Homosexuality


nc31410
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I use to be the Mia Maids teacher at my old ward. And I really bonded with the girls. Anyways one of them in particular wrote me an email.

She is questioning her sexuality. And I gave her the advice that this is def. a subject that she should talk to her parents about.

Sadly, she said that her mom in particular said that this subject was "closed"

I told her that she really, really try and get to her parents. She's such a strong girl. And in my eyes, I'd be very alert if my daughter brought this to my attention. I can't imagine what her parents are thinking right now about this. But I told her that they only want whats best for her. And they have this image of what they want her to be. And that they may be in denial right now. But that she really needs to just think this through, and come to a conclusion herself and to really try to talk to her parents because she should have their guidance!

I want her to feel comforted, I know that these types of things can be very confusing and sometimes even make you feel lost.

If anyone has any other advice that would maybe help me, help her, would be greatly appreciated!!

Thnks:)

Edited by nc31410
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she needs information. why is she questioning her sexuality? any specific events or feelings? the reality is it's not uncommon at all for a teen to have dreams or even attraction to someone of the same gender when they in fact are not homosexual.

at that age the body is just beginning to develop sexually. it's not uncommon for that energy to be focused on those you are emotionally closest to, which at that age is often someone of the same gender. knowing only what you have said i would suggest she just slow down. don't worry about anything "sexual" right now, she shouldn't be anyway. just make friends and have fun and give her body and mind time to grow and develop before deciding she is or isn't something. focus on the things she should be focusing on no matter her sexuality. personal progress, seminary, mutual, etc. i think one of the down sides to all the open discussion of homosexuality is ppl, particularly teens, are very quick to make to much of something.

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Perhaps if people had a more comprehensive understading of sexuality and attraction they would not "question" their sexuality. However, the danger of such understanding would be, perhaps, more experimentation...who knows?

The other day an attactive young friend of mine vsited me at work. We were talking about personality tests and I mentioned Epstein's sexual orientation test. She wanted to take it so I logged her in and left her a few moments. When she was finished she scored a 4 with a range of 6 (0 is total heterosexuality while 12 would be total homosexuality). We were in a joking mood but she asked me to interpret. I said with that score she would probably not find a long-term sexual relationship with another woman satisfying but she would be open to having sex with females occasionally. Note, I was trying to be humorous here. Yet she looked at me and smiled and said "Wow, that is exactly the way I feel!".

When I mentioned this to my wife (mutual friend) she said "Oh, so she's bi-sexual." to which I merely said that if that makes a woman bi-sexual then most women I know are bi.

The thing is, there is a danger of seeing everything in a black or white manner. Most women, and many men, can become psychologically and/or physically attracted to members of the same sex. Ironicaly, when women look up porn they often, at least the ones I have talked to, look up porn that often features same-sex female scenes. And most women seem to refer seeing a nude female body than a male. Sadly, if women feel that if they might desire a woman (physically or emotionally) today's world says they must be lesbians which is hardly the case. The danger is, as one sees in much of northern Europe, that if they do understand this they will often experiment just for fun. However, others put more meaning into this and wind up questioning their sexuality and going beyond experimentation. Truly a hard one to call as to what we should tell young people.

Edited by Fiannan
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Sadly, she said that her mom in particular said that this subject was "closed"

It worries me that so many gay teens commit suicide.

Gee, I wonder if these two things are ever related?

I'd talk to the parents - armed with church resources. Maybe she's a young teen with all the hormones flowing looking around her at popular culture and wondering if she shouldn't join in, and maybe she's facing some serious biochemical factors or environmental traumas that are presenting her with a real problem. If the former, her parent's response might have been the appropriate one. If the latter, they need a wakeup call because yeah, a lot of responses like suicide and leaving home are on the table.

LM

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I cannot give any advice on this except that this girl needs to know she is loved UNconditionally. It worries me that so many gay teens commit suicide. That would be my first concern.

Now I am sure we have some people on here with experience in the department who can offer more wisdom.

I have heard a lot of things about the gay teens and suicide. I know of at least one circumstance where a school administrator disowned his son for being gay, so I suppose such situations could lead to horrible outcomes (it didn't in this case though).

