Two Plus Two Publishing LLC Two Plus Two Publishing LLC
 

Go Back   Two Plus Two Poker Forums > 2+2 Communities > The Lounge: Discussion+Review

Notices

The Lounge: Discussion+Review For discussion and debate about arts, movies+TV, music, reading+literature, style, fashion, history, culture and many more subjects

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 10-03-2008, 01:26 PM   #1
UH OH My son's A ****!
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 30
so my son says he's bisexual

First, yes, I'm using a gimmick account to avoid embarrassment. But I am genuinely concerned, so please take this thread seriously.

My son is a 9th grader, about to turn 14 in one month. He's always been very shy and has some social issues, and occasionally I've wondered whether he has enough of a social life. But all in all, I'm pretty sure he's content, and is just the kind of kid who does not really need a whole lot of friends.

Today, I searched his computer, mostly to see what kinds of internet sites he visits. I don't really care whether he's looking at porn, but am curious about his developmental stage; I really just wanted to know whether he was becoming interested in sex yet (he's also somewhat physically behind his peers, because he has a late birthday).

Anyway, eventually I found that on another forum (which seems pretty benign), he had identified himself as a bisexual. This floored me, mostly because I'm frankly surprised that ANY 13 year old would view himself that way, perhaps because of my own biases about bisexuality. Here are the assumptions I make, and please tell me if I'm off-base:

1. Bisexuality seems less clear of an orientation, and one that would take a person years to come to grips with.
2. Often, people who identify themselves as bisexuals really are gay, but not quite ready to accept that yet.
3. Pubescent kids (if not older kids) do sometimes waver about their own sexual orientation, even if they ultimately end up unequivocally heterosexual.

One other bit of personal history: I have a specific memory of wondering (sometime in middle school, I think) whether I might be gay, mostly because I felt some kind of attraction to a friend. In retrospect, this was a pretty isolated experience, though, and I have never doubted my heterosexuality as an adult.

Further, one difference between me and my son is that he attends a religious program which includes a VERY liberal curriculumm known as OWL (Our Whole Lives). This is given at various liberal Christian churches, and forthrightly teaches kids to understand and accept those with different sexual orientations. (It's an interesting program, but I don't want to discuss it at length here, because it's off-topic.) I mention this only because, unlike me, I think my son is probably a lot more sophisticated and accepting of the concept of homosexuality and bisexuality.

Now - if you're still reading - here are my current questions/concerns:

1. If my son declares himself to be "bisexual" on an internet forum, do you think that is likely to be true? I assume he is being utterly honest, since the anonymity of his forum-identity gives him no reason to lie. (In fact, he had no reason to post in the thread discussing the matter if he didn't want to be honest.) But how likely is it that he really knows and understands that he is "bisexual" when he is not yet 14 (and has had no actual romantic experiences)?

2. Well, when I started this post, I meant to conclude by asking whether I should say anything to my son or my wife, but I'm pretty sure now that I should not say anything to either of them. For I think it's simply way too early to confront my son with this kind of information (not to mention the invasion of his privacy). I am content to wait until he's ready to talk about it, or at least until there's a genuine opportunity to discuss it.

I am afraid, though, that my wife would just overreact. So if my son is going through a "phase," I don't want to worry her unnecessarily.

I'll just conclude by saying what may be obvious: frankly, I would be much more at ease if he were unequivocally heterosexual, primarily because I think it would make his life much simpler. (I shudder to think of what it's like for a bisexual (or gay) kid to struggle to get through high school.) But of course, if he were really gay (or bisexual), I (and the rest of my family) would certainly love him just as much.

All thoughts, ideas, comments are appreciated.
concerned parent is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-03-2008, 01:34 PM   #2
adept
 
scar's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 908
Re: so my son says he's bisexual

He could just be confused and depressed. Ages 12-14 suck, especially if you don't fit in with your peers. Make sure you spend time with him and don't let him get lost on an internet forum. It is your job as a parent to guide him through this tough age, do not leave this responsibility to some queer internet forum. You can put things in your favor by taking him hunting, feeding him lots of steak, and forcing him to watch football on Sundays.

edit: Might be good to invest in a therapist if it is too awkward for you to talk about this with your son. He may be too embarrassed to tell you so talking to someone unfamiliar may help.
scar is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-03-2008, 01:36 PM   #3
Carpal \'Tunnel
 
Fishwhenican's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: In the great outdoors!
Posts: 7,387
Re: so my son says he's bisexual

I just want to say that I really feel for ya on this one. I am far from homophobic but assuming this is true and not just a way to explore things on an internet site for the boy I also realize that this is something that will be very hard for him to deal with growing up.

