My dad found out about my sexuality. My dad, who is a Christian conservative, who I’ve been trying to hide my sexuality from for years, found out about it. I was in shock. This is a major turning point for my life.
I’m not one to use labels, but if you want to call me something, call me bi. I told him that I might try dating a guy in the future and he told me that it was a bad idea and that “just because we have feelings about people, doesn’t mean we act on them”. He told me if I do that, I’m putting myself on a slippery slope to emotional destruction. He also warned me that HIV is rampant in the LGBT community, and that I could be endangering my health. I don't believe for one second that HIV is the "gay disease", but he does. My dad understands that I don't really care about the biblical aspects of it because like you told me to, I sat down and respectfully talked to him about my beliefs and he accepted it.
But in the end, it feels like he's just using scare tactics to keep me straight. Can you tell me how to respond to this?
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It sounds like your father loves you and is trying to understand you and be there for you, but his misguided, religious fears are hampering him. First of all, you can catch HIV from anyone, male or female, if you are not careful and don’t use a condom. And HIV is not the only disease out there: herpes, gonorrhea, syphilis, genital warts, chlamydia, even parasites like crabs can be transmitted sexually. Some of these, such as syphilis, can be lethal if untreated. It has nothing to do with whether you have sex with a boy or a girl; it has to do with how well you choose your partner and how careful you are.
His comment that “just because we have feelings about people, doesn’t mean we act on them” is too generalized. If you have feelings for, say, someone who is happily married, then yes, you should probably not try and break up a happy partnership. But if you have feelings for someone who is unattached, then heck yes, you should pursue that love interest. In your case, whether the person is male or female doesn’t matter. In fact, congrats, you just doubled your chances of finding a mate since you don’t care about gender :-)
Another misconception is that he can “keep you straight” or convert you back to being straight or whatever similar nonsense. You are born with your sexuality, and you can’t change it. Trying to do so would be like trying to change your race or your eye color. A lot of Christians seem to think it is a choice and that people who choose to be gay or bi are somehow being led into temptation by .... hmmm, I dunno... Satan? (says Church Lady) It’s all very ignorant and misinformed.
Steve, your dad seems to be a well-intentioned father who genuinely cares about you and is trying to understand you. This is wonderful! Now, it goes both ways, of course. You need to care enough about your dad to try and educate him as to what the real story is. The more he understands, the closer the two of you will come together.
You shall know the truth, and it shall make you free!
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