How to Introduce your Gay Self to the Nieces and Nephews?

  • awayfromtheci...

    Posts: 154

    Oct 12, 2010 10:55 PM GMT
    Just saw a forum on telling the kids when dealing with coming out as gay to your wife and kids. Nothing near as dramatic or difficult in my question.

    I have always been out to everyone, however with my siblings children we always took the approach that we would wait until they were old enough to ask questions themselves. Rather than deciding for them as to when they were ready or burdening them with what we felt that they should know. Don't get me wrong, I understand that they often know more than they let on and have more common sense than many adults that I have encountered.

    One of my niece's has turned 15 and has finally asked, "how come you are not married"? (currently single)....I think I know how I want to handle it. Would really appreciate knowing how others of you have handled it and the outcomes of your approach.

    Since she is the first of seven wonderful little munchkins, I would like to get off to a good start. Thanks!
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    Oct 12, 2010 10:58 PM GMT
    i would simply and with no dramatics or further explanation reply "I'm gay"...let her do the yardage with the ball from there....Keithicon_cool.gif
  • DCEric

    Posts: 3713

    Oct 13, 2010 1:53 AM GMT
    I won't explain it. I don't expect my brother to say to our niece and future nephew, "I'm straight". Answer the question you are being asked, if you are not married, it is because you haven't met the right person yet. You are not single because you are gay.
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    Oct 13, 2010 1:56 AM GMT
    "Cuz Auntie Sf hasnt found the right man yet." ... icon_wink.gif
  • LJay

    Posts: 11612

    Oct 13, 2010 2:00 AM GMT
    This depends totally on how her parents want to handle it.

    If you and they are cool with it all, I think I would be gently evasive, Like "Oh, just never have." and then talk with her parents so that they can break the news and be there to give her some support and andwer any questions she might have.

    I would also talk this over with the parents in advance if possible.

    All of this is a lot different than denying the girl the knowledge she is asking for. She is a minor and not all 15-year-olds are the same. Some need more support than others and that should be up to the parents.
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    Oct 13, 2010 2:04 AM GMT
    I came out to my nephew when he was 11.
    We were playing outside and my mom came out and advised to be shirtless since the weather was so hot. He said "taking your shirt around other guys is gay." I said "ok kid, it's time we have a little talk."

    Now he's 22 and still says I'm his favorite uncle. icon_biggrin.gif
  • DCEric

    Posts: 3713

    Oct 13, 2010 2:15 AM GMT
    paulflexes saidI came out to my nephew when he was 11.
    We were playing outside and my mom came out and advised to be shirtless since the weather was so hot. He said "taking your shirt around other guys is gay." I said "ok kid, it's time we have a little talk."

    Now he's 22 and still says I'm his favorite uncle. icon_biggrin.gif


    ...and that is how it is done boys. Relevant statement deserves a relevant response.
  • Timbales

    Posts: 13993

    Oct 13, 2010 2:21 AM GMT
    I've been in a relationship since before they were even born, so they know Uncle Tim & Uncle Lou. When my nephew was young, he asked my sister if we were brothers, and she told him no, that we loved each other like Mommy and Daddy do, that sometimes two men or two women fall in love like that.
  • gaydocalex

    Posts: 80

    Oct 13, 2010 11:34 AM GMT
    I have 10 neices and nephews. We come from a very right wing conservative religious family. I decided to not be militant about my sexuality. I have made it clear that I am understanding of everybody's discomfort with the issue, especially as it affects the kids.
    In the meantime I cultivated a wonderful relationship with a guy who has slowly integrated himself into the family.
    I have never forced my siblings to explain anything to their kids. I left it completely up to them how they want to handle this with the little ones.
    Over time, as the kids have grown they have come to accept my partner as an uncle, initially without knowing the details of the relationship, but learning
    and figuring it out over time.
    My family has been very respectful and accepting so far ... but I think its because I opted not to take a "I'm here I'm queer - deal with it!" stance with them.
    Even when they would not let us sleep in the same room initially, I never complained. Over time they have evolved and now we get a nice guest bedroom with a queen bed when we come over to visit.
    In summary, I think you win more battles by recognizing that a person uncomfortable with homosexuality is not necessarily an evil bigot.
    We need to allow time for people to accept and grow. When kids are involved and parents can be very protective, this is even more important.
    Let the parents take the lead. All we have to do is be loving uncles and aunts.. the rest will follow.
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    Oct 13, 2010 12:28 PM GMT
    I have a niece & a nephew. My nephew was never really bothered by much, but he never really asked much beyond "Why aren't you married?" which was always fun; I just had fun with the question, like "They find out I'm a werewolf and then they leave me."
    My niece, however, picked up on things very quickly, despite the fact that she is younger. She'd ask "Do you like that girl over there? Do you like that girl? Do you like boys or girls?"
    "If a building was on fire, would you save a boy or a girl?"
    " Is he cute?" I asked?
    Now, my niece and me quibble over Team Edward or Team Jacob (like the guys, but could leave the story. And my nephew was just like "that's cool," and makes sure everyone is very PC when I'm around...
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    Oct 13, 2010 12:44 PM GMT
    I have 6 sisters and three brothers...who created 20 nieces and nephews for me.

