Jump to content

Dear Annie: Dad forbids gay friends


Recommended Posts

Dear Annie: Dad forbids gay friends

Article Created: 01/27/2008 04:52:25 PM PST

Dear Annie:

I'm a 15-year-old boy and have been best friends with "Alex" since we were 5. Last year, Alex told me he thought he might be gay. He said he really liked this other boy we know and made me swear never to tell anyone. But a month ago, Alex got caught after school kissing that guy he liked, and the school called his parents. They grounded him.

My dad told me I'm not allowed to be friends with Alex anymore, but I don't think that's fair. Alex hasn't changed. He's still the same guy I've always been friends with, the one I played soccer and video games with. I tried talking to my dad, but he won't listen. Now I've been grounded because, a week ago, I snuck over to Alex's to play video games. I heard my dad yelling at my stepmom that I'd "better not be gay." I'm not allowed to call him and my cell phone has been taken away.

Annie, I know I'm not gay, but does that mean I can't be friends with Alex? I called my mom and she said she'd try to talk to Dad for me, but it hasn't helped yet. I feel bad for Alex. I call him when my parents aren't home, but every time, he cries and says he wishes he could take it back. I hate that. I know if it were me, he'd try to help. My dad said if I keep sneaking out to see Alex, he's going to send me to live with my uncle. He may not even have to, because I heard Alex's parents are sending him to live with some relatives in Ohio.

I don't know how to get my dad to change his mind. He says I'm young and will make more "normal" friends. But Alex is my best friend and I know you don't get a lot of those. Is Dad right?


Dear Confused:

It's too bad your father isn't more tolerant and accepting. Being gay is not contagious, nor is it a reason to turn your back on a friend. Contact PFLAG (pflag.org) and ask if there's anything you can do. Perhaps if your father had a better understanding of the situation, he might be less afraid of having Alex around. It's worth a try.

Link to comment

That is very sad. I'm not really concerned for Alex, because he's really only losing a friend (puts up shield against the rocks that will surely be thrown at him), and he's getting to know that there are people out there who still haven't fully evolved (/sarcasm).

I wonder why Alex's best friend's parents are sending him to Ohio. I hope it's to protect him, and not to 'straighten' him out. Buddha knows how crazy parents can get these days.

Maddy (:

Link to comment

That's a real mess. Scorecard:

* The friend is a straight boy, a minor, presumably. He accepts his best friend is gay and wants to keep the friendship.

* His parents have forbidden him to see or talk to his friend. They've even taken away their son's cell phone.

* The son is continuing to talk to and see his friend, against his parents' rules.

* Alex is a gay boy, also a minor, presumably. He wants to stay friends with his best friend. He got in trouble for kissing another boy at school, not his best friend. It would seem the other boy didn't object to this.

* School rules prohibit public (or private) displays of affection. (Even kissing and hugging.) There are some good reasons for that, even if it could be relaxed somewhat.

* Alex's parents are considering moving him to an uncle in Ohio. We don't know from what is written if it is for his protection or if they disapprove.

Now, I wish I could convince both sets of parents that being gay or being straight with a gay friend is not wrong, contagious, sinful, or unnatural. (But keep in mind, Alex's parents may not be so negative.)

But realistically, they aren't likely to change their beliefs. (Those are beliefs, opinions.)

They have set rules for their son's behavior. We may see those rules are sadly mistaken, and that they are hurting their son and his friend, and probably driving a wedge between themselves and their son. But they are the parents.

Their straight son is choosing to do what he believes is right, to be a friend to his best friend, who happens to be gay. In doing that, he's disobeying his parents. That's a dilemma. I say, good for the son, for standing up for what's right, and for supporting his friend. I also say, he's still going to be in trouble with his parents.

His parents may think he's gay and in love with his friend. Or they may think his friend has "corrupted" him. That's baloney, of course, but the parents believe it's true and may act to "protect" or "straighten out" their son. Uh, their son's already straight, and able to see clearly what true friendship is about. The parents may not know it, but they should be proud of their son. (Maybe he should be "protecting" them?)

Alex's parents? They might move their son to live with his uncle in Ohio. Now, if Alex is getting a lot of trouble at school, then perhaps a move to a better environment would help. The separation from his friend is hurting him. Moving him won't help on that score. What bothers me about this is, if you're going to move your son, why won't you move too?

I'm reminded of a story that pointed out how the son felt his parents abandoned him, didn't want him, because they shipped him off to his relatives, even though they maintained contact with their son.

Of course, we're just talking, here. It'd be nice if somebody, somewhere, actually thinks about it, grows up a little, and changes his or her mind.

On the up side, some people would be happy for their sons to have a good friendship and support each other, gay or straight. I wish it were more common.

Be careful out there!

Link to comment
* School rules prohibit public (or private) displays of affection. (Even kissing and hugging.) There are some good reasons for that, even if it could be relaxed somewhat.

I've seen PDAs (Public Displays of Affection) in school between str8 couples that could only be run after midnight on Cinemax.

Do you honestly believe if this had been a str8 kiss there would have been any fuss at all? Maybe a teacher says cool it. That's it.

Speaking as someone who has been in Alex's position, his friends were told to stay away, I can tell you that it really is damaging.

From a practical standpoint, the only people left for you to fit in with are druggies, kids whose parents don't pay any attention and others who don't offer anything positive.

The games it plays with your head are worse. Why not do drugs/crime/violence? It seems expected somehow. I must be a criminal because this is the only place I fit in.

Link to comment

I just want to say, not to be difficult or get into an argument, but the whole PDA thing really depends on the school.

My high school didn't really punish for it except for like you said, a little settle it down from a teacher.

BUT, I know someone who goes to a different high school than I did, who recently got into very big trouble for kissing a girl at school.

As for the rest of the article, I just hope they both find some way to get on. I agree that there probably won't be any changing the dad's mind. If he is that out of it that he thinks that it will brush off on his kid or whatever, he obviously has his mind set and is very into his own beliefs.

And if we can't change the dad's mind, at least we know the new generation knows better. (I'm working on my positive thinking)

Link to comment

It surprises me a little that one thing hasn't been shouted loud in response to this: WELL DONE YOU MATE.

This guy deserves mega props for wanting to stand by his friend. I don't like to be dramatic about this but I think kids like this are our equivalent of the Righteous among the Nations. Give this guy an award.

Part of me also thinks that however bigotted the father's response, somewhere along the line his parents and/or others around him did something very right: this guy has learned to stand firm against bigotry.

So, if I could, what would I advise?

  1. Ask your dad if he would prefer that you not stand by your friend and join in the bigotry
  2. Ask your dad if he would have the same attitude if it were a matter of race or religion
  3. Go on strike

Go on strike? Yes, it's a respectful way of protesting. Tell your parents that you will not cooperate in some way. You have to choose it right. We (my brothers and me) did it only once and we refused pocket money, new clothes and gifts. The issue was different but it was for us a matter of principle. After a couple of weeks we reached an agreement. Parents earn a duty of respect but it's not unconditional. Tell your dad "You taught me better than that" - it may sound a little manipulative but it can work.

But, really, if I knew this boy, mostly I would want to tell him "well done you - you're the greatest".


Link to comment

Sumbloke - I agree with pretty much everything you said. I think everyone agrees that this kid is great. He obviously is an open and loving kid. I guess that I believe that the reason why everyone wasn't so open to give congrats was because he has so far to go and so does his friend and that is what we are all focusing on. So, yes, we should be congratulating him, but we are all just a little too scared for what is going to happen to both of them to focus on how far they have come. Maybe a little pessimistic on our part...

Thanks for reminding us of the good.

Link to comment

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...