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I have always thought my now 13-year old son might be gay -

just the way he moves...
I have always thought my now 13-year old son might be gay - just the way he moves, and sometimes speaks. I have made it a point to mention on more than one occasion over the years that if either of my children discovered they were homosexual, that I would be open and accepting and that they could come to me.
Yesterday, I inadvertently discovered a large amount of gay porn on my son's computer. There is no hetero porn in sight. I have no problem with this, except that I know that too much porn can be harmful. So my first question is this: how do I broach the subject without letting my son know what I found on his computer?
Also, I found an on-line diary, and whether it was right or wrong of me, I was able to log on and see what he wrote, which was pretty disturbing. In addition to listing the many boys he has had some form of hand and/or oral sex with, (how much is outside the range of normal for this age?) he writes that during sleepovers, which the kids do all the time, he touches his friends' genitals while they are sleeping. Now, I know that sexual exploration is healthy, but touching someone while they are sleeping I think is molestation. How in the world do I broach this subject without my son knowing I read his diary?
Thanks for any help you can give.
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Answered in 8 minutes by:
12/27/2010
Bill
Bill, LCSW, Consultant, Expert Witness
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 3,707
Experience: 35 years treating individuals, couples, families with mental health and substance abuse prob's
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Bill :

Hello- Thank you for asking the question here at JustAnswer. I have read what you have written and am happy to respond.

Bill :

I understand that this is a difficult predicament that you find yourself in.

Customer:

Yes, I want very much to help him, but don't want to betray his trust. Also, I don't know whether I should wait for him to tell me he's gay when he's ready.

Bill :

I think that you have to address this issue directly with your son so that you can clear the air.

Bill :

You have already betrayed his trust however, you can explain what has happened and if he is angry, he will work through it.

Bill :

You are the parent and he is the child

Bill :

It is theoretically illegal for him to possess downloaded pornography

Bill :

which could come back to bite you as his parent.

Bill :

This is what happens when kids have unlimited access to the internet , parents are curious just as they were when they would read a child'

Bill :

diary when I was a child

Bill :

It is not necessary for you to share everything that you have discovered........just that you are aware

Bill :

You obviously have been concerned or you would not have pursued the issue.

Customer:

I'm mostly concerned with (1) his touching friend's genitalia while they are sleeping; and (2) "outing" him before he is ready.

Bill :

I agree with both points, however, this is a situation where you don't have a lot of options. #1 He is still in a phase of sexual development - you are not really "outing a 13 y o ---------regardless if there is little doubt in your mind. Regarding the molestation issue, this is something else that come back to you as a parent if one of the other children tells their parent etc. My point is that you want to be pro-active with your child and not have to be re-active to those in the outside world that could make it more difficult for him. Does that make sense.

Bill :

?

Customer:

Yes, that makes a lot of sense. If I'm the parent, why am I so nervous? :-) Thank you for your help. Any parting words of wisdom?

Bill :

It is normal to feel like you do......try not to be too hard on yourself. You will feel better once you talk to him, just approach the issue from the point of being a protective parent, and your suspicions about something going on were confirmed. I deal with computer pornography issues with parents all the time and kids have to know that they don't have unlimited access as it can cause many problems. Your computer has a unique identifier and anything that is downloaded can be traced .........from that perspective he won't be as angry. I would minimize the gay issue at this point (reframe that you just saw a lot of explicit sexual photos etc and other information that it is normal to have curiosities however, in this day and time the ramifications can be very detrimental)

Customer:

Should I take this opportunity to again say that if he should discover he is gay that I accept and love him as he is, or should I completely ignore the fact that when I discuss the pornography, it's all homosexual?

Bill :

Just telling him that he is loved and you desire to protect his safety is enough. If he brings up the gay issue then you can reinforce your acceptance.

Bill :

Nip this in the bud and all should be well.

Customer:

OK. I'm a little confused, but I'll figure it out. Thanks again for your help.

Bill :

You are most welcome

Bill :

Please click accept and always feel free to get back with me here if necessary. My Screen name is BillLCSW.

Bill :

You will have a copy of this chat in email.

Customer:

Thanks, ***** ***** New Year.

Bill
Bill, LCSW, Consultant, Expert Witness
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 3,707
Experience: 35 years treating individuals, couples, families with mental health and substance abuse prob's
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