In the Closet?

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Kyle’s son, Jeff, has dated a few women over the years, but he’s never seemed passionate about any of them. As Jeff nears 30, Kyle is wondering if his son is homosexual, asexual, or just “hasn’t found the right one.” Although they’re not the kind of family that shares intimate details, Kyle wants to assure his son that whatever his sexual orientation, he is 100% behind him.

--Should Kyle probe Jeff to see what’s going on with his personal life?
--Should he invite Jeff to see a homosexual-themed movie or casually mention a same-sex married couple to gauge his son’s reaction?
--Should he pretend not to notice Jeff’s loveless life?
--What’s riskier for their relationship, speaking up or not speaking up?

The Panel Weighs In

Gene: Although Kyle’s bursting with curiosity, he has to keep mum and wait for Jeff to share. There’s nothing Kyle can do constructively at this point.

Jessie: I disagree. If Jeff is pursuing an alternative lifestyle, it might be too hard for him to suddenly broach the subject with his dad. Kyle should get the ball rolling with some innocuous opening, such as, “So, how are things going in your world?” and then take it from there.

Heidi: Kyle is taking a big risk by plumbing his son’s personal life. After all, if by age 30 Jeff hasn’t confided in his father, why would he start now? By aggressively pursuing the subject of his son’s sexuality, Kyle could fracture the balance of their relationship.

Melinda: It doesn’t sound like it’s a particularly intimate father-son relationship now, so what’s to fracture? I agree that Kyle’s questioning could upset the status quo, but maybe that’s a good thing.

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