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I think my Dad is in the closet

Community Member

Hi there,


I’m in my late 20s and my Dad is in his early 60s. I am 99% sure he is either bisexual or gay (which doesn’t bother me if he is). I’m concerned as I think he is struggling with his sexuality/scared to tell anyone and I’m also concerned about his mental health. He and my mother have been married for over 30 years and I’m not sure whether she knows or not? I found out as I stupidly went through his phone when I was younger (which as I’ve matured and realised my parents are also adults and entitled to privacy was a big no no). I also saw he was taking medication that prevents HIV infection.


I don’t feel like I can talk to anyone about this or my dad for a few reasons so just wanted some advice. 1 - I’m worried about both my mum and my dads mental health.  I think my mum knows deep down but she would never say anything and would suffer in silence and the same with my dad. 2. I’m worried my dad may possibly be using illicit drugs cause he seems to come back to my apartment and has glassy eyes, looks high etc. It’s starting to impact on my life as well and so now I feel like I need to step in but I don’t know if I should? It all seems to be getting worse and I dunno who to talk to.

3 Replies 3

Hi Confused_Unsure,

Thank you for posting on the forum tonight and welcome to the family!

It sounds as though you've been carrying a heavy burden on your shoulders since you discovered some material on your father's phone when you were younger. This discovery has continued to spark off so many questions in your mind - including the worry about what this meant for you, for your mum, for your dad, for your parents marriage and also for all those concerns about what "outing" this information might do for their mental health as well (plus a lot more we're sure), and you've carried all of this without feeling as though you could talk to anyone about this... That's a big secret to keep inside and must feel very overwhelming for you indeed.

Confused_Unsure, this is a big burden for anyone to carry, nevermind a child - albeit an adult child now. Have you ever considered engaging a counsellor to talk about what this means to you and to your family? You've stated that you're worried about what the repurcussions of talking about this might bring, but we want to encourage you that due to the privacy laws of entering into a counselling relationship, this means you can get support, talk things through and maybe even sort out what this means for you in a safe, respectful and completely confidential environment?

We understand that sometimes this can be a big step, Confused_Unsure, so perhaps you might like to try talking to one of our telephone counsellors as a starting point? We're available 24/7, our calls are also confidential and it's also completely free. If you don't feel comfortable chatting on the phone, we've also got a webchat option (also 24/7, free and confidential), that may feel more comfortable for you?

We're looking forward to hearing what our beautiful community members have to offer you, and hope to hear from you soon.

Kind regards,

Sophie M


Community Champion
Community Champion



Thank you for sharing such a deeply personal story, and I'd like to warmly welcome you to our forums. That sounds like an incredibly tough situation to be in, I can understand your feelings. 


You have mentioned that you don't feel that you can discuss this with your dad about this, to what extent would you feel comfortable asking him how he's feeling mentally? Knowing the kind of relationship you have with him, would you feel okay asking him about his mental health or wellbeing in a general sense? Perhaps opening the conversation with him may encourage him to either open up to you about some of what he may be feeling (not necessarily his sexuality), or to seek the help or advice from somebody who can help him through his struggles. If you do not feel comfortable asking him, that's okay. 


If you feel comfortable, you could express your concerns about his mental health/wellbeing to your mother, keeping it broad and general. Once again, only if you feel comfortable doing so. 


If having a conversation with either of your parents sounds daunting, would you be open to inviting either or both of them out for some kind of family activity? Perhaps a walk outside, trip to an event, or even lunch at a local café. I know that if I'm struggling with something, sometimes going on a walk with Mum will help me clear my head, as well as encouraging open conversation with her about things that are going on in our lives. While these kinds of activities can be great for bonding and potentially stress relief, they can also be a great opportunity for providing emotional support.


Have you had the opportunity to talk to your GP, or a therapist or psychologist? It may help you to process or consolidate some of the more difficult feelings if you're opening up to an objective third party, who may also be able to give you some professional advice too. 


I hope this advice is helpful. Please feel free to continue chatting with us here too, as we're here to support you. Wishing you and your family all the best in this difficult situation. 


Take care, SB 

Champion Alumni
Champion Alumni

Hello Confused_unsure, if your dad is struggling with this change, then he may also be suffering from a MI because he and your mum have been married for over 30 years and to make this change would involve a great deal.

As kids we are always inquisitive and do things we aren't supposed to do, that's part of growing up with the possibility of finding out what may be hidden from us but for you to find this type of medication could certainly be an indication that he has decided to change, and why, well only he can say.

After 30 years your mum must have had some inkling by his change of behaviour and could quite easily be suffering as to why this has suddenly happened.

You are entitled to ask your dad and speak to your mother, then you should get an indication and if they try and avoid the conversation then you can presume there is something out of the ordinary, because if there wasn't, then they would flatly deny it.

Please let us know what happens.


Life Member.