Everyone here has given great advice. I also suggest looking up PFLAG. One more thing, there's a new channel on YouTube that might help both her and you:
My 13 year old daughter recently told me that she is a lesbian. I am overwhelmed and shocked. Never in our family it has happened. I hope and pray that it is only a phase. Went to see a councillor at Triangle Project in Mowbray. South Africa. I have a 28 yr daughter and 20 yr son. 47 married and love my kids very much. It is so tough for gays and my biggest concern is how will she cope. I pray for my wife, kids and especially for her. Advice will be very much appreciated.
Everyone here has given great advice. I also suggest looking up PFLAG. One more thing, there's a new channel on YouTube that might help both her and you:
my biggest piece of advice is to love your daughter and support her as much as possible. Gays and lesbians have a harder road ahead as they struggle to gain acceptance, and for some the hardest critics are the ones at home. It makes me sad to see high school pictures of my husband's twin, he looks like a skeleton as he made himself sick because he was sure he was gay and sure that no one he loved would accept him. Thankfully, he was wrong, but it took until he was almost done with college before he could come out to his family and friends.
Thank you to all. I love your positive repsonses and yes I will love my daughter always unconditionally. Sometines I just feel like crying but I know God love all his creatures. We watch the film from Sigourney Weaver together whose gay son killed herself. That was in the evening after 10 then she told. I saw some of her notes and had a suspicion but oh so wished it was not so. I treasure your responses.
You don't have to agree with her but you should be there for her and support her. This is such a critical age. Suicide rate among teens who are gay is very high. Not because they are gay but because their family rejects them or thinks it's a phase. She didn't decide to be this way, just like you didn't decide your sexual orientation. She can't help it. She needs a base during this time in her life as she evolves into the person she will become. Love her just like you did before she told you. She is still the same person. Don't let the fact that she is a lesbian define who she is. Do you let the fact that you are a heterosexual define who you are? No. If she loved books before you told her she will love books after you told her. She still likes to laugh and maybe eat pizza. Just please be there for her and don't judge her.
Love her unconditionally!! Don't dismiss this or she might shut down and shut you out. Listen to her and begin to research PFLAG. You may or may not need it. You are not alone. It took great courage on her part to tell you and it speaks volumes to how loved and protected she feels. You've done a great job so far!!!
You should be proud that she trusts you enough to come to you and confide with you. That alone says you have done something right as a parent!
I am not gay and I hold no judgements against anyone who is. Actually, I have some great friends who are gay. My daughter (15) has a couple of great friends who are gay as well.
This is not shameful so please don't make her feel like it is. She needs you and your family more than ever right now so please just be there to have her back and let her know you love her no matter what. Make sure she knows you love her no less now than you did before she told you.
If you are religious you must know that we are as God creates us- in ALL shapes, sizes, colors and types! You are a good parent that your daughter trusts you enough to tell you this. Your job is to love and support her - she can't choose being a lesbian anymore than she could choose her hair or eye color.
Find a local FLAGG branch and talk to other parents who have probably gone through the same shock and concerns as you have. And DON'T despair- there is a lot of hatred and prejudice in the world still, its true. But there is also growing love, understanding and acceptance out there as well. Your wonderful strong daughter may be one of the people who helps to change attitudes towards gay people in the future, just as civil rights leaders changed attitudes towards black people in the 1960s.
I have several friends who are gay. All of them KNEW they were be high school- please don't demean your daughter's trust by hoping this is a 'phase'.
BTW- out of 5 good friends who are gay, 2 are in relationships that have lasted over 15 years and would get married immediately if it was legal, 2 others have steady boyfriends, and only one is currently dating.
This ratio of people with 'permanent' partners to those who are boyfriend/girlfriends and those who are just dating is about the same as it is with my straight friends! So don't worry that this means your daughter will never meet someone and be happy and raise a family- it doesn't!
Who knows what the future will bring? Love and support and trust your daughter as you always have. God doesn't make mistakes and she was created as she was meant to be- just love her!
