“Ask a Priest: What If My Daughter Is Pro-Gay?”

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Q: My daughter seems to be attracted to gay people and likes to watch films about gay couples and to write her own stories centered around gay relationships. She’s very anti-straight people and says it’s because boys in her class (a Catholic school) talk so disgustingly about women that she thinks men just treat women as sex objects. I think she must be confused about her own sexuality, but she won’t discuss it and she gets very angry and upset when I tell her that she shouldn’t be watching and writing about gay relationships. She thinks it’s OK if they only kiss. I want to know if I’m doing the right thing by saying it’s wrong since it upsets her so much. – K.

Answered by Fr. Edward McIlmail, LC

A: I’m sorry to hear that your daughter is exposed to such foul talk — at a Catholic school, no less. It’s a sign of the times, unfortunately.

As to your question: It sounds as though you are saying the right thing but not in the right way.

Our ability to communicate a message depends a lot on the listener’s ability and readiness to accept it.

One source of the problem is that your daughter has been repulsed by the foul talk of (presumably) heterosexual young men. That means one point against heterosexuals and one point against men — in your daughter’s mind. Small wonder that she might find (genial) gay people a more appealing group.

Whether she herself feels the pull of a gay lifestyle is hard to say, based on your e-mail.

This is a complicated case, far beyond the scope of what an e-mail can address. But perhaps a few suggestions would help.

First, try to build as much rapport with your daughter as possible. Show support for her rejection of what she hears from her male peers at school. Perhaps you can share with her that not all men are like that. Point out the men in your life who are polite toward and respectful of women — men whom your daughter knows well.

Second, encourage her to maintain her own dignity. Let her know that Jesus loves her dearly and suffered and died for her — another sign that not all men are bad.

Third, it might help if you and she read or viewed some material together. A few suggestions and/or resources: Theology of the Body for Teens and (if you think it appropriate) “The Third Way” video.

Another thing that might help is getting your daughter involved with other, young faithful Catholics in volunteer work or even a mission (see Regnum Christi’s Mission Youth program).

In the meantime you might want to intensify your prayers for your daughter. More prayer, less preaching will help to keep her heart open. And you might consider saying something to the school about the students’ foul talk.

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One Comment
  1. I would complain to the school, it is a Catholic school and they should be teaching the boys and girls how to respect each other. They have a duty to teach proper behaviour as this behaviour could esculate. It is also good for those boys to be taught how to behave so that they have a good chance of being respectable members of the community as they become young men. They should be trying their best to show how disrespect towards women and disgusting talk etc is wrong. For if this continues these boys could hurt and disrespect women. This school is not doing its job, clearly, the teachers are caught up in the modern times where we are faced with tv shows of disgusting themes of sex etc. Respect is something that needs to be taught in schools.

    In regards to gay people, I had a friend once who was best friends with a gay girl in school. She was straight and her best friend was gay. Being around gay people does not change what sexual orientation you are. I am straight and some of the nicest people have been my gay friends too. but there are also lovely straight people who have been my friends. It just sounds like she has been in a class where the boys seem to be not nice ? wereas another class or school might not face that problem?

    Yes I have seen a rise in men being horrible and disrespectful, but there are lovely men out there who are good and respectful too. I think in school there is pressure to get a boyfriend etc. But when I was at school I did not take up that pressure, yes there were some guys I liked, but I wanted my freedom to be able to get on with my school work and meet my friends, go ice skating and be free without getting involved in boys. I am so glad I was like that I did not get my heart broken or face any pressure by any boy.

    We are in society promoting gay rights etc so it is in the limelight and it is understandable that people are picking up on this and are reading books etc as it has become trendy.

    I would suggest encouraging her to attend mass (even online in these times) and it sounds to me that she is far too young and confused at the moment. She needs to take her time and enjoy her studies and to enjoy her time outside the school with hobbies and some volunteer work (I used to work in a charity shop as a teenage just for 3 hours or so each Saturday I learnt so much as it was run by pensioners and it was great to hear about their lives and we would stop for tea and cake for a break and natter about the world) I think teenagers grow up too fast and it can be damaging to them.

    Clearly it is causing her a lot of stress, the best way is for her to stay away from the stress and focus on other things. Her studies and her prayers and to find peace in herself.

    Maybe buy her an Our Lady medal to wear or carry with her to school and tell her that praying to our lady is helpful especially in this modern world were there is so much pressure on girls.

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