A youth has just come "out"! Where does he go from here?

  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Apr 25, 2008 4:08 PM GMT
    This morning my Coworker informed me that her step son came out to his father last night. They had a thought he was gay, but didn't press the issue. They are ok with him coming out, but they are concerned for his health and well being.

    She asked me if there are any sites for gay people....Many came to mind, but none she is looking for to help this kid out. When I came out it was a trial by fire. I learned about our community the hard way and through experinces. I wish that on no one, I made alot of mistakes. I honestly don't know what the kid should do at this point other than live his life, but she is concerned and came to me. I suppose I could google, but I would like to know what you guys think.

    He is 16 and still in hs. I have met him once, he is a good kid. Very average if not a little sarcastic and grumpy.

    I guess my question here is: Are there informational sites for young gay men? Are there sites for parents of gay children? If so, please list them, also any advice for this kid.

    Thanks Guys.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Apr 25, 2008 4:19 PM GMT
    You are based in Seattle, so I am going to assume the same is true for the person in question.

    Seattle has the Lambert House which is an outreach group to queer youth. If their concerns are about his health and well being they have a variety of support and social groups. The place is probably plastered with condoms and safe sex information.

  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Apr 25, 2008 4:32 PM GMT
    I would strongly suggest PFLAG, most communities of any size have a local branch

    Excellent resources etc.

    Like you I made all the wrong choices and did all the wrong stuff too. Just did not know I was - had no one to "teach" me. Thank God Princeton had a fledling PFLAG and I learned a lot, including the fact that my roomie was gay as well

  • HndsmKansan

    Posts: 16311

    Apr 25, 2008 4:50 PM GMT
    I think Munching Zombie and JW made some excellent suggestions, precisely what I was going to suggest. I would encourage one more thing.... if you know this kid and you are concerned, I would take the initiative and call the places (mentioned above) yourself, get information including names, and maybe sit down with the 16 year old and/ or his parents and make suggestions. Help him along the way and I know thats your concern. Good luck, your a good friend to show such caring.
  • NickoftheNort...

    Posts: 1416

    Apr 25, 2008 8:21 PM GMT
    A couple of suggestions:

    They may want to check out some of the published literature regarding growing up gay. Barnes and Noble's section on Non Fiction -> Gay Youth has some worthwhile reads; I've started on Brotherhood: Gay Life in College Fraternities, which offers personal accounts of gay men's fraternity lives.

    As for his own sexuality, he may find useful tips at Jackinworld in terms of understanding and learning to enjoy himself as a sexual person.


    Based on my own experience, I would strongly recommend against simply signing up on Manhunt / A4A and learning about being gay from those sites and encounters from them; he might be lucky and meet some quality guys, or he may meet some outright predatorial scuzzbuckets (or someone in-between). I suggest that it's better for him to become comfortable with himself and his potential boundaries before possibly signing up on such a site (if he's compelled at all to do so).
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Apr 25, 2008 8:33 PM GMT
    There are several internet websites for gay youth.

    Josh Aterovis, whose gay teen sleuth novels I have read, and who is a MySpace friend, has links on his own website (JoshAterovis.com) for LGBT youth.

    Here are some:

    MailCrew.com (student run e-mail groups);

    OASIS - online magazine;

    YouthResource - online resource for youth 13 to 24.

    Youth.org - online resource created by youth to allow young gay people to be themselves;

    Kids-in-Crisis - self-explanatory.

    I wish the kid luck, he is very brave to come out that young!
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Apr 25, 2008 8:49 PM GMT
    I think the most important thing this kid can use is a good gay role model. Someone who can just be. I came out when I was about that age as well. My small town didn't have much to offer. I imagine that if I had known a responsible person who happened to be gay, I would have felt much more comfortable. Does his HS have a GSA? Local colleges often have groups that are friendly to HS students as well.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Apr 25, 2008 8:59 PM GMT
    I hope I can help him and his parents out. He seams to be grumpy and unhappy all the time. Thats what my coworker tells me anyway. I hope he can find happiness in his life. I remember when I was an angry fustrated kid about his age. I never knew why, until I figured it out, I'm gay and I kept denying that part of myself. Its tiring work to be angry and grumpy all the time, I just gave up and gave in. I'm guessing something like that is happening to him.

