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My son age 15 just announced he is Bi, was my reaction ok??

Discussion in 'For Parents and Family Members of LGBT People' started by togmum, May 27, 2017.

  1. togmum

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    Hi, literally 10 minutes ago, my son age 15, out of the blue said to me "quick announcement, Im bi, not straight, and I wanted to get it off my chest". This was totally out of the blue, I had no idea, so for a few seconds i couldnt process it as we had just been talking about pizza! Any way even in my confusion i realised the way i react was so important so i just said, "oh ok!! thats fine!" or something inane like that. He said he didnt want to be bombarded with questions and can i tell his stepdad, of course, I said. i asked if there was anyone in particular he liked, he said no, and seemed to want to get away from me at that point, i just said ok, we wont ask u a ton of questions but we are here anytime he needs or wants to chat. i asked did he feel better for saying it, he said yes. And now I am sitting here thinking, shit! did i under-react? did i say the right thing? Oh yes i did also say he might be going thru an experimantal/developmental stage and he might or might not always be bi, now I think why did I say that!!! oh god did i say all the right stuff!!Please help!
     
  2. Quantumreality

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    Hey togmum,

    Welcome to EC!:slight_smile:

    Thanks for being such an understanding and concerned parent of a newly-Out LGBTQ child.

    Don't worry about it. Your reaction was just fine. It's hard enough for kids to talk about sexual issues with their parents, let alone tell their parents that they aren't straight. He had to have been extremely nervous, but at least he was able to tell you.

    In terms of saying that he might be going through an experimental/developmental stage, that was kind of dismissive and probably made him a bit mad, but it's not an unusual reaction from parents. I have to say, though, that the simple fact that he Came Out to you is a huge show of trust from your LGBTQ child and he almost certainly wouldn't be telling you that he's Bi if he didn't already know that he's queer.

    I would tell you that it's not unusual for gay kids to first Come Out as Bi to their parents. Sometimes it's because they haven't completely figured out that they are actually Gay or because they think it will be a lesser "blow" to their parents if they Come Out as Bi. The reality, though, is that only each of us can ever actually know our own sexuality, so you have to just take him at his word. If he doesn't later Come Out to you again as Gay, then continue to take his statement that he's Bi at face value.

    One of our biggest fears in Coming Out to parents is that we will disappoint them by not being straight and possibly not being able to live up to our parents expectations of having a 'normal' family. At this point, just be supportive of him and show him that your love is truly unconditional; that his sexuality is not a disappointment to you and that you just want him to be happy.

    Right now it sounds like you are still trying to wrap your mind around this, since it came out of the blue. That's fine. Take your time to process this. He's had his whole life to come to terms with his sexuality and this is the first you've even had a reason to think that he might be other-than-straight. Maybe read up on what it means to have a Bisexual son. You might want to download and read the free Our Children pamphlet. And you might want to check out the FFLAG website.

    If you want to do some research on bisexuality, I can recommend these sites:

    The Bisexual Index | What is Bisexuality?

    Bisexual.org

    I hope some of that helps.

    Please continue to interact with us here on EC. Let us know your questions, issues or concerns and we'll do our best to address them.:slight_smile:
     
    #2 Quantumreality, May 27, 2017
    Last edited: May 27, 2017
  3. togmum

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    Hiya, thanks so much for that fast response....I agree with you about my stupid comment about it "being a possible phase"...and the minute I said it, I thought why the hell did i say that? I think it was because I wanted to reassure him incase he was upset about being bi....it was a silly thing to say, and wish I hadnt, but I did and I cant take that back.

    so I have now had about an hour thinking about it, and of course have so many questions in my head, but they will have to stay there, as i will respect his privacy. He isnt very open most of the time about his personal life, so I definitely wont push him for info, it is his business. just felt a bit shocked, only as I had had no inkling prior to this, he told be last year about a crush on a girl in his class, so i assumed he was straight..
    Anyway, will just let this sink in for a bit, my only concern for him is that he is ok and not unhappy, any more than anyone else of his age with all the stresses they already have to contend with! Bless his heart for telling me tho, I think it must mean he trusts me and I dont want to mess that up by being a dickhead in the way I reacted, which was my worry. Thank you again and also for those useful links, I really appreciate it xxx
     
  4. Quantumreality

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    Hey togmum,

    I'm glad if I could help a little.

