Homophobic father making my son uncomfortable at family events?

I am a parent to 3 kids— the eldest is gay, unbeknownst to him, and has already told me. I’m 100% supportive of him. However, he’s only out to his parents and close friends, and my dad has some very traditional views. At family events there tends to be debates started, and it’s a normalized thing at this point.

My family is conservative, but my dad especially is quite prejudiced towards LGBT people and very open about it, expressing these views constantly. Whether it’s outright saying that he thinks it’s unnatural or warning me against letting my youngest son play with girl toys because he might turn out gay. 

Most of the family ignores it but I can tell it makes my son very uncomfortable. I don’t want him to feel like his family doesn’t love or accept him. How do I bring this up to my dad without causing too much trouble or straining our relationship?

7 Answers

  • 4 weeks ago

    You are the piggy in the middle. 

    On one side you have your son.  He has no say in what his sexuality is. 

    On the other side you have your father,  he does have a say in what his opinions are.

    I am stuffed if I can follow why you even find this challenging,  one is a child who looks to you for support and guidance the other is an adult who does not care if his views offends others.   Just think about what you have said,  he told you not to let your boys play with girls toys.    Who the hell is he to be telling you how to raise your children?   

    Might I remind you,  Today your child needs you to provide and protect him.  One day, it might be another 80 years away,  but one day this child you are failing today will be responsible for your welfare,  he will decide what level of care you are given and he will be the only person who will visit you.   You burn your bridges now and he may well remember who failed to stand up for him.  

  • Tj
    Lv 7
    1 month ago

    Stop making your gay son see the homophobic man. He is a ignorant person. You will never change him and accept the boy.

  • 1 month ago

    "Conservative," "traditional."  You mean openly bigoted. Never mind your "relationdhip" with your dad. Your son comes first. Every time the old man opens his trap, change the subject, as forcibly as necessary. Or stop dragging your son to these hostile gatherings.

  • Emma
    Lv 7
    1 month ago

    "I am a parent to 3 kids— the eldest is gay"

    "my dad especially is quite prejudiced towards LGBT people and very open about it, expressing these views constantly"

    Your dad has made his choice, he has put his politics, his interpretation of religion, and personal ideology, above family, you can't change that, as a parent you owe it to your child to protect and shield him from his grandfather's bigotry and contempt, meaning no more contact with your dad if he doesn't stop it.

    I highly recommend a good family therapist without a religious or political bias against the lgbt for all involved.

    Note, There are many christian lgbtq affirming denominations and congregations.

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  • 1 month ago

    You tell your father what you shared with us here. Ask for what you want and don't want from him. If he isn't willing to respect your wishes, you might have to weigh whether you want to limit contact with him in your son's presence. I wonder why your father chooses to focus so much on the issue.

  • 1 month ago

    Your first obligation is to your son.  Your father is unlikely to change his mind (although stranger things have happened).  The only way you can protect your son is if your son is willing to come out to the entire family.  At that stage you can tell your father that what he is saying is making the boy uncomfortable and you want him to stop (don't ask - tell).  But if the boy is not yet comfortable coming out to everyone, then what you can do is to say, when your father is being homophobic that you don't agree with or approve of what he is saying.  It is a prejudice that you don't condone.  Unfortunately, you are probably going to create strain in your relationship, however, you do owe your first allegiance to your son. This is tough, but no one said parenting is easy.  Good luck.

  • Anonymous
    1 month ago

    What does this have to do with Personal Finance.

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