Request for Information

I received a sneaked phone call yesterday from a person really in need.  He is one of my daughter’s friends.  He is gay.  He will be eighteen in January and has been under house arrest since he came out to his parents two years ago meaning no use of HIS car, no seeing friends outside of school, no cell phone and no unsupervised phone use.  He graduated high school when he was a junior and he is starting at the junior college in January but he’s really university material.  His grandfather is a fundy minister here 🙁

He says he can’t continue to live this way and I’m pretty sure he can’t either.  Teenagers are usually miserable but seeing this kid from time to time around town with his mom has redefined it.  I received two phone calls actually, the first one asking if he could stay here and promising that he wouldn’t be too much trouble or overstay his welcome and then the second one just a kid sobbing because if he does this he has been told he loses his family forever.  He must remain under house arrest with his parents or his grandparents forever I guess or until he outgrows this gay thing and then he can have a family.  I have no words for him other than he is safe here but perhaps some of you do.  I seek some writings and maybe a book or two that could feed his young soul enough to make this transition bearable and light the way for him into his future because he is traveling very alone in what right now is pretty dark.  Much love in advance to all of you who may have traveled this road and know where the healing springs are to feed the wounded being.  He does have a guy who lives pretty far away and is in college.  I’m to be getting a phone call from him tonight and I didn’t understand why at first but hell I can just go with the flow until this boy in need said into the phone, “I just need someone’s approval right now Miss Tracy.”  I love young guys in the South, I’m going to be someone’s grandmother pretty soon and I can still get called Miss Tracy 😉

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    • pico on October 8, 2007 at 5:03 pm

    but having grown up gay in a conservative Catholic home in the South, I can definitely commiserate.  Is he able to use email?  If so, my address is in my profile, and I’m more than willing to talk.

    • pfiore8 on October 8, 2007 at 5:10 pm

    sad for him and sad for what his parents are stealing from their child because they love him… and a little sad for myself and i don’t even know why

    love?

  1. (there you got it twice).

    I would tell this young man to leave his family, at least for now, he has already lost them.  Possibly he can win them back–but only if they grow, and they will not as long as they can keep him in a box (don’t mean that you should tell him this, merely that I would).

    It won’t be easy–nothing in life is–but I think this would be the only way to keep him from going insane.  Trying not to be what he is will only cause psychic damage to him.  The only way he will find freedom is to learn to live his own life.

    This is all very easy for me to say, I’ve never been in this type of situation–but this is the only way I can see for him to become a full, independent human being.

    • KrisC on October 8, 2007 at 5:31 pm

    of this young man have never heard of “unconditional love“….

    This type of parent is only worried about what the community at large will think, when really, they are only making matters worse for their own family.  Peace can only blossom when a child is accepted for who HE is, not who the parents think he SHOULD be.  The teenage years are so difficult already without problems like this being added into the equation.  Poor fellow.
    Please send him my loving thoughts and energy…

  2. is not my idea of love, but a condemnation of their own child.

    As others have suggested, this young man needs to seek counseling and encouragement in his plight and a plan for his future (if he can somehow get it in his circumstances), or, worse come to worse, someone could get an authority involved.

    Thank you, MilitaryTracy for making this effort on behalf of a young life!

    • Slugbug on October 8, 2007 at 6:50 pm

    He will never regret it.

  3. afraid of anything other than having their friends know they have a gay son, and they’re torturing him to protect their own public image.  Fuck ’em.  He needs to get out and get out soon.

    Or, he can stay in his parentally-imposed prison until he decides life isn’t worth living anymore, and then his parents can work the sympathy game with their friends, blaming Satan for taking their son away from them.

    Chances are, if he just leaves, letting them know that if they choose to stop loving him because he isn’t what they wanted him to be, then that’s on them, they’ll come around…it may take a few years, but he’ll have a chance to find his own life in that time and everyone will be better for it.

     

    • snud on October 8, 2007 at 8:18 pm

    I’d tell him to leave too. But it could get very tricky until he turns 18. What a bummer. I know that 3-4 months could feel like an eternity to him – but if he can hold out that long, his “sentence” will be up and he’ll be free to go anywhere and be who he really is.

  4. i have my own ‘adopted son’…he was a high school friend of rose’s and just sort of injected himself into my family while everyone was congregating around her hospital bed.  we talk a few times a week…and he has close ties with my gay ex-husband and his partner.

    he came out last year, and his dad is supportive in a ‘denial’ sort of way…dont talk about it..dont tell your younger brothers…his mother keeps pushing him to ‘try’ to be straight….theyve asked him not to tell his grandparents (which he has respected so far…)…he much prefers my family to his own, but he’s making an effort with his own with me for moral/emotional support..

    he is a college student, president of the gender/sexuality issues group on his campus, and involved in (i think) 2 theatrical productions at present…but i’m sure he would be amenable to opening up a friendship via facebook or email with your friend.  ill double check with him before i give away his addy….but i know his heart and he’d never say no…

    i have opened my house to many youngsters in need.. short term…and i have never regretted it.  time away from their families has, in the cases here, always helped in the long term…but none of them have ever been under threat of being disowned.  do you think his parents would do it…or are they threatening him to keep him in line??

    being there now is toxic for him.  it hurts like hell to have to accept that your own family isnt who loves you, supports you…is best for you..but if that’s his reality he might as well start facing it now.  gotta go through it to get through it…

    please express to him that the world has plenty of loving arms for him to turn to, that he is perfect and loved, and that help is here for him if he wants it….

  5. that his situation at home is really abusive. Psychological torture. This is probably going to have a lasting effect on him, and the sooner he can get out of there the better.

    How far away from 18 is he? Part of the problem right now may be that he knows that he needs his parents’ financial support, so what would he do if he left, go onto the streets? I’m sure it’s so scary for him to think of being disowned because of that. So he stays. He’s a prisoner in many ways.

    It’s so great you’re there for him “Miss Tracy.” You are probably a key figure in his life right now.

    Has he taken SATs? Can he apply to an out of state college and go there with a scholarship or student loan? Is this one of those towns where he can’t even trust his guidance counselor to accept him? Can someone help him apply to an out of town school? Once he’s there, there will be counseling available to him as a student. That’s hit or miss, but many student counseling services at colleges and universities are now excellent.

    You know, if he has the strength to do it, if he makes the break with his family and you give him a soft place to land, his family may come around. They probably don’t even appreciate what a nice son they already have, just the way he is.

    And screw his parents for caring what the community thinks and prioritizing themselves and their prejudices over their own son’s welfare. I feel like giving them a piece of my mind. Just had to get that one in there….

  6. …I’d go with Pico’s post above on not knowing if he’s ready to bail.  I wouldn’t put much faith in the guy at college, either :} 

    What kind of stuff does he read now?  I’ve got some recommendations but they may be wildly inappropriate.  Do his parents monitor his reading? 

    I’d recommend that he be willing to tell any lie and go to any length to get that first, last and deposit, plus a couple of months to find a job, in a city far enough away that there’s an active and functioning gay community. 

    A hard road… 

  7. I would take every opportunity to tell him what you know about wider world–that there are lots of gay men out there leading great lives.  That there are people and places where he can find support.  That lots of people have had to face what he has had to face.  I think the offer to connect with him by email is a good one.  I wouldn’t flat out encourage him to leave before he is ready–if he wanted to leave, he woudl have already done it.  It is really painful to do that, and maybe even more so considering the prominent position of his father.  I do know a young gay man who changed his name as a way to distance himself from his birth family, and he didn’t move all that far away physically–maybe 40 miles to the nearest city.  Wishing your friend strength and health, and the courage to grow up.

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