    Again, don't beat yourself up over your one comment about it being a possible phase. From what you described, your overall reaction was just fine.

    We can't answer specifics for your son, but if you have general questions or questions about how things 'usually' work for Bi people, just ask us.

    Some LGBTQ people understand their sexual orientation from an extremely early age. Others don't realize until much later in life that they are not straight. Many of us realize that we are 'different' around puberty (i.e. generally around age 13) when the hormones start kicking in and we begin to realize our attractions. At the point that we realize that we are 'different' each of us must come to understand and accept our sexual orientation at our own pace. Often, when we realize that we are 'different', we tend to pull back from those closest to us, especially parents. After Coming Out to our parents and being accepted for who we really are, it is often the case that our relationship with our parents becomes stronger than ever. Now, it's possible that your son may never feel comfortable talking to you about issues surrounding his sexuality, but it's equally possible that now that the 'dam has broken' that he will start to open up more to you.

    Just some thoughts.
     
    #4 Quantumreality, May 27, 2017
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  5. Quantumreality

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    Oh, and another website that you might want to check out is PFLAG UK.
     
  6. togmum

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    thank you again so much for sharing your thoughts with me, I really do appreciate it so much xxxx
     
  7. silverhalo

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    Hey dont beat yourself up over your reaction, sure you might regret that comment but you were shocked and it was unexpected. I know you want to ask a million questions but if possible please refrain. Just make sure that he knows you love him the same bi, straight, gay it doesnt matter to you. You should be so proud that your son felt able to share that and that you have the kind of relationship that you do :slight_smile:
     
  8. AlexJames

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    It really depends on your kid. If he's not confrontational and doesn't really like to talk about deep or personal stuff like this then maybe 'under-reacting' was what he was going for. That's me in a nutshell, anyways - i don't like confrontation, i'm a very private person, and i hate having the whole room's attention on me.

    Hm the last few sentences could have been bad. I mean to some people that might come off as dismissing or invalidating their opinion, dismissing something they themselves mgiht be certain of. I mean i'm assuming you're straight but how did you know you were straight? Its along those same lines. It just comes naturally and the only real difference is in this heteronormative society, figuring it all out can take a bit. He might be certain he's bi or he might not be completely sure himself or maybe he'll figure out sometime later he prefers guys idk. Just like you said, really. But you're right - it might be nothing but then again it could have come off as invalidating.

    Despite that, you're overall reaction was good. You said once or twice even that it was okay, you kept it open for further conversation, etc. Anyone would be thrown off and not know what to say if it comes up that suddenly, that out of the blue. He's gotta understand that if he picked that method of coming out. How close are you guys, anyways? Eitherways the fact you made it clear you accept him, you still love him, you're open to talking more with him...kids will never come out and say it but their parents opinion of them still means a lot especially when its about something like this.
     
    #8 AlexJames, May 27, 2017
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  9. Chip

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    I think you did an awesome job handling what was no doubt a bombshell for you.

    I concur that the last statement could have been seen as dismissive, but it could also be seen as accepting but giving options.

    Keep in mind that talking to mom about anything remotely related to sex for a 15 year old boy is going to be mortifying. It is the last thing any boy is going to want to talk about which is no doubt why he indicated he doesn't want lots of questions.

    I feel like you did an awesome job handling an out-of-the-blue situation.
     
  10. SomeUsername

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    Overall your reaction seems really supportive. He probably understands that you were caught off guard and didn't mean to be dismissive with that one statement. My parents had a similar reaction to me liking girls and I didn't mind. I think most people feel a lot of anxiety about coming out and if that's the worst part of someone's reaction it's a relief. As long as you don't continue to do/say things that could be considered invalidating he's probably happy with your reaction.
     
  11. togmum

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    Hi you lovely people who have responded so helpfully to me, it has really really helped..and I appreciate how open and understanding u have all been.My son and I have always been very relaxed and easy with eachother, but saying that, he doesnt often REALLY open up, its every so often he will tell me personal stuff, then that will be it for months, but we have a lovely relationship, i am so lucky, we do have a very natural bond I think. Things arent so easy with his stepdad, he (SD) would love to be closer with him but its never been so "easy", especially in the last couple of years. But he was so lovely about it when i told him, and just wants to reassure my son that its all cool, and that part of life is working out who we are....and also that he was brave for being upfront, he hasnt had a chance to talk to him yet but he will tomorrow, think its important for my son to know that we both have so much respect for him and the way he is dealing with his "stuff". So thank you all once again, i have been very touched by the way you have reassured me and been so helpful. lots love and hugs xxxxxxxx
     
  12. Sienrar

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    I think you did great! You didn't underreact at all, it was pretty good. With what was probably a surprise for you, you might not have had much time to think. And generally, myself and many others appreciate it when people don't make a big deal over coming out. I think you're right though, 15 is an age where people are still experimenting and may not be sure of things like their sexuality. That is pretty much an objective fact.

