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Looking for advice for 11 year old Bisexual son

Discussion in 'For Parents and Family Members of LGBT People' started by mandeec, Sep 12, 2017.

  1. mandeec

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    Hello,
    My name is Amanda and I am a mother of 4. My middle son is 11 and expressed to me yesterday that he is bisexual. I was not fully surprised in all honesty, because since the age of 2 he has always enjoyed playing with dolls, and even at 11 rather have girl friends, than guy friends. Now does this make him bisexual, not at all. But as a mother, you know your children and I just kind of always had a gut feeling this moment would come. I wasn't shocked, but I wanted him to know that I am totally okay with whatever it is that he decides in life. Love is love to me, and regardless with a girl or boy, I just wanted to understand where his feelings are coming from.

    He told me he does like girls more than boys, but does feel like he likes boys. I was having a very calm convo with him, and asked him how he knows, and he said he couldn't find the words to express it, but just knows in his gut.

    We talked for awhile, and he seemed comfortable talking about it. I explained a few times, that I was not mad because he did ask me if I was, so I wanted him to know that nothing about this upsets me in regards to his feelings.

    He has not hit puberty, so is it common to know that you feel this way? Please do not misinterpret my words, because this is all fairly new to me, and I do not want to say anything in the wrong way, but I am curious. I have questions, and I must be honest, I am sad. But not because of his expressions of how he feels, but because we live in such a cruel world, that I feel like I wont be able to protect him against those who do not want to understand him.

    I wanted to join a place that can help me. That can hear my worries, thoughts, fears, concerns, my joys, my happiness, etc. I just need a place where I can meet other people going thru the same scenerios and help and guide me too.

    I love my son, no matter who he decides to love whether male or female, I will love him unconditionally, and I will make sure that he knows that in our home, he is safe to be whoever he is, forever and always.
     
  2. mandeec

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    Also, he has a few friends who he said were also bisexual. One being a girl and one a guy. Could he feel like this is the "cool" thing to do, like being encouraged by his friends? I am not trying to overshadow anything, I am just wondering if anyone else has experienced this?

    Thank you!
     
  3. Twist

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    It is possible to know before puberty. When I was 4 or 5 years old, my very first crush (and every crush after that through my adolescence) was male. I thought I was gay until I entered my mid-teens, where I then started finding I had an attraction to women as well.

    As long as he knows that you support him and that whatever he decides is okay with you? You're on the right path as a parent.
     
  4. mandeec

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    Thank you. I feel like an emotional mess today. I just want to make sure that no matter what, he feels safe in his home. I wasn't aware, but he told his older brother last night. They are 14 months apart, and always get mistaken for twins. They fight like no other, as usual siblings do, but his brother told him "oh, okay that's cool." I know that had to mean a lot for him to hear that.

    I guess as a mom/parent, I truly do worry about society. even if it is more acceptable now a days, him being 11, kids are probably meaner than some adults.

    We did discuss that accepting yourself is first and foremost and that not allowing others to affect you will be a big deal. Most bullies prey on those who are weak (not all cases), but if he stands up for who he is and accepts him for who he is, I am hoping this will help him throughout life. What do you think? Is this true?

    He said he just wants everyone to know so that he gets it over with, but I am not sure that is the greatest idea? Not because I want him to hide it, only because right now he can't really filter or understand what he is feeling, and I want him to be sure? Am I wrong for that?

    This is all new to me, so I just want to make the best decisions to help him and guide him.
     
  5. Twist

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    I can only speak from my own experience, but in my experience yes, it's true. There will always be bullies and those that have closed minds in life, but if you are confident in yourself, their judgements just don't mean as much and you see their behavior for what it is. That is.... not society's opinion, but the behavior of someone too weak to be accepting of other's differences.