One thing to realize with kids her age is that it COULD be a phase, but she is pubescent, so this could be who she is. PLEASE don't make her feel any shame over it! I don't think you're doing that -the fact that you posted here and are looking for advice speaks VERY well about your handling of the situation. I'm sure it's overwhelming, especially if it's not something you're very experienced with.
It is still tough for gay people in many aspects of society, but the good news is it's not NEARLY as tough as it used to be -especially if you live in an urban area like DC. YES, she should take care and be wary of people who may want to cause her harm, but getting involved in teen groups for gays (google them -they're out there -many with local school chapters) AND your family getting involved in PFLAG (parents and friends of lesbians and gays) will really help. It wouldn't hurt to see a family therapist if this is causing problems at home or maybe for just you and your wife to talk to someone about the way to handle it if your daughter seems to be fine. Just make sure you're going to someone who is gay-friendly and not a wolf in sheep's clothing who will try to get you to have her brainwashed or sent off to some religious camp or something. As I said before -it may be a phase, but it may be who she is. The best way to handle it with her is to be loving, listening -and let her know your ear is open for her -but not to make TOO huge of a deal out of it. Try PFLAG -they have great advice!
I do have to chime in here, as I taught high school and had several lesbian students...I had 9th graders so 14 to 15 years old.
To me it seemed like there was no big stigma attached to the lesbian students...they dated openly, talked about their sexuality openly, and for the most part were quite popular (one girl practically ran her class and had no self esteem issues whatsoever, in fact had a long line of admirers and never lacked for a girlfriend). Other teachers and I it seemed were always breaking up public displays of affection between the lesbian girls (as we did with all couples...particularly sneaking around during class times out of class on pass).
Now the male students who were gay, they are the ones who were very quiet about their sexuality and tried to fly under the radar. They are the ones who seemed to face more problems with their peers.
Just love her, listen to her, and support her...it may be something she is experimenting with and it maybe that she has felt this way a long long time and thank God she feels like she can talk to you about it.
A big hug to you!!
Hi V., the stigma you grew up with regarding homosexuals and the culture she is growing up in are very different. It may be harder for YOU than for her. We have come a LONG LONG way accepting and even embracing the gay/lesbian community.
I have three teenagers in a middle class suburban school district. My kids all have friends/acquaintances who are openly gay in high school. Nobody really thinks that much about it, least my kids don't.
It sounds by your post like you are open and willing to love and support your daughter and get her help when she needs it. You are to be applauded.
You CAN hope and pray that it's only a phase, and it's actually 'popular' these days to make the announcement (from some teens point of view) that you are gay or bisexual. But so that you won't be 'shoked' again when it's clear it's true, better not 'hope and pray' too much.
You and your wife must already be excellent parents already for her to feel comfortable approaching you on the subject!
Good Luck, keep the lines of communication with her open at all times.
I think once it sinks in, all will be well with you and your family. God Bless!
Whoever she is going to be, she will be that person, happy or sad.
Be her ally.
It's so good that you are asking how to support her instead of how to change her. She'll find her own way in terms of whom she loves, and she will best be able to do that if she knows that her family in her corner, backing her up. PFLAG is a great resource. And it's great that she was willing to tell you! Yes, it's going to be a rocky road at points, however you folks can make it. Wishing you strength and lots of joy as you continue walking along the road with her and your family. [Yes, there will be joy--my aunt spent many wonderful times with my gay cousin in the years between his coming out and his passing away.]
Well, first of all, you must be good parents if she felt comfortable telling you and surely that was not easy for her. She will have to be strong because she will encounter adversity and in order to be strong she will need your support. I wouldn't try to talk her out of it or take her to counseling (unless it is counseling that will support her and not try to counsel her out of it). It might be a phase, it might not be. If it is not, she probably doesn't want to change and if she likes who she is, your best bet is to accept it. The suicide rate for gay and lesbian teens is very high--so please, please, please just tell her you love her no matter what and that you will always be there for her. That is ALL she needs from her family! :)
It is not likely a "phase". It is also not her choice, it is how she was born to be. It is not as "tough" today as our generation (I'm 49) made it for gays and lesbians. Younger people are much more accepting of homosexuality than older people are, in general. She will "cope" just fine as long as her family loves and supports her.