Now as for the situation where someone feels they might be gay. I home taught a woman who was innactive and raising a young teen on her own. Her daughter comes in one day and asks about if it would be okay to date other females. The mother merely sat down with her and discussed the issue and asked what her long-range goals were. Once they established she wanted to get married and have children the conventional way the mother asked why she would want to complicate things by getting into relationships with members of the same gender. Simple, yes, but it was effective.

I would assume that if a young woman came from a liberal background she might decide to experiment and (after dating both genders) would just choose which person she preferred. The problem here, as I stated earlier, is that there is such an acceptance of "anything goes" that she might find a woman she gets along with so well that she chooses to stay with her.

Then there is the more conservative approach, the woman might feel that any attraction is horrific and sinful. Most will probably repress such thoughts and never act on them except perhaps in fantasy. However, a few of the others might feel their secret is so dark and loathsome they lable themselves as having some "same gender attraction" problem and then eventually fall away from any religion that is negative towards the gay lifestyle and gravitate to homosexuality.

The best solution, I believe, is the one followed by the woman I mentioned with her daughter. Since getting involved in same-gender relationships will only cause iner turmoil in the long run, and will always in some way define a person, then it's probably best to aim towards not acting on these impulses. However, one should recongize that all people are bi-potential and the feelings and attractions are quite normal.

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For the record, when I was 14 and asked my parents what they'd do if I thought I was gay, I was just testing them to see how they'd react. I'm not sure I even knew what the term meant at the time.

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Fian is right, wanting to be intimate with people of the same sex does not make you gay. It makes you average. Most women I know are attracted to other females at least on some level, even if they don't want to admit it.

You are homosexual if you have absolutely no desire whatsoever towards the opposite sex. "Questioning" your sexuality implies that you are attracted to both sexes on some level. This is normal at any age, and especially for teenagers who have hormones pumping out of their ears. Usually same-sex attraction means very little at her age.

I wish her parents were open enough to just tell her that much. She's going to wind up in a very sad predicament if they don't get their heads out of their butts and listen to her.

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Thank you SO SO MUCH for all the comments! She has been reading a book called "A Parent's Guide To Preventing Homosexuality by Joseph Nicolosi, Ph.D., & Linda Ames Nicolosi"

I think she is more confused than anything. I just hope that if any question arise, that most importantly she'll be able to talk to her parents!

She hasn't had any boyfriends. Or anything, she's more like a tomboy, type, she's very smart and goal oriented. She is in ROTC, and wants to go on a mission. I don't know if she has in mind what kind of impact it'll be if she realizes if she's Bi or Lesbian?

I'm not one to pry, so I really didn't feel comfortable asking her every detail as to WHY she has been thinking about this. I just answered her questions and really tried to make her feel comfortable and secure that no matter what she will with that unconditional love from her loved ones.

But Thank you everyone! I'm sure I'll be looking at this thread if she emails me any more questions!

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That's another thing that bugs me; the characterization of homosexuals. Society has turned homosexuals into a cartoon, almost comical characters.

Just because a woman is masculine does not make her a lesbian. Just because a man is feminine does not make him a homosexual.

Most homosexuals that I know agree that the effort the media has made to "normalize" homosexuality has actually backfired and created a cartoon character that stereotypes the gay community and is harmful to the community. Not every gay guy is a hairdresser "queen" who is obsessed with Jimmy Choos just like not every gay girl wears flannel and plays softball.

Stereotypes like this are harmful to homosexuals AND straight people. It convinces the straight community that if they fit these stupid roles, then they MUST be homosexual. I see this a lot with tomboy women and femme guys. They deduce that they must be gay, otherwise they would be into more "appropriate" activities for their gender.

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Hey I wear flannel all the time at work and I'm not gay, I simply like the feel of a comfy warm almost blanket at 3am :P

I really blame those stupid videos..umm..'Girls Gone Wild', that show lesbian sexual behavior as something guys really really like and if you don't act like them you're the one that's prudish and wrong.

