Monday, July 15, 2024

Doctor Love: Teen Sexuality


Readers email your question to [email protected]. Your letters are edited solely for grammar, spelling and length

Dear Doctor Love,
My seventeen-year-old son and I are close, and I have always encouraged him to think for himself and am very supportive of his ideas even when they conflicted with my own.
I’m pretty sure he’s gay. He hasn’t said anything, but I am worried that he might be afraid to tell me. How can I let him know that it’s okay and I will love him no matter what? Should I ask him and reassure him or wait until he’s ready to tell me?

Dear Dad,
Teen sexuality is confusing no matter what the sexual orientation. Straight parents can remember how difficult those years were, so imagine being a teen coming to terms with being gay or trans.
One of the biggest fears of gay teens is losing the support of friends and family if they come out. The San Pedro community has always been very accepting, so to most it is just not an issue. If he is gay this will make it much easier for him, knowing that it is less likely he will be shunned or shamed.
Perhaps he hasn’t said anything because he’s not gay. Or maybe he’s unsure himself and needs time to figure it out. Maybe he hasn’t said anything because he’s seventeen, and seventeen-year-old boys are, by nature, secretive and closed. Whether he hasn’t brought it up because he’s worried about your reaction or because he’s still confused about his sexuality, telling you will be the final step in a long journey. Once a boy has told his dad, it’s like the weight has been lifted but it’s the point of no return. It’s out and it cannot be taken back.
It sounds as though you’ve been the kind of open-hearted dad that every youth wants in their life, regardless of who they love. Let him tell you in his own time. Continue as you have been doing, supporting his ideas and having an open mind to everything he embraces. Give him the freedom to figure it out and when he’s ready, he’ll know he can come to you and you’ll support him.

Dear Doctor Love,
I started dating a lady about six months ago but she’s trying to change me. She bought me new sandals because my Crocs were ugly. She suggested I wear my hair differently, saying it would make me look younger.
Should I end it before I’m no longer myself?
/s/Old Dog

Dear Old Dog,
As relationships are a series of compromise and changes and you seem unwilling to make any, then yes—end it. Except the Crocs.

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