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As Eric continued to talk, he revealed how he became more comfortable with his cultural heritage growing up. It was during that process he became more open to dating other Asian men. Jason also recalled a similar experience. He believes some Asian men go through a journey where they discover themselves in life, and then are ready to date other Asians.

In a sense, being able to attain this whiteness even through association through others marks a sense that we belong to this sort of class. Growing up as an Asian person in Australia can also be a disorientating experience be- cause of the bodies that surround us. We might personally wish that we had blue eyes and blond hair so we fit in to the represented ideal or normal person.

And in addition to our sense of selves, our skewed ideals of romance are constructed through the same lens. On the contrary, if our experiences of Asian, or othered coloured men are reduced to shallow stereotypes, then how are we expected to believe in or love them? In our journey for belonging, maybe awareness is the first step that we should take collectively to accept all the parts that come together to make us who we are.

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Rebeckah Loveday Katherine Wolfgramme , April 12, Edison Chen — May 20, Conversations tended to focus on safety e. For instance, one adolescent explained: Another described being asked uncomfortable questions: They described conversations becoming less frequent and less supportive. For instance:. Once I came out, don't let me even mention any guy friend let alone sex. The conversation was way different because with me being gay they never want answers to the questions they ask, but when they thought I was straight they were always encouraging me to engage with females.

Some adolescents perceived their parents as being more interested in and supportive of their heterosexual siblings' dating experiences. For instance, one said:. Honestly I think because of how unsupportive my family is they really just don't even want to know about who I am dating. Everything we do with each other such as dates and activities.

But as you said they ARE very disinterested in my love life, whereas my sis who is dating an older boy and they are always checking up on her. Some parents referred to similar sexual health risks with male and female partners e. For instance, one adolescent explained:. At one point, I had a boyfriend who was a senior in high school.

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My mother adored him and did not bother to talk to me of the dangers of STDs and unprotected sex… But, around eighth grade, which is about two years ago, I had a girlfriend who I dated for about a year. My mother lectured me greatly and urged me to use protection due to the fact she could get pregnant. At one point she even gave me condoms and lubricant.

I find it strange that my mother would not discuss the other things that come along with unprotected sex, like STDs, when I was in an intimate relationship with a male. I feel as though she thought that because neither of us could get pregnant that there was no danger. This unsettles me greatly. Although conversations tended to focus on sexual risk, some youth noted that their parents talked to them about other aspects of dating and relationships e.

For instance, one said: The most common monitoring strategy described was asking questions about whether or not they were dating or having sex. For example, one adolescent explained: Being gay has made my parents act more cautious about my relationships instead of being happy for them. For this reason, I don't tell my parents about relationships because I don't want them to be overly worried for no reason.

Introduction

Some adolescents also described their parents setting rules about dating e. Similarly, another said: Adolescents also mentioned that their parents monitored their social media, such as checking their relationships status on Facebook to find out if they were dating anyone. Some parents would look at their sons' friends' profiles on social media to find out information about them. For example: Adolescents also acknowledged that their parents had to drive them places, because they did not have a driver's license yet.

By driving their adolescent places, parents are able to keep track of where their adolescent is going, thus constituting a monitoring strategy.


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Some adolescents reported changes in parental monitoring after coming out, particularly because their parents were unsure if male friends were romantic interests. My parents don't keep track of who I am dating or when I'm going on dates…. I think me being gay has really left my parents in the dark about who I might be dating because they aren't sure if they are meeting a guy friend or a guy I like so they just trust me more. A 15 year-old, White, bisexual male who was out to his parents also expressed that his parents could not tell if he was dating someone or just friends with them, but he reported that this led them to pay more attention to his interaction: Being bisexual only influences my parents in an extent to where they ask if I'm going to be having sex with any boy that I'm hanging out with.

My parents don't keep track or know if I'm dating because they aren't really home they're always working. But when I go out they always ask me who and who I go with because they don't want me to go out with a guy. Then they always ask me if I'm dating one of my friends that are girls even though they know I'm gay. Yeah I think being gay has an influence on how my parents monitor me.

These responses suggest that some teens do not consider what their parents are doing as monitoring, even though their parents' behaviors indicate that they are keeping track of their behaviors and whereabouts. Adolescents who were not out to their parents believed that their parents would treat them differently if they knew about their sexual orientation. They might not want me to close or lock my door to my room when I had a guy over and they might be checking in on me if they found out I was going out on a date , White, gay, not out to parents. Only a small proportion felt that their relationships improved after they came out.

These adolescents described their parents being supportive of their sexuality e. These youth described being treated differently than their heterosexual siblings e.

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Some parents may not realize they are showing preferential interest in their heterosexual children's dating experiences. Conversations tended to be brief and vague, focused primarily on HIV and condom use. This is in contrast to findings that heterosexual youth and their parents discuss a broader range of topics e.

Research on heterosexual adolescent males has also found that parent-adolescent communication about sex is associated with safer sexual behavior Widman et al. They also said that their parents assumed that they were heterosexual and, as a result, asked them questions that made them uncomfortable e. These parents may not know how to talk about sexuality in a sensitive manner and may require education on how to do so.

Regardless, parents who assume that their sons are heterosexuals are unlikely to provide comprehensive sex education. Thoma and Huebner suggested that monitoring may be less effective for YMSM, because they may be dishonest about their whereabouts, especially if their parents do not accept their sexual orientation. Half of the adolescents in our sample acknowledged that their parents monitored their dating behavior by asking questions, setting rules, and sometimes monitoring social media.

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A unique finding to emerge related to their sexual orientation was that their parents struggled with whether or not to adapt certain rules after they came out. For instance, adolescents said that their parents did not know how to treat their same-sex friendships, because they did not know if other boys were friends or romantic interests.


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Parents dealt with this by paying closer attention to their sons' interactions with other boys to try to figure out if they were dating and by not letting them have other boys sleep over. Adolescents who were not out to their parents also expressed concern that their parents would treat them differently if they came out e. Aspects of these interventions are likely to be beneficial for all parents e. Additionally, parents may need to learn how to discuss sexual behavior and health with sensitivity. In our sample, some adolescents described being asked invasive questions e.

Parents can be taught to discuss the importance of safer sex strategies regardless of one's role in sex rather than asking about role preferences. Mothers, in particular, may benefit from interventions to help them communicate with sons about sex, because previous research has found that mothers describe the gender difference between them and their sons as a barrier Rose et al. Finally, these findings also have implications for universal family-based HIV prevention programs. Parents may not know their child's sexual orientation even if they think they do , so they could be encouraged to use gender neutral language when talking about possible partners e.

Additionally, parents could be encouraged to talk about sexual orientation and to talk about sex in a manner that does not assume their child's sexual orientation. The current findings should be considered in light of several limitations. Because of the sample size, we were unable to test potential demographic differences in parent-child relationship experiences e. Most adolescents in our sample identified as gay and were out to their parents, so it is remains unclear to what extent findings generalize to bisexual adolescent males and those who are not out.

Parent-child relationships may also differ based on geographic region, given that certain regions offer more access to LGBT resources for parents and teens.