My 15 year old came out at a family dinner for her sister’s 21st birthday. We were eating and she announced, “I’m bi-curious. And I have a girlfriend.” In the raucous chaos that is our family, there was congratulations and some light teasing – mainly about her predilection for boy-on-boy. All in all it was a minor occurrence in the general celebration. No one was shocked or surprised. We all love her and support her choices, especially during this time when she should be exploring her sexuality.
She and I talked before her declaration. We had a quick errand to run before dinner and she said, “Mom, now that I have some one-on-one time with you, I want to ask you about my girlfriend.” See, I’ve known for a while that she has a girlfriend, but I figure it’s her business. I like the girl – they’ve been friends for years. My daughter is very wise and handles things very well. I trust her.
I haven’t said much about her being bi-curious and she hasn’t brought it up. She wanted to make sure that I was okay with her choices before she came out to the family because I haven’t said very much. She was worried that it meant I disapproved. No! I should have been more vocal with my support.
Of course I am so proud of her. I love how she feels confident to be herself. I want her to follow her heart where it leads. I know that she isn’t going too fast or doing anything that might be harmful. Her relationship with her girlfriend is significant, no matter how that relationship manifests. Learning to love is one of life’s vital tasks.
My daughter wanted to know if I had mentioned her orientation to anyone else. I hadn’t because that is up to her. I didn’t know if she was telling people. She laughed, “Oh, I tell everyone!” She goes to a private school where people would be open to that. Okay then. I suggested that maybe she should tell her family. I think she knows that her family will support her and they deserve to know what’s going on with her.
So we ended up at a family celebration, made more joyous by my daughter’s revelations. Even the birthday girl was encouraging, having been a long time LGBTQ ally. It makes me so happy to have created a family like this. We are not the standard American family unit, yet I think we function very well indeed. I hope we have an environment where everyone, children and adults alike, feel safe to explore who they are in all ways. I want to raise children who know they can trust their parents enough to discuss their sexuality openly and with pride.
My daughter is amazing. I expect that she is just getting started on her journey of self-discovery. Perhaps there will be other comings-out as her awareness of herself evolves. It’s been suggested that maybe she shouldn’t be quite so open because she might encounter discrimination. That’s up to her, but personally, I think she should shout it from the roof-tops if she wants. Her sexuality is normal. How else are we going to change the way that people look at so-called alternative sexualities? Let’s treat normal things as normal.
My teen came out and I’m very proud.
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