    I'm not someone who really believes announcing your preferences to the world is the answer to anything. I get (now) why some people do it, but you might try explaining to him that there's no rush. The people he knows right now aren't the only people he's going to know his entire life, that means even if he tells every single person he knows right this instant, there's always going to be more people that don't know.... and honestly? Most people (again, in my experience) don't care unless you're a part of their personal dating pool.
     
  6. mandeec

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    Yea, we try and teach all our kids those attributes in life. that not everyone is going to like you, and vice versa, but you don't have to be mean, and you don't have to take people being mean to you either.

    And thank you for that. I agree as well. I think in his head, if he tells people and people know, than its like he doesn't have to justify himself, or at least that is my thought. But I totally agree. There is no rush to tell the world. I want him to really understand his feelings and stuff (is that wrong?) before he goes around and just gives it to the world. I was surprised when he said that. I thought forsure he would want to keep it under wraps for a while, considering that he just told me.
     
  7. Quantumreality

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    Hello Amanda! Welcome to EC!:slight_smile:

    First, I would echo what Twist said and tell you that you should simply take him at face value when he chooses to tell you about his sexuality. 11 is pretty young, but he can still have a decent understanding of his attractions even if he might not be completely sure yet.

    By that same token, if he chooses to re-identify later as simply 'gay', you shouldn't be surprised. Since he clearly thinks he has romantic and sexual attractions to both girls and boys, there is little likelihood that he would simply choose to identify as straight. However, you simply have to take him at his word since only he can ever actually KNOW his own sexual orientation. And for an authority figure so close to him like yourself to question his assessment of his own sexuality can potentially be an emotionally traumatic issue for him.

    FYI, when he says he knows, he knows. How did you know that you were straight at any pre-teen or teenage year? It's about who we are attracted to. We just know. Questioning someone (even someone as young as 11 years old) about "how" they know their sexual orientation after they have taken the extraordinary step of Coming Out to you, a parent, is simply a negative, unaccepting question/comment.

    Next, I would say that your concerns for his safety, especially in terms of being bullied for his sexuality are completely normal. But, as you said, these days, the younger generations are much more accepting. And you can help mitigate some of the potential problem by helping him to find a GSA (Gay-Straight Alliance) or similar club at his school. (Granted, most school districts only have GSAs at the high school level.)

    Also, in terms of his desire to be open about his sexuality, I think that that is great, but the pros and cons of doing so are completely dependent on the attitudes by the school authorities, the student population and the community toward LGBTQ people. So he needs to be cautious, but with your help to understand why he might need to be more reserved about his sexuality at times. Not that you are trying to tell him to hide who he is - be clear about that - but simply to let him know that you might be concerned for his well being if he chooses to be an Out LGBTQ kid at school.

    As far as his idea of 'simply' Coming Out and 'getting it over with' goes, unfortunately it doesn't work that way. Coming Out for those of us who are LGBTQ is often a lifetime process. As we enter new environments, as we have new life experiences and new friends, we always encounter people in our heteronormative society who assume that we are simply straight. The more that we encounter these situations, the easier it usually becomes. We can often simply, casually mention a boyfriend or a cute guy and let our new friends take it from there. Also, wearing Pride jewelry or clothing can help - such as a Bi T-shirt that says "Assume Nothing" with the letters in the Pink, Lavender, and Blue colors of the Bi Pride flag or a bi-colored wristband, which, if people don't understand they can ask about and your son can explain.

    Mostly though, being openly other-than-heterosexual is about owning your own identity and being confident in who you are as a person. That is the best kind of role model that you son can ultimately become, if he's ready and willing to take on that challenge. To me, much as Twist indicated, being other-than-heterosexual is much less about trying to announce your sexuality the world or 'push it' in some else's face. It's simply about just being 'you' and not taking guff as well as being willing to stand up and publicly own your identity, if it happens to be challenged.

    I think your son is on a great road at such an early age to set an example for his peers who are still in the closet and other who are still questioning or unsure of their sexual identity. He is a very brave young man and an inspiration to those of us who grew up in a much more hostile environment in the 80's and 90's.

