Gay Siblings

  • cacti

    Posts: 273

    Sep 15, 2007 3:59 PM GMT
    A comment in another thread got my curiosity a-stirrin' about how common this occurrence is. It's of particular interest to me, as my only sibling(brother, ~2yrs older) is gay.

    In the extended family(which is not very large), I have 2 cousins(again brothers) who are both gay, but their sister is straight. On that same side of the extended family we strongly sense the force in another female cousin.

    Some, probably not a lot of you here, might try to argue that this is evidence of nurture being the influence. However, knowing my family and the individuals affected in particular, it points strongly toward something more genetic. But rather than take this thread towards a debate on nature vs. nuture, first let's see how many of you have gay siblings like me. Mention the rest of your extended family if you so desire, but let's here about some of those gay siblings-o-plenty.
  • GQjock

    Posts: 11649

    Sep 15, 2007 5:03 PM GMT
    I'm not sure that this can be construed as evidence of genetic influence
    ... I agree with NNJ that the occurance is similar to the occurance of homosexuality in the general population

    But I wish I had a gay older brother
    ...then life might have been so much easier
    I could have capitalized on his mistakes instead of me having to stumble around in the dark
    esp during the teenage years
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    Sep 15, 2007 5:20 PM GMT
    My only sibling...sister 8 years my not gay...but her son, my nephew who is now 13 seems as though he may be. Starting early on...maybe 4 or 5 years old up until maybe 11yrs old...he started showing the signs...(overall soft and delicate attitude, shy, passive, insecure in some situations, tendency to have female friends, etc etc....)however, these days he's seemingly a little more masculine...but Im not sure if thats influence from the demand to hide those mannerisms now that he's in 8th grade.

    HERE COMES THE NURTURE PART:At the same time...and this has been a dagger in my side for sister has REALLY contributed to all this by treating him like she had a little girl instead of a boy...from the day he was born. She has practically kept him underneath her skirt all these years and protected him like a beastly lion. I've gotten into serious arguments with her about this but as i noticed she wouldn't change i'd just let it go for fear that my relationship with her would disolve.
    She never let him do anything...always protecting him...babying him...spoiling him...telling him how cute he is all the time...asking him if he's ok after he stumbled over a rock and practically treating it as a 911 emergency...kissing him constantly...and the list goes on and on and on...!!!

    One thing that pist me off to hell....i took her and him along with my other 4 friends to a water park. She didn't allow the kid to go on anyhing except the kiddy section...and he was 8 years old back then!!! On one occasion he really wanted to go on this cool water slide....but was in the should i or should i not mode...we all kept telling him...cmon, you'll love it!! But as soon as my sister saw his fear she did was she's always done...."no sweety pie...don't go on that, you'll get hurt...let them go on it and mommy will stay here with you" UHHGGGGG!!!! You gotta be F..kin kidding me!!! I felt like leaving the park and calling it a day. Then right after that what looked like a 4 year old girl with a pretty pink bathingsuit rushed by with her other kiddy friends to go on the very same slide....!!
    What damage she has done to him....but again, i have to let it go because its her kid...not mine.
    We'll see where it goes.....we all love him to death...he's an amazing kid...excellent student and is already planning his college career in the 8th grade....whether he turns out gay or str8 makes no difference but his overall confidence is low and thats what pisses me off because i know this could of been different.

    Sorry about the change in pace...i know i went straight into the Nurture part of it but Im all about providing an environment that will result in optimum confidence and leadership for a growing child. Our parents were never like that with not sure where the hell she got that from.

    Aside from that...most of the extended family is straight...that i know of. One other cousin is gay who just came out about 3 years ago. But overall it seems at least in my family to be pretty signs of a genetic link.

    Thanks for reading,
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Sep 15, 2007 5:28 PM GMT
    There is a great deal of literature on the theory that prenatal environment is a significant contributory factor in the determination of sexuality.

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    Sep 15, 2007 5:33 PM GMT
    Actually there was a study done about 10-15 years ago that found that the occurance of one gay sibling within a family DID icrease the chances of a second or even more siblings being gay. Even though the sample size was much smaller, and the resulting coorelation much less certain, this especially held true for twins where one sibling was gay.

