Reddit user HeMeYou was left “overwhelmed” by advice from online strangers after accidentally discovering his son might be gay.
The 38-year-old father posed the question to Reddit after finding Google searches on his son’s iPad suggesting he wanted to come out.
He said: “I found out my 13 y/o son is gay… He hasn’t told me, but I want to support him. What can I do?”
I’m 38, and a single dad to my 13 year old son, 14 in four months. The other day I asked my son if I could borrow his iPad and he gave it to me.
After my first attempt at Google searching something I noticed that he forgot to delete his history as a lot of the search terms were along the lines of “I’m gay what now?” etc…
I love him regardless of which gender he loves, in fact when I was slightly older than him I had a few flings with guys, which he doesn’t know about, so I am 100% supportive.
He has seemed slightly down recently, as in, he isn’t as cheerful as he once was, and I desperately want to tell him that I love him regardless of which sexuality he is.
What are my options? Should I wait for him to tell me? Or should I make a few hints at it?
I’m worried that if I don’t hint at it, that he will be worried about something that he really doesn’t have to be worried about… if that makes sense.
Shortly after, he received a flood of supportive messages, with many users offering advice based on their own experiences.
One user posted: “Google ‘how to tell my son I will love and support him no matter what’ and leave it in his search history.”
Another said: “Let him come out on his own terms, just make sure he knows that you’ll support him and you don’t have a problem with it.”
The father, who wished to remain anonymous, told Buzzfeed the response to his post was “overwhelmingly helpful and kind.”
A few days later, HeMeYou posted an update on what he ended up doing:
I started off with talking about general media with him, for instance I mentioned how awesome it was that Tim Cook (CEO of Apple) came out as being gay and I asked him what he thought about it and I was completely expecting him to give a typical teenager response like “yeah.. its good” or something like that but he actually gave me a detailed response which I absolutely loved because for the first time in a good while I’ve actually held a conversation with my son that felt really… rewarding.
I also wanted to talk to him about how I’ve noticed that he’s not been acting as cheerful as he usually has and I sort of gave the cliche spiel of “I love you no matter what and I just want to see you be happy” but I didn’t get much of a response that time apart from “yeah I know..”
The next day as I picked him up from school I thought I’d ask him about any crushes he has, and I wanted to make sure I didn’t say a gender when I asked him, so instead of ‘he’ or ‘she’ I used ‘they’ etc.. Here is that conversation as I remember it…
Me: So, do you have a crush on anyone?
Son: Uhm… no..m..maybe..
Me: Ohhh so who is the lucky person?
At this point he sort of looked at me slightly confused, I’m not 100% sure why, but I’m assuming it is because I said “lucky person” rather than “lucky girl”.
Son: Just someone from my french class…
Me: Oh yeah… so what do you like about them?
Son: Just.. stuff..
Me: Okay.. but.. like what?
Son: I donno they’re just kinda funny I guess…
At this point I dropped the conversation but just before I did I told him “Well, whoever it is, they should be so lucky to have you as a boyfriend..” and while I didn’t see it, I certainly felt as though he was rolling his eyes at my cheesy comments.
At the dinner table the same day, while we were eating we had a couple minutes of silence, not much was heard apart from the cutlery and my son finally said “I actually wanted to tell you something in the car, but I was afraid you’d get in an accident..”
I looked up from my plate and looked at him straight in the eyes… I could see he was thinking about something and all I could think of was “OMG this is it…”
He said “Dad..” with a couple seconds of silence “..I’m gay”.
I looked at him and couldn’t help myself from smiling, and I told him “____, you know I love you so much… right?” and I got up and gave him a huge hug.
He even started to cry on my shoulder and because of that I couldn’t help myself but shed a couple tears.
Concluding his post, he said: “After dinner and after he finished his homework we both lay in our pyjamas on the sofa, while I was watching the Cooking Channel and he was playing on his iPad.
“I had my arm around him and he was leaning his head on my chest, and all I could think of was that I’m the happiest father on earth right now.”