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Parents question how their son can ‘possibly know’ he’s gay when he’s never been with a girl. Yes, really

Patrick Kelleher November 27, 2020
Parents question how their son can 'possibly know' he's gay. Yes, really

(Envato Elements)

A parent has written to an advice columnist to ask how her son can “possibly know” he’s gay when he’s never had a girlfriend – and we are so, so tired.

The parent wrote to The Sun‘s agony aunt Deidre Sanders for advice after their son opened up about his sexuality.

“How can my son know he is gay when he has never had a relationship with either sex?” the parent opened their letter.

“I’m so confused by this. I’m 42 and my son is 18,” they added.

The parent continued: “I asked him when would he find a girlfriend, but he replied he ‘thinks’ he is gay. How can he possibly know?

“I am worried relatives will turn their backs on him. It’s not a path we would choose for him.”

Parent of gay teenager told that people cannot ‘choose’ their sexuality

Responding to the worried parent, Sanders said: “It may not be a path he would choose for himself either because of the prejudice you have just mentioned.

“We cannot choose our sexuality but many know from quite young. You don’t need a relationship to know who you are attracted to.

“He probably wanted to soften the blow for you by phrasing it in this way.

“Support him and tell your family you love him as much as ever,” Sanders added.

It may come as a shock to some people, but it is entirely possible to know that you’re gay without having ever so much as kissed a person of the same gender.

You know, in much the same way that straight people generally know they’re straight without having sexual experiences with people of the same gender.

Sadly, this particular homophobic trope appears to be as prevalent as ever, despite the fact that many queer people actually come to understand their LGBT+ identities while still at school.

According to the Sexuality Information and Education Council of the United States, 17 per cent of gay and bisexual men knew they were gay when they were in primary school, while 20 per cent discovered their queer identity in junior high.

So, while this parent’s son might need time to explore his sexuality, it is possible – even likely – that he fully understand already that he is gay.

And his parent’s push for him to get a girlfriend is unlikely to change that anytime soon.

More: advice, coming out, Deidre Sanders, Gay, Parenting, Sexuality, The Sun

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