Possibility my brother is gay and I am debating about coming out to him. Input please.

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    Jan 14, 2008 11:54 PM GMT
    Well, just what the title says. I'm an 18 yr old in his senior year in high school, about to head off to college relatively soon. I have a strong suspicion that my brother is gay. I remember when I was his age, nearly 13, I wish I had someone close to talk to about it. I've debated back and forth whether or not to tell him.

    I know in the very least in doing so he would gain my complete trust and be open to me about ANYTHING, even if it's not homosexual related. Honestly I hope to God he's straight, though it would be sort of cool to have a gay brother, I would never wish it on him. It's tough growing up homosexual, as you all know. But if he is, and opens up to me I could help him with situations and dealing with it, but I don't want to give him any false impressions about himself.

    What do y'all think?
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    Jan 15, 2008 12:00 AM GMT
    Well I wish my brother was like you. My eldest bro is gay - hes 9 years older - he knows I'm gay but as of yet he still wont tell me he is (and its not supposition - i have seen enough evidence to know).

    I have a very young nephew ( 8 ) who shows all the stereotypes - and always has - i have no idea how he will turn out. All I can do for him is to let him know that i am a non-judgemental ear if he ever needs to talk to me on anything.

    It would have been nice to have someone to talk to when growing up. I resent my older brother for the hypocracy he has shown.
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    Jan 15, 2008 1:04 AM GMT
    At 13, is he old enough to handle such a revelation?
  • HndsmKansan

    Posts: 16311

    Jan 15, 2008 1:11 AM GMT
    I'd wait.. there's a big difference between 13 and 18.. no need to rush and in the meantime, talk to him about other personal things. Do your groundwork first.
  • comtnjock

    Posts: 47

    Jan 15, 2008 1:45 AM GMT
    I wish I had an older brother to confide in. Being an older brother once, I would suggest easing in. Maybe start talking to him about in a funny, ease into the conversation: like if you two are watching tv alone and see JT on and you say he's hot. Also, start confiding to your brother. Maybe he'll open up. You could also suggest giving the "talk." I think 13 is when I received the "talk." You know, the birds and the bees, the flowers and the trees, and the damn thing called love.

    No matter what, it is going to take some time.
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    Jan 15, 2008 1:54 AM GMT
    That is rough...for your brother. I remember what was going through my head when i was that age. You try (pray) so hard to be straight. Does he know your gay? Talk to him. Comfort him. Be there for him. That is a very sensitive age.
  • Timbales

    Posts: 13993

    Jan 15, 2008 3:04 AM GMT
    Honestly? Don't tell him you are gay.

    Just let him know that you are there for him 100% and will never judge him. Let him know you'll always keep his trust and he can talk to you about anything.

    If you are going into college and haven't told your parents yet, I'm guessing you have a reason for not doing so. If you have doubts, wait until you can financially support yourself before coming out. I know a few people that had their lives severely disrupted by coming out to less than understanding parents.
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    Jan 15, 2008 3:39 AM GMT
    That may be way too much information for a confused 13 YO to handle. Just continue to be the same Big Brother that he grew up with and should he eventually ask, tell him the truth.
  • Starboard

    Posts: 242

    Jan 15, 2008 4:06 AM GMT
    Have YOU confided in HIM?

    The first step towards establishing trust and potentially providing him with an opportunity to reveal himself to you, would be for you to make yourself a little vulnerable and take the first step. If he's going through something that he knows you've been through, it seems likely that he would feel comfortable coming to you on his own when he is ready.
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    Jan 15, 2008 4:13 AM GMT
    I agree with Starboard. It sounds to me like everyone else is selling the kid short in assuming he can't handle it. As his big brother, you would know best what he can and can't handle... but 13 year olds are not so sheltered. Plus this conversation has the potential to do wonderful things for your relationship with your brother.


  • iHavok

    Posts: 1477

    Jan 15, 2008 4:23 AM GMT
    As an older brother, my advice is along the same lines as a lot of these guys...

    He's very young, so a straight forward talk about the physiology of homosexual intercourse might be a little rough, however he's at an age where he can figure things out by himself.

    Above all don't lie, but full disclosure isn't necessary either...
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    Jan 15, 2008 4:41 AM GMT
    first of all I want to thank of all you guys... I posted this merely a couple hours ago and have already received true and meaningful help, you dont find that a lot.

