Researchers have found a new genetic explanation for why some brothers are gay. The study, published in PNAS on Monday, found that the genetics behind sexual orientation may begin prenatally.
While it's important to understand a sibling's sexuality, it's also important to remember that it is their choice. You should never impose your views or expectations on anyone else, even a family member.
A brother's or sister's sexuality is not your business unless it has a direct impact on your safety, the safety of others, or their happiness. You should not use it as a reason to be judgmental or to make fun of them. You also should not rely on stereotypes to determine whether your sibling is gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender.
Having said that, you should be prepared to talk about this with your sibling if they decide to come out to you. When you do, listen with empathy and don't ask a lot of awkward questions that are based on negative stereotypes. For example, if a student tells you their friend Alexia is gay, you should not respond with "That's right. She likes women."
When your sibling is ready to reveal his or her sexual orientation, you should be supportive. Do not be tempted to "out" them by telling other people in the family or your fraternity/sorority chapter. This will not only hurt them, but it will violate campus nondiscrimination policies and jeopardize their trust in you.