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HMR2 01-07-2019 07:30 PM

Becoming homosexual in prison..:(
:confused:My 26 yo son , who was incarcerated when he was 17, is nearing the end of his sentence and we are finding out now that he considers himself gay? He was always sooo far from gay as a teen, he always chased girls ALOT, never indicated in anyway that he thought other wise, was in a "White " gang in prison for 8 years that were anti homosexual, and the other day I recieved a letter from his former "cell mate" that he is apparently in a " relationship" with. Son has been moved to another facility and has had someone on the outside text me info. I researched this person, they are a "lay " minister that does inmate counseling. By searching his FB page, i FOund out he is in a long term gay relationship.

Iknow all this sounds cliche, but I can not wrap my mind around this. I have been furious for days, trying to figure out why I"m so mad. There are several reasons'
1: He felt it appropriate to have this bomb dropped on us by a total stranger, like it was no big deal, wanting me to pass on letters.
2. He has been presenting a false image to us for years, pretending he is hissame old self, and meanwhjile living this whole other life.
3. He has no problem coming to us for money, but absolutely not an ounce of respect for us , as far as discussing this with us.
4. He had made plans to get his probation moved to our state and return home to get help started. All the while, keeping all this lifestyle change to himself. We have 2 teen age sons, who worship him as a brother and will be very altered by this. Not sure how.

If he had discussed this with us over the last year or so, in letters or visits, and been honest with it, I may feel differently. But it is such a MASSIVE deception and such a ridiculously in appropriate way to disclose this to us.

He already has so much against him, he is obvisouly mentally ill based on his crime, he will have a violent felony, he is covered head to toe in tattoos and now he wants to add this layer of trouble on top.

I know I will get blasted by some on here, I'm probably not coming across too PC, but I am sooooo angry and still sorting out where the anger if coming from!

Would like to hear form anyone else dealing with this.

IzzyLouWho 01-07-2019 07:36 PM

My two cents here... I wouldn't believe anything that his former cellie tells you. He may have his own agenda. I would talk to your son about what you were told.

miamac 01-07-2019 07:40 PM

Izzy is right. There's so much wrong with this scenario and none of it about the far-reaching possibility that your son is gay. If he is, fine, but the fact that it came from a former cellie is 1000% suspect.

Talk to your son.

HMR2 01-07-2019 08:42 PM

we also thought that, it's just the fact that he has been meeting with this prison ministry man on a regualr basis and the man is an openly gay man. and our son would NEVER seek religous support, he is an avid
I'm waiting on a repsonse from him, I will never know if he is honest though

KiwiPP 01-07-2019 08:54 PM

If this is true, he could very likely have asked his partner to tell you because he was terrified you would be angry and disown him. Coming out is a terrifying ordeal for a lot of men, they fear rejection from their loved ones. A lot of men come out later in life, as they feel pressured from society to live a ‘normal life’. If your son is happy dating a man, it shouldn’t matter. Love is love. Would you rather your son be miserable with a woman, or happy with a man? Please don’t be that parent that disowns their child because they’re attracted to the same sex, what 2 consenting adults do in their own time is no one else’s business. He needs your unconditional love and support, not judgement. All the best xx

HMR2 01-07-2019 09:16 PM

I'm not disowning anyone. SLow down with the assumptions.

He is 26, has grown up in prison, this man is a 35yo openly gay man who has only been out of prison 1 year as an adult. Not really stellar choice of a partner.
whether he is a man or woman. He also has drug problems which our son will havbe to struggle with addiction himself.

I still feel like it was a SUPER wrong way to open this discussion. He hasn't had any problem sharing many things that I haven't wanted to listen to over the years, he has always disregarded our advice on everyting from gang affiliation to his many, many many tattoos. So, I found it difficult to belived,that he would struggle with this.

I think that he just thinks its another thing that we can just deal with it. He hasn't given any thought about what would be a more constructive way to have this conversation.

