DEAR ABBY: My oldest son came out to me as a gay man in a private conversation. I have no problem with him being gay; however, I do have a problem with the fact that he has asked me not to tell anyone. He isn't ready to come out to anyone else. I tried to advise him that until he is true to himself, he won't be happy. My son says if he comes out to anyone else, it would "hurt so many people."
I will keep his secret, but there is a young woman he is living with and planning to marry, and I do not believe this is fair to her or her child. He is not happy being a gay man, and that's why he's choosing to live a lie. He was raised in church and feels like he is betraying God by being gay.
How can I support him and lie to this young woman he is with? My son is so confused. How do I help him and keep his secret at the same time? -- ANONYMOUS
DEAR ANONYMOUS: Your son may not be "happy" being a gay man, but that is who he is. For him to keep a secret like this from his fiancee, who plans to share the rest of her life with him, will be more hurtful to her if he goes through with the wedding than telling her now.
Help him by encouraging him to seek counseling through an LGBT community center. It will be strictly confidential, and there is nothing he can tell them they haven't heard before. He has already cracked open his closet door by disclosing his sexual orientation to you. This tells me that on some level he wants to open it all the way.
He is fortunate that he has a parent who is as accepting and wise about life as you. Continue talking to him and encourage him to talk more with you. It may help him to become more comfortable opening up and to accept reality.Read more in: Family & Parenting | Marriage & Divorce | Sex & Gender | Miscellaneous | Friends & Neighbors | Mental Health