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Dear Phyllis,

My seven-year old stepson does not behave like other boys his age. Tommy doesn’t like to play outside because he’s afraid he’ll get sweated up. He won’t jump down from a chair. He is afraid he will get hurt. He doesn’t want to play ball with me because he thinks his ball will get lost or damaged. He likes to stay in his room and play with his toys. I am concerned about Tommy. Do you think my stepson behaves like this because he is gay? If he is gay what should I do?

Chris


Dear Chris,

Your stepson is fortunate that you are open-minded to the possibility that he may be gay. However, I cannot tell from the information you have given me if he is gay. He may or may not be gay. Children who are not gay may behave in the manner you describe. It is a good idea to consider the possibility that there are other reasons why Tommy acts the way he does. Could it be that he has a physical problem? Perhaps he has astigmatism or an eye-hand coordination issue that affects his vision. Maybe there is some other physical limitation that causes him to shy away from certain activities. It may also be that Tommy has a psychological hang-up. Since he is only seven-years-old he may not be aware or understand if indeed he has a problem. Even if he suspects that something is bothering him, he may not be able to articulate what that problem might be. Tommy seems to feel safe staying in his room. You may want to get Tommy checked out to see if there is some physical or psychological factor that is keeping him from jumping and playing like other seven-year-old boys.

If it turns out that Tommy is gay, love him, support him, and respect him the same as you would if he was straight.

Phyllis

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