difficult child and the Alternative Lifestyle?

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by neednewtechnique, May 7, 2008.

  1. neednewtechnique

    neednewtechnique New Member

    Okay, as I mentioned in my second post of my thread about the school dilemma, I mentioned something about my oldest difficult child that has not really received a response, and I am curious, and I felt that it was a concern that merited it's own thread.

    At only the age of 13, she has a SERIOUS mistrust for guys in general, to the point where she actually has a "girlfriend". My husband and I like to think that we are open-minded people, we would never turn our backs on her for being with a girl instead of a guy, but what concerns me is that it is an awfully young age to be making such a major decison. Do you think this is a phase, can someone possibly know at 13 there orientation??? I mean, I have some gay friends. A few of them will tell anyone who asks that they always knew, but I never have seen anyone be serious about relationships at that age PERIOD, let alone make such a huge decision at that age! I guess I figure that at 13, they go through so many "partners" that no one would notice, but I worry about her girlfriend more, because she is a couple years older, 15, and she really likes my difficult child and I don't want to see her get hurt. Not that their relationship is serious, they rarely even see each other so it isn't like they are physical or anything, but.....

    I am curious if this is a common behavior for difficult child, or if this could possibly be something else???
  2. trinityroyal

    trinityroyal Well-Known Member

    I think 13 is an age at which people start to explore the possibilities. If someone has been feeling for a while that they are attracted to people of the same sex, then this is likely the time that they might start experimenting and exploring the idea further.

    I do wonder, though, about your difficult child's serious mistrust of guys. Has something happened that put her off guys? It may be that she's simply not interested in them, but the level of mistrust might be suggestive of something deeper. Is it possible that she could be reacting to some negative experience relating to guys?

    It's hard to know what to say, but your difficult child is very lucky to have such supportive parents in her corner.
  3. Christy

    Christy New Member

    Interesting question. I guess I'm wondering about the mistrust of males? Was your daughter the victim abuse by a male?

    Have you discussed the topic of sexual orientation with your daughter? She may be gay or just experimenting with the idea. I think that kids today are much more open to the idea of alternative lifestyles. I guess since you seem supportive and non-judgemental then she is not going for the shock factor. It could be just a crush, like she really looks up to the girl because she is older and your daughter wants to be like her. Do you have any concerns that the girl is influencing your daughter's choice and she is agreeing to the "girlfriend" situation to keep the friendship?

    I guess time will tell but it is great that you are accepting her current choice!
  4. Martie

    Martie Moderator


    Most GLBT people say that they knew from a very early age that they were different....that doesn't always mean that they knew in what way. It is a standing joke in the adolescent/young adult GLBT community that all parents are waiting for this "phase" to be outgrown.

    I agree that acceptance and open discussion will keep your communication lines open and only time will tell what your daughter really feels.

  5. KTMom91

    KTMom91 Well-Known Member

    I wonder if it isn't kind of an attention thing. Last summer Miss KT announced she was "bi". I didn't react in the expected way, I guess, because she put "bi" on her myspace profile, and joined the GL club at school. She was all upset earlier this school year because people were teasing her about it. I pointed out that she was the one who had put it out there, and if she was truly "bi" she should have the courage of her convictions and not let the teasing bother her. She has now changed that part of her profile. I think it was more the influence of her then-best friend than her own feelings.
  6. Big Bad Kitty

    Big Bad Kitty lolcat

    My step son (actually my DEX's son) is a difficult child, and I am sure he is gay. He is 14, and I have thought he was gay since he was about 8. In his case, I think he is confused, his mother has caught him surfing gay porn yet he has a "girlfriend". I think that society's acceptance (heck, it's encouragement) for women to experiment with the same sex vs. it's ridicule towards men who do the same has made it difficult for him to accept what he is.

    That being said, I believe that a child can know at a young age what their orientation is. As far as the distrust of men, I would dig deeper. Was there abuse in her past? Anything that may have happened to her that would cause this should be dealt with so that she can have a healthy, balanced view of men AND women in her life.
  7. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Although that's one thing we haven't experienced, I do have gay friends. They knew from an early age they were gay. I don't think it's an alternative lifestyle choice. I think it's just the way they are born. These people do too.
    If she has a strong mistrust of men, maybe she should enter therapy to see why. Maybe something happened that you don't know about...I wish you both luck.
  8. slsh

    slsh member since 1999

    I guess my take on it is there's nothing we can do about orientation. I absolutely agree than communcation and acceptance are the way to go. I don't think anything is ever written in stone in terms of preference.

    thank you announced at 9 he was gay (hypersexual BiPolar (BP) kid that he is). I didn't react, though he absolutely was waiting for it. It didn't change at all our discussions about safety, respect, and responsibility for partners. He did use his "gay" orientation to provoke peers quite a lot and there was some ick acting out in RTCs. He's evolved over the years to bi and now I think he's leaning pretty much hetero.