I am not sure if I have any real advice other than you may want to talk to your wife about it. I know if I found something like this and didn't tell my wife she would not like that. More important. it is something that a husband and wife should be able to discuss. I also get the feeling that you may want someone else to talk to about this than just The Lounge.

I will have to think on this and when I come up with more I'll chime in.
Fishwhenican is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-03-2008, 01:38 PM   #4
Tripod
 
Dominic's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Vegas
Posts: 50,381
Re: so my son says he's bisexual

Well, he's so young I'd say there's a good chance he's just trying on a label "to see if it fits," you know? I'd wait until he starts dating to even start worrying about something like this.

You seem to be in a good space about this, so if he does actually turn out to be bi-sexual or homosexual, it'll just be another hurdle your family goes through with him, and not the tragedy it might be for some Christian families. Which is a good thing.

I wouldn't worry about right now....he's still too young.
Dominic is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-03-2008, 01:39 PM   #5
Tripod
 
Dominic's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Vegas
Posts: 50,381
Re: so my son says he's bisexual

Quote:
Originally Posted by scar View Post
He could just be confused and depressed. Ages 12-14 suck, especially if you don't fit in with your peers. Make sure you spend time with him and don't let him get lost on an internet forum. It is your job as a parent to guide him through this tough age, do not leave this responsibility to some queer internet forum. You can put things in your favor by taking him hunting, feeding him lots of steak, and forcing him to watch football on Sundays.

edit: Might be good to invest in a therapist if it is too awkward for you to talk about this with your son. He may be too embarrassed to tell you so talking to someone unfamiliar may help.
I'm assuming this is a level.
Dominic is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-03-2008, 01:41 PM   #6
banned
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Upstate
Posts: 2,209
Re: so my son says he's bisexual

I didnt read it all, but kick his ass, send him to reform school, do something!

I surely wouldnt let this die so easily. At least he said bi, so he isnt completely gay (not that there is anything wrong with that).
odinscott is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-03-2008, 01:42 PM   #7
Carpal \'Tunnel
 
GBP04's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Chicago
Posts: 6,433
Re: so my son says he's bisexual

Quote:
Originally Posted by scar View Post
He could just be confused and depressed. Ages 12-14 suck, especially if you don't fit in with your peers. Make sure you spend time with him and don't let him get lost on an internet forum.

I had pretty good group of friends in grade school, so this didn't really apply to me. But I know some people to whom it did, so I can definitely confirm this statement. That might be the age where the most variance occurs. Some 12-14 years have a kickin' life with nothing to worry about and others are hit with the opposite end of the spectrum.
GBP04 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 10-03-2008, 01:47 PM   #8
Carpal \'Tunnel
 
Fishwhenican's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: In the great outdoors!
Posts: 7,387
Re: so my son says he's bisexual

Quote:
Originally Posted by scar View Post
He could just be confused and depressed. Ages 12-14 suck, especially if you don't fit in with your peers. Make sure you spend time with him and don't let him get lost on an internet forum. It is your job as a parent to guide him through this tough age, do not leave this responsibility to some queer internet forum. You can put things in your favor by taking him hunting, feeding him lots of steak, and forcing him to watch football on Sundays.

edit: Might be good to invest in a therapist if it is too awkward for you to talk about this with your son. He may be too embarrassed to tell you so talking to someone unfamiliar may help.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dominic View Post
I'm assuming this is a level.
I hope so!
Maybe Scar is a gimmick account for AlexSem.
Fishwhenican is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-03-2008, 02:14 PM   #9
Twas diddyeinstein
 
diddy!'s Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: T. Mathieu 8/10 Never Forget
Posts: 10,290
Re: so my son says he's bisexual

I don't think Alex would advocate feeding someone steak.

It sounds like you are open-minded, so that's a good thing IMO. As Dom says, I would just give it a bit, let him mature and start dating and then pick it back up.

