Tuesday, March 24, 2009

The Unaccepted 24 Year Old Gay Man

My yoga client was sharing with me the situation of his 24 year old nephew. She pities her nephew because he has suffered too much discrimination from his family. His parents have openly expressed how they cannot accept his sexual orientation.

My client thinks that the family’s failure to accept their son has severely affected his self esteem. He hasn’t been doing well in school. And he can’t stick to a job. She was asking me for some advice on how she can help his nephew, whom she thinks has a lot of potential as a person.

My advice was to help her nephew move out their house.

His parents’ opinion on him being a gay man is very difficult to change. And living your life everyday facing discrimination from the very people who should accept you and love you is a life of daily suffering.

Living independently will teach her nephew to come to terms with his own life. And this training would certainly build his self esteem. And this is something that is difficult to learn living with a prejudiced family.

Living alone would also give him a chance to build healthy relationships with other people. And such relationships are important for one’s personal happiness. In one psychological study I have read, with regards to personal satisfaction, it doesn’t matter whether all the relationships of a person are ideal. What matters is that a person has at least one healthy relationship in his life whether it’s a friend, a lover or a family member.


amateur ear said...

That's the best advice. Homophobia coming from the family can be very hurtful.

line of flight said...

I have always found it fascinating that parents look at their children and do this kind of thing. Who do you think raised your children? If it is not a choice or is now beyond the period of choosing, then it is an inherent part of the child. If it is a choice, who raised them to make that choice? Either way, family homophobia fails to recognize the responsibilities and roles of the homophobes and burdens the target of homophobia with everything.

On the other hand, having a family that cannot accept you in adulthood makes the process of maturation much easier. It's like someone deep in the jungle being handed a map and directions on how to get out.

Suffern AC said...

Yep. Good advice. The parents aren't going to change and accept someone in the role of a gay son if the son does not give them a reason to change. Waiting for them to change and being depressed around the house will just reinforce their idea that homosexuality is a failing. It's not a matter of making rational arguments and appeals. They see the depressed son and figure that he hasn't accepted his homosexuality, so why should they. The parents may never change, so moving forward in hopes of a brighter future is probably for the best.