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03/12/2010

Video: Advancements in adolescent closet-cleaning

by Jeremy Hooper


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Your thoughts

It was good to hear them discuss that, ".. there is no steering" with regard to a parent's potential desire to attempt to "fix" a child's sexual orientation. It would have been nice to hear some warning, as well, that there are a lot of pseudoscience out there that is not only false, but that can be extremely detrimental.

It also should have been mentioned that "the gay" is one of the primary (underlying) factors that leads to teenage homelessness. The admonishment to love one's children is a good step toward ensuring that parents don't push them out onto the streets. But specifically addressing the cruel reality, might go further toward stemming the tide. That a parent is made aware of the fact that other parents in their situation, have escalated "the problem" to such an extreme magnitude as to result in the child running away, or the parent forcibly evicting the child from the home, might give the parent impetus to not escalate the issue.

I know that this was an upbeat piece, and it is heartening to see that parents (probably most parents now) are behaving in a much more enlightened fashion. And even better to see that children are benefiting from a society that is somewhat less cruel. But a big reason why this is heartening is the fact that all too often that is not the case.

Posted by: Dick Mills | Mar 12, 2010 10:26:35 AM

Sorry but I found the subtext of this to be: it *could* be a phase, so don't push it. Um, last time I checked, I've NEVER heard any straight person EVER say "Oh, yeah, I thought I was a fag/dyke when I was 13 but it cleared up with my acne!" Um, no. I didn't see this as incredibly upbeat or positive, just a candy-coated PC version of "how to deal with your gay child while maintaining your loathing of teh ghey."

Posted by: ZnSD | Mar 12, 2010 1:03:20 PM

@ZnSD we all know guys who messed around in middle school but are straight now.

Posted by: Gus | Mar 12, 2010 2:16:17 PM

Biggest fail of what I believe was a well-intentioned piece [and, in any case, better than what we would have seen even a few years ago]: failure to tell viewers about PFLAG even after closing with "there is help available." Well, how do parents, when most, face it, are dumb as a box of rocks, about sexual orientation/gender identity generally and how to find such groups.

And, sorry, Doc, if there IS research claiming to prove the cliche "parents know," I think it's likely to be questionable. In any case, what's the point of even discussing it? To demonstrate that gays are intrinsically so "other" that they have a "tell"? That's an angle viscerally homophobic St. Oprah always goes for.

But Bravo for the effort, and major bravos for the kid in Ohio!

Posted by: Michael @ LeonardMatlovich.com | Mar 12, 2010 4:05:36 PM

"Not progressing, not connecting"... is this shrink serious...

Posted by: Carlos | Mar 13, 2010 9:46:07 AM

@Gus: yeah, and? What's your point? Those aren't even the people we're talking about: I know of NO straight boys who fooled around with a guy, came out at 14 or 16 or 12 and then recanted saying "oh, it was just that one time." Again, this is where people get confused: sexual orientation is just as much about LOVE as it is SEX, perhaps even more so, and in this case it's about the declaration of one's orientation, not the fact that some straight boy participated in a circle jerk at 13. Geez.

Posted by: ZnSD | Mar 13, 2010 1:48:36 PM

It's as though the psychiatrist was trying to let parents down easy by giving them a little bit of hope to hold onto that their self-declared gay kid might turn out to be straight after all. Okay, I can see not wanting to immediately tell parents, "Sorry, but your Little Brucie/Meg is a fag/dyke for life. Nobody comes out who isn't really, really sure they're gay." But giving them false "hope" that could delay them coming to terms with the reality is simply the wrong thing to do. There must be some diplomatic shrink way of gently starting parents out on the road to accepting that their child is and will be gay.

Posted by: Donny D. | Mar 15, 2010 12:22:33 AM

While this piece was ultimately uplifting and encouraging, I suppose I personally also take issue with the "parents have an inkling beforehand" line of reasoning. Aside from asking my mother why gays and lesbians were considered bad (from a religious standpoint, because my family was very religious at the time), I never ONCE broached the subject with my parents.

While my mother ultimately seems supportive now (I came out to her last April), my father doesn't know and I'd be absolutely shocked if he'd ever so much as had half a second of an inkling about this. Still, after almost a year being out, my mother continues to bring up how I don't look like a lesbian (apparently having long blonde hair and being relatively petite disqualifies you, take note Ellen and Portia!) and how I just need to find the right guy.

Let's hope that 10 years from now, this won't even have to make news anymore...seriously.

Posted by: Aya | Mar 15, 2010 11:42:04 AM

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