Daughter has come out as bisexual - how do we tell my parents?

(47 Posts)
Snowy00 Tue 17-Mar-15 13:43:09

DD has come out as bi and that's fine with me and her father. But my parents (in their 80s) don't know yet and won't be ok with it. Do we keep it a secret from them?

MyballsareSandy Tue 17-Mar-15 13:46:46

I don't think I'd mention it. It's not so much keeping it a secret, rather that it's really none of their business.

My mum is in her 80s and just wouldn't understand this. No point in trying to enlighten them at that age.

anothergenericname Tue 17-Mar-15 13:48:01

Has she got a significant other at the moment? I'd say that it's not really necessary to say anything unless she has someone special she wants to introduce to the family

BreeVDKamp Tue 17-Mar-15 13:50:26

Hmm. I don't think it's necessary to mention it.

It's funny, people never have to announce that they're straight, do they? I'd just present it as a normal, done deal, if and when she ever introduces a female partner to her grandparents.

Snowy00 Tue 17-Mar-15 13:50:51

That's my feeling too - it would just cause a lot of unnecessary and avoidable upset. But DD disagrees: she wants to tell the world!

basketofshells Tue 17-Mar-15 13:52:23

My Mum's 85 and I just haven't mentioned it. If dd ever gets a steady girlfriend, or if for some other reason it becomes important to her that Granny's in the picture, I/we can explain at that point. Until then, as Sandy says, it isn't so much a secret as just not really being relevant.

scaevola Tue 17-Mar-15 13:54:13

I don't think you need to pre-emptively discuss your DC's sex life with your parents.

When she has a boy/girlfriend of sufficient standing (is that the right word?) to be introduced to wider family, then you make explanations which seem right at the time and in the specific circumstances.

That might take some planning if you know they won't like it (which presumably is becuase if what you kniw abiut their views, as it's not an inherently age-related matter).

BuzzardBird Tue 17-Mar-15 13:55:33

Is there any reason why she can't tell them herself?

Snowy00 Tue 17-Mar-15 13:57:06

BuzzardBird it would upset them greatly and I don't think they would want to see her anymore

basketofshells Tue 17-Mar-15 13:57:48

Ah - well, then perhaps she can explain? My dds would both be embarrassed about discussing relationships (male or female) with my Mum, so in our family that wouldn't crop up. Hopefully your dd knows her Gran well enough to find the best way of approaching the subject?

Endler32 Tue 17-Mar-15 13:58:42

I wouldn't say anything either, they don't need to know unless she gets a serious girlfriend and wants to introduce her to them. My grandparents are in their late 80's and we keep a lot from them as it's just not worth the hassle or them getting stressed out about things.

Tapwater Tue 17-Mar-15 13:59:02

I understand her desire to be out and proud too, though. Wouldn't she be the one choosing when and how to tell them, anyway? Can't you leave it up to her to decide whether she tells them now or introduces them to a female partner? She may want them to know something so fundamental about her, especially if they are elderly and in fragile health...?

My parents, from the depths of rural Ireland and in their 70s, are very fond of my gay and bi friends, despite I think genuinely believing gayness to be a 'made-up thing' because there weren't any moustached leathermen roaming the back roads in their youth!

basketofshells Tue 17-Mar-15 13:59:47

Oh, crap. I didn't get that it would be such a big deal for them sad. In that case I sort of understand why your dd wants to tell them - if she feels that their acceptance of her is conditional.

Tapwater Tue 17-Mar-15 14:02:50

Oh, you think they would actually reject her? Have you made her aware of this, and she still wants to come out to them?

NeedABumChange Tue 17-Mar-15 14:07:19

Why does she feel the need to mention her sexual preference to 80yr old grandparents? Fair enough if she had a girlfriend and wanted to introduce her but just, "hey I fancy girls too" is a bit confused If she knows they will find it upsetting then it just seems attention seeking and as though she is trying to cause controversy. They surely only have a few years left I don't know why she would want them to spend that time upset and worrying about her future.

I say this as someone who has been with men and women.

BuzzardBird Tue 17-Mar-15 14:08:40

I think I would leave that ball in your DD's court. How old is she?

PeaceOfWildThings Tue 17-Mar-15 14:08:44

Don't tell them. Or at least, not yet If you can ask your DD to put it off.

It's good that you understand and accept her, but telling everyone is not the same as being universally accepted. Let it sinkmin and see how she gets on with school friends and you and others knowing for at least a few weeks/months.

