Last week we stumbled onto an inspiring story of a father who unintentionally read his 13-year-old son’s Google search history and found out he was gay.
He turned to Reddit, where he received an outpouring of support and guidance, and in turn handled the situation with impressive sensitivity. Since our own stories so often veer from this ideal, it’s heartwarming to know there are parents like this one out there raising LGBT youth.
After the overwhelmingly positive response he received from strangers online (though he does say there were more than a few homophobic messages as well), our mystery Dad — Reddit user HeMeYou — decided to do an “ask me anything” on the site to field any more questions or curiosities about his experience with his son.
Here’s what he had to say:
Did your son ever tell you more about the boy from French class?
Haha he did, I asked him about it a few days after he came out. I find it really cute when teenagers have relatively ‘innocent’ crushes so I couldn’t contain myself and acted like a little school girl when he was talking about him.
Is your son aware of the viral post? What does he think of the whole situation?
He is aware. He told me it was “funny” that it became so popular.
How has your son’s mood been since the conversation?
His mood has improved a ton. He just seems so much happier and cheerful. It also makes me happier to see him that way.
Did you tell your son about your experiences with guys when you were a teenager? If not, it might help him to hear that. Or he might squirm and say “Ew dad, let’s not go there.” Which would be kind of adorable.
I haven’t told him, yet. He is aware of the posts, I don’t think he has read them yet, but he is pretty clever when it comes to computers and I’m sure with a few keyword specific Google searches he can find the posts, in which case, he will know.
I don’t think I’ll tell him, not until he turns 16 or 18 at least (my experiences were purely physical), but if he asks about it I’ll let him know.
I kind of want to know about these experiences now… And if you’d ever swing back around.
Well you know, I was about 16 or so and experimenting in sexuality was kind of a fantasy of mine, so I tried it out with a few guys and I genuinely enjoyed it.
I still see some guys as being attractive and even ‘hot’ and I suppose I could picture myself having a physical relationship. For some reason I’ve never been able to picture myself having a romantic relationship with a guy though.
Did you notice that [your son] was gay before you saw his history pop up? Or was it a bit of a surprise for you?
I don’t want to play to the stereotypes but I did notice a few attributes that some might consider gay-ish.. Regardless it was still a bit of a surprise.
Are you afraid of him being bullied? Since there are so many gay guys being bullied in high school?
We live in the south, and the south is relatively known, for the most part, to being against homosexuality, so it is a fear especially as he moves into high school, but I hope it won’t be an issue.
Has your son since learned how to clear his search history?
Haha I think he has always known, he just let down his guard for a while.
Note: the photo attached to this post is not the father and son from the story