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