    I agree with you 100% that the most important thing for your son right now is to understand and accept his own sexuality. Anyone who won't accept him simply because he happens to be bi is extremely narrow-minded and not someone that he would ever want to call his friend in the first place.

    For yourself, I suggest that you check out the PFLAG website. They have supporting information and many chapters have support groups for parents of LGBTQ children. Also, I would strongly recommend that you download and read the PFLAG pamphlet Our Children. It can help by addressing many of your initial concerns about having an LGBTQ child.

    You are clearly a great parent to be so accepting of your son's sexuality and to seek out solid, factual information to help support yourself and him here on EC. Please continue to interact with us any time you have questions, concerns or issues.

    I wish you and your family all the best!
     
    #7 Quantumreality, Sep 12, 2017
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2017
  8. mandeec

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    Quantumreality,
    Thank you so very much. This all very new to me, so I didn't mean to question his feelings. I am trying to find all the right ways to go about this, hence why I am reaching out, and so far I have not only read some awesome things, but also so far you and Twist, have really gave me some insight that I greatly appreciate.

    I want to be able to make sure that I am helping him the best way I can possible. I truly do not judge him at all, and honestly, last night he asked me "mom are you made at me?" I looked at him, and I smiled and I said "heck no! I am proud of you for being so brave to share this with me, and I love you...and I think I even love you a little bit more because now I know something new about you!!" he just looked at me and smiled from ear to ear. I knew that moment that it was a relief for him. He is my son, will always be my son no matter who he loves. We are a very accepting family, all of us, and I know that will help him as well. I could never imagine making him ever feel less than for who he loves. I am a true believer that LOVE IS LOVE!

    I guess as a mom/parent I want to protect my children of course, and I feel like if any one messes with him for it, I want to go crazy on anyone who does? this is normal right? lol.

    overall, I want my child to be happy, confident, secure, but most of all to know that his family 100% backs him in all his choices in life, and anyone he chooses to love.

    I guess now that the cat is out of the bag, do I talk to him about these types of things, or wait until he talks to me again? I don't want him to feel like he ever has to hide anything, but I also do not want to impose. But also, he is only 11, and in our home and the way we parent, we are pretty open with our children for the fact that they are learning far more worse things with their counterparts at school, so we choose to be honest so that they are aware of right and wrong things. Like for instance, our 12 year old came home asking what a dildo was. I was at first like, OMG...but my hubby reminded me, that clearly he was already discussing this with his friends, so it was better we explain what it really is verses him trying to find out on his own, or thru his friends misinformation possibly.

    And I want to be honest, because again, this is new to me, but I really don't want to start treating him differently. and by differently, I just mean, more catering to him because I know he will be going thru probably a bit rougher time in life than his other siblings? Or is that wrong to say or think? I guess again, the mama bear in me is just thinking way ahead, and overall, I just want to make sure he is okay/happy.
     
  9. Creativemind

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    I showed signs of my own lesbianism when I was as young as 7 years old. This happened when I told my Mom I wanted to kiss a female singer, she assumed on the cheek, and I said no. I didn't know kissing on the lips was sexual, but I knew at the time I had a typical little kid celebrity crush. So yeah, It's completely possible to know before puberty, It's just that it isn't sexual before puberty. :slight_smile:

    I think you're doing everything right, don't feel guilty for being curious or asking questions. If you're afraid of offending him, we will be happy to answer.
     
  10. Quantumreality

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    Hey Amanda,


    Don’t worry about mistakes. As you know, we all make them, so, from my point of view, it’s just important to be aware of LGBTQ sensitive, learn from the experience and move on.


