused about my current relationship because I still haven't fully explored my sexuality, I don't feel like I can continue my relationship with my boyfriend much longer because I'm scared this lack of experience will have consequences for us later on, but I'm scared that I'll make a mistake by breaking up with him. I think I just really need some guidance, but as I said before, I don't know anyone I can talk to.
|A: There is a group for bisexuals in Victoria that you could make contact with and simply discuss your feelings and how others in your situation dealt with coming out. Bi-Victoria You could also call the Gay and Lesbian Switchboard where you can just discuss your concerns in a totally anonymous way and they can possibly give you names of other people to contact. We hope this helps.|
|Q: Firstly I have two gay uncles and have had gay friends through my life and have no concerns/predjudices regarding homosexuality. I know it isn't a choice, who would choose to be gay given the obvious difficulites it can present during life.
Yesterday our daughter who has just turned fourteen (two weeks ago) told me she thinks she is gay. She has never been attracted to boys finding them all (and I quote) "jerks"! and says that she has crushes on girls and finds girls far more attractive. At this point in time I have talked to her and explained that just because she doesn't find boys her age attractive (they are very silly and immature) and she has crushes on girls doesn't necessarily make her gay. I reassured her that we love and adore her and will always always be there for her no matter what and should this "pan out" and it turn out that she is right and she is in fact a lesbian we will always love and support her. get to the point I hear you say! My question... could she really know at fourteen years old that she is gay? And is there a support group in WA (Perth)?
|A: UPDATED: The answer to your question is a definite yes. I think most people know which gender they are interested in and attracted to by the time they reach adolescence. Just as we heterosexuals naturally started looking at the opposite sex with interest, gay adolescents are attracted to those of the same gender.
The Perth PFLAG link is on the left - click on the WA part of the map.
|Q: Hello - my wife is gay - we are happily married and trying our hardest to work it out - is there a PLAG chapter in Shepparton?|
|A: There is no PFLAG chapter in Shepparton so the closest support to you would probably be Bendigo. Contact Debbie - email@example.com or check out the website for Gay Family Support on our Links page. |
|Q: My sister-in-law has recently come out to her immediate family (myself included). I also have my own sister who, at 15, came out last year to my family. I have always been fine about people's sexuality, and now I am confronted with my in-laws being homophobic. My mother-in-law is very religious and will not accept her daughter as a lesbian. She won't let anyone other than immediate family know, won't have her daughter's girlfriend at family things, and won't support her relationship at all. My husband and his brother and sister are all supportive of my sister-in-law, and are very happy about her being in a loving relationship. My mother-in-law will not open her mind to different ideas, and is convinced that praying every day for her daughter to become heterosexual is the only way to go. The family is falling apart over this. What do I do? It's so hard.|
|A: This is indeed a a very difficult situation but not one that is hopeless as we have had many deeply religious relatives of gay and lesbian people who have eventually come to accept their child's sexuality. Often the gay person themself has come along to meetings to talk about their situation and get some support and over time they have made breakthroughs with their parent/s and they have attended also. There is some interesting writing on homosexuality and religion that you and your sister-in-law may find useful to help you in trying to convince your mother-in-law and foster some acceptance. Take a look at this site: Religious Tolerance which has some good arguments against the outdated interpretation of the Bible that many religious people believe condemns homosexuality. There in fact is only one reference to Lesbianism in The Bible and it is not stated as a sin but as a punishment by God. Furthermore, there are many things in the bible that are said to be sins punishable by death that we certainly would not quote or condone in this era such as "cursing or dishonouring one's parents" (Leviticus 20:9)
Armed with some reading of these facts, perhaps your family who you say support your sister-in-law could show some solidarity in standing up for her. Many times, we hear that reluctant parents felt they had no choice but to go with the majority when they were the one on the 'outer' so to speak and once they start to learn more and become more involved are not as frightened of the unknown and realize that gay people are just the same as everyone else. They want to love and be loved, live and let live.
