How to Talk to Your Gay or Lesbian Teen about Sex

Many of you may have been watching Glee this season, and have been following Kurt’s learning experiences as a gay teen.  Early in the season Kurt asked his Dad to learn how to talk to his specific needs regarding understanding his sexuality and gay sex.  It is true that there are some differences in how to talk to a gay teen about sex, versus a heterosexual teen, but there are a lot of similarities too.  Most importantly your willingness to listen and support your child will set up the environment that allows your child to have healthy sexual relationships and the confidence to know when the time is right to have sex for the first time with a partner.  A recent study printed in the American Journal of Public Health in 2008 stated that teens that identified themselves as lesbian were more likely to contract HIV than those that identified as heterosexual.  At first I found this surprising.  How is it that people who have relations with statistically the least amount of STD transmission have a higher rate of HIV? But by the time I finished the article it made sense.  These girls found it so hard to live as a lesbian that they had multiple male partners hoping to find the right “feeling.”  The lesbian teens were also less likely to use protection, showing that they had poor judgment, and more inclined to risky behaviors.

As parents we all want what is best for our children.  For a child to grow into a sexually healthy adult acceptance by parents and family is important.  It gives the child the confidence to make appropriate choices, and to know when the time to have sex is right.  One point that I want to get across is that just because a child knows that they are gay it does not mean that they need to go out right then and have their first sexual experience.  Many children are coming out as gay and lesbian at the age of 11 or 12.  The same age most of us were when we had our first crush.  I think most would agree that this is far too young for a child to be intimate, but the perfect age for that first dance, first held hand, or even first kiss.   I think that Kurt’s dad on Glee was an excellent example on how to talk to your child about sex, even when the sex you are discussing is one that you have never experienced.  He was open to questions, even if he did not have the answers right then.  He had pamphlets ready with information, but he also let his son know that no matter what he was there to listen; and this was most important.  Because if your kids feel like they can tell you anything, they absolutely will, and you will have that influence that comes with love and parental wisdom.  It is this influence your child craves the most, especially when it comes with acceptance.

For more information about gay and lesbian sex you can go to Whitman Walker Clinic or at:

www.wwc.org

Or The DC Center for LGBT at:

www.thedccenter.org

-Liz

About MetroDC PFLAG

Our Mission:Parents, Families, and Friends of Lesbians and Gays promotes the equality and well-being of gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgendered persons, their families and friends through: Support to cope with an adverse society Education to enlighten an ill-informed public Advocacy to end discrimination.
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