Daughter identifies as lesbian.

Im going to start this post by saying that if my comments offend anyone please understand that is not my intention, and if that is the case I sincerely apologise.

I would also like to state that whatever desicions my children ultimately take in their life choices will be solely their choices to make, and they will have the full support of both their parents at all times.

As the post title reveals my daughter has identified as lesbian. I am going to be direct in stating that that would not be my preference for her sexuality for a number of reasons.

Firstly she is only 15, in my opinion that is too young an age to make a definitive statement about your sexuality regardless of gender preference. To be honest I find it difficult to accept any notions of sexuality in my teenage children, a notion which I am sure other parents will have a degree of empathy for.

Secondly although homophobic prejudice is a lot less common than it ever was (and it seems to be this applies slightly more to women than men, especially in media) prejudice does still exist. We live in the East End of London, a large section of her school community would ostracize her for this choice. I am a firm believer in freedom of speech and the rights of individuals to hold beliefs and opinions that I may firmly disagree with. If someone is opposed to being gay on the basis of their faith, that however unfortunate and small minded it may be, is still their right. Many of her friends are from Islamic faith and I can only imagine that this will cause the breakdown of some friendships that have lasted since primary school. No parent wants their children to have to face any adversity in their life, this choice would obviously present some difficult choices.

Again I would like to state that however this pans out my daughter will have the full support of my wife and I.

I have noticed that a lot of the female posters either identify as bisexual on their profiles or in their forum posts. The percentage of people identifying as such seems a lot higher than I would imagine is the national average. Obviously this is due to the nature of the site where the members are far more enlightened and iberated about their sexuality.

There is no way I can think of asking this without appearing somewhat flippant and disrespectful, so again, apologies in advance. But for those women who have more experience do you think this may be a phase that she will grow out of? She still has fantasy crushes on men (although they do tend to be androgynous K-Pop singers and other feminine men). This leads me to believe (and I will freely admit I may well be wrong!) that she has not met the right person in the flesh. Given the average 15 year old boy is spotty, gangly and generally uncomfortable in their bodies changing (I rememember what that was like) I can understand why no 15 year old girl would be attracted to them.

So the point is (and apologies for the long post but I felt it important to justify my thoughts on a contentious subject) would any of the ladies who identify as bisexual have considered themselves lesbian in their teenage years?

Once again I would like to say whatever road my daughter travels on I will be holding her hand all the way. Her happiness is paramount in everything. But do I want my daughter to have to face difficulties and negative perceptions in her life? ideally no.

No, I don't think it is a phase. You say she is too young, well what age did you discover your sexuality? You discover your sexuality from the minute you start developing crushes, from those very first sexual urges puberty brings. Young, in other words. Or, more to the point, you discover it if it is anything other than straight, since you notice that you are suddenly different to your peers.

I had my first crush on a female while in primary school, though it took me till my teens to work out what it meant and discover I was a bisexual.

If your daughter has declared herself lesbian, it's more likely she has a crush on a female than that she is attention seeking. She may discover she still likes men too, who knows. But for now, she has let you know she has feelings towards women and that is unlikely to change from meeting 'the right person'. Just continue supporting her and treat what she says seriously, if she thinks you think it is 'just a phase' it will kill her inside (whatever gender her life partner turns out to be).

Just from my own experience (I'm 20 now) and I have had both friends who have identified as lesbians for a long time and then suddenly settled down in a straight relationship happily, and friends that have allways identified as straight sudddenly trying and loving gay relationships. This might happen with your daughter, it might not. At 15 I imagine things might change a little bit but if she is telling you that she is a lesbian, take her seriously because she might be looking to you, as parents, for support and telling her that she will "grow out of it" will sound very patronising and might upset her if she has had the courage to talk about it to you.

In terms of predjudice, yes it is still there but I wouldn't worry too much about her loosing friends, if they stop being friends with her because she tells them she likes girls, they are not true friends anyway.