Ragwort Tue 17-Mar-15 14:09:49

I tend to agree with Tap - if your DD wants everyone to know then it is up to her to tell them and deal with the fact that her grandparents may find it hard to discuss/accept.

I also agree that it's not really necessary to mention it ... as someone else says, why the need to discuss your sexuality with anyone?

TheUnwillingNarcheska Tue 17-Mar-15 14:11:53

My sister is gay and never had this big come out tell everyone thing, just like I didn't announce I was straight.

My adopted Grandad (I got Dh's when we married) met my sister and her now wife at a big family party. He figured it out, obviously, but I didn't tell him and neither did anyone else.

All he ever said to me was that my sister and her wife were both lovely and I didn't realise "she was that way out" he was in his 80's. There was no tone to that statement. He was lovely to all my family and it was never mentioned again.

Unless your daughter has a girlfriend or boyfriend why is there any need to announce anything? She has to understand that your parents come from a different time and may not be as accepting.

My sister has certainly come across prejudice (she is nearly 40 and has been out since 18) maybe your daughter has yet to experience negativity about her sexuality. The world can be a very unkind and unforgiving place.

Travelledtheworld Tue 17-Mar-15 14:22:57

I agree no need to tell the grandparents just yet and see how things go. It's realy difficult for that generation to understand.

My nephew came out as gay at 16 and we never told my 81yo Mother who died two years later. She didn't see him very often. She would have taken it OK, DN was always a bit alternative but did occasionally bring home a girlfriend, just to confuse matters.

But my father would have been devastated if he had known. He would never have understood.

QueenInTheNorth Wed 18-Mar-15 22:46:28

I think if DD wants them to know then fine she can tell them, but I'd have a chat about what type of good it will do. My brother is bisexual and its fine with us but our grandparents don't know (Bro is 18) and we would only 'tell' them if he met a significant other that was of the same sex, as they're 78 and 80 and quite 'set' in their ways so would need a bit of warning to digest it and therefore act appropriately.

Speaking of 'coming out' though, my partners sis is a lesbian and she never actually came out to their Mum and Step Dad (Dad's not in the picture) as it was kinda assumed (she's your 'Toolbox and Plaid Shirt' lesbian, she always jokes you get them free when you join grin) but did decide she would come out to my DP when he was a teenager (she's 6 years older) and she was quite emotional about it, nervous to tell him, and his response was 'I know. It's cool' before going back to his Game Boy.

She got married a few years ago, and wanted their Nana to come, but couldn't work out how to tell her, each girlfriend she'd had before was just a 'friend' of hers or a 'flatmate'. On the morning of the wedding, DP's mother and sister went to nana's house and said 'I'm marrying another woman today, come if you'd like'. She's came, and will be coming to the now second wedding.

Notrevealingmyidentity Wed 18-Mar-15 22:54:23

Now you've said they probably won't approve I think I understand why she wants to.

It's like she's presenting a sanitised version of herself to them so that they accept her. Maybe she just wants to get it over and done with ?

I'm of the opinion that the majority of people experience some fluidity In their sexuality anyway so I can also see why people say not to mention it until she brings home a partner.

Notrevealingmyidentity Wed 18-Mar-15 22:55:35

That doesn't mean I think it's a phase btw.

nowitsenough Wed 18-Mar-15 22:58:46

Sorry if I've missed it, but I didn't see any mention of how old your dd is?

My dd is 13 and thinks she may be bi too, we are fine with this of course, however at this young age I don't think it's necessary for anyone to know at the moment.

If your dd is older it's her decision ..

BertieBotts Wed 18-Mar-15 23:01:44

I would leave it until such time as she finds herself with a same sex partner. It's too difficult for them to understand because of generational issues, not really their fault as such. If it comes up then don't lie, but I think it would be a bit unfair on them for her to do a grand announcement kind of thing.

I am bi and I remember coming out to my parents including stepmother and they all went confused and I think assumed it was a phase. I have never dated a woman (the gay scene being a bit difficult to access when you are a single parent at 20) but still consider myself to be bi even though I am now married to a man, so have no plans to date women. I find their reaction a bit annoying, because I think that my whole life path just confirmed to them that it was a phase, but I do care less now - when I was 18/19 it just seemed really important, whereas now why would I want to announce to everybody who I fantasise about.

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