Dear 100 Hour Board,
Is it ok for me to not want my son to grow up to be a homosexual? If he did, I would feel like a failure of a dad. When I read that, it sounds hateful and irrational. But there are quite a few implications of being homosexual, not the least of which includes substantial difficulties within society and the LDS church. Please help me sort this whole thing out. My head is swimming when I think of all this same-sex marriage stuff with all its potential outcomes and cascading effects.
I think it's fine to have that desire, as long as it's coming from a place of love, not hate. If you don't want him to have to go through those specific trials, then yes, I think it's all right. However, I don't think that your son's sexual orientation is in any way related to your skills as a dad. People are going to be attracted to whomever they're attracted to, and it really has nothing to do with their parents. Or at least I hope not. That could get weird fast. But really, your son's going to be who he's going to be. Who knows; there may be a point where you'd prefer he were gay to whatever else he's doing. I just don't think you should get to preoccupied. Be the best dad you can be, and know that your son will be his own person.
It's okay--natural, even--to want your son to be able to avoid difficult things. This may very well include wanting him to be able to avoid the challenges and difficulties often associated with identifying as homosexual. However, there's a pretty huge difference between wanting to be able to avoid the challenges associated with being gay and wanting him to not be gay.
The real issue here (and what you need to do some self-reflection on) is how you would respond to your son if he came out and said he was gay. Everyone has challenges and trials in this life--and your son will have them too. Whether they are the trials of struggling with finding a place within the Church and society related to same-gender attraction* or whether they are other trials entirely, it doesn't particularly matter. Why? Because the bottom line is that your son will have trials in his life--trials are a necessary part of our growth and development. No matter what trials your son has, he is still your son and God's son and he is valuable and beautiful and should be loved for who he is. Whether he struggles with his sexual identity or anything else, the Lord will be there to support him and love him. Will you?
If your son identifies as gay, then that's not by any means a reflection of your parenting skills, it's a reflection of who he feels he is as result of his own self-exploration. Your responsibility as a father is to raise your son in a physically, mentally, and spiritually healthy environment, to teach him correct principles, and to encourage him to explore the world and become a good influence in it.
*As a side note, it is important to keep in mind that your son may struggle with finding a place for himself in society and/or within the Church even if he isn't gay, or, he may never really feel a conflict with either of those things even if he is gay. No two lives are the same--everyone's experience is different.