I think within the younger generation (my generation), being bisexual is more common, or at least being open to the idea of it. Most of my friends would identify as either gay or straight however I don't have many friends of either sexual orientation that would ever say that they would never try it the other way round to see what they were missing out on if the opportunity came up.

I have two children. My son is 14 and my daughter is 8.

I would not be personally bothered whatever choice they made in that respect. It is not my choice and not my business.

You say you don't want her to have to face difficulties and negative perceptions in life. Thats life though. You will always face things like that whether its about your sexuality or the clothes you wear or the haircut you have or hair colour or even tattoos!

Part of growing up is exploring yourself, finding out things you like and dislike. You may find she turns out to be bisexual. And theres nothing wrong with that as long as shes happy!

Being a lesbian doesn't even mean no kids anymore so she could still have kids and give you grandchildren.

Have you researched the internet? there may be some blogs or something written by parents going through similar things.

But most importantly she needs to know you support her decisions 10000000%. And that you love her.

good luck

It's great that you're so supportive of your daughter, and that she's been able to come out to you at such a young age. I started to identify as being bi at around 13/14, but obviously sexuality isn't something that you suddenly just switch to, which I think is important to keep in mind. Although your daughter has only just brought the issue up, she may have been identifying this way for longer than you realise.

With the issue of bi vs lesbian, I think it's a tricky subject. Being bi myself, in some ways I can't really empathise so well with identifying as a lesbian. If I think back, at times when I was younger I did think that perhaps I was a lesbian because I am so much more on that side of the spectrum than being into men. I'm not saying that this is the case for your daughter, but sometimes it can be easier to identify as lesbian because there also can be stigma with bisexuality. A lot of people will think you're promiscuous, or that you "haven't decided yet". From some people, it's not treated like a valid sexuality and is more like you're "experimenting". I can imagine that some people would want to avoid these sort of connotations, so would come out as lesbian. I think that I may have done this if I'd come out when I was younger, because when you're young there's also the added part of people thinking it might just be a phase anyway.

If she's attracted to men at all, maybe you could ask her to explain why she believes she's a lesbian rather than bisexual. Obviously this needs to be done in the right way to not seem accusatory, but maybe it would get you the answers you're looking for.

In terms of stigma and problems with friends, coming out at 15 is definitely hard and some people will react badly. From my experience, I was lucky enough that my friends were tolerant people and stuck by me, but all I can say is that if your daughter's friends are bothered by her being a lesbian, whether that's to do with faith or otherwise, then they aren't particularly good friends to her if they aren't willing to accept her for who she is. This isn't a criticism, but I noticed in your post you refer a lot to your daughter's "choices". I just wanted to flag this, because she might find it a little frustrating to think that you think she's choosing her sexuality. With all of the prejudice issues that you mention, it can be very frustrating to feel like people, especially people close to you, think that you're making a choice to be different and to be ostracised from people. One of the reasons I've never come out to my parents is that I'm sure they'd believe I was 'choosing' to take a less conventional path, rather than it being a genuine part of who I am that I have no control over.

I'd say that because she's come out to you, it's less likely to be a phase, but whether this is the case will depend on how self-aware you think your daughter is. If it was just curiosity, I'd imagine that she might not have mentioned anything because of how hard it is to tell other people when you're 15.

Even though I'm sure it's uncomfortable acknowledging any of your children have any sort of sexuality, I think the best thing for you to do would be to talk about it with her if you can. I guess she'd probably be more comfortable discussing it in the least sex-centred way possible - I know that this is how I would have felt at 15. Best of luck x

Whether it is a phase or not, only time will tell.
If it is a phase she will be the first to realise it. When I was 15 I was swaying with the idea of it sexually and it took me until I was 29 to realise exactly where I lie in this spectrum and even now it 33 there are questions thrown up in the air.

I get the impression from your post that you are hopin it is just a phase. Whatever it is, at 15, she is going to be vulnerable and gullible and probably easily led if someone comes along and shows understanding. Let us hope the wrong person doesn't come along. If you can be the understanding one then that will be the best thing for her. I'm not saying for one second you can 'steer' her away... Please don't assume that. Where you mentioned she may be mocked and rejected by her peers for this identification she will need a good support network starting at home.