    My only concern is that he be in a loving relationship as an adult - I don't care with who.
  9. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    I really misunderstood the "alternative lifestyle" connection, i thought you meant living on a commune, hugging trees, that sort of thing. Oops!

    Could she know at 13? Yes. Is it possible she's mistaken? Yes. Is it possible the other girl could get hurt? Yes, but you can't take responsibility for everyone, she would get hurt just as easily in a hetero relationship.

    Is it possible for girls to go through a phase of believing themselves to be lesbian when they're really not? Yes. I would have been about 13 or 14 when I got a crush on a female teacher. I've heard it's not uncommon. Of course the teacher never knew (I never told anybody at all, either) and I was over it in a matter of weeks, although it did make me wonder about myself for a while. However, as I look back on my life and my feelings, I can honestly say, I am not lesbian in any way whatsoever.

    I've known a number of same sex orientation people of both genders. A few of them seemed to me to be less homosexual, and more narcissistic - there is nothing so narcissistic as loving the same gender. Not that every homosexual is narcissistic, only that it can be a logical end-point for those who are. One homosexual man I knew and worked with, seemed to me to not be so much attracted to men, as loathing of women (in just about every walk of life). Working with him was not easy.

    Another possibility, example from my ownexperience - at about 11-14, I had a couple of very intense close female friendships. We shared EVERYTHING, every intimate little detail comparing our physical development, our emotional development, our future intentions - everything. We shared baths. We shared clothes. But it was definitely friendship, nothing more. We also talked a lot about boys. A close friendship like this could easily be misconstrued, including by the participants.

    Personally, I wouldn't be worrying too much, except perhaps that she might be closing off her options a bit too soon. It is possible she could be mistaking intense friendship feelings, or the confused gender stuff that is simply a by-product of early puberty, for a real sexual orientation.

    While someone might say as an adult, "I always knew I was gay," that is said with the benefit of 20:20 hindsight. Plus we've all encountered cases where a person suddenly changes sexual orientation in adulthood, often after years of living the other way. In which case - I don't see it as a change, I see it as either the person discovering a previously hidden side to themselves, or perhaps finally accepting what they may have been in denial about for much of their life, having perhaps made a wrong decision too early.

    Que sera sera. All you can do is be there for her, to listen and maybe advise to not let ANYTHING get too serious too fast. The same relationship rules should apply to gay relationships as to hetero ones. Just being unable to get pregnant doesn't mean it's OK to get into a sexual relationship too early.

  10. dirobb

    dirobb I am a CD addict

    my difficult child 16sd started this talk when she came to live with us. Her bio had talked to her about her own bi affairs so in difficult child's eyes it was cool.

    This school year it became the rage for her and her friends to sneak into the bathrooms and take pics of themselves kissing (she says it was faking....but you never know) She then took pride it showing the pics off.

    The previous year she would tell guys who she was not interested in that she was bi or gay. Then it got around school and she couldnt grasp the backlash from the other kids. Because she wasnt serious. (they boy who cried wolf comes to mind)

    I think if nothing else it is an experimental time. (it certainly is not exactly like it was when we were 13) But the feelings of trying to fiqure yourself out is universal.

    I think you are right in being supportative no matter what. We cant decide for them. (though that doesnt stop some from trying)
  11. neednewtechnique

    neednewtechnique New Member

    Well I am glad to know that I am not the only one who has experienced the child "experimenting". As for the "mistrust" of men, yes there are some issues there that came up when she was young and living with her biological mother. She has been working on those issues, but it has not changed her feelings towards men at all. Even boys her own age, she just doesn't like them.

    I am sure that at first, she may have said it to try for shock value, and as someone else mentioned, she did put it on her myspace profile...but I guess I figured once we didn't make a big deal out of it, she would give up and try something else. She hasn't. I agree with what someone else said. I just want her to end up in a good loving relationship when she is older, it doesn't matter what "gender" the person is. We really are open-minded people, and we love her no matter what.