This could be a phase. Only time will tell, but right now I would suggest accepting your daughters words.
Love and Support Who She Is.
Then find yourself a support group for the parents of gays and lesbians. I think it will help to hear from other parents. No matter how much you adore your daughter and accept who she is you still will be needing to let go of the "picture" you had in your head as to who she would be, the type of family she would have, etc...
Give yourself a giant pat on the back that at 13 she could identify and verbalize her feelings to YOU! That is pretty amazing and wonderful and attests to your family. Continue to embrace your daughter. The world is changing. The younger generation is much more open than previous generations. I truly believe it will be okay.
It might be a phase since pop culture "glamorizes" it & bi-sexuality, or it might not be. Love her no matter what and be there for her. Thirteen is a tough age to begin with. It's good that she opened up to you.
How wonderful that your 13yr old daughter trusts and respects you enough to tell you she's gay. Most teenagers hide their deepest thoughts from their parents and for her to come to you shows what a great relationship you have with your daughter. Once you get over being shocked (and it probably was a huge shock), you'll see she's still your little girl. You still love her, no matter what. Yes, life will be harder for her possibly, but having tolerant, loving parents and a strong support system will help her overcome the difficulties. As long as you don't turn your back on her, she will become a lovely, well-adjusted adult who will make you proud.
It's great that your daughter felt comfortable enough to tell you. My advice would be to keep loving her unconditionally like you are. I have gay friends and the ones who had a hard time with it, are the ones who did not have supportive families. Good luck to you and your family. Keep on loving like you are.
Geese she only is 13, how can she know that? I hope it is a phase.
As a member of Generation X, I would say that most people my age (40) or younger these days don't consider this to be a big deal. I mean it is a big deal for her to be self-aware and also willing to be open about it. But as far as how it will affect her life, I would say that it would only be a problem if she were in denial and trying to live a life that was a lie. Otherwise, it should be a non-issue. I'm not saying there are not still some bigots out there, but those people don't count and you cannot live your life to placate them.
If she's acknowledging it and coming to you - it sounds like she's already pretty secure in herself and coping pretty well. Just being there for her and supporting her will go a long way.
your daughter is incredibly courageous and you should give her as much love and support as you can. she will cope much better knowing that she has family that loves her for who she is and that she can count on. I hope that you can turn your focus from hoping it is a phase, to learning to love her unconditionally. I understand the worry that she may face hardships or challenges because not everyone is open. I can only imagine that her life would be much more challenging without your support.
My 13 year old daughter just told me that she and her bestfriend of 2 years ( also female) were dating for 2 weeks. She said that they are no longer dating because they felt that it was no different than when they were just bff's. I am just concerned because I feel that she is much too young to make a decision either way. I told her that if she came to me with this at 18years old , I would understand it better . She has never even had a boyfriend. We live in a very rural area and the children are still very naive and innocent. I am concerned that she is being influenced by this friend , she and her bestfriend of 6 years parted ways just recently this year and the only friend she talks about and does things with is this one girl. I try to encourage her to seek other friendships as well. I don't feel it is healthy for her to have only the one friend. Does anyone have any advice for me on this?
Im a 14 year old girl and i bisexual, i came out when I was 13 (ik this sites for mums but oh well) i think that its horrible that you can't accept that that your daughter is a lesbian. When i came out my dad said that it was for attention and my Kim agreed and its honestly the worst i have ever felt about myself in my life. Having my parents not accept me for who I am is horrible. Dont do that to your daughter. Shes the same as you she will probably have a wife and maybe a kid someday just dont treat her any different or "pray" for he finally realizing who she is to be "just a phase"