The truth of the matter is being identifying as a lesbian is the least of your worries, be more concerned about the ignorant ones out there who will strive to hurt her for the way she feels.

Your concerns are justified. I would just explain to her your concerns about going public so soon and just show your support. Just reiterate much of what you have said here.

I was always attracted to both men and women for as long as I can remember, and although I married a man, I have always been more attracted to women as far as looks etc go. However, it really comes down to the person for me. I had my forst girlfriend at age 17, it wasn't my first sexual experience with women though. She was my first real love. I identified as a lesbian rather than bi when I was with her because being young I thought the relationship would last forever. Infact, it only lasted 2 years and left me heartbroken. But I would never take it back, I learned a lot about myself had an amazing two years and really helped me learn how to connect with people on an emotional level. Before her, i was your typical teenager that didn't give a crap about pretty much anything!
It wasn't a phase for me though, I've had boyfriends and girlfriends since. And if I was to end up separated from my husband I would be open to a girlfriend again.

Again though, gender doesn't reallyatter too much to me if the person is the right person!

For some people it is just a phase, for others not. It is important though, not to make it seem to her like you think it is a phase. This will make her think you don't take her feelings seriously because regardless of wether it is a phase or not, she obviously right now in this moment feels so strongly about her feelings that she took a big step in coming out to you and your wife.

I understand that you don't want your daughter to go through any kind of hardship but please, please don't ask her if she thinks it's 'just a phase'; I feel like nearly everyone who isn't straight has been asked this multiple times and it's incredibly hurtful and dismissive. She could've been mulling this over for years! While 15 is young to an adult I know people who've known who they were attracted to since they were only children; I was sure by the time I was around 13. If she'd said 'dad, I've been thinking about it for a while and I'm definitely straight, I identify as straight' I don't think you'd be questioning her quite as much as you are.

Also - sexuality can be a very fluid thing for some people - it's not particularly uncommon for straight people to suddenly realise that they're gay or bisexual late in their lives, or vice versa, so sure, why not, there's a possibility that she could later come out as bisexual. But clinging onto that isn't going to help anyone and it's certainly going to upset your daughter - please just support her and take her seriously. She knows herself best.

I doubt it's a phase. And saying that to her will only be an insult. If she said she was straight would you ask whether it was a phase? She might be bi, you say she's got male crushes, but isn't attracted to boys in person, many straight women I know have crushes on celebrity women but not women in real life, whether that makes them straight or bi I don't know. Personally I think you are whatever you identify as, if she thinks she's lesbian then she's lesbian.

im bi, have known since I was 15/16, I had a few Muslim friends who I discussed sexuality with a lot, they obviously didn't agree with my sexualty but knew and still treated me as a close friend rather than an evil sinner that should burn in hell. If someone will judge her on her sexuality then they're not the type of person you want influencing her.

15 is plenty old enough to know your sexuality, people have crushes as toddlers, sexuality isn't a big deal, and straight is not default. She's still the same person as she's always been, but now you don't have to worry about some nasty older boy using her and breaking her heart ;)

Personally I don't think anybody knows anything until they are about 28ish.I think that's when life takes hold. Things get really serious and we probably are starting in the direction that we call stable. Although we may have experiences before that I don't believe we truly know ourselves.
In this day and age people especially teenagers will experiment more. There is less taboo and much more media open to sexuality. A little more freedom. After all we like to try all the biscuits in the barrel don't we?
when I was at college most of my friends were performing artist. Boy did they experiment. It was hard to keep up with what orientation they were from week to week.
Let her enjoy her life and all the changes that will happen. What matters is she will be loved.