    It sounds like last night your son heard some concerns and reservations in what you said and your response to his Coming Out, but it sounds like you recovered extremely well and totally supportively. Something that you need to know is that when we Come Out to parents, it is usually a very emotionally sensitive moment for us. Because, even if we are 99.9% SURE that our parents will be supportive, the simple prospect that the .1% chance that they will disown us is truly terrifying. Coming Out at such a young age, you son probably doesn’t weigh the potential consequences in the same way that those of us who Come Out at a later age do, but I guarantee that any hint of rejection by you or your husband would have been emotionally traumatic. It seems clear that he recognize a less-than-complete acceptance, hence his question last night. Just reassure him of your total support and unconditional love. That’s what he wants and needs to hear, even if he doesn’t consciously know that right now. As you said, Love is Love. What two consenting individuals do behind the closed doors of the bedroom is only the business of those individuals. (And I’d remind you that being other-than-heterosexual is NOT a choice. Why would any of us ‘choose to a minority that still experiences significant discrimination even here in the US?)


    Yes, you’re absolutely normal to want to protect your children, but at least this son sounds like he’s well on the way to being his own man, even at such a young age.


    In terms of how to treat him and his sexual development, it’s pretty simple. I assume that you are proactive parents and don’t expect the school system to teach your kids about sex. Other than the fact that you will need to educate yourself about safe gay sex, you treat him exactly as you would any of either of your other children. With the exception, of course that you treat same-sex sleepovers as you might if your other kids had an opposite-sex sleepover from the respect that you would keep open doors where the kids could be monitored during the night and/or have them sleep in an open area such as living room. Plus, if there are multiple other boys sleeping over, it is less likely that your son and his boyfriend are likely to ‘slip off’ to privately experiment at your house or a neighbor’s house, if that is where the sleepover occurs. There are, of course, other ways to handle these types of situation, but I think you get the idea that you just need to modify what you would normally do for your other keep, while not denying you middle son the same experiences simply because he has been forthcoming to you about his sexuality. And, not to alarm you or make you second guess anything I’ve said, but honestly, you should know from your own teenage years that if two kids want to go off and privately experiment with their sexuality, not only can they find a place, they will do so regardless of parental admonitions.


    Incidentally, I don’t know of any school systems in the US that actually address LGBTQ sex and safe-sex issues, so you’re better off helping him out that way much more directly. Of course, it is always awkward for any kid to talk to their parents about sex directly, so perhaps you can provide him written material and/or verified (i.e. good information) online links and/or if you have an LGBTQ friend or family member who can talk to him about this subject, that could help. Here are some links on EC that can help you with this:



    http://emptyclosets.com/home/pages/resources/health/gay-safe-sex.php



    http://emptyclosets.com/home/pages/resources/health/anal-sex.php


    http://emptyclosets.com/home/pages/resources/health/getting-clean-for-anal-sex.php


    http://emptyclosets.com/home/pages/resources/stds.php


    This is getting way ahead of the current situation and I’m going to be very explicit here, but for your information and as a basis for your own potential research in order to support your son, please keep in mind that, contrary to the public stereotype, not all gay male couple even want to engage in anal sex. By some reports I’ve seen, about 20% of gay males don’t engage in anal sex. And, of course, there are roles to be played out in anal sex. There are tops (the giver), bottoms (the receiver), and some guys who are versatile (both tops and bottoms, depending on their partners inclinations). There is also mutual masturbation (handjobs, either by their own hand or their partner’s), fellatio, frottage, and intercrual sex. As a Bi guy, I know directly that pretty much anything that a male and female can do can also be done by two males with the exceptions of vaginal sex (which only a male and female can do) and frottage (which only two males can do). So the gulf isn’t that wide if a couple is open to experiencing the full range of their sexuality. (Straight couples tend to be rather inhibited, from my point of view.) (And I’m not even going to address fetishes because they are incidental to sexual activity.)


