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It’s All about Belonging

(Richard Cohen, M.A. © Gay Children Straight Parents 2007; IVP)

Everyone needs to belong, whether to a family, community, religion, tribe or country. Many of those with same-sex attraction feel they’ve never fit in; they’ve never belonged anywhere. While keeping her painful secret from you, she faked “belonging” with you but never felt it in her heart. And now she thinks she does belong; she believes that she has found acceptance and compassion in the homosexual community.

I hope to assist you in helping your child and family heal. That healing is all about creating an authentic environment of belonging. They healing of same-sex attraction is about creating secure attachment. It is about bonding with the same-sex parent and same-sex peers in healthy, healing ways. We do not seek to do this to manipulate our same-sex attraction loved one. We do it because a wrong needs to be made right. We do it because deep wounds must be healed. And change ensues when healing occurs.

Most often an same-sex attraction son did not internalize his father’s love, overidentified with his mother and the feminine, and felt abandoned or rejected by his same-sex peers. For these reasons, and perhaps others, he lacks a sense of his own gender identity.

The same holds true for the same-sex attraction daughter. She may have failed to bond sufficiently with mom and same-sex peers, she may have overidentified with Dad and his masculine ways, or she may have been abused by men. Somewhere along the way she did not internalize a healthy sense of her own femininity. If the parent-child attachment had been secure, she would not have SSA.

Please bear in mind that none of this is a comment or criticism about your parenting. It is all about perception. Generally these are very sensitive children. They easily get hurt and detach emotionally, often without your knowledge. You, however, are in a position to make an enormous difference in your child’s life today.