The girl sounds like she has a pretty good head on her shoulders and has made some good goals. She needs to be patient for a few years, until the hormones have died down a bit. I know, try telling a teen to be patient lol. Not everyone dates when they're 16. Not everyone gets married when in college. Not everyone has a perfect teen life. That's what makes us different, and different is interesting :D

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Thank you SO SO MUCH for all the comments! She has been reading a book called "A Parent's Guide To Preventing Homosexuality by Joseph Nicolosi, Ph.D., & Linda Ames Nicolosi"

Some people here are just assuming she's not gay, and that when her hormones settle down she'll realize that.

Many teenagers do realize they are gay, and in fact, they are. What if this young woman is one of them?

I think reading "A Paren'ts Guide to Preventing Homosexuality" is a horrible idea. If she is gay, it could be the beginning of a debilitating sense of shame, which is a significant factor in homosexual teen suicide.

I also think her parent's are obviously not helping her deal with this, and because of this, I think it would be appropriate if you were to become a little more involved with her questions. When parents are not helpful, we counsel our children to seek the advice of a person of their faith. That's what she has done with you.

If it sounds like I'm saying you've let her down, that's not what I mean at all. But I think since you've sincerely encouraged her to go to her parents, and that didn't work, you could be more reassuring.

I don't think anyone should be telling her this will pass--if she's concerned enough to bring up such an embarassing topic with you, then there is a good chance she is gay.

I'm not saying tell her she is, but I think she should know her concerns are valid, and that you won't immediately dismiss the fact that she might, indeed be gay. I also think it is vital to tell her sincerely, and often, that it doesn't matter whethe she is or isn't. What is important for her to know is that she is a precious daughter of God who deserves to be loved unconditionally. If she is gay, the sooner she gets this message, the better.

Unfortunately, after a young person has been rejected, ridiculed and even physically or emotionally bullied for being gay, the likelihood of that message sinking in decreases considerably.

I would also thank her for trusting you enough to come to you. That is HUGE, and a telling sign of what a wonderful job you have done with these young women. I can't imagine many things being more difficult than a teenager, in the Church, questioning her sexual orientation, and then choosing to trust an adult to talk to about it. Frankly, I think she is very brave, and you obviously mean a lot to her.

If she has a strong testimony, I would also think about having her read this link, just to reassure her. However, it may be premature. I'm conflicted on that. You know her, so perhaps you could decide.

Elphaba

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I have heard a lot of things about the gay teens and suicide. I know of at least one circumstance where a school administrator disowned his son for being gay, so I suppose such situations could lead to horrible outcomes (it didn't in this case though).

Yes it did. His father disowned him and that is a horrible outcome.

However, since we're talking about suicide specifically, when a parent does something like that, you can't be sure a suicide isn't in the future.

Now as for the situation where someone feels they might be gay. I home taught a woman who was innactive and raising a young teen on her own. Her daughter comes in one day and asks about if it would be okay to date other females. The mother merely sat down with her and discussed the issue and asked what her long-range goals were. Once they established she wanted to get married and have children the conventional way the mother asked why she would want to complicate things by getting into relationships with members of the same gender. Simple, yes, but it was effective.

What if the daughter had truly been gay?

would assume that if a young woman came from a liberal background she might decide to experiment and (after dating both genders) would just choose which person she preferred. The problem here, as I stated earlier, is that there is such an acceptance of "anything goes" that she might find a woman she gets along with so well that she chooses to stay with her.

If this happens, the woman is actually gay.

Then there is the more conservative approach, the woman might feel that any attraction is horrific and sinful. Most will probably repress such thoughts and never act on them except perhaps in fantasy. However, a few of the others might feel their secret is so dark and loathsome they lable themselves as having some "same gender attraction" problem and then eventually fall away from any religion that is negative towards the gay lifestyle and gravitate to homosexuality.

Or she might really be gay, thus making "gravitate" an incorrect term.

The best solution, I believe, is the one followed by the woman I mentioned with her daughter. Since getting involved in same-gender relationships will only cause iner turmoil in the long run, and will always in some way define a person, then it's probably best to aim towards not acting on these impulses..