I still have not heard from him, so I'm trying to not get too upset until I do, but much of this rings true to me.

It's easy to poo poo away feeling of others when you are not dealing with it yourself, or to judge where someone is coming from with out knowing history.

I had hope that he was maturing into an adult who could be honest and forthright with us, as this was not something he could do when he last lived here. But , if this is true, then we are back to where we were.

KiwiPP 01-07-2019 09:30 PM

Iím not going to get into a back and forth over this, so this will be my last reply. Iím absolutely mind blown that you believe someone wouldnít struggle coming out as gay. The LGBTQ community has been oppressed, hated and discriminated against since the beginning of time. People have been murdered for being gay. It is a big deal, it shouldnít be, but it is.

Iím also confused as to you thinking Iím poo pooing away your feelings, saying I have no idea because I havenít been affected by it? Iím part of the LGBTQ community as a bisexual woman. I have had to come out to friends and family. I also have countless gay male friends, and have witnessed the impact an unaccepting family can have on them. It is traumatic. I am a passionate, strong member and ally of the LGBTQ community. Iím sorry youíre struggling with this, but I am heartbroken for your son. His sexuality shouldnít matter. Love is love. Please reconsider.

rockchalk1 01-07-2019 09:42 PM

I cannot imagine as a parent hearing this from someone other than their child, but based on your reaction, if he at all thought this is how you would react, then if he is indeed gay, then he is probably scared to death to tell you. It sounds like your entire family has been through a lot. Your son really needs your love and support, especially if he is going to have any chance when he gets out. Please be there for him, whether you approve of him being gay or not. If this person makes him happy, you just need to do your best to support and help him as best as you can. But when you do talk to him don't accuse him or he won't open up to you. Let him know you love him no matter what and that is it definitely ok if he is gay.

There was a kid in the suburb over from us a couple years ago that came out to his family. His father told him that if he was gay he couldn't live with them anymore. The poor kid was a senior in high school. Who does that to their child? This poor kid felt he had no where to go and wound up hanging himself. That father has to live with that for the rest of his life. It's not what we may choose for our children, but at the end of the day, who cares? They're our children. If my kids tell me they're gay one day, I may mourn what I had thought would be in the future but then support what I hope will be for them and the fact they can get married now and they can have a family and honestly, who cares that it's someone of the same sex. As the prior poster said, love is love! Everyone deserves to find love.

While it may not be what you had hoped for, if true, you son will need you more than ever! Let him know you're there for him!

miamac 01-07-2019 10:45 PM


Originally Posted by HMR2 (Post 7758804)
I'm waiting on a repsonse from him, I will never know if he is honest though

Then why bother getting upset? Let alone angry...
I guess I'm a little surprised that you're not any more suspect of the ex cellie than you appear to be but convinced that your son has arranged this. If he's been in almost ten years, you've no doubt encountered or heard about the myriad of ways other inmates bide time by manipulating others. I've "only" been doing this six and change, but I know well that if an ex cellmate of my husband wrote me and said anything that didn't align with what I know of him, my first response wouldn't be to question my husband why he didn't tell me, but what in the heck does the cellie want from me?

If your relationship with your son is rocky, then let all of this go. It's inconsequential. If you don't trust him and you'd be upset that this person on the outside is wrong for him, then this is all on his shoulders anyway.

Conversely, if you have a close relationship, then set all of it aside anyway and just wait for his response-- you've let the train run away by being angry first.

While I really think this is a moot point as far as your son is concerned-- what it's like to be LGBT and to have to come out (never once, always for the rest of your life), it's damn hard. Even when you know your parents love you more than life itself but perhaps especially so if you feel those people are already so disappointed in you and aligning your sexuality with choices like gang and criminal activity.

