My 11-year-old daughter came out to me about a year ago. She sent me a text message that said: “Mom, I’m bi.” She was home in the bathroom when she sent it. I believe she was shy to tell me to my face because she thought she was going to get a bad reaction from me.
I texted back, “Okay—I know already.”
When she asked me how I knew, I said I knew since she was four that she would be different from my older daughter, who was more stereotypically “girly”. When she went to daycare, she would pee in dresses, but when I put any type of pants on her, she wouldn’t. Plus she was just into doing anything boys typically did, not girls. She broke dolls’ heads off and played with cars—so it wasn’t surprising news to me when she came out.
Since she told me that she’s bi, she feels so free and has just been comfortable in her own skin. She is not scared or shy—she is going with a girl to prom and she is so happy about it. I see how happy she is and I’m a proud mom. No matter who feels any type of way, I love her. I would rather my child be alive than harm herself because I didn’t care about what she needed.
I learned from my own experience that you just have to trust your child and get to know them and they will be open. I hid a lot from my mom because she was very strict and I was afraid of her. I don’t want my daughter to be afraid of me. I let my kids be honest with me. I have learned that when you let your child be free, you become helpful. We talk about everything. We are able to talk about how she feels, who she likes and what she loves now.
I really want to know more about the LGBTQ community. I want to learn about pronouns, and I want to learn what the letters LGBTQIA mean—the differences between different terms and identities. I learned to never call my daughter gay, because she identifies as bi—and I know that people’s identities should be respected.
I recently learned from the social worker at my daughter’s school that next year they will be having a class about LGBTQ-related topics. The teacher said I can be involved, which will help me continue to build my awareness—and I love to be involved with anything I can to support my daughter.
I will never turn my back on my daughter. Some people say it’s a phase, but if it is or if it isn’t, I’m here for the long run—to get to know my baby and support her no matter what. I want to let other parents know to let your child talk to you. Listen no matter what and share your love with them so you can trust them. Never talk about anybody’s sexual orientation or gender identity in ways that are demeaning, or your child will not trust you. Love your child no matter what the circumstances. They need us in this crazy world we live in. Love is all they need.