    My own Godson (the son of my best friend) is a year older than your son and in basically the same situation. His parents are totally LGBTQ allies, but besides the fact that they don’t really have any LGBTQ friends, other than myself, they are just generally (and for good reason) pretty ignorant of same-sex activity between guys (although I try to educate them bit by bit on a regular basis, LOL)


    You mentioned that your 12 year old brought up the term dildo. Something to think about with your 11 year old is that he may want to experiment with himself anally. Kids, especially that young, tend to use household items. That can actually be dangerous. I’m sure that you don’t want to encourage him to experiment anally, but the safest way for him to do so is to buy him anal toys and explain how to use them. (I can be much more explicit about this, if you want details for your own better understanding.)

    How do you talk to him about all of this? My response is to talk to him like you would/do with your other children. He isn’t ‘special because of his sexuality, he just has a different aspect to who he is, as I’m sure each of your children do in their individuality. If you start treating him as a ‘special’ or ‘special needs’ kid, you are already doing him a disservice. He’s still just your son. You just now know something very personal and private about him that changes how you may view his relationships with his peers to a degree. (Plus the additional sex talk thing.) Other than that, he’s still the same kid. Talk to him straight-up. It’s just that the subject matter for a Bi kid will be more extensive/expansive than for a straight kid. As he becomes a teenager, he may not want to talk to you about personal things anymore. You know how teenagers are. You were one yourself once. But, in general, your Bi son is no different and shouldn’t be treated differently from his siblings. For example, if your family decides that none of the kids can “date” until age 16 (or what ever rules you establish), things aren’t generally different for your middle son than your other kids. Sure, he gets an extra spotlight from you and your husband on his friends of both genders, but other than that… And you can probably find a way to joke with him about it while checking up on him to make sure he isn’t engaging in sexual activity with them, if that is even a concern for you.

    He may or he may not experience a harder time, and for different reasons, than his siblings. I’d just say don’t treat him differently than the others. If it ends up that he needs more support from you at times than his siblings, so be it. But from the way you’ve already described him here, he sounds like a leader and someone who will most likely be able to overcome his own obstacles. As much as you want to as a mother, you really have to let him succeed or fail on his own as much as possible in order for him to become a competent man.


    That certainly doesn’t mean that you can’t motherly-nag him about things or ask about his current boy/girl crushes when he starts to have them. The more open he can be with you, the better. In fact, for most LGBTQ children, once we Come Out to our parents and are accepted, the closer the personal relationship become. For you and your husband, if just means that you have to get used to the idea that he might come home in a couple of years wanting to talk about his new (potential or actual) boyfriend.


    I hope I’ve answered your main concerns and more. LOL!
     
  11. mandeec

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    Quantumreality,
    Thank you for that, that was very.....well....insightful. LOL. A little more than I was expecting, but none the less, eye opening.

    I am so happy I found this site. Today, I am feeling really good. Not that I was feeling bad, but that news is a lot to take in, and again, I mean that in no bad way, shape or form. Yesterday I picked him up from school, and he had a rainbow-type thing on his wrist. I looked at him, and I said, now you know you ain't supposed to be writing all over your hands and stuff (he used to come home with permanent marker all over!!), and he looked at me almost a little scared of what it was, so I said "but that is a good looking rainbow!" and he just smiled and said thanks.

    He does seem a tad more happy. The smile on this face shines. He also disclosed to me, that at the beginning of the school year (about a month ago) they had to create these license plate type of things, and write or draw things that represented themselves. He told me that he put a rainbow as well as LGBTQ to show his pride is supporting that stance. Of course there were other things like baseball (he loves baseball and is really good!), but I thought it was awesome that he was not afraid to show what he believes in!

    Thank you to all who have taken the time to become a part of this journey with me! I appreciate your stories <3
     
  12. Quantumreality

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    LOL! Sorry about that Amanda. That was probably way to much information for you right now. As I mentioned, I've been having a related, off-site conversation along the lines of your concerns.