HMR2 01-07-2019 11:45 PM

As I feared, I must not be expressing myself correctly. I am not angry b/c he may or may not be gay.
IF this is actually true, I am angry b/c of the complete disregard I feel he has shown as respect to our relationship as a family. If we didn't disown him for the things he has done here and for his VIOLENT crime, I can't imagine he would feel we would disown him for coming out. I had hoped over the last 8 years, that we were rebuilding trust and learning to communicate openly and honestly, after YEARS of lying. If this is true, then obviously that is not the case, which breaks my heart.
I guess as a parent, you are not allowed to have difficult feelings when confronted with these topics, just smile and move forward. I will have to keep my concerns off the internet forums I suppose so as to not be branded a bigot or homophobic.

As far as the cell mate issue, I don't doubt there are many alterior motives for things, its just an EXTREMELY complex plan, if that's what it So , we wait on his response.

gvalliant 01-08-2019 12:04 AM

I get that you're shocked. Being honest, it would rattle my bones - just saying. My reactions;

The comments regarding the source of information are appropriate. Maybe it's true but no way would I base it on what these guys are saying. Until you hear from your son try to not let it get into your head too much.

8 or 9 years is a long time, he has changed. People change in prison. Not always the way we want, not the way they would if they were not in prison. I see changes in my son. I see how he fights to maintain what he was before this happened, but he is changing. We don't know anymore what they do on a day to day basis or exactly who they are anymore. We only know what they tell us.

You will talk to him soon. You might not like what you hear but deal with it best you can. He will be out of prison soon learning to deal with the real world after years of learning to deal with prison. If what these guys are telling you is true and he does consider himself gay; in time you will find out if that is what he is for the rest of his life or it was part of coping with prison life.

Bottom line, regardless of what he and others say now, you probably will not know until he's been home for a while. From what you've said he has made choices while in prison with gangs and tattoos and the like he needs to leave behind. And you also will have adjusting to do. This may be one of those adjustments. If so I hope you find a way to reconcile yourself with it.

gvalliant 01-08-2019 12:18 AM


Originally Posted by HMR2 (Post 7758829)
I had hoped over the last 8 years, that we were rebuilding trust and learning to communicate openly and honestly, after YEARS of lying. If this is true, then obviously that is not the case, which breaks my heart.

Spoken much like the parent of an addict. Same issue, lying. You want to believe them. You believe them. They don't want to lie. But they lie. They cannot help it. You finally figure it out. It does hurt.

fbopnomore 01-08-2019 01:04 AM

Talk it out with your Son before you decide if, and/or why he didn't tell you himself. Prison changes many people, especially in the area of religion. Regardless of this issue, he is definitely not the 17 year old boy you knew before he was locked up, but he will always be your Son who loves you.

yourself 01-08-2019 01:09 AM

Talk with your son. Separate the issues - his being gay, and your perception that he deceived you. Alternatively, that he has chosen to befriend people who throw such a huge wrench in your relationship by relating this sort of information to you.

As to being gay - you say he went in at 17, was pretty macho, is gettting out at 26. Try to bear in mind that sexuality is not set at 17 for some people, especially when they go to prison at 17. He may not be gay. He may be “gay for the stay”. It may just be a matter of the only way he was able to express himself sexually for the last 9 years has been through homosexual relationships. It may be different when he gets out. Then again, he may have been lying to himself for years, overcompensating for his homosexuality by bird dogging women, joining a gang that condemns homosexuality, etc. for some people, admitting their own homosexuality is more difficult than risking relationships with parents and family.

Then again, his partner may have decided to “out” him well before he was ready to “out” himself, even to himself.

Whatever - this is undoubtedly a struggle for both you and him. Keep your mind open both about his sexuality and his deception. Talk with him. Find out what is really going on.

And remember, human sexuality is complex, and rarely binary, especially for people who ar in prison long term.

