How To Talk To Your Gay Teen About Sex

How To Talk To Your Gay Teen About Sex
Contributor
Family, Self

Invincible, proud, determined, excited and waving the rainbow flag. That's often the stereotypical view of a teen that comes out of the closet. On the other hand, they also often feel isolated, afraid, broken and not quite capable of fitting in. Regardless of the perspective, there can be one small, yet very large perception that get's overlooked and leads teens into sexual hot water!

"I'm gay so I don't have to worry about ..." and off they run into their sexual freedom without a thought to what else lurks out their beside them no longer worrying about teen pregnancy!

Blind leading the blind and childhood naïveté are the first words that come to mind when I envision young teens coming into their truth. It's hard enough to come into your pubescent years, let alone come to terms with your sexuality. Now, add to the mix your belief that you're invincible and beyond reproach because the risks of same-sex sex are less risky, and you have a recipie for disaster. On the contrary, it does seem to be that the younger generation of LGBT youth are wearing "rose-colored" glasses that taint their view of "let's play hanky panky!"

As the parent of two teen daughters, my utmost concern is for their safety, which covers a broad spectrum of concerns — driving, alcohol abuse, drug abuse, teen pregnancy, mental abuse, bullying and if and when they should have sex (regardless of their sexual orientation). I feel pretty normal and within my parental right to have my radar attuned to these things. Yet, there is that question of "how do you educate your child about the "in's and out's" same-sex, sex if that opportunity presents itself?" From my perspective, the same way you would address it when your heterosexual child says I want to have sex!" You talk about it.

This may seem a rather daunting and unproductive task for those of you of the heterosexual breed who believe, "my child could never be lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender!" Well bless your soul, here's your open invitation to Parents, Families, and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG). You just might need this support sooner than you think. In fact, (again, this is just my perspective) any parent who is leaving education about sex and sexuality — hetero or homo — in the hands of human sexuality classes in our schools, should have their parental license revoked. Oh wait, you don't have to have a license to have a child but being over the age of 18 and having the right vote, gives you the power to tell me who I can love, sleep with and choose to marry. Something's wrong with this picture, but that's a different story all together.

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If we as parents wash our hands of educating our children about sex, all types of sex and sexuality, then we relinquish our parental capabilities to have a logical conversation about same-sex sex when Adam brings home Steve at age 15. Quite honestly, nothing about the conversation should change. Teen sex with same-sex teens is still teen sex! While the risk of teen pregnancy might have been removed, your teen still faces the:

  • Emotional rollercoaster that sexual intimacy ignites;
  • Possibilities of sexually transmitted diseases;
  • Dark corners that chip away at healthy levels of self-esteem; and
  • Peer pressure to have sex, even in the LGBT community. Keep reading ...

Obviously the question you as a parent face is, "What do I do to support, and guide my LGBT child in the matters of sex?" For each of us this will be different based upon our family values and standards of communication that you've created with your teen. As tricky as it might seem, it's really no different than having the birds and the bee's conversation. The only difference is you're now talking about the bee's and the bee's — queens and all! You might consider the following too!

1. Establish behavioral boundaries and expectations that you can both respect and agree to. Saying, "This is my house and as long as you live under this roof ... " won't necessarily prevent your child from having sex with their same-sex partner. Create a fluid environment that invites agreement.

2. Collaborate to educate. Sometimes your child may be the student and you the teacher. In other words, they may know more about same-sex sex than you do. If so, give them the opportunity to educate. If not, go forward together finding common grounds for learning in places like Aids.org, Planned Parenthood, or a local LGBT Center.

3. Encourage your child to ...

  • Use a condom;
  • Delay sexual activity until they're physically and emotionally ready;
  • Limit their sex partners;
  • Trust the wisdom of monogamy;
  • Ask about their partner's sexual history and tell them about theirs;
  • Get tested and request their sex partner to be tested for HIV and STI's;
  • Learn what sexual activities are high risks; and
  • Love themselves beyond reproach.

Being an active participant in your child's sexual exploration doesn't change just because they've declared their same-sex orientation. In fact, it probably increases the need for you to become more educated as a parent. Even if you're battling your own individual values regarding your child's "coming out," they're still a living, breathing, maturing young individual who at the core needs, wants and desires a parent's loving guidance (even if they don't say it). No one ever said being a parent was going to be easy, unless all you ever planned on raising were Barbie and Ken dolls!

Rick Clemons, The Coming Out Coach
Certified Professional Coach (CPC), Energy Leader Index, Master Practioner (ELI-MP), Associate Certified Coach (ACC)

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Rick Clemons is a Certified Professional Coach who's been featured on The Ricki Lake Show, and is a highly sought after radio show guest, blogger, author and Sex Coach U Faculty Member who lovingly addresses the many facets of coming out for all who are touched by this journey. Rick also hosted his own radio show, The Coming Out Lounge, and has been an expert guest on numerous other radio shows, and in print on national blogs.

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