    I do believe that it is important that parents constantly work to educate themselves about all aspects of what it means to have an LGBTQ child both in order to be better able to understand and support that child as well as to help alleviate concerns that the parents themselves may have.

    Again, thanks for being such a caring and supportive parent of an LGBTQ child and interact with us here on EC any time you may have questions, concerns or issues in the future.:slight_smile:
     
  13. mandeec

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    Quantumreality,

    Oh I didn't by any means not like what I heard or read. It was very insightful, and it was very educating. Just a lot! LOL. But you know as each day passes I look at my son, and I am reminded, regardless of how he identifies, he is my son, will always and forever be my son, and I love him no less! I truly am an open book when it comes to educating myself, and learning how to even educate others.

    You know, I was thinking back a long time ago, when me and his father were together. His father was VERY abusive (physically, emotionally, mentally, financially, you name it), and just a very very ugly person. I remember finding things on the computer of him watching "she-male porn" (that is what the search on the computer was), but I am going to use the proper term and say transgender (right?, please do not fault me for my ignorance), and it was these big buff guys (built like their father), and getting It anally from these beautiful women who had a penis. Now, I was totally caught off guard, because I found this more than a few times in our relationship. I found it odd, because he would always talk very badly about the LGBTQ community, and I never understood his feelings towards it, so of course when I found the plethora of things he was watching, it made me wonder if deep down that is what he truly wanted out of life, BUT he was a "manly man" and felt like he could never "come out" and accept who he was. Maybe I was totally wrong? But the reason for this story is that in my heart of hearts, I felt like his abusive ways were to make him feel manly. to make him feel in control of a life I think he had no control of. To this day, after I left him and took our children away from that very ugly environment, he has never came out, and truly still lives such a very miserable life. I think his truth in my opinion haunts him, and instead of living his truth, he would rather be unhappy and live a lie worrying that it would hurt his ego. So sad right?

    Anyhow, again the reason for me telling this story is this. I was driving to work today, and I caught myself smiling thinking of my son. Thinking how he WILL live a happy life, he WILL live his truth, and he WILL be accepted, loved, supported, and NOT judged by him family at all.

    After all these years, I never hated their dad for what he did to me. I forgave because holding on to the horror he put me thru, would only hurt me in the end. And seeing my son be so brave at 11 years old, just brought me so much joy because their dad never felt he could do the same. After all these years, it kinda gave me a different feeling, almost feeling a little remorseful for him because he has chosen this live the life he has, and has never got to experience his truth or his real happiness, and everyone deserves that.

    So my smile came this morning, knowing that yes, I know my son will be confronted with hard times, but hell we all are at some time in our life right? But knowing that he will not grow up and feel like he has to hide this from every single person he comes in contact with, knowing that he isn't going to try and make everyone around him believe that he is something he is not, and knowing that he knows we love him NO MATTER WHAT, man, that brought soooooooo much joy to my heart this morning.

    to finish, maybe I am completely on the total wrong spectrum for their dad. (although, I truly believe in my heart of hearts, in my gut, he is not living his truth) (there is so much more to the story, but just gave you an small piece for some insight), but no matter what, my son will live his life and live his truth, and he will have nothing but 100% support from his family!!
     
  14. Quantumreality

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    Hey Amanda,

    Yes, that is very sad if you husband feels it necessary to hide part of who he really is. I believe that she-males can generally be Trans women who haven't had gender reassignment surgery to change their penis into a vagina or simply gays who like to dress up as women and have sex with men.

    You're right that your we all face challenges and hard times in our lives. Your son may or may not experience some that are directly related to his sexuality, but that's life. As you said, though, he should be able to live a much happier life by being authentic and true to who he really is rather than hiding part of himself in order to fit in with the notions of others in our heteronormative society.

    It sounds like you have a wonderful attitude towards your Bi son (and all your children, for that matter). As I mentioned before, I think that simply showing your unconditional love is the most important thing.:slight_smile:
     
  15. Quantumreality

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