JessesGirl2022 01-08-2019 05:25 AM

I get it. What you're saying about the disrespectful way that this information (if true) was "delivered" to you and your family regarding your son. I mean, I know what you meant- the fact of whether he's ACTUALLY gay or not- isnt the issue and its got nothing to do with WHY youre angry about the whole thing. Youre angry, because if in fact this information about him IS TRUE- then for one (in my opinion): you're right- it was a hella disrespectful way for him to tell you. Id be pissed off if i were in your shoes also. It sounds like you have been there for him this whole time hes been down (doing time)? Even through some ill-made choices ( in your opinion) that he's made while being there...(tattoos and gang affiliations)- but you still stuck by him and supported him anyway right? And that shit can really WEAR on someone's soul, having to go through the motions of it over and over and over again, with every decision hes had to make, and that you had to "accept" from him, in the last- (what, 8 years right?)Thats a LONG time and probably a LOT of "dealing with" different "things" along the way. You deserved better from him, in the way he told you about this- (again, IF its true). On top of the fact that if it is true then it means that he hasnt been as honest with you( as you were hoping he was FINALLY being) which puts everything (like the trust and honest communication between you and him) back to square one again- where you guys were in the beginning.
Am i right? Or at least pretty close? Lol

Melancholyholly 01-08-2019 05:55 AM

I am wondering why you think it will be so bad for his brothers who idolise him? As a sibling of a gay brother I can tell you that for me by far the worse part of the moment my brother came out was my mother’s reaction! She fell apart because she didn’t want that for her baby! Rather like you she felt he had misled her. He had girlfriends as a teenager and then bought a house with a work colleague, we believed because it was a good investment, literally no one had a clue that he was gay! He later admitted they were partners.

I was stuck completely in the middle mediating the whole sorry mess trying to bring my family back together. Not for one moment did I care my brother was gay or that he had hidden it. I understood how hard it was for him to finally get he courage up and come out! I do get how hard it was for my mum. She wasn’t homophobic, it just wasn’t the life she had in mind for her child. It rocked her world and she cried for days. Of course as a mum you have the right to difficult feelings. Ultimately it’s what you do with those feelings that matter, Shock can cause reactions that we can later regret. But in time most situations and feelings can be worked through.

He hasn’t lied to to you has he? Just omitted to tell you everything about himself. Does an adult child have to tell their parent everything? Maybe he is either scared or doesn’t think it’s relevant to you your relationship with him. After all, he is still the same person. Nothing has actually changed other than your perception.

My mum eventually got over it and she is once again very close to my brother but even at Christmas she asked me if I thought maybe the right girl had come along would he have been straight! Of course as a mother you have concerns, bring gay is not the easiest route necessarily because no matter how far society has progressed they will always face predjuduce. And that is why family support is so important. I think the best thing as a mother you can do is to forgive your son for not telling you and support him the best you can. Even if that will be really tough. (That is of course assuming the cellie was telling the truth!)

sidewalker 01-08-2019 06:48 AM

Admittedly I do not know very much about the subject.

I can understand the op's feelings of anger/upset, especially the way it came out.
I think if that had been me, I might feel similarly.
I know I'd accept it if it were true. And I know I'd have been worried about how much more difficult things might be for my child.(even tho he's an adult)

And I think its also understandable that he may have not wanted to have this discussion with his mom. It can be a very difficult topic to many

Personally I dont really get the idea of *gay for the stay*
I just dont. Ive known who I was attracted to from a very young age. And I'd imagine that for many gay people they probably did too. I just cant imagine being any other way. Cant wrap my head around that idea.

Im sorry that the OP is struggling with how she feels about this news, and I hope she can discuss it with her son and have an honest conversation.

As to your other son' might be very surprised at their reaction. I think way less of a deal than it might have been in past years.

jordan321 01-08-2019 08:34 AM

i'm going to share my sisters story.

She was in 5th grade when we moved to a new school, when she got there she got an GIANT rush of attention from the boys, she played sports & that was very attractive to them. She was overwhelmed but had learned growing up the "normal" thing to do was to like boy if you were a girl, so she tried.

She met a girl and found herself being into her, but she was scared so she started getting "boy crazy" but stayed best friends with the girl.