Personally, I would just suggest the "whatever people think of you, you can always talk to your dad" approach. When it comes to sexual preferences, many (not all of them, but certainly a significant percentage) young teens (and people on the young side of their 20s as well) have crushes on people of both sexes (and all ages). And, believe me or not, I have known people (of the 15-25 age group) who thought people who came out as gays, lesbians and bisexuals were the coolest people ever - to be honest, though, people who did not come out but who were "merely" suspected to be homosexuals were still laughed at... (And it also meant that many people who wanted to be cool and who could not think of any other way to be noticed suddenly claimed they were gay even though they did not actually feel attracted to people of the same sex...) I am not saying this is a right thing to do, I just want to say that loads of matters involving young people are incredibly complicated, full of contradictions, fads and odd things...

Just be there for your daughter, tell her that whenever she might feel the need to do so, you can talk to her.

I thought I was definitely a Lesbian between the ages of 15-18. Had girlfriends, only fancied woman and the thought of a cock coming anywhere near me was just gross (sorry guys, lol), then a guy came along who was an arrogant son of you know what, and for soe god awful reason my knickers couldn't drop fast enough. So apparently I wasn't a Lesbian after all.

I then married a lovely man who I have recently separated from, and I am now involved with a woman again.

She may meet negative opinions, she may not. But being true to herself and living the life she wants will likely outweight the negativity. There will also be a gay community around you, so she will be able to find supprt and friends within that community when the times comes.

I was open about my feeling towards women when I was at school, and it wasn't always the easiest, but I'm glad I was myself. I used to wear an 'I ![](upload://4WyQT1gwKaQJNwhYxrKZ1rOPglF.gif) Mel C' badge on my prefect sash, and people always said I was weird, but I loved her so much I didn't care, lol. Being open and honest also allowed me to fall in love for the first time and that is an experience I would never ever want to trade.

I think just accepeting what she says and supprting is the way to go, I wouldn't dwell on whether it may or may not be a phase, right now to her she feel how she feels, I doubt she can process the fact it may change, I know I wouldn't have been able to.

Best of luck and I hope everything goes well for your daughter xxx

Okay, first things first while you've said you'll support her no matter what, it's important to make sure she knows that. Definitely never, ever say that you would prefer her not to be a lesbian because chances are she's struggling with dealing with it herself and the last thing she needs is to doubt your love for her (which she will do if you show even the slightest hesitation).

I'm currently at uni and while I consider myself 100%, my two best friends are a biromantic asexual and a bisexual respectively so I have some idea of what they've gone through. The phase thing-again, it's important you never use that phrase around her. It may be that she turns out to be bisexual/pansexual/some other kind of sexuality but for now, she identifies as a lesbian and so you should treat her as such. It's likely she'll be expecting you to want her to be with a guy so again, she won't react well to any hints that she might be bisexual. Be prepared for her to change her mind but don't expect her to. All of my friends have pretty much known what their sexuality was since they hit puberty with the exception of the asexuals who usually didn't realise until they got into a romantic relationship with someone they care about.

As for the issue as to whether or not she'll experience prejudice, I can't promise you things will go well. One of my friends was absolutely fine at secondary school until a girl in her class expressed an interest in her and then they both got bullied pretty badly. On the plus side, I can tell you that I've found university to be a remarkably tolerant place. I know about an equal number of straight and non-straight people and as far as I'm aware, none of them have received hateful comments since coming here. Therefore while things might be bad at secondary school, your daughter will be able to find a place where she is surrounded by smart, mature and decent people who will love her for who she is.

I know this must be a difficult time for you as a parent and well done on agreeing to support her no matter what. I don't want you to feel like I'm attacking you, it's just that I know from mine and my friends' parents how easy it is to say something which seems innocent to you but will actually hurt them quite badly. Remember, you don't need to tell her to question her sexuality-she'll do that herself. All you need to do is let her know you'll love her, no matter who she loves

I'm going to just add my 2 cents to this. While I am not a lesbian or bi or a women, I am asexual and from personal experience, I can tell you that there are certainly things that you ant to avoid when discussing this with your child.

