My 11 Y/o Daughter Is Bisexual? Is a Family Support Group Recommended?

Updated on July 24, 2018
E.H. asks from Bellaire, TX
18 answers

She admitted she likes girls & boys, however, I feel this is a “trend” among her peers; she says there are other girls in her class who are also bisexual (although, she doesn’t believe they are). I’m wondering if she might be trying to “fit in”?

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answers from San Francisco on

There is a bit of a trend element to it, but that doesn't mean she might not end up being bisexual. Right now she's way too young to worry about it. I'd say something like, "That's nice honey, but you're too young to be dating right now anyway. Now what summer camp do you want to go to?"

And I don't think she needs a family support group over this. Even when she's old enough to determine what her sexuality is, if you are supportive there is no reason she should require counseling.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Miami on

Please don't put her into a support group for this at her age. She is too young for you to be talking to her about this. Just let her be a child, which she is right now. There will be time for this later. Treat her just as you would if she was only showing interest in boys in regards to what is and isn't something you want her to see.

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answers from Washington DC on

a family support group?

well, if this is rocking your world off its axis i guess it's better than NOT getting any help.

i myself would say, 'that's nice, dear' and remind her to fold her clothes.

10 moms found this helpful


answers from Boston on

I think it's a mistake to dismiss kids who express a sexual identity. I think it's a mistake to ascribe a reason to it like "trying to fit in." I think it's a mistake to assume that every thought a kid expresses (at 5, 9, 11 or 16) is definitive for the rest of her life. I think it's a mistake to assume that every child has fully developed sexual feelings - just as much as I think it's a mistake to assume they have none. I think it's a red flag that you said she "admitted" because it really sounds more like the confession of a misdemeanor than part of an open talk.

So, before you launch into a support group because she's bisexual, I think you should work very hard, on an ongoing basis, to assess your level of sexual education (both for yourself and for what you have communicated/taught to her over the years). Do you have the kind of home where thoughts can be expressed and questions asked without fear of judgment by a parent? If she raised this issue with you, that's a good start. But you have to get rid of the judgmental terms like "admitted" and "a trend." I think that's a recipe for disaster. So in that sense, I think some parental coaching or counseling would be a good idea so that you (and any other parent, if involved) can become more skilled at dealing with the many issues that will come up about sexuality, dating, choices, body image and so on. I agree with others that she's not dating yet. But that doesn't mean it's too soon to start to figure out where you stand and how you're going to cope with every single thing she brings up over the next 7 years until she graduates.

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answers from San Francisco on

Just support her and don't worry about it. Her sexuality is in the early stages and it's perfectly normal for her to be curious, confused and of course, trying to fit in. If she does in fact grow into a bisexual or even gay young woman I can't see any need for a "support group" as long as she is surrounded by loving family and friends.

6 moms found this helpful


answers from Portland on

When my kids were around that age, sexuality was a big topic of conversation. It came up at school because it was included in the curriculum and kids started questioning whether some kids were this or that. I think a lot of kids were confused and I'm not sure all parents were up to answering questions.

I don't know if you need a family support group.

Can't you just be there for your daughter? (no offense)

I don't think it's a "trend" as you put it or trying to '"fit in". I think kids are talking about it more than they ever have, and I'm not sure that's a bad thing. I think as parents we need to be there to listen, be open to conversations, and have some answers if they come asking.

If you feel she's confused, upset, or you can't provide answers and she wants to see a counselor - get her in touch with one. Why a family support group?

Seems extreme.

As for questioning whether friends really are bi or not, I'd tell her to focus on herself. Why concern yourself with others? (good life lesson).

ETA: As others mention, eleven is really young. I think they are just talking about it at this age. I know our kids were (maybe age 12) - and it wasn't until they were older that they really grasped what it all meant. That's why I would encourage listening and answering questions - but not going overboard.

6 moms found this helpful


answers from New York on

She's 11. She should not be very "sexual" right now in any way at all - spending time trying to make out with girls or boys, sexting, etc.

When she gets to a "dating age" that you are comfortable with, you can learn from her about who she wants to date.

Right now, she should be focused on her summer reading list and enjoying the sunny weather.

(But for YOU - if even the thought of this is getting you wound up and stressed, it might not hurt to help yourself with some support.)

6 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

welcome to mamapedia, Emy

So your 11 year old daughter is sexually active?? Don't you think that's a tad young to be sexually aware and active??

Does she EVEN KNOW what "bi sexual" means or is she just repeating what her friends say to her??

Why do you need a "family support group"? Tell me what's going on here. I like girls and boys. I always have. Does that make me bi-sexual? No. It means like people - regardless of their sex.

You really need to ask your daughter some pointed questions:
1. Are you sexually active with either boys or girls?
2. When you say you "like" boys and girls - what do you mean? Are you attracted to both sexes?

If she is sexually active at 11 - you have bigger problems than if she's bi-sexual. You need to get a grip on that one.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Norfolk on

Any 11 yr old talking about sex is way too young.
Are you sure she just doesn't mean she likes both girls and boys as friends?
I'm thinking she might not know what bisexual means.
If you aren't monitoring her devices already then start - and let her know you are monitoring her because kids get into all sorts of trouble texting and being on the internet.
It's just a good habit to be into.
If you want family support - not so much for her but more for you then sure, go for it.
I don't see how it could hurt.