    Really, as long as you're supportive of him, you're fine.
     
    #12 Sienrar, May 27, 2017
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  13. Creativemind

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    I think you did fine for the most part, and will be ok as long as he knows you're supportive.

    As far as the "experimental phase" goes, I think this is true for 15 year olds of every sexuality. The only problem is that we only direct this toward kids that are gay or bi. A 15 year old boy who "thinks" he's straight, may very well not be straight at all and is also going through a phase (and in many cases, this actually does happen). I don't think most teenagers TRULY know their sexuality 100%, not even "straight" teenagers, because the teen years are so fluid. I also thought I was bi when I was 15 and turned out that I was gay. So these things do happen, It's just that they can happen to "straight" kids too.
     
  14. WeDreamOfPeace

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    Actually, under-reaction is pretty much what I want to happen if or when I come out to my father. Chances are, it isn't a phase, but totally understand that you are considering this possibility.

    Personally, first knew around 13 or before, have never flirted with the same sex and never even dated either sex, sooooo I'm about as un-experimental as you can get.

    Anyway though, kudos to your reaction.

    Hugs awesomeness peace hope and kittens.
     
  15. jem17

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    when i told my mum i was bi she overreacted and told me it was a phase and that is every lgbt childs worst nightmare. when you just said it was all okay he was probably shocked you didnt react in a bad way (from my experience as a 15 year old bi guy as well) he probably just needs a day or two to wrap his head around the fact youre fine with it and im sure he'll be more open and answer questions soon enough. i hope this helps!
     
  16. togmum

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    Well last night I sent my son a short email, rather than cornering him and making him uncomfortable, I told him how much respect and admiration i have for him that he told me, and that it cant havebeen easy, reassured him that i wont ask him questions but that me and his stepdad are here for him whether with these issues or anyother issues at all, and that i am the luckiest mum to have him as my son and that I love him tons. And today i know that my husband spoke to him, to reassure him that its all good, and nothing changes, and well done to him for opening up. I hope that with us saying these things, and now, just carrying on with life as usual i.e. me saying normal nagging stuff like "please tidy your room" that he will feel comfortable once the inevitable initial awkwardness eases up, and everyday life just carries on. thank you all once more for your help and lovely honest responses, it has meant a huge amount to me.....much love......xxxxxx
     
  17. AlexJames

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    That's great that it went so well. :slight_smile: Your son does check his email, right? I only do because i get email notifications on my iphone. I bet your right and that once the initial awkwardness has worn off, and all of you have had time to process it, everything will go great. He might open up, and he might not. But eitherways it went really well it sounds like.
     
    #17 AlexJames, May 28, 2017
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  18. togmum

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    haha good point!! I did say to him I had sent him an email so he knew to check, for that very reason! xxx
     
  19. johndeere3020

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    Thank you for being supportive of your son. So many parents are not and it just drives their kids to feel worthless and alone.

    Take Care and best of wishes!
    Dean
     
  20. smurf

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    That is really fantastic response!

    I will say that for me when I was 14 and came out to my mom I did this weird dance. I didn't want to talk about it because duh, but I also wanted to the reassurance from my parents that it was truly okay. Silence after you come out can be easily confused as "ignoring it".

    My mom did a beautiful thing. I didn't realize at the time, but it was incredibly helpful for me.

    She bought a tiny pride flag and hung it in her room. She didn't tell me about it and we never spoke about it. It was just sort of her silent way to give me my space, but also very firmly let me know that she had my back.

    I say that not to make an assumption that that's what your son wants, but just to give you food for thought in case you ever think it might be needed.


    Also, even if you are 100% supportive, coming out can be tough for parents too!! You are essentially now in the closet about your kid and you are also going to have to get used to letting other people know that you have a bi son. Its not easy. If you need support, reach out to your local PFLAG group!