If her daughter is really gay, expecting her to live a straight lifestyle is going to cause her more turmoil.

Elphaba

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Society has turned homosexuals into a cartoon, almost comical characters.

Gays have done a pretty good job of that themselves. Putting aside religious views for a moment, is it any wonder why many if not most Americans are put off by the idea of g/l marriage or homosexuals in general? Perhaps a concerted public relations effort by the g/l community would be much more effective than say....protesting LDS Temples. The average person who...right or wrong....identifies gays with GAY Pride Marches or the lurking restroom cruiser would benefit by seeing gays portrayed as something other than sexual deviants or flamboyant cross dressers.

Edited by bytor2112
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Its a very argumentative topic. Everyone has an opinion.

I try to put myself in her shoes. And honestly if I came to realize I was gay, I'd want to be treated the same as everyone else. I'd still want my family to love me the same and to not make me feel like I have a huge Label on my forehead that reads GAY.

I did make sure, and I told her that she'll always be loved, no matter what she is gay, straight, bi. Whatever the case. I think most importantly is that she feels like she has that support. Including her family.

I think that as members of the LDS church we have to stand up and take charge and full responsibility of our kids. Financially, mentally, emotionally! We are taught to always have compassion for others and understanding. (among other things of course)

But I honestly believe that the only person who will have the right to judge is our heavenly father (not saying any of you are being judging at all)

But a lot of the time these teens feel like they are wrong for having same sex attraction.

She knows how much I love her, and from teaching the girls, I noticed she has a strong testimony. And she is such a strong woman, seriously, she's taken the right steps into figuring herself out. She already tried talking to her parents. And she really wants to figure this out.

Its tough (I bet) having this faith, and then having thoughts about possibly being gay. And I can't imagine what she's going through. But at least she knows what she needs to do. At least she knows she needs to be informed and talk to someone who will listen!

Thank you everyone. Elphaba for your words!

I would just really ask everyone to keep her in your prayers. And hopefully she finds peace, and reassurance that whatever happens she'll still be loved unconditionally!!

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Gays have done a pretty good job of that themselves.

The flamboyant is sensational and will always make headlines. The mundane, boring and average couples who happen to be gay won't.

Additionally, straight people are just as flamboyant, such as in Las Vegas, but it doesn't taint the entire straight community.

Perhaps a concerted public relations effort by the g/l community would be much more effective than say....

The GLBT community has/is making concerted public relations' efforts at educating the public about the millions of average people, as average as you and I, who happen to be gay and in support of same-sex marriage.

Unfortunately, and again, their efforts are not sensational and therefore, don't make headlines.

It's no different than a or the lurking restroom cruiser

The fact that the "lurking restroom cruiser" is associated with the gay community is not its fault--it is Larry Craig's fault.

No average gay person identifies with the lurking restroom cruiser any more than does the average straight person.

Do you condemn the entire straight community's image when something like Heidi Fleischer's client list makes the headlines? It contained the names of innumerable straight people, mostly men. It even included high-profile public figures. Larry Craig is also a high-profile public figure--the difference is it was homosexual sex.

No, you (collective you) do not condemn it because the straight community's entire image isn't affected by these scandals. Why should the Larry Craig incident taint the entire gay community?

These unsensational videos are an excellent example of what never makes the headlines:

,
(There is a whole series of a family devastated by Karen's wife's death, and how she dealt with it.)

Andrew Sullivan wrote:

If you want to understand why some of us are adamant that only civil marriage will do, this video might help. It's of a woman recovering from the premature death of her wife. If you believe her grief is worth less than a man's grief for his late wife, then you should oppose marriage equality. I support it in part because this widow's grief is as real as her love, and because the kind of commitment that marriage means transcends the boundaries of gay and straight into the zone of being fully, awfully, human.

Elphaba

Edited by Elphaba
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It's a difficult dillema.... On the one hand you have the teachings of God and His Church. Then you have the compassion in your soul which doesn't wish to see any of Heavenly Fathers children suffer. I do believe that if Jesus was walking earth today He would minister to His gay brothers and sisters. I wish I had the answer but its a complicated issue. But, for myself I must standby the teachings of the Church.... And, I agree the protest at the LDS Temples were uncalled for. But, I guess that's what makes America great!