One thing though, can you honestly say this about the bolded part?
Quote:
Originally Posted by CP
But how likely is it that he really knows and understands that he is "bisexual" when he is not yet 14 (and has had no actual romantic experiences)?
I mean you aren't around him all the time. I'm not saying he is, but he could be making out with a boy and/or girl at his OWL class or something. Terrible in retrospect, but church youth group led to my first kiss, touch of a boob, etc. at about his age and all long before my parents thought I had experienced this stuff (but they kinda were idiots and couldn't believe I was having sex in college), and all carried out while I was off being a good Christian boy attending church and going on mission trips.

Another example: a birthday party sleepover at a friend's when we were kids. Two of the guys decided to play the "stick your dick in my ear game" (I still don't understand the point of this FWIW) which was pretty much the first clue to our group of friends that one was homosexual. This was confirmed many years later by him coming out of the closet.

I'm not trying to scare you, or freak you out, just letting you know (as I'm sure you do from the internet snooping) that there is quite a bit that goes on in a child's life that they intentionally hide from the prying eyes of their parents.

Regardless, if your son does end up being gay, I don't think he could ask for a more understanding dad than you.

Last edited by diddy!; 10-03-2008 at 02:22 PM. Reason: To add age and anecdote about my parents
diddy! is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-03-2008, 02:14 PM   #10
banned
 
Count Chocula's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: 61.5 orbital
Posts: 19,345
Re: so my son says he's bisexual

I wish I could give you some great advice now or just be able to answer your questions exactly. But he's your son, and you know him better than anyone else here. At his age, I think he feels that he's already an adult (although in reality he is far from it), and it's most likely that he's just really confused. I don't think you can truly know what your sexual orientation is at this young of an age.

When I was in middle school, I remember how everyone would pick on this one kid for being gay (whether he was or not I wouldn't know). This was mainly because he never had a girlfriend, talked in a very high voice for a guy, and just the way he acted would be associated with the stereotypical homosexual male. By the time he got to 10th grade, he publicly came out of the closet, but the entire time he was in high school he never had a boyfriend or girlfriend. I think that it's possible he was never actually gay, but started to believe it after everyone else had already considered it as fact. /end somewhat related story
Count Chocula is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-03-2008, 03:21 PM   #11
Carpal \'Tunnel
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Chairmoistening Sector 7G
Posts: 53,534
Re: so my son says he's bisexual

I've read that sexual identity can be fluid for a couple of years around puberty. Being bisexual is about as fluid as you can get. I've also read that this is not necessarily one of those things that is encoded in the genes, but just a part of figuring out what's going on and who you are when you're really young, and that most people grow out of it. So you probably don't really know enough about your kid's sexuality to be sure what's going on, and maybe neither does he. Getting his mom in an uproar would be unproductive in every way, and also make the kid feel like you don't respect his privacy.

There's always the chance that your kid was just going someplace on the net to talk to people and was comfortable assuming a false identity to do so. It could be to talk seriously, to fantasy roleplay a different sexuality because he thinks it interests him, or to fantasy roleplay just as a lark and a laugh. People do that on forums all the time. Tons of guys pretend they're girls online, too. They do that in online video games all the time because it gets them lots of attention, favors from other players, and free in-game goodies. Also, your kid could have joined that net forum because he had friends on it and enjoyed talking with them.

There's really no way to know and no point in questioning the kid, it seems to me. It's not like he's committing a crime. He may not even be committing a sexual identity yet. Maybe the best thing you could do for him is make sure he never thinks of you as a dad he can't come to and talk about absolutely anything with, without exception. He'll probably develop his own schedule about when to talk to you about his sexuality when he's more sure exactly what it is himself and how he should think and talk about it to others. I don't see any benefit in rushing or pushing it. That's just the way I see it though. Perhaps some would think being more actively involved is better. I just can't see it being helpful. More like embarassing, intrusive, and perhaps panic-provoking if the kid's not extremely comfortable with where he's at.
Blarg is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-03-2008, 03:37 PM   #12
Pooh-Bah
 
sharpyetblunt's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Edinburgh
Posts: 3,518
Re: so my son says he's bisexual

Quote:
Originally Posted by scar View Post
He could just be confused and depressed. Ages 12-14 suck, especially if you don't fit in with your peers. Make sure you spend time with him and don't let him get lost on an internet forum. It is your job as a parent to guide him through this tough age, do not leave this responsibility to some queer internet forum. You can put things in your favor by taking him hunting, feeding him lots of steak, and forcing him to watch football on Sundays.

edit: Might be good to invest in a therapist if it is too awkward for you to talk about this with your son. He may be too embarrassed to tell you so talking to someone unfamiliar may help.
i hope this is a level

Quote:
Originally Posted by odinscott View Post
I didnt read it all, but kick his ass, send him to reform school, do something!

