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Thursday, March 23, 2023

Both of Anne’s sons are gay. This is what she wants other parents of LGBT kids to know

Anne Considine bristles when people tell her, if their child was gay, it’d be “no big deal”.

She finds it diminishing. “It’s well meaning, but I feel it disrespects what my boys went through,” she says.

Anne should know. Not one, but two of her sons are gay. Chris, 33, came out to Anne when he was 19. His brother Anthony, 31, came out six years later.

Coming out to your parents is a huge moment in a child’s life, but it can be a difficult mental and emotional shift for parents, too — even if they’ve gone through it before. Families like Anne’s with several gay siblings often grapple with unique challenges as they navigate the coming out process — issues she explores in her new book, From Outside the Closet.

“Until that person is standing in my shoes, they have no idea how they’ll react,” writes Anne.

“As a mother, all I could think about at first was their mental health, discrimination, HIV, the party, alcohol and drug scene and the difficulty of finding a partner in a diminished dating pool.”

A Woman With Short Sandy Hair Holds A Book With A Dark Cover Titled 'From Outside The Closet'
Anne’s story — having two gay sons — sounds extraordinary, but it may be more common than some might think.,Supplied: Anne Considine,

The book, which features the stories of 10 men who love men, and the heartache and struggles they’ve overcome to be able to do so, was inspired by a remark from Anne’s eldest son Chris.

“He said, ‘Mum, no way would I have chosen this life’. It was like someone took a knife to my heart and twisted it,” she says. “Try calling that no big deal.”

‘Googling ‘gay’ was a seedy experience’

When Chris came out in 2007, Anne says there was a lack of resources to help her and her husband Paul navigate their “new normal”.

“It was quite seedy Googling ‘gay’ for information back in the early 2000s,” she says. “What I found didn’t make me feel any more confident of the future health and wellbeing of my two boys.”


World Nation News Desk
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