15 septembre 2010

Guiding a gay youth while rejecting his sexual advances to both myself and my partner

I am trying to help guide a young hispanic man (he’s) 17 in the right direction to meet and get to know other guys in his age bracket. He’s not shy, quite to the contray, but he’s exhibiting inappropriate behavior. He showed up at our door begging us for sex. This situation is just wrong for many, many reassons. He seems overblown with hormones, but I’d like to know how he could get free counseling and maybe meet other young men (in a group situation) that he could get to know. He lives near is in the San Fernando valley and tells me that he feels completely cut off. His friends are all straight and as unfortunate as it is, are very homophobic. He’s afraid they might try to kill him. We live in the San Fernando valley near North Hollywood. I’d like to give him some advice before he does something drastic or gets us in trouble. I really could use some information for him. (Counseling centers-gay hispanic yourth group meetings). Your immediate help would be appreciated. Thanks

JP Duc

Hi Randy,

Guiding a “lost” or “new gay” teen is something that is neither simple, nor easy. At least when straight people like teachers, principals, councilors, a school nurse, peer support persons, give information and guide a young homosexual things are clearer for them, youth are then empowered then they know what to do and where to get help.

It's much more difficult when you have to be both advice giver and recipient of unwanted sexual interest.

This situation is quite common but not talked about very much in the gay milieu, except usually to brag to other gay guys, “look at how hot I am, even twinks want to sleep with me”. The reality is, and as most gay men, adults 30 and up know and understand that teenagers at 19 and younger, especially when they are on the verge of coming out, or are in the process of affirming and/or confirming their true sexual identities (usually a short period that usually last 2 weeks to a few months) there is a buildup of emotional and sexual tension. This is even stronger in youths that are from strict heterosexual/cultural/societal/religious backgrounds. This pressure which is not only sexual, but enormously emotional as well, can push youths to the extreme (and extreme emotional state — can bring extreme behavior.. Behaviors that can actually be life threatening: risky sexual behavior, alcohol poisoning, overdose of drugs, suicide) – they have an extreme urgency to discover themselves, and basically they don't care about risks, going too fast, having risky sexual behavior and so on. Their sense of judgment can be completely absent during this period. It is one of the reasons why here in Canada and more specifically in the province of Quebec where Alterheros.com is located, we are shocked that the government has cut back on unbiased sexual education in high schools, because that is exactly the place where teens need the information; including information on sexual orientation/identity and where to get help. If the cutbacks weren’t happening, they would get the tools and knowledge to know there are risks, and how they can learn to manage those risks but still have a fun and fulfilling sex life if that is their choice.

The risk taking or lack of judgment in most teens and youth usually under 25, has been researched in depth, scientists and doctors are now saying that the part of the brain that controls judgment doesn't fully develop until about 25 years of age. This explains why young people take unnecessary risk, drive fast in small cars with bad breaks, skateboard off concrete stairs with no helmet or pads..etc

At least you seem to be a trustworthy adult gay man, because you recognize the pattern (boundaries being broken, potentially unwanted/unhealthy situation or relationship that could develop between you and this young person)

What I can start by suggesting is the National hotline for the Trevor Projet (866) 488-7386 and www.thetrevorproject.org

Both you and the youth can call this toll free confidential US-based service organization in New York. They have a large database of resources all over the United States.

In your question you mention the youth has come to your home, so the youth could then get to resources in your area; he is mobile. If there is a local gay magazine or newsletter that gay-friendly establishments usually carry, take a look under resources. Often groups and community services are posted there. You could also look for information on the web for local GLBT groups and call for information to see if they have youth resources. HIV/AIDS prevention & education organizations also potentially have a list of community and/or groups that offer services to queer youth. Some universities also have queer student associations; you would probably have to wait until fall semester begins, these groups are for and run by university students themselves, who are usually well aware of resources available locally. If your city has a reference and referral service, or community groups or non-profit health resources geared to youth, they might be able to provide information as well.

Through your question I understand the youth feels isolated and surrounded by heterosexuals. Most queer youth are in the same position as we LGBT according to published studies on sexual orientation represent about 7 to 10% of the population. Once he is led to a youth resource like an LGBT youth group, whether it be a discussion group or more of a drop-in social type group, his entire perspective will change.

As an adult you can choose to guide him, you are then becoming a bit like a tutor (a substitute parent/guardian) and you have to treat him as such, not treat him as a friend. You must set-up boundaries right away and make sure that he respects them. You’d come to a verbal agreement with the youth that if he chooses to break your agreement, that you will no longer be able to help him. Some of the following dialogue may help:

“Hang in there, it will get better but there are steps you have to follow, I know you’re only 17, but at 18 you are considered an adult so it's time you act like an adult.”

“Having sex with someone will not solve any problems you are having. That’s just your hormones and teenage needs that are rushing through your body.”

“I'm ready to help you but under certain conditions, you are not to make advances at me, nor my friends (boyfriend), you are not to come to my house unannounced – call first and we can meet at a coffee shop, mall or community center to talk”

What I would suggest as the adult or peer helper, is to always when possible, have your partner or a friend you trust (another mature adult, male or female) with you at all times when you are with the youth. I would not invite him to your house, place of work or a social place; it might just make the situation more complicated.

If you feel the youth is in imminent danger (has sign of violence/has been hit by a family member or friend or schoolmates/has been kicked out of the house) do not hesitate to report; even if you have to go to a public phone booth to hide your identity. Ask the operator to connect you to youth protection for your city or his city, tell youth protection about the incident, tell them you are dealing with a Hispanic gay youth and that you will direct the youth to go to a police station for his own protection.


for Alterheros