Firstly her "being too young to know", from a study I vaguely remember reading about it was established that people start to experience "attraction" either romantic or sexual around the age of 10 and certainly by the time puberty starts. So based solely on that no your daughter isn't too young. On that note I would also suggest not to imply such to her as it is rather dismissive (saying she's too young to know who she's attracted to).

Secondly, don't say "it's just a phase" as the amount of times I've heard that are too many to count, it dismisses your child's feelings and for me anyway makea it sound like people don't believe you. The same goes for "haven't met the right guy/girl." (Again a phase I heard so often it lost all meaning)

Thridly, sexuality is definetly fluid so it can change over time, so this is a piece of advice if she does decide she isn't gay but bi/pan/poly etc. don't invalidate her previous identity.

Finally this is the most important piece of advice I have, treat you daughter as if she is straight. By this I mean imagine if she came out as straight, would you think she was too young to know, or it was just a phase? My guess is probably not so why should it be any different if was bi/gay/trans/ace etc. Just support her, which you certainly seem to be doing.

I remember when I was much younger looking a nice womans bums on postcards we had. My mum told me it was just becuse I was intrested in how I would look one day and I'd no doubt grow out of it. Yet alas this has still not happened. If she a lesbien chances are she has always been and the hints where not as obvious.

On the other hand it could well be a faze and she has jumped the gun by labeling herself. Much like a young lady I once new.

Sadly only time will tell. The mind of a 15 year old girl is a complicated place but the most important thing is to treat her as normal and not poke about for evedance of her sexuality (like my family did) just keep her close and let her know you love her no matter who she loves :)

Kudos on being supportive. That's what she's going to need her entire life: your support, not your opinion.

There are a few pretty blunt statements that apply to this, straight up:

-So what if it's a phase? You don't tell people they can't like Disney at 12 in case they don't like it at 20. She might change her mind, she might not. But she's coming to the age of experimenting, and there's no point in her being miserable for a few years because she's ''not supposed to make her mind up'' yet.

-Once she leaves school, most of her friends will change. Anyone who gave her shit will either grow up or move on. It all ends up fine once they hit sixth form or college.

-Life isn't fair. She's always going to get shit about something or the other, there's no point making her sad now to protect her, thus leaving her defenseless in the future. If she's bullied about it, the school needs to get their ass in gear to stop bullies. Not to stop lesbians.

-She's probably out to her friends anyway. Most people are.

-She's going to be 16 soon. That's the age of consent in most places. You can't try to stop her forming a sexual opinion just because the idea that your child has a sexual personality creeps you out. If she's big enough to have sex (and she will or has) she's sure as hell big enough to decide who she wants to have sex with.

But yeah. Sexuality is a scale, not boxes, and you don't have to belong to exclusively one point on that scale. She might be totally lesbian, right up until that one guy. She might know she's not into males so assume she's into women, and end up working out that she's asexual *shrug*
Sexuality isn't something you decide, it's something you discover, and the only way she can discover is by experimenting and trying it out.

I'm 18 (regulars, for the love of icecream, please, don't do the maths) now, and queer. I came out at school at 13, to my parents at 15, and to everyone else somewhere inbetween- as a lesbian.
I am currently in a long term stable relationship with a cis man.
I briefly contemplated bisexuality, just in case, but established not. I experimented with androgeny and gender queer/trans aspects. Established not. Now I just stick 'queer' on it and roll with it, as I'm exclusively attracted to women- whether cis or trans- except maybe the odd man if they're right, and don't specifically identify with having a gender, though am definitely of the female sex.
Basically, its one giant clusterfuck, and she'll work it out eventually.

I was bullied horribly at school anyway, and part of it ended up being about my sexuality. I was never ashamed of it though, and I know now that I would rather have been out and had the experiences I had with the LGBT community and the bullying, that been closeted and even more miserable than I was.
That was the schools problem, not mine. And whilst it shouldn't be acharacter building exercise, it is. You become a much stronger person in adversity than without, and you'll never be able to protect her from adversity in its entirety.

