Sense & Sensitivity by Harriette Cole

Godson Dealing With Sexual Identity

DEAR HARRIETTE: I just learned that my godson is gay, and it sounds like he is struggling with his sexual identity. His mom says he is drinking heavily and trying to act “straight” when he’s drunk. He is having a tough time.

He has not told me, and we are not particularly close, but I have talked to other young adults about sexual identity over the years, and I think I might be of help. How can I approach him without seeming like a busybody? -- Coming Out

DEAR COMING OUT: Do not approach your godson. Since his mom is the person who told you what he’s facing, talk to her about your idea. Describe to her some of the conversations you have had with other young people surrounding sexual identity. Ask her if she thinks it might be helpful for you to reach out to her son. Additionally, ask if she would like to have a sense from you of what your discussions have been. If she is open, you may want to share some ideas and insights with her to use at her discretion.

She may, on the other hand, think this is a perfect time for her son’s godparent to step up, step in and be of support. Just know it is not up to you. This is a sensitive topic for their family. Be mindful not to be too pushy. Just offer your support, and see what his mom agrees to allow.

Read more in: Family & Parenting | Sex & Gender | Etiquette & Ethics