    More recent studies have shown that if you are male, having more older brothers makes it more likely you will be gay - and studies suggests the basis of this is biological rather than environmental. The crucial factor influencing the likelihood of male homosexuality may be how many brothers were born before you to the same mother, not how many brothers you were brought up with.

    The “fraternal birth order effect” - the finding that each additional older brother increases your chances of being homosexual by about 30% - has long been dogged by the suggestion that social factors rather than biological ones underpin it

    Some proposed that perhaps rough-and-tumble play between brothers, or even sexual abuse, may have led the impressionable younger boys to become gay.

    Anthony Bogaert at Brock University in St Catharines, Canada, has largely ruled that out. He examined four population samples of homosexual and heterosexual men - 944 men in total.

    The fourth sample included gay men who had grown up with non-biological male siblings. Bogaert reasoned that if simply being raised around a lot of older brothers had produced the effect, it should not matter whether they were born to the same mother or not.

    In fact, it did matter: only the number of biological older brothers predicted sexual orientation in men, Bogaert found. This was true even when the biological older brothers lived separately. “It’s pretty strong in suggesting a prenatal origin,” he says.

    Journal reference: Proceedings on the National Academy of Sciences (DOI: 10.1073/pnas.0511152103)

  • art_smass

    Posts: 960

    Sep 15, 2007 5:36 PM GMT
    I haven't really encountered a lot of gay siblings. About twenty years ago I was hanging around with a crowd that included a guy who had a gay brother (the brother grew up to be Patrick Cox, the famous shoe designer who dated Boy George). They were both campy and over-the-top. The funny thing about that was how much they hated each other back then. That and the fact that they lived on a street named Sunset Boulevard.

    I've actually seen stereotypically butch sisters in families a few times. This was the only time I've ever seen two real "flamers" come from the same family.
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    Sep 15, 2007 6:06 PM GMT
    One of my very first gay friends turned out to be the youngest of THREE gay brothers. He was from a small rural town and claimed that he had 'runaway' to the big city because, he believed, there was no way the family could deal with the last son being gay as well. I still see him about town every so often -- I wonder if his folks are still waiting for their 'boy' to bring home a 'girl'.

    I am the only one in my rather large extended family, although there is a younger cousin (~10 yrs old) that certain aunts seem intent on outing. Poor kid, now his mother has him signed up for even more sports!

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Sep 15, 2007 6:28 PM GMT
    I'm the only one in my entire family--that I know of, at least. My extended family is made up entirely of farmers and ranchers so if there was someone else, I'm not sure anybody would talk about it. My brother is straight, and I don't have any queer cousins that I know of. I'm adopted, though, so that certainly doesn't do anything for the statistics.

    There are probably a couple queer cousins way down the line somewhere, but I don't know them so I couldn't really tell. I have a lot of younger cousins that are just now starting to enter adolescence, though, so who knows how they'll turn out.
  • cacti

    Posts: 273

    Sep 15, 2007 6:37 PM GMT
    Thanks for the responses, guys. Very interesting so far. The polls are still open... keep them results comin' in. :)
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    Sep 15, 2007 6:45 PM GMT
    Yeah, same here. As far as I know, I'm the only one in my entire family of cousins, aunts and uncle that is gay. I don't think any of my nieces and nephews are gay. Maybe my cousins' kids? I'm not sure.
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    Sep 15, 2007 6:53 PM GMT
    ITJock has a good point that I have heard several times as well... as far as the number of older brothers you have (at least mildly) correlates with your likelihood of being gay. The correlation applies to men only. (I have one older brother who is straight)

    Some of these videos are interesting to check out if you have a little time:

    In my extended family, I have one aunt who is a lesbian (formerly bisexual) who was married to my uncle for 10+ years, and they had 2 children. Left the marriage 6 years ago, moved in with her partner.
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    Sep 15, 2007 7:48 PM GMT
    I was adopted as a child, and had no siblings in the immediate family, nor any gay 1st cousins. At the age of 49 I found my birth parents - and a family. 1 half sister on one side, and 3 half brothers on the other, the eldest of which is gay (and partnered for about 35 years).

    There is a gay sibilings research project going on. A little creative googling should help you find it - I don't have the reference in front of me.