Finally the end of 7th grade, the girl was going to high school (she was a year older) and told our mom that she was into this girl and wanted to date her now.

My mom was PISSED and was going on and on about my sister not telling her the truth, and lying to her and this and that.

But in reality my sister was in middle school, she was confused, and scared thoughts of it just being a really close friend. she didn't hide anything. Just like if it was a male that you are unsure you like as a friend or more. It takes time to figure things out.

Also, she hid that relationship from everyone for almost a year, she again was 7/8 grade and wanted to make sure it was legit feelings. She finally came out came out freshmen year, and again my mom said she was lying to her because she never officially came to her saying "I am this was"

No one should have to come out with their sexuality, no one comes out saying they are straight.
You like who you like, it's not lying for never saying any thing.

It's a process to find what you like because of the world a lot of people grew up in.

WeepingWillow 01-08-2019 01:27 PM

As a parent, I get that you’ll have various emotions attached to big news like this.

But as a parent, I also think it’s important to remember that your feelings about the issue

1) Really have no bearing on the situation. If he’s gay, he’s gay, regardless of how you feel he went about telling you or whether or not it makes sense

2)Are probably nothing compared to HIS feelings about the situation.

Can you imagine how hard something like that would be to tell your parents? To present to the world? To present in front of a gang who actively dislikes homosexuality (in theory. Just because they publically denounce something doesn’t mean they don’t privately engage. Plenty of white separatist gang members sleep with/hang out with people of color. I’m a non-white woman married to a former leader of a white separatist gang.)

I remember how hard it was to tell my mother I was divorcing my ex. I was terrified of what she would think. But I did it. And he response? “This divorce is going to be so hard for me.” I promise you it wasn’t harder for her than it was for me, but she made it about her and the result is I had to stop giving a crud what she thought about my life and have very little to do with her. Don’t be that mom. Feel how you feel, but remember at the end of the day, who he loves or sleeps with has very little to do with you.

Also, I dont think it’s fair to say someone who’s been in prison since 17 “turned gay,” No one has any idea who they are at 17. This literally could’ve happened in or out of prison. You have absolutely no idea if prison had any impact of the outcome. Not to be harsh, but even if he WAS lying to you, it’s not really anyone’s business but his own. Does he really owe you a detailed explaination of how he lives his life? He’s a grown man.

All that aside though, I understand your shock. Even the most open minded parent would probably be skeptical and surprised finding out how you did and with the image you had of him. It sounds like you just need time to process.

WeepingWillow 01-08-2019 01:47 PM

Also, I’m sure this has already been mentioned, but he may not consider himself to be gay. What if he’s planning on coming home and leaving that life behind and settling down with a woman? Why would he tell you about a purely sexual fling? I don’t know about the rest of the world, but I don’t give my parents a detailed list of my sexual encounters. And if I were to sleep with a woman tonight, I sure wouldn’t be calling my dad to give him an update on my sexual preferences. I’m pretty sure he’d prefer I not, as well.

Just take a deep breath and wait for your son to respond. Of all the news you could get from prison, this is a relative cake walk. He’s alive and well. He’s looking at parole. No one is writing to tell you he’s in terrible drug debt or in the hole for some terrible new crime. Keep your perspective.

maytayah 01-08-2019 02:05 PM

Please just take a breathe, and think about this. You really dont know what is going here. As others have said you have taken the word of a third party that you dont know and you have run with it.

The only person who can tell you the truth is your son. It doesnt matter who else contacts you ,your son is where your answers lie.

If he is gay,then he is gay and if he has decided to come out he will need your love and support. If he isnt he needs you to trust him and stop investigating the situation.

I feel for him, if he is gay as it must be so hard to be open about it when your family is not on board. Also he is an adult he does not have to tell you his sexual preferences if he doesnt want to.

