My Son Asks: What Does “Gay” Mean?

26 July, 2020
Q My son is 10 years old and he heard conversations about homosexuals and came to ask me what does gay or lesbians mean?

I tried to explain it as a kind of illness but he keeps asking more questions and I don’t know how to handle this.

He also sometimes watches movies where this theme is present ( same-sex attraction). Please advise

Answer

In this counseling answer:

Make sure to pay attention to what he is watching.

It is important for you to get to know your child’s curriculum to see what is being taught and if it is compatible with our beliefs as Muslims.

You can inform him about what gay and lesbianism is, but also that in Islam it is not OK.

Also let him know that some people choose to take this path, but in Islam it is not acceptable.


Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatulahi wa barakatuh,

Unfortunately in this day and age, this has become a hot topic as it has become normalized and made acceptable and even enforced in schools to learn about.

Be attentive to what he is watching

The first thing is to make sure he is not being exposed to it in movies as he is at present. Make sure to pay attention to what he is watching.

It is often the case that it is subtly included in movies to the point where it is seen as ‘normal’. This is perhaps more dangerous than the more obvious displays of homosexuality. As it makes it seem like something that is acceptable, which of course in Islam it is not.

Depending on the laws in the country in which you live will in part determine your response to this too. You should check with his school the extent to which it is being addressed.

My Son Asks: What Does "Gay" Mean? - About Islam

It some schools these days it is being taught. And this is where it is important for you to get to know your child’s curriculum to see what is being taught. And if it is compatible with our beliefs as Muslims.

Homosexuality

If not, then you should take the necessary steps to withdraw him from such classes.

In some places, this is not a problem. In others, it might be so your course of action regarding this will vary depending on your location. The most important thing is to ensure he is not being exposed to anything haram.

Of course, in this day and age its almost impossible to censor everything to do with homosexuality. So it is a matter that should be addressed with him as his parent to avoid him becoming misguided.

Given that he is asking about it then now would be a good time to start. You can inform him about what gay and lesbianism is, but also that in Islam it is not OK. Also let him know that some people choose to take this path, but in Islam it is not acceptable.


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Conclusion

Being open and honest with him at this stage will set him on the straight path himself, whilst understanding that some people choose this way of life.

He should know that whilst we don’t accept this way of life, we must also respect them,as much as anyone regardless of their choices, as fellow beings of the human race.

That does not mean that we should accept their way of life or even endorse it, but we just know that their choices regarding their sexual orientation are not acceptable in Islam. Or liked by Allah and we should distance ourselves from this where possible but in as respectable way as possible.

May Allah reward your concern for your son and raising him on the straight path. May Allah guide you both to what is best for you in this life and the next.

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Disclaimer: The conceptualization and recommendations stated in this response are very general and purely based on the limited information provided in the question. In no event shall AboutIslam, its counselors or employees be held liable for any damages that may arise from your decision in the use of our services.

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About Hannah Morris
Hannah Morris is a mum of 4 and she currently works as Counsellor and Instructor of BSc. Psychology at the Islamic Online University (IOU). She obtained her MA degree in Psychology and has over 10 years of experience working in health and social care settings in the UK, USA, and Ireland. Check out her personal Facebook page, ActiveMindCare, that promotes psychological well-being in the Ummah. (www.facebook.com/activemindcare)