The dating world has shifted in many ways. While rules and customs have distorted and changed in the straight game due to technology, media, and gender rights, the gay game often continues to be a whirlwind of confusion. And in the old days, straight fathers could sit down their straight sons and help them navigate the do’s and don’ts of dating. But what about straight fathers to their gay sons? There is certainly still advice to be had, and plenty of gay men would love assurance and guidance from their fathers. If you’re looking to help bridge the gap of sexual orientation, here are some great pieces of advice you can give to your son regardless of where you stand romantically.
Always Practice Safe Sex
In this day and age, it’s important to make sure your son knows how to use condoms, lubricants, and anything else necessary for the activities he’s interested in. Go right ahead and even buy him some condoms if he feels too embarrassed to do it himself! Also instruct him on safe ways of meeting new people and how to say no to someone or something he doesn’t want. Just remind your son that it’s not just gay men that need to be careful or that they’re somehow more at risk for or carry more STI’s: It’s just as frequent and important in the straight world, too! There’s no reason to feel ashamed for being safe.
Don’t Listen to the Haters
With all sorts of body types, skin colors, and fashion styles, couples can get sized up frequently by outsiders. And in gay world, this can be even more frequent when the bulk of the public identifies as straight. Let your son know he may get more stares, whispers, and sometimes even rude comments. But also remind him that the people who do such things aren’t very good people. He shouldn’t hide his love for his new boyfriend (when it’s relatively safe to do so) and he should do his best to ignore the mean things people may do or say to him because of his fearlessness. Do what you can to prepare him for the worst, hope for the best, and know that you’ll always be there for him when he needs to unload.
Gay Men Aren’t Immune to Pettiness
While the idea of a community banded together by a single cause may sound rosy on the surface, let your son know it isn’t always the case. Unfortunately, like any community, the gay community can be petty or hurtful towards its members. But also like any community, there are specific pockets that a person will feel more connected with than others. Prepare your son for the potential hurt some gay men may sling at him as the newcomer, and that there will nonetheless be a safe, happy place for him to date in the community if he keeps his eyes open.
Gay Men Aren’t Immune to Heartbreak
While the media is slowly growing with its representation of gay couples, it nonetheless still tends to focus on only two types: those that have a sick or dying partner and those that simply live happily ever after with few problems. Apparently, as long as nobody has leukemia, the couple will last forever. Let your son know that this is false, that relationships take time and effort and commitment just like any straight relationship does.
Your True Love is Out There
With the gay dating pool so much smaller than the straight one, it may feel sometimes like there’s nobody out there. Your son needs to know that everybody has road bumps when it comes to finding that special someone, and it can take many tries before the right guy is found. Just because his dating pool is smaller doesn’t mean it won’t happen. It just means that he may have to try additional and alternative forms of dating, such through specific gay hobby groups, online, or through apps like Hardline Chat!
Have you ever given dating advice to a younger, gay relative? Have you received dating advice from a straight parent or guardian? Tell us in the comments!