    Well to clear a few things up, my parents know, pretty much everyone besides my graduating class and even then a couple know.

    He is so far more mature than a vast majority of kids his age, its a blessing yet a curse at the same time. I think he could handle it, and I know for a fact when I was that age I wish i could confide in someone. I have made jokes, I was actually on the phone with a guy I liked, and he asked who it was. I said a "Hot guy" he goes no really. I said my boyfriend... he still thought I was messing with him. It's kind of funny.

    In the past, when it came up gradually, I in fact asked him if he was gay and had the immediate "hell no" response. But if anyone asked me when I was his age I had the same reaction. I know in either case whether he's gay or straight, I know it would do great things for out relationship. He could know he can talk to me about anything, I would hope at least.

    Also my parents don't want me to come out at school, or to him. They don't want "influence" in his orientation and if word got back to his grade he has a gay brother, he might get shit for it. I don't want to put that burden on him.
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    Jan 15, 2008 4:48 AM GMT
    To contradict the majority of the advice that has been given, let him know you are who you are and that you are there for him as a brother no matter if his is straight, gay, bi, or into androids. If at 13 he is old enough to get straight he is old enough to understand gay. By making straight the default and the norm we are calling gay the exception, the strange. Sexual role models are not made by the orientation of their sexual attraction but by their behavior in that attraction.

    If you show that you are comfortable in your own sexuality you are therefor making homosexuality not deviant. But if you hide your sexuality you are making heterosexuality the norm and alienating any sexual variation deviating from that. Be who you are and be comfortable in who you are. You will be a much better role model for him than you ever would be by being ambiguous.
  • Starboard

    Posts: 242

    Jan 15, 2008 6:18 AM GMT
    Hottxstud, I think you're a very impressive guy -- I wish I had been as self aware and confident as you are when I was your age. I think that if there is a way to help your brother, based on what you have said, rather than talking to your brother I think it would be better to talk to your parents.

    Regardless of whether or not your brother is gay, it sounds to me that he has an older brother to be very proud of...both of you are still very young, and as you grow into the young men that you are both becoming, I think that it's probably very difficult for you both of you to not be able to be truly honest with each other.

    Your brother probably has the same suspicions about you that you have about him. If your intuition is correct, it sounds like your parents are trying to enforce a "don't ask, don't tell" policy in the hopes that either one or both of their sons will "grow out of it".

    If your parents are somehow trying to prevent you from expressing yourself openly -- in the one environment in the world that you should truly be able to rely upon unconditionally, your home -- that's gotta have a huge impact upon the relationship you have with your brother (whether or not he is gay). I say talk to your parents...once you are able to communicate openly (not graphically mind you, just so that you can explain "the guy" on the phone without lying), your brother may be able to understand a lot more about who you are and who he is, as well.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jan 15, 2008 6:46 AM GMT
    Jeeze. You're not out to your own brother?
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jan 15, 2008 9:50 AM GMT
    Get out of that closet, not only to youre brother, but to everyone, it makes life a lot easier
  • NickoftheNort...

    Posts: 1416

    Jan 15, 2008 10:15 AM GMT
    I agree with Starboard, BRIX, and MunchingZombie: confide in him and show him that you trust him; in effect, normalize the possibility of being gay for him. Your phone conversation is a good example of this.

    It can feel weird to inform one's brother that one is gay; it's a hurdle of potential awkwardness that you may just have to deal with.

    Whatever you do, you influence him. It's up to you whether you want to influence him by being active (normalizing being gay, expressing some form of confidence in being gay) or by being passive (pushing him to ask if he wants to know).
  • iHavok

    Posts: 1477

    Jan 15, 2008 1:06 PM GMT
    My parents asked me the same thing, not to out myself to my siblings while they were still young, and out of respect i didn't.
    I didn't hide it, but I didn't make a big deal about it either.
    I think you've laid the groundwork and shown yourself to be open with the concept, so if he is, he should consider you safe to talk to about it.
    Dont press the issue though. You don't want him feeling like he's OBVIOUSLY a babyfag. lol That's difficult in it's own way.
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    Jan 15, 2008 1:27 PM GMT
    It seems to me that your parents did a good job with you - you've confided in them, you seem to have your head on tight, etc. - so let's give them some credit for having negotiated things pretty well so far.

    They have good reasons for asking you to keep it to yourself with respect to your brother. And 13 - even without the question of sexual orientation - is a rough period, your hormones are waking up, you're about to transition into high school ---

    I'd follow your parents wishes for now. If you're tight with your brother, he'll talk to you if he needs to.