|Q: I am writing to you as I am unsure what to do. I am confident my brother is gay. One reason for coming to this assumption is that he has been living a life of secrecy for many years due to, possibly, my fathers open display of distain for homosexuals. My brother has always been angry, secretive and difficult to get along with however I have noticed the past two visits we have had with him, over the past two years, where he’s seemed more interested in our sister and me and my husband and children more than before and in particular (and most importantly) he seems happy. I don’t want to give away too many personal details about his life but I do believe he has met someone and that this person has bought profound joy to his life. My concern is that he has recently moved address and is refusing to let anyone know where he lives. I am afraid that this is because he is petrified someone will uncover his secret. I am afraid our father is going to continue to drive my brother into more of a life of secrecy and we will lose touch with him all together. I love my brother very much and desperately want him to be part of my family’s life as does my husband and our children adore him. We would welcome him and his partner (if he has one)with open arms into our lives but I am afraid he will never let us in. I don’t know what to do or how to approach him? I understand that coming out may be a huge step for him and am sensitive of that, I just want to be here for him but don’t know what to do or how to approach it. Our father has mentioned that my brother may be gay and said he would need help with 'coping' with this but that he would accept him. I don't know whether to tell him that I think he may be gay and to leave him alone?....so many questions, I am very lost. Please help me.|
|A: It is wonderful to hear how much you love and care about your brother and it is understandable to want to include him fully in your lives. I am sure that he too would like this but his fear of rejection is strong so he remains in his secret existence.
Our experience has been that writing what you feel to the person you want to talk to is the best way to start. A heart felt letter (email if you know his email address) telling him that you love him no matter what and explaining that your father has expressed the same despite having little understanding or tolerance for homosexuality in the past. I am sure this would mean a great deal to your brother and, in time he may talk to you about his life and feel safe to include his family in it.
Perhaps, once your brother has confirmed his sexuality, you and your father would like to come to a meeting where you can meet other people who have been down this road. Your brother may even join you when he is ready. Remember, the important message to give him is that you love and accept him and he will not be judged. He will appreciate that you have taken the time to find out about being gay and seek advice and given time will feel able to talk to family more also.
Please avail yourself of the resources on this site and share them with your father to help further his understanding. Good luck!
|Q: I have a 17 year old son who has grown up all his life with no friends and no social life. He has been talking on MSN with a 15 year old boy from his school and this boy has revealed to my son that he has feelings for him. My son last night asked me the question 'What would you say if I told you I thought I might be gay". I was shocked. After talking to him he seems confused and I am not sure if he is confusing friendship with something else as I know he is very very lonely and sometimes anthing is better than nothing. I'm not sure how to approach this, I have a friend who has contacts with counsellors, should I go see somewhere to learn how to deal with and what to do. I am at a loss as I don't know the next step to take. I want to support my son and I realise by him bringing this up would have been a huge step for him. I have been divorced from his dad for about 8 years and I know he would be afraid to bring this up with his father at this time. He is confused and unsure and also a very lonely boy. Any advice as to how to deal with this situation would be appreciated.|
|A: First of all, try downloading and reading some of our resources such as, Making Sense and Sexuality is Not a Choice These will help both you and your son to gain some understanding of sexuality in general and then from there you may be able to relate it to your son's situation. Only he will truly know how he feels about girls and boys and if he is happy to discuss it with you then you will surely come to a conclusion one way or another.
We would also be happy to talk to you in person; if you call our hotline and leave a message with your phone number, one of our parent volunteers will call you back as soon as they can. We are only parents like you who have a gay child among our other heterosexual children and can only advise you related to our experiences and from our knowledge gained at our regular family meetings where we speak with many people who are trying to make sense of the news that their child is gay.
If you then feel you would like to meet others and have a friendly chat about your situation, we would love to see you both at one of our monthly meetings.
|Q: My son's turmoil marriage has just dissolved but as well as his wife having problems and putting our son through a great deal we have also found he is now gay. How can that be after marriage and three kids? And is it possible not to know yourself if you are or aren't? It must have been so confusing for him.|
|A: Coming to terms with being gay in a world that expects everyone to follow a certain path in their life; usually marriage and chidren, is a difficult thing. There are many prejudices and attitudes we come across in our lives as we grow up so that if we had an inkling that we were same sex attracted, many people choose to try to ignore it and follow the path expected of them as it seems safest and less likely to create a situation in which we may lose the love of our families and friends.
Your son may be one of those among many other gay people but in the end, we are what we are and so many people find they have to be true to themselves and live the life they really feel comfortable and happy with.
It would have been very hard for him to live a lie like that for so many years and it is very brave of him to now come out and face the consequences of his actions especially fearing the loss of love and support from those closest to him. It sounds as though he has understanding parents who want to understand what he has been through by looking up this website so he will have support and you will be able to work through this huge change in your lives together.
Please come to a meeting to talk through this further or just meet others who have gone through similar experiences and have a cuppa and a chat. We would love to see you there!
Look at the Contact Us link on the left for meeting details.
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