    As you may have figured out...I'm the favorite uncle ;-)

    My oldest nephew is only 4 years younger than me and has never asked/said anything.

    I took my niece backpacking around Europe last summer as a college graduation present and she knows and truly accepts me. She told me I'm still her favorite and that I'm just as fun as ever (don't know why being gay would make me less fun?! haha). She said she looks forward to meeting my other half whenever I find him ;-)

    My younger nephews make gay comments sometimes but I take them with a grain of salt. Of course I say it's not nice to make fun of anyone no matter what...and that you can't stop someone from breathing air...it's just how they were made. They are in elementary school so they repeat things they hear without knowing what they are saying. Once they get a bit older, if they still make some of those comments, I'll have to put a kibosh on it right away ;-)

    sfinthecity...congrats on the 7 little munchkins! The fact that you posted on the forum here tells me you are a great uncle!

    I'm looking forward to reading the responses here. Perhaps some of you have a unique way in which to share it.

    Best wishes!
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    Oct 13, 2010 1:22 PM GMT
    DCeric has it exactly right. Answer the questions that are asked, directly and honestly.

    My niece and nephew have known my boyfriend since they were very young. They are now 8 and 6. When my niece was about 5, we were all together at the beach and my niece, who goes to a Catholic school, asked if Jay was my brother. I said "no, daddy is my brother." She said "well Mrs. Whatshername said that only girls have boyfriends." All I could do is look at her mom and say "You send her to Catholic school, so you handle this one!"

  • SoDakGuy

    Posts: 1862

    Oct 13, 2010 1:37 PM GMT
    Be the uncle they know and love. You don't need to make a huge production out of it.
  • Hokenshi

    Posts: 387

    Oct 13, 2010 1:37 PM GMT
    My niece will be two later this month so right now it's not an issue, also the fact I'm on the other side of the world makes it unikely to be much of an issues for years to come.

    My family is really open, loving and accepting so I imagine if my niece should ever ask about me and my relationship status etc, my sister will just tell her everything.
    I'm more than happy for my sister to handle it, she's got a good head on her shoulders (it is her child after all...and I can always win my niece over with cool Japanese presents if I should ever need to).
  • binning

    Posts: 39

    Oct 13, 2010 1:45 PM GMT
    hand puppets
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Oct 13, 2010 2:02 PM GMT
    gaydocalex said I cultivated a wonderful relationship with a guy who has slowly integrated himself into the family.
    I have never forced my siblings to explain anything to their kids. I left it completely up to them how they want to handle this with the little ones.
    Over time, as the kids have grown they have come to accept my partner as an uncle, initially without knowing the details of the relationship, but learning
    and figuring it out over time.
    Let the parents take the lead. All we have to do is be loving uncles and aunts.. the rest will follow.

    Exactly this.
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    Oct 13, 2010 2:06 PM GMT
    binning saidhand puppets


    Best answer. Especially if you do jazz hands
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Oct 13, 2010 2:23 PM GMT
    lol, It's a little impossible to hide it from them when you get married.

    My sister and bro-in-law made us legal guardians/godparents of them when we married legally last year. Everyone told the kids, "You now have real fairy god-fathers." Man, we love that!