    I'm gay (duh) and remember, too, what it was like to need someone with whom I could talk. I found someone - a close friend whom I could trust with any secret. He was (is) straight - but he was my best buddy, and that was good enough for me. Your brother may have someone like that already....for when he's ready.

    - Joey
  • Buddha

    Posts: 1767

    Jan 15, 2008 1:46 PM GMT
    I'm not very fond of how your parents chose to handle the situation. Yes if one believes sexuality is a result of nature the influence of elder siblings can be highly regarded, but even if it is; for one it sends both you and your siblings the message that homosexuality is something that if possible should be avoided and secondly it confines you in the sense that you cannot always express yourself freely among your siblings without feeling pressured by the proposition by your parents.

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    Jan 15, 2008 2:05 PM GMT
    I would bet money that my older brother is gay, though married and strongly in denial. No one in my family discusses anything remotely personal. Don't make that same mistake. Wait until your younger brother is a few years older, say 16, and then have an open discussion with him.
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    Jan 15, 2008 3:22 PM GMT
    My little brother is 9 years younger, and although he is straight, I know what it is like to be torn between being a brother that is a friend, and a brother that is more of a father figure or older brother. I think the world of him, and since he is the youngest, he dealt with a lot of issues during high school. It was a challenge to help him through those years, but all I say is stick by his side, show him you support him in his positive choices and be the brother and friend that you are. Just remember that it is also his life, and we all learn by experience, he also has to experience the hills and pitfalls like we all did, just try and ease the journey.

    Speaking of which, I wish that after I came out and had my first serious boyfriend my brother was more supportive. He is closer in age, only 18 months older. He has lived in Fort Worth since after college and when I was planning a visit with my parents I wanted to bring my boyfriend. He wrote me an e-mail, of all things, and said he wanted it to be a chance for the family to get together and he did not think I should invite a "friend". Needless to say it started a feud between my brother and my boyfriend and they had only met once for a couple hours. Even though my boyfriend and I are no longer together, I still resent my brother for that and i am not sure how to get over it. If it had been a girl I am sure he would have loved it, speaking of which, this past Christmas he brought his girlfriend home, i wanted to return the favor and thought it would be hilarious, but did not. We were pretty close growing up, but I feel the whole thing has pushed us further apart. Any suggestions?

    Anyways, what am I getting at in what has become a long winded venting session? Support your brother in whatever HE chooses to do, but don't force anything on him, gay or straight you are his brother and friend.
  • mv03

    Posts: 201

    Jan 15, 2008 3:45 PM GMT
    Outting anyone at any age is a real dick thing to do, in my humble opinion. If he approaches you, fine. If you want to tell him you're gay, fine. But you don't 'out' anyone.
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    Jan 15, 2008 3:53 PM GMT
    Forgive me if I missed a post, but it seems like he is not fully aware of your own sexuality. I think its best to start there. I came out to my family around 15 and it was not the smoothest process. In fact they sent me away for a month. Weird since my mom has tons of gay friends. I kept things hidden from my sister, who knew all along. Today she has issues with me being gay, as she felt the need to defend gay people throughout high school.

    My point is that 13 is a weird age. I went through puberty at 11, so I was having sex by 13. I would not have welcomed my older brother telling me how to do it. But I would have welcomed a relationship where we had a great level of trust that I could come to him on my terms.

    Seems like you have a good relationship with your family and your brother, especially. Keep that up and make it strong in all areas of your life. If the foundation is there the trust will be too. He will come to you when he is ready. You can't force him out of the closet. But you can be a role model to show him that he can have a great life no matter what he chooses.

    Sounds like he is lucky to have you.
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    Jan 15, 2008 4:05 PM GMT
    I think that as long as you make your outing about YOU and not about HIM it is best. If he is gay, he doesn't need anyone projecting onto to him. But approaching it in a way that you are only making statments about you being gay. The furthest that you should take it is by saying, "I have something that I need to talk to you about. I know that I can trust talking to you because of how close we are, hell you're my brother." Then just tell him how hard it's been to keep this kind of secret etc., and how it's been hard not having anyone you felt that you can talk to about it. But just make sure that you keep the conversation about you and don't try to lead him into his stuff. When he's ready, he'll know that he can confide in you. You seem like a very cool guy.