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answers from Springfield on

She's 11. She doesn't have a clue what she's saying. At that age, she is possibly beginning to explore actual feelings, but for the most part she's just mimicking what she sees or hears on tv or on-line or in movies. She is too young to have real sexual feelings.

For now, just listen. Listen, and take her feelings seriously, but know in your mind that she's just 11. When she's older, she'll have a much better idea of who she truly is and what she truly wants.

Your are absolutely jumping the gun to begin thinking about a support group. Your daughter is only 11!!!

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Santa Fe on

There is nothing wrong with being bisexual or gay, but don't you think 11 is young to be so focused on this? It's not like a kid this age is sexually active, at least I hope not. Tell your daughter it's fine. She can be attracted to whoever...but right now in life she is too young to be so focused on this and at age 11 she needs to be focused on her schoolwork and activities. My son had a crush on a girl in 6th grade and I told him, there is no hurry to have a girlfriend. Just be friends and focus on your schoolwork. Anyway, to me it would not be a big deal if my child felt they were bisexual...but at age 11 I would advise her to focus on other things.I would not feel the need to have a family support group bc I would feel it's no big deal and what do we need support about? Say in high school or college she brings home her girlfriend...then at that time I'd welcome the girlfriend and try to get to know her. I'd treat her the same way I would a boyfriend.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Boston on

Could be trying to fit in or could be real. At this point I'd just tel her know that you love her no matter what she chooses. I wouldn't discuss it to death or feel the need to get any support at this point. She's still young and trying to figure it all out.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from San Antonio on

I really have nothing because she is 11 and even if she likes boys and girls. Who is she going to be dating at eleven?

I guess she might pair up with someone at school to "date, hang out, go steady, or go together" with but she is in 6th grade maybe 7th if she has a summer birthday. And it is summer right now anyways...she is 11.

I'm not sure she needs support maybe you should go visit with a family counselor and work on your feelings. I'm not so sure I would put a label on her just yet. Let her mature and go from there.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Seattle on

She might be. She might not be.
She might not understand what it means. She might. We don't know your daughter, you do.
There are SO MANY reports of LGBQT people saying they knew they were Gay, Bi, Queer, etc from a very young age. Just let her know you love her and support her and then let her be 11.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Portland on

Is your daughter sexually active? How else would she understand the meaning of bisexual? Sounds like you've been discussing being bisexual and asking her if she is. "She admits liking both boys and girls." Why does this upset you? Why do you think liking boys and girls means she's bisexual?

I suggest that because you're focused on her sexuality she is thinking that she has to answer your questions. She's 11. Who she has sex with should not be an important part of her life. School, making and keeping friends, exploring activities. Is she on a sports team, learning music, be a part of a group focused on activities?

Of course she's wondering about sex. She has questions. Unless she's sexually active how would she know if she's bisexual? I suggest she and the friends you mention are trying to understand sexual feelings by imagining what being bisexual is like. I suggest kids "try out" roles. It's common for girls to kiss each other as they explore their sexuality. At 11, girls are trying out various situations; not just those related to sexuality. They "decide" on a career. They talk about who they want to be when they grow up.

I suggest that you talk with a counselor to learn about girls this age and what to expect from your tween daughter. Talk about why you think she's going to be bisexual her whole life. Ask for ideas to help you to respond to your situation. If that counselor asks for your daughter to be included, include her.

Parents join support groups because parenting is a tough job.

BTW I like men and women. Once in awhile I am sexually attracted to a specific woman. I don't act on that feeling. I'm definitely straight. Often, I feel sexually attracted to men. I rarely act on those feelings. We are sexual people.

A later comment. Of course she's trying to fit in. That's what we do, even as
adults. When we don't feel a part of a group we move on. As your daughter matures she will change what fitting in means to her. Now she is 11 and learning about friendships. Her friends
are girls her own or close to her own age. They're all immature and learning about friendships. Your daughter will figure out about life and how she wants to relate to others. It's normal for her to agree with friends. Saying they're bisexual now does not mean they are or even that they'll say it in 6 months.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Anchorage on

She might be, she might not be, but it doesn't matter either way to be honest, she just needs you to support her while she figures out her sexuality, and that may take years but it is hers to discover. Just make sure she knows she is loved and accepted no matter what and let her figure out who she is and who she loves along the way.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Louisville on

My daughter did this phase. its common. just ignore

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answers from San Francisco on

I am surprised at the number of responses suggesting that your daughter can’t know any better unless she’s sexually active. I guess these ladies forgot their junior high crushes, or every single time they were attracted to someone prior to their first sexual experience. Sheesh.

Your daughter may feel like she gets crushes on girls as well as boys. And being attracted to both male and female genders is the definition of bisexual. That *doesn’t* mean she’s trying to have sex with anybody, for goodness sake. It might be a phase. It might not be a phase. The important thing for you to do, I think, is to remain supportive and non judgmental no matter where she settles with her sexual identity. Take care.

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