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    Sep 15, 2007 8:41 PM GMT
    Out of 4 boys in my family - 2 are gay, The eldest, who is not out and hasn't admitted to me even - though I know he is, (stumbled across plenty of evidence) and me, the youngest.
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    Sep 15, 2007 10:22 PM GMT
    "At the age of 49 I found my birth parents - and a family."

    Wow, how was that, Joey? I've heard lots of stories on both sides -- regretting it and being very glad. My first partner was adopted and bugged his adoptive parents for years to tell him who his birth parents were. When they finally did, he couldn't bring himself to contact them.
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    Sep 15, 2007 11:10 PM GMT
    The adoption agency through which I was placed can not give out any identifying info about my biological parents, so all I have is some background info about my birth mother (English and German ancestry, bipolar, and from a family of hardcore alcoholics). She did not tell the agency anything about the father. I might have been able to use a PI to get my birth mother's name, but I decided to just leave well enough alone.
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    Sep 16, 2007 10:12 PM GMT
    hi fellas,
    i have an older gay sister, and an uncle who is divorced and DEEPLY repressed. oh and a cousin who never married and seems pretty dykey to me, but who knows. a have a few gay friends with gay siblings too, it's definitley a common trait in larger families.
  • zakariahzol

    Posts: 2241

    Sep 16, 2007 10:53 PM GMT
    I am the only gay in my family. My younger brother who is married and have 2 kids sometimes act strangely. He will refer to some guys as handsome and nice body. But as far as I am concern his straight. Being a gay man in this society that are so untolerance and represive toward gay people, I certainly dont wish it on anyone else in my family.
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    Sep 17, 2007 4:31 AM GMT
    I have an older gay sister and SEVERAL gay cousins and other extended family....of course that didn't make it easier to tell the family...
  • OutOfEden

    Posts: 100

    Sep 17, 2007 5:39 AM GMT
    A few thoughts...

    I have a younger sister who is not yet sexually active as far as I know (late teens), so I don't know what path she'll take.

    The first openly gay guy I met in College had a younger brother my age who later that year struggled with coming out. It was extra hard for him to come out to his mother because she had turned to him to be the 'not gay' one, even after accepting the older brother. The two are completely different people however and their sexuality isn't something that brought them closer.

    Later in college one of my gay friends said his older brother had come out to him and was trying to get around to the parents again. From stories that get passed around, it seems like the youngest has an easier time coming out, it may just have to do with sibling order personalities though.

    About a month ago I met three brothers in Atlanta, the oldest and youngest were gay, the middle one straight but glad to support, it was a very open and caring dynamic among the three of them and certainly enviable!

    If I were to study sibling sexuality and its mental effect on an individual I would start off with the guess that it is more difficult to come out to the parents second because of family expectations (like grandkids) and that it isn't easier to come out to a sibling who is also gay than it is to a sibling who is straight because sexuality is always so personal.
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    Sep 17, 2007 5:48 AM GMT
    My brother said he's bi, but I'm not really sure. He has no desire to have a relationship with a man, but he has had sex with a few (from what I understand). I'm not really sure where that puts him. Though I suppose the most that I could say is that my brother is not straight.
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    Sep 17, 2007 6:25 AM GMT
    I will say that it was harder to come out to my sister than my parents...and i had a hard time for a while knowing my sister was gay too....but i do feel bad for my parents sometimes...there's only two of us (my sister and I) so there will be no grandkids....oh well
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    Sep 17, 2007 6:37 AM GMT
    Forgive me for being intrusive but when does being gay mean having no kids? Sure it's harder and more expensive (ie invitro fertilization), but no pain no gain, right?
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    Sep 17, 2007 7:04 AM GMT
    well, it means no kids because i don't want kids and neither does my sister....besides that i my parents don't think about the options...just the fact that they won't have any
  • cowboyathlete

    Posts: 1346

    Sep 17, 2007 8:32 PM GMT
    One of seven kids here, and my youngest brother is gay. We have compared notes before about a nephew we have wondered about. LOL
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    Sep 17, 2007 8:54 PM GMT
    I knew a family of 3 brothers of of five that had same sex tendancies. But in mine I am the only one, however my younger brother could, but he just married a women.