A concerned mother has appealed to famed UK advice columnist Dear Deidre for help in addressing her son’s alcoholism…and possibly his sexuality.
“Dear Deidre,” she writes, “I feel worried sick about my son. He is an alcoholic and is in such a mess. I think the root of the problem may be that he is gay but he just won’t admit it. I am a woman of 62 and he is 40 and lives with me.”
“He has never dated,” she elaborates. “If I mention relationships he says he is fine on his own, but I see how he looks at men. It’s obvious. I feel so weak and helpless that I don’t seem able to help him but I’m not in great health and he is now drinking a bottle of spirits a day.”
The ever-level-headed Deidre, of course, offers some sound advice in response.
“Attitudes have changed but he may still feel unnecessarily ashamed of his sexuality,” Deidre observes. “You both need urgent help.”
“Contact We Are With You, which offers free, confidential help for those affected by addiction (wearewithyou.org.uk),” Deidre advises, recommending the UK-based charity. “Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays supports parents of gay and trans people and they will be able to help you find the words to talk openly with him.”
In the United States, similar charities offer services tailored to the needs of the LGBTQ community. American Addition Centers offers a guide for queer people and their loved ones to find rehab programs specifically for members of the community. Unfortunately, addiction disproportionately affects the LGBTQ population. American Addiction Centers reports that queer people are twice as likely than their heterosexual/cisgender counterparts to experience problems with drug and alcohol abuse. Experts attribute this trend to societal homophobia and hostility toward LGBTQ people, and to a lack of resources for the community.