Saturday, August 27, 2011

Queer Kids And Parenting

So I came across this letter to advice columnist Dan Savage today. In it a father is expressing concerns about his son, his son's boyfriend and their potentially weird/dangerous kinks. Dan Savage was in his usual good form, being far more conservative than any of his critics would admit. But I wanted to touch on one aspect of the letter and how it relates to parents, and Christian parents in general.
The boyfriend is 18 and sweet, but he's clearly the more dominant one. I'm worried that my son may not know how to say no to him.
So here's the thing, many traditional Christians see homosexuality as involving an abandonment of gender roles. That is usually not the case. This isn't to say that it's okay to ask a gay couple who's the "man" and who's the "woman" (most obnoxious question I've ever been asked more than once). But there does need to be an acknowledgement that there is a difference between masculinity and femininity, even if those two things aren't as strictly connected to ones genitalia as some conservatives would like to believe.

On to the point. Young gay men, particularly those likely to be the less dominant in a relationship, need advice just as much as straight kids. It's easier, I think, with young gay men who are more dominant, they need the same message whether gay or straight honestly. But it is the less dominant young gay men who often get left behind. We all tell young women not to let men take advantage of them, to be strong and know when to say no etc. But many young gay men need the exact same message. It may be difficult for the fathers out there to talk about sex and sexuality to their son in a way reminiscent of how they would talk to their daughter, but trust me they need that talk just as much.

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