On the 'having sex' thing also: she might just not want to have sex, but be being pressured into it, or having a reason not to. I've known people convince themselves they were lesbians for less *shrug*

On the 'too young to know' thing, bollocks. You can't expect her to not know she's a lesbian, and then expect her to default to heterosexual. Some sort of bisexual queerness is the neutral middleground, so.

Just support her. Educate her.
Make sure she knows about transmission of STDs between females, about dental dams and using gloves and that things from the kitchen, no matter how appropriately shaped, should be used in the bedroom.
Teach her, let her be open. Probably take her for a cringeworthy trip to AnnSummers so she doesn't masturbate with a hairbrush handle.
I know that as a parent it's never nice to think of your child having a sexual identity, but they do, and at 15 they're almost certainly experimenting with it. Be 'the cool parent'.
And if she does come home one day and say she's not? Just go with it.
Be interested in her life, but not nosey. Inquire about potential ladyfriends, act just like you were if she was a guy.
And hey, she's not going to come home pregnant!*

*seriously, my mother hated my gayness, but the fact I wasn't gonnaget pregnant? They loved it.

I think the answer to "could it be a phase" could be yes, but theres no more chance of it being a phase than if your daughter was only interested in males! You say yourself she has crushes on males too so maybe shes just trying to figure out where she stands sexually. Its possible that she is attracted to both but has stronger relationships already with women so could more visualise herself being with a woman than a man so is swaying more towards being a lesbian.

i also agree with the others who have said once she leaves school it doesnt matter. I went to an all girls school where it was extremely rare for anyone to admit to being gay or bisexual, as the very few who did were often bullied or left out by other girls who were worried they might try it on with them. When i went to college it was like a whole different world! Both males and females were openly gay and nobody batted an eyelid. It was a world away from the childish judgmental school days and i found everyone was much more tolerant and accepting of each other.

Personally im in the camp that until youre in a realtionship you shouldnt need to come out, as straight people dont! (Well i didnt annouce my straightness that i can remember!) I can understand your hesitancy for her to give herself a label that will stick for the rest of her schooldays when she might be bisexual and it doesnt really matter to anyone else regardless of her sexuality.

I also would like to give you credit for being understanding!

Everything fairelights said is absolutely right, except and I think it's a typo, anything from the kitchen shouldn't be used in the bedroom

Young and fun95 wrote:

Everything fairelights said is absolutely right, except and I think it's a typo, anything from the kitchen shouldn't be used in the bedroom

Unless you keep your glass dildos in the fridge :p

I am going to agree with a lot of the comments on here in saying that don't call it a 'phase' around your daughter, or at all preferably as t can be very harmful to young women who are still figuring out their own sexuality. Also I highly doubt 15 is too young to have it all figured out. Whilst some are late bloomers, more often than not people know they aren't straight from a fairly young age. And sexuality can be fluid, just because someone at one time identified as lesbian or bisexual, doesn't mean they identify that way their whole lives. The most important thing is that it doesn't make their previous identification any less valid. Please don't assume that it's a case of 'when the right man comes along suddenly she'll just drop being a lesbian', as that's a really hurtful view that really harms women who don't ID as straight.

Fairehlights made a very good point about safe sex too! Whilst almost everyone has heard of condoms, so few places actually teach abot safe sex for female couples, even at all girls schools, where just by sheer number you would expect more non-straight people. Dental dams and STI transmission are very important, as lots of girls think a penis must be involved to catch an STI!

Also, I don't think that just because someone is of an islamic faith they would ever necessarily ostracise someone for being a lesbian. All the young muslim women I have met were never concerned about someone's sexuality and it was definitely never a cause for drop friends. And any that do, why would I want my child to be friends with a bigot, even if it is over religion. Although talking to your daughter about your concernes, just for her welfare would definitely not go amiss, and as has been said previously, there is no need to be out to everyone and anyone if you don't want to be, I'm not, just to the people that matter.

Anyway I hope the advice helps, the people here are great for discussing things like this, and can help with any more questions you might have!