I hope your letter to him wasnt angry, please dont burn bridges. I have gay family members and I know home should always be that safe place where you feel safe and accepted, then it makes dealing with any prejudice that life throws at you easier.

miamac 01-08-2019 02:28 PM


Originally Posted by jordan321 (Post 7758866)
i'm going to share my sisters story.
Also, she hid that relationship from everyone for almost a year, she again was 7/8 grade and wanted to make sure it was legit feelings. She finally came out came out freshmen year, and again my mom said she was lying to her because she never officially came to her saying "I am this was"

No one should have to come out with their sexuality, no one comes out saying they are straight.
You like who you like, it's not lying for never saying any thing.

It's a process to find what you like because of the world a lot of people grew up in.

Thank you for sharing this. I don't want to take this thread too far off topic, but I think so many folks are either firm in their binary feelings or just haven't had exposure to things different than themselves that it's hard to imagine. I still think all of this, for the OP, is extremely premature, but as we're on the subject and if her son is experiencing feelings for a guy, I would hope and pray she could support him through it. Why?

Sexuality, for some, isn't so clear. Your sister was in middle school and that makes it even easier for some to say "Well, she was happens." I was 28 when I fell in love with a female. I had only dated men to that point. I had a long term relationship with that person. I had to "come out" to my family and friends, many of whom were rightfully confused but very supportive. I lost a few folks, mostly in my family, though in reality they were just showing who they had been all along and I can't say I suffered for it. When that relationship ended, I dated men again. Oh my Lord the questions people THINK they're entitled to ask.:faints:

I'm now married to the most amazing man whom I can't imagine life without. So am I gay? Am I bi? I don't know. I don't care. I really don't spend any time thinking about it. I fell in love with a person. It changed everything around me, but it never changed me. The world treated me differently even though I didn't feel any different. And now, for some of you reading this, you'll view me differently even though I'm the same mia I've been on these boards for over five years.

My point is: it's his experience. It's his roller coaster and his life. He may like to paint landscapes one day, it doesn't mean he has to tell you in advance and that he lied when he was 20 and said painting was for losers. He just didn't know he might like to paint. Sexuality can (really!) be that fluid. Be a pillar for him, if you can. If you don't think you can, then do him a different type of solid and be honest about it and then deal with your feelings through counseling. They aren't his to fix.

But before any of this, speak to him directly. This third party business is just so cliche I can't help but think something is fishy.

safran 01-08-2019 02:46 PM

"I am not angry b/c he may or may not be gay. "

I understood that. I understood from your 1st post it was the way you heard about it, not what you heard.

miamac 01-08-2019 03:02 PM


Originally Posted by safran (Post 7758915)
"I am not angry b/c he may or may not be gay. "

I understood that. I understood from your 1st post it was the way you heard about it, not what you heard.

I would have thought that, too, except that most of who have had a LO in prison for a number of years know that in the Top 10 things to be suspect of is a letter from another inmate claiming to want to 'help' enlighten us to our LO. And...

Originally Posted by HMR2 (Post 7758791)
He already has so much against him, he is obvisouly mentally ill based on his crime, he will have a violent felony, he is covered head to toe in tattoos and now he wants to add this layer of trouble on top.


Originally Posted by HMR2 (Post 7758809)
... he has always disregarded our advice on everyting from gang affiliation to his many, many many tattoos. So, I found it difficult to belived,that he would struggle with this.

It seems like the OP views this as a choice and one done without approval. I may be wrong. When hit with startling information I know it's a process to sort out your feelings. I think that's why the advice to stop running with the thoughts about being gay and wait to talk to him is being repeated.

It's an odd thing to hope for, but in this case and for all involved, I hope the cellie was just messing with her.

HMR2 01-08-2019 10:26 PM

He's been in 8 years and we have never had any contact from anyone other than him.

As far as approval, no. My point was, he has never showed any regard to what we thought about anything he does, so I have a hard time believing it would be hard for him to come out to us. I do notit believe he worries about what we think. I haven't heard from him and probably wont until he writes for money. So we are waiting.

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