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Supporting One's Gay Child
Friend of mine has a 3-4 year old son, wonders if he's gay. 'Course the boy is really young, but my friend asks ''what do parents do to make their children's lives easier, to support them? Are there communities where gay parents and/or kids are a more common phenomenon? What about those years between 8 and 18?'' As a gay future dad, I'm also interested. Thanks. David
I think it's more rarely seen in toddler boys because there is more of a societal pressure, even this early, to suppress those choices. ''No, not Barbie, honey; don't you want this GI Joe?'' an extreme example, but not an absurd one.
Please encourage your friend to give his or her son whatever sorts of things the son likes! I finally bought my son flowered pants at Target, and as I suspected, he adores them.
To answer the question, well, there are queer communities, but they're not really in a specific area... Our Family Coalition does plan family activities and has a wonderful huge picnic on the 4th of July every year (http://www.ourfamily.org/). I encourage *you* to go, if nothing but to see all the happy gay dads!
Signed, a mom whose son is often mistaken for a girl; who cares?
I'd caution anyone jumping to the conclusion a 4 yr old is gay; i'm assuming their seeing non-norm-for-boys behavior in their toddler. I'd be careful to allow them full expression while not categorizing their behavior. Maybe he's just a very creative heterosexual. There are those. Key would be, as with a ''straight'' child, assuring them that either is valued and that you love them and will help them become comfortable with what ever their sexual identity is. Dana
As far as books go, I just got this in a post: Jacqueline Woodson is a Coretta Scott King Award-winning novelist, and author of ''Hush'', ''The Other Side'', ''Autobiography of a Family Photo'' and many other novels. Much of her work focuses on GLBT [gay / lesbian / bisexual / transgender] Teens.
I do remember reading some picture books about GLBT kids, but I can't remember the titles. One was about a little girl who liked to hammer instead of playing with dolls.
Lots of people liked the recent French movie, ''Ma Vie En Rose,'' about a probably gay little boy, but I thought the family and some of the film makers views were pretty oppressive.
Good for you for being proactive. As a teen, it really helps to have support at home. --Lesbian from birth
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