I surely wouldnt let this die so easily. At least he said bi, so he isnt completely gay (not that there is anything wrong with that).
this too

Quote:
Originally Posted by Count Chocula View Post
I wish I could give you some great advice now or just be able to answer your questions exactly. But he's your son, and you know him better than anyone else here. At his age, I think he feels that he's already an adult (although in reality he is far from it), and it's most likely that he's just really confused. I don't think you can truly know what your sexual orientation is at this young of an age.

When I was in middle school, I remember how everyone would pick on this one kid for being gay (whether he was or not I wouldn't know). This was mainly because he never had a girlfriend, talked in a very high voice for a guy, and just the way he acted would be associated with the stereotypical homosexual male. By the time he got to 10th grade, he publicly came out of the closet, but the entire time he was in high school he never had a boyfriend or girlfriend. I think that it's possible he was never actually gay, but started to believe it after everyone else had already considered it as fact. /end somewhat related story
im pretty sure at 14 i was fully aware of my sexual orientation. Are people really that confused? It seems to me the "confused" line is always aimed at homosexual/bi-sexuals. I would be surprised to find absolutely anyone who had serious thoughts about being homosexual and turned out to be straight.

The second bolded part is just ridiculous. You can not be turned gay by peer pressure
sharpyetblunt is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-03-2008, 03:38 PM   #13
banned
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 1,115
Re: so my son says he's bisexual

Uneducated opinion:

There isn't anything you can do if he has decided to play for both teams. If he feels that way strongly - what to do... If he is just messing around - what to do...

Nothing.


Seems to me a very personal thing and at his age, any attempt to "help" him will be seen as invasion of privacy, so it looks like you'll just have to wait and see.

p.s. A few of my friends labelled themselves bisexual on facebook and they aren't actually bisexual - they just thought it was funny. I myself like to kid around and post "Hey Brian last night was amazing, come over tonight" on my friend's wall every now and then. It's a joke that gets a rise out of homophobes

So it doesn't mean anything conclusive what your son labels himself or what kind of messages he sends out.
AlexSem is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-03-2008, 03:39 PM   #14
UH OH My son's A ****!
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 30
Re: so my son says he's bisexual

Thanks for the thoughts so far.

Since I started this thread, I've been trying to research (online) this specific question: how likely is it that a pubescent kid would correctly identify himself as bisexual, i.e., would identify himself that way when he's 13-14 and would continue to do so through adulthood. I've found nothing so far that directly answers that question.

What I have found, which I guess should not be surprising, is how flexible these terms are. I'm reminded that many (if not most) people really fall somewhere along a continuum between the extremes of 100% homosexuality and 100% heterosexuality.

Diddy:

You are right I can't be sure that my son has had no romantic experiences so far, but I think it's a pretty safe bet. And it is partly for that reason that I can't help be a little skeptical that he is certain about WHATEVER his orientation really is.

Blarg,

I completely agree about not discussing this with him right now (or his mother). Also, I don't believe he was just "role-playing" on that forum (which I have since discovered, is mostly inhabited by kids, and is an off-shoot of a internet gaming site). One thing I did not mention initially is that I also saw (from his internet history) that he had looked at nude photos of both women and men. So, I tend to think he was being sincere when he described himself as bi.

If there are any other people who consider themselves "bi" or even gay, I'd love to hear your thoughts too.
concerned parent is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-03-2008, 03:43 PM   #15
UH OH My son's A ****!
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 30
Re: so my son says he's bisexual

Quote:
Originally Posted by AlexSem View Post
Uneducated opinion:

There isn't anything you can do if he has decided to play for both teams. If he feels that way strongly - what to do... If he is just messing around - what to do...

Nothing.


Seems to me a very personal thing and at his age, any attempt to "help" him will be seen as invasion of privacy, so it looks like you'll just have to wait and see.
I'm coming to the same conclusion, which is why I have some regret about learning what I did (not to the mention the manner in which I did).

My experience should be filed next to the dictionary definition of "too much information."
concerned parent is offline   Reply With Quote

Reply
      

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off



All times are GMT -4. The time now is 09:43 AM.


Powered by vBulletin®
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Content Relevant URLs by vBSEO 3.6.0 ©2011, Crawlability, Inc.
Copyright 2008-2010, Two Plus Two Interactive