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  • Gay relative

    Hi. I don't know if you can help. I have a nephew who I think is gay. He is 15. He doesn't bring up the subject but he is having trouble in school, seems depressed, and apparently gets bullied sometimes because he doesn't fit in and isn't part of the IN group (popular). He lives with his parents in a rural area so it's not like there are a lot of organizations in town he can go to for help. His parents are evangelical Christians who would not take the news well, so I can see why he doesn't talk about it. I am more liberal but I am not sure it's my place to bring the subject up. And certainly it could be awkward if he is not gay.

    He ran away last spring for just for a day and I don't want to see that happening again.

    I saw the Dan Savage book "It Gets Better" and thought it would be good for him to read but was wondering if it would be my place to mail it to him, or if that would create big problems for him at home and he would blame me for invading his privacy.

    Also I was wondering if you knew any web sites or books I could refer him to, that he could use if he does want to come out -- but again, is this something I should be talking to him about? We are friendly but have never talked about sexual matters.

    Thanks.

  • #2
    Re: Gay Relative

    Hi there,

    Thanks for thinking of us to come to for help. It sounds like you are a caring and supportive family member and who doesn't need one of those? It's really great that you are there regardless of what your nephew may or may not tell you. Have you thought about letting him know that you care, and are there for him to talk and come to with any issue he has no matter what? It sounds like if he is not open or comfortable with his sexual identity yet, it's an option to leave that out specificallly and just generally let him know you are a confidant and advocate for him, being on his side for support. Coming out is a HUGE step for people so there may be reasons if he doesn't want anyone to know-possibly including you. Either way, it really is great that he has you for support. It sounds like he has a few things that he may be able to come to you with and maybe eventually that'll come up.

    There are many resources available to you and your nephew. You can always call the GLBTQ National Hotline at 1-888-843-4564 where they can talk with you more extensively on how to go forth with the decisions you are trying to make. They may also be able to give you other resources in the area if it ends up your nephew does infact want something. They also have a website where you can get some great resources at http://www.glnh.org/.
    You can also always give your nephew our number. We can talk with him about how things are going, any issues he wants to discuss, talk about options, resources, and ultimately just try and keep him safe with whatever his decisions are.

    We can't give you advice about what you should or shouldn't do, but again it sounds like if you are more general with things it may be beneficial. Also the GLBT hotline may be able to help you with making those decisions about Savage's book, and if you should bring this all up with your nephew.

    Again, it's really great that you are caring about him like this and hopefully soon you will get this all figured out. Please feel free to call us here (as well as give your nephew our number) at 1-800-RUNAWAY where we're 24/7, confidential, anonymous, and free from a payphone. We are also available through Chat from 4:30-11:30 PM CST.
    We wish you the best of luck,
    NRS
    Please remember you can reach us directly by calling our 24 hour hotline, 1-800-RUNAWAY (786-2929) or through our Live Chat.

    National Runaway Safeline
    [email protected] (Crisis Email)
    1-800-RUNAWAY (24 Hour Hotline)

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