    I do not know much about his HS. Not sure if it has a GSA. My coworker told me about something thats at the school, but I did not recognize it.

    I'm not sure if I'm the best role model, I did everything wrong. I didn't get hurt or anything just more of a emotional trauma.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Apr 25, 2008 9:00 PM GMT
    I think the key is for him to be able to develop his own identity. It seems like he has a good start with his parents being understanding. I think being bale to be around other gay kids his age will help too. I would seek out more social groups where he can become part of his own community.

    A GSA is a great idea too. I actually started one of the first GSAs at my boarding school 14 years ago. It was a great experience for me to learn about myself and taught me that I had more allies, both gay and straight, than i thought.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Apr 25, 2008 9:08 PM GMT
    I completely concur with what you state, OneToughGuy: That I, too, had to learn about the community through tough experiences that I often find myself warning decent, respectable young gay guys who are sincere in their ways and perspectives about the pitfalls the gay community often aligns itself as.

    Apparently this kid and his family deserve great guidance and support during this transitioning time for the young man. Much like a previous poster, I, too, highly recommend PFLAG. I wish they were there when I came out almost two decades ago. If his high school is absent of a gay-support network, then PFLAG is the best place to hit-up outside of the school environment. There are certainly chapters within their neighborhood, and hopefully the organization will be of great help for your co-worker, her step-son, and his father. It's always best for a family to remain fine-tuned in communication, understanding, and knowing what direction to take in preparing him, at such a young age, to move forward in a community that is questionably filled with land-mines nowadays.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Apr 26, 2008 2:01 AM GMT
    another site with lots of helpful information about coming out & many other gay issues is www.hrc.org

    I turned to the HRC for lots of information during my coming out period.
  • iHavok

    Posts: 1477

    Apr 26, 2008 5:35 AM GMT
    I think the best thing for me coming out was the XY guide to coming out or whatever it was called.
    ages ago, but a good publication nonetheless. kind of the gay bible...
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    May 01, 2008 4:42 PM GMT
    THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!!!!

    My coworker was very happy with all the suggestions you guys came up with! I gave credit to this site and the guys who responded. I was just the go-between. Another gay youth is saved from learning the hard way! You all should feel like heros! Thanks again.

    B.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    May 01, 2008 4:48 PM GMT
    Question: Is the youth in question unhappy/grumpy as described for some specific reason or the typical teenage this n that? I know I was a nasty, grumpy teen because I was gay and stuck on the farm. My parents thought I was on drugs. LOL
  • irishboxers

    Posts: 357

    May 01, 2008 5:00 PM GMT
    I just started volunteering with The Trevor Project, a crisis hotline for gay and questioning teens. It doesn't sound like he's in crisis (yet, hopefully never) but we're available as someone to talk to. I also know there's a teen peer hotline run by gay teens that offers peer support.

    Orientation was last night so I don't know the number off the top of my head, but my binder is out in the car and I'll go grab it at lunch.

    The number The Trevor Project helpline is:

    800-4-U-TREVOR

    He can call there and they can talk and probably refer him to the best resource, maybe someplace local.

    EDIT

    Here's the TeenTalk number for peer counseling/chatting:

    1-877-627-TALK
  • ams516

    Posts: 32

    May 01, 2008 5:28 PM GMT
    having recently gotten out of high school and being out the whole time with little conflict i suggest this... the parents should let the kid know not to take any shit what so ever. the moment he does he puts a sign over his head that says fuck with me. i've seen it happen to a few of my friends but not to me. i managed to have a pretty normal high school experience.
  • kjm1990

    Posts: 209

    May 02, 2008 12:07 PM GMT
    do u want to talk to the kid,im 17,18 in november ?