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You really need to get to the root of the problem. I believed this was mentioned above. Find out why she is questioning? Have there been any experiences in the past? Does she view pornography?

Unfortunately, there are a lot of parents that do not want to deal with talking to their children about sex, pornography, gay etc. It is a must. They are being exposed to this on a regular basis. If you don't think this is true, go to any store and just look around as your checking out. Millions and millions of dollars are being paid to stores to put magazines for people to be exposed to. The media is paid to push controversial agenda's and therefore, that is what is on a lot of the magazines and newspapers.

The hope is that it will become accepted. Look at the acceptance of tv shows. Now you have filth like Family Guy!

Your friend is struggling from something we call a sexual addiction issue. She may not be addicted to sex but this is a sexual issue. My guess is that if there was some probing, you would discover a dark past, maybe even something she did not realize that happened when she was young. I could be wrong but I would be surprised. It is called un-layering.

I would also encourage her to get some counseling. If her parents won't listen, she needs to find someone to openly talk to and develop a relationship of trust with. This is the purpose of a good counselor is to allow the individual to talk.

Also, find out what are some triggers that get her thinking about this issue and she needs to address those triggers and train her brain.

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You really need to get to the root of the problem. I believed this was mentioned above. Find out why she is questioning? Have there been any experiences in the past? Does she view pornography?

Past sexual experiences or pornography do not cause one to be gay. If they have participated in these activities and then become gay, they were gay to begin with.

Your friend is struggling from something we call a sexual addiction issue. She may not be addicted to sex but this is a sexual issue. My guess is that if there was some probing, you would discover a dark past, maybe even something she did not realize that happened when she was young

Or maybe she had a very good childhood, but is gay.

Do you really repeat this hogwash to people who are questioning their sexual orientation? It is obtuse and ignorant. It is also not true, and potentially dangerous to their self-esteem.

I would also encourage her to get some counseling. If her parents won't listen, she needs to find someone to openly talk to and develop a relationship of trust with. This is the purpose of a good counselor is to allow the individual to talk.

I think that's why the young woman went to the OP, to have someone to talk to. I also think the OP is doing a very good job.

I have nothing against counseling, but if her parents are as closed off about her potentially being gay, I doubt they are going to allow her to go to any counseling unless it supports their position. That has the potential to cause her more harm in the long run, if she is indeed gay.

Also, find out what are some triggers that get her thinking about this issue and she needs to address those triggers and train her brain.

Her trigger is she's 16-years-old.

Not every person needs their layers peeled away to discover some dark secret that caused his/her their sexual orientation. If it were true, we should be peeling away those layers.

Even Church officials acknowledge some people are born gay. Why would you think otherwise?

Elphaba

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it is perfectly possible for someone who is homosexual to be very chaste,

I would not encourage her to labour the point with her parents there is no point in her having the arguement and getting herself ostracised until she has decided what she has got to do.

My best friend is not LDS but he is gay, my advice is not to alienate her give her a friend to talk to, my experience with homosexual teens is they need someone to love them through the dark and sometimes suicidal times, offer her the church perspective but love her no matter what she decides. If it is her genes talking it has to be her decision what she does

-Charley

Edited by Elgama
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I like the teachings of Elder Jeffrey Holland on this subject. Sexual desire is very powerful and one needs to learn to control their passions that they may be filled with the Holy Ghost. The Lord will help us if we call on Him for the divine aid we need to have self control.

"A youth boiling with hormones will wonder why he should not give full freedom to his sexual desires; and if he is unchecked by custom, morals, or laws, he may ruin his life [or hers] before he matures sufficiently to understand that sex is a river of fire that must be banked and cooled by a hundred restraints if it is not to consume in chaos both the individual and the group."

Of Souls, Symbols, and Sacraments

ELDER JEFFREY R. HOLLAND

WhiteBinder.org - Of Souls, Symbols, and Sacraments

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