    Bill's cousin's kids, 8 and 10, were put out that they couldn't come to the ceremony (turns out they knew be3fore their parents had 'the talk' with them. We stated no kids at the ceremony to spare them a too-quick growing up, but found out later that kids are a lot more savvy than we give them credit for, and they don't judge us like adults do.

    -Doug
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    Oct 13, 2010 2:27 PM GMT
  • shirty

    Posts: 290

    Oct 13, 2010 2:31 PM GMT
    I think it's great to tell kids you are gay. Kids tend to be less extreme in their reactions. You don't need to say you're not married because you're gay, but you can still use the opportunity to explain that you're gay and that it's perfectly normal.

    My little sister (she's my half sister, only 7 years old) and I had a conversation about this the other day. I told her I wanted to marry a boy and she said boys didn't marry boys. So I explained to her that they did in some places (like Canada, where we live) and that I was happy to have that freedom. She argued (jokingly) with me and then eventually accepted it. She had a funny look on her face but she still treats me just the same and I'm sure she doesn't see it as a big deal.

    I don't believe in avoiding the topic with kids because they might not be "ready" for it. It's normal, why make a big deal about it? That just further emphasizes the problem we face every day.
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    Oct 13, 2010 2:46 PM GMT
    I simply don't tell them. I've brought guys over and well my nieces and nephews don't say anything, they see him probably as a friend. Or like one of you guys said, they put two and two together by themselves. What i do with the guy I am with is my problem not theirs.
  • rnch

    Posts: 11524

    Oct 13, 2010 2:49 PM GMT
    DCEric saidI won't explain it. I don't expect my brother to say to our niece and future nephew, "I'm straight". Answer the question you are being asked, if you are not married, it is because you haven't met the right person yet. You are not single because you are gay.



    Quoted For Truth! icon_cool.gif
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Oct 13, 2010 2:49 PM GMT
    meninlove said lol, It's a little impossible to hide it from them when you get married.

    My sister and bro-in-law made us legal guardians/godparents of them when we married legally last year. Everyone told the kids, "You now have real fairy god-fathers." Man, we love that!
    -Doug


    This made me actually laugh out loud. So very cute.

    I can share the story of me coming out to my youngest sister (who is 15 years younger then I am...) She has always loved my partner (sometimes more then me!). However explaining it just never happened.. and I asked my parents if "now" was a good time to explain why she has a real and fake brother.. (Granted this was two years ago.)

    So one weekend, I invited all of my sisters up to our place for a "brother/sister fest." We used to do these at least once a year. So I was up early making breakfast for everyone when my youngest sister woke up and was down with me. So I figured, this is it time to explain. So I asked if she liked my partner and she was all "Duh he is awesome, I love him, he is Brother number 2..." Which was good, it was the answer I already knew but was building something up. I then asked her if she like me and she rolled her eyes and said "well of course you’re the real brother." And I then asked her if she knew what "gay" was. And she did, which wasn’t a huge surprise. I then asked her if she knew that me and my partner were gay?

    I'll never forget that look she gave me. It was cute and had the OMG ARE YOU KIDDING ME look all at once. I found it enjoyable in some way that she was totally cool with me with my bf but never put the two together that we were "gay". That "gay" was something fictitious when it was all around her. She realized in about 5 min, and went back to hugging us and whatnot so there was no problem.

    As for the OP, I say answer truthfully. Sometimes you might have to say what is needed because some kids don't know what "gay" really is...
  • Space_Cowboy_...

    Posts: 3738

    Oct 13, 2010 3:01 PM GMT
    czarodziej said



    THAT JUST MADE MY LIFE AND That is how I'm going to tell people who ask from now on icon_biggrin.gif
  • awayfromtheci...

    Posts: 154

    Oct 13, 2010 5:44 PM GMT
    Thank you all....I think that with what I have been reading from you, I am on the right track and will handle this with little fanfare if and when it comes up. What has made me a bit nervous is that the niece that asked is the daughter of my sister that passed away a two years ago form cancer. Prior to passing away she asked me to take her children and raise them if something were to happen to her ex-husband (he has now also appointed me should something happen to him). It is strange but since my sister passed, I always feel like I am on alert with her kids in particular. If that even makes sense.

    I am their favorite uncle and they are my heart....not afraid of damaging that, just want to nurture it and make it better as they grow.