I've recently noticed my 13yo to be uncomfortable around LGBT topics. Not that they are common in our daily life but it has made me want to show him the short animation "In a heartbeat". I then asked for his impressions but he refused to talk about the topic.

I wonder what is an adequate way to approach the topic with him?

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    What conversations have you had with him before this? has it ever come up? – stan Jul 17 at 16:32
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    I can't really place the use of the word "tolerant" in the title, when you use the word "uncomfortable" in the body of the question. Can you explain in what ways your son in uncomfortable with LGBT topics and what made you think that he might be less tolerant towards LGBT? – Bart van Ingen Schenau Jul 19 at 11:45
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    I can sympathize with your son. I would have found it extremely weird and uncomfortable if my mom or dad had shown me a short animation about gay teenagers and then go like “How do you feel about this?” or something. Here’s my perspective: Some people (and especially teenagers) just aren’t comfortable with some or most topics on sexuality in general. Some are not comfortable with non-traditional forms of sexuality without being inherently intolerant about them. There’s also the trope of “people being uncomfortable with homosexuality must be latently homosexuals themselves”. … – k.stm Jul 27 at 9:52
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    … So any sort of push towards revealing or changing his apparent attitudes is just unwelcome pressure. Since you want your son to be tolerant, I suspect pushing tolerance or acceptance can easily backfire and trigger something like resentment – even if there hasn’t been much of an aversion. The entire topic is a minefield for anyone who just doesn’t like to be confronted with this. I think I’d be chill and just let my son be, you know? Doing his thing, yo. I’m no parent though, so who cares what I think, I guess. – k.stm Jul 27 at 9:59
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    The number of thirteen yo boys (or girls) comfortable to discuss all topics related to sex (not just LGBT) with their parents while stuck in the middle of puberty is probably, limited at best. I would suspect the “uncomfortable” range to be wider than what the question encompasses. – Stephie Jul 27 at 11:14

This post does not really answer the question, but it prepare the road to find an answer :

Being tolerant and being comfortable are two very different things.

  • It might just be that for different reasons your son is uncomfortable around sexual / gender questions.
  • It might be personal issues.
  • It might be that his ideas are far enough from yours that he is not confident in your reaction to him voicing those ideas.
  • It might be that he is getting this kind of talk often at school (or on the Internet) and that he doesn't want a repeat with his family.

So, before branding him intolerant, just ask him and yourself "why is he uncomfortable ?" and "why can't he speak about it as freely as I do ?"
Not speaking freely about a topic is not a sign of intolerance in itself. Don't try to fix something before knowing if it is broken.

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I’m a (mostly) gay man, and at 13 I would have been uncomfortable talking with a parent about gay couples in media or other queer topics. I don’t think I need to justify though that I’m not intolerant towards LGBT people, and it’s not because my father made an effort to raise me as tolerant. I don’t think you have anything to worry about.

I’ve noticed in general a push to raise children who are welcoming of LGBT specifically, and I don’t think it’s hugely critical. We’re no different from anyone else. Just raise your child to be loving and compassionate to everyone, no matter the person’s condition, and I’m sure he’ll turn out fine.

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  • PS: I don’t frequent this site (although I do find it interesting), but I couldn’t pass up answering this question in particular. If it is not up to community standards then please let me know how I can improve it. – gen-ℤ ready to perish Jul 30 at 18:28

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