Question: My Parents Kicked Me Out for Being Gay -- What Can I Do?
A gay teen writes that after he came out as gay, his parents actually kicked him out of the house. Now living with his grandmother, he is looking for help.
A teen writes to the forum:
Almost four months ago, I got kicked out for being gay. I'm now disowned living with a grandma who says I'm not gay until I've had sex with a guy. I'm technically on my own and I need help with my life. I've tried almost every teen gay site available with no luck on finding any help. I'm running out of options.
What a tough situation! Though it happens all the time, it is generally not legal for a parent to "kick out" a child who is under 18. If a parent does not care for a minor child, say by making him homeless and not supporting him financially, that parent could actually be charged with negligence.
To avoid this, minor teens may become become legally emancipated by a judge (which means that the minor is basically considered an adult who has to support himself and who can make legal decisions without a parent or guardian's input), or another adult can become their legal guardian. Of course, these are complicated procedures and a lot of families don't take the steps needed to make them happen.
Since you are living with your grandmother, it doesn't sound like you are currently homeless, which is a good thing. But it also doesn't sound like an ideal situation. Despite what your grandmother thinks, you don't need to have sex to know that you are gay! Plenty of people know they are gay long before they ever have sex with another person and lots of gay men and lesbians are celibate and not sexually active. It is important for people like your grandmother to understand that sex is only one part of sexual orientation.
If living with your grandmother isn't working out, you might want to consider reaching out to other family members of close friends to see if you could live with them.
You can also talk to your guidance counselor. Try to be honest about your situation and ask for advice. Plus, you should look at the resource section of this site for organizations that provide support to GLBT teens. Another idea is to contact your local GLBT Community Center and ask to be put in touch with appropriate service organizations. A very extreme option is legal emancipation from your parents. But this probably isn't necessary.
If your family is open to it, they could also benefit from an organization like Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays which offers help and support to parents, siblings, grandparents, relatives and friends of GLBT individuals.
You would probably also benefit from getting some support. One option is to talk to a counsellor. The kind of family rejection you are experiencing is really painful and it might give you a lot of comfort to be able to work through how you are feeling right now! You can ask your guidance counsellor for a referral or you can try to LGBT Youth Talk Line, which is a support hotline.
This is a really hard situation, and sadly a far too common one. Hopefully, you will be able to find the support you need from your community and eventually from your family.