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is it the new trend for so many young people to say they're gay/bi etc?

(98 Posts)
mrsfuzzy Tue 05-Jul-16 12:30:28

now, i'm very liberal i don't care if someone is white, black, green, straight, bi, trans [you get the picture], and i think it's great that we are more tolerant as a society [for the best part] toward alternative life styles, but....according to my dd majority of her friends are bi/gay/trans etc, not that's a problem, but i'm curious is this a trend thing in recent times ? a few years ago more people were saying they were depressed, bi polar became the 'fashionable' condition to have, not always diagnosed, which was annoying to me personally as i have the condition and it's no picnic, so why do so many people like to wear 'badges' of what 'defines them ? is it attention seeking or something else ?

Cleebope Tue 05-Jul-16 12:38:10

As a teacher I would agree with you. I think it's normal and always has been for teenagers to be unsure of their sexuality but these days some like to announce they are bi or the new buzz word pan sexual at the age of 13/4. I have no problem with any sexual orientation but it can be an attention seeking and trendy label that kids use very readily and openly at school.

mummymalta Tue 05-Jul-16 12:40:16

YANBU for the sentiment but YABVU for the actual statement.

Careful of wording.

I know what you mean, but careful of words like "trend" which denotes a lack of sincerity. This is nasty territory considering our historical treatment of marginalised communities.

It probably is just that as we become more tolerant, people can come out more. It's like anything really. I've always found it hard to believe that the LGBT community is some tiny minority.

There will always be a small minority of attention seekers. But it's a small minority TBH. Most people who say they are gay.....are gay.....etc...

Mari50 Tue 05-Jul-16 12:41:04

Not something I'm aware of as I'm not around a lot of young teens but if it is a 'thing' it's surely better than the paranoia and horror of being anything other than totally heterosexual which was the culture when I was that age.

user7755 Tue 05-Jul-16 12:41:08

Maybe people just feel more comfortable expressing themselves / talking about how they feel than they used to. Even if it is transitional and people go on to identify differently, surely it's a good thing that people are talking about it and supportive of each other. If it's common it's hardly attention seeking is it?

VioletBam Tue 05-Jul-16 12:43:05

Part of something becoming more accepted in society is exactly what you're seeing here OP.

ItchyFoot Tue 05-Jul-16 12:43:29

I agree with Malta. While a small amount may be doing it for attention or because it's the in thing (teenagers can be particularly dramatic about life) I think most people now just feel free to be more open and explore themselves.

mummymalta Tue 05-Jul-16 12:44:24

Cleebope Is it also trendy to kill yourself because you're being bullied online/in school by those who think you are disgusting and weird?
Is it trendy to run away from home and prostitute yourself because your parents rejected you?
I think because being LGBT is not hip and cool is why some attention seekers are drawn to identifying as this.
Not having a go but its a distasteful, dismissive and dangerous road to go down.

Religieuse Tue 05-Jul-16 12:45:08

This is the same fuzzy thinking that sees SN as being 'on the rise' because there is more general and diagnostic knowledge now, so a child who would have been dubbed 'slow' or 'clumsy' in the past now has a formal label and the entitlement to help.

Teenagers have always been unsure about their sexuality, and most studies suggest very few of us are 100% straight or 100% gay - these kinds of sexuality, or fluidity in sexual identity, are now less stigmatised, and more public in terms of media discourse and role models etc, so the kinds of sexual exploration that would previously have happened inside a teenager's head in possible misery and isolation now happen more publicly and - with luck - less unhappily.

Soon2bC Tue 05-Jul-16 12:49:01

I am gay and my fiancee and I have a 16 yr DS. in the past couple of years he has announced he is straight, gay and bi....he is back to straight now. I think that there we live in a more tolerant society where teens feel they can be open about feelings. At some point we all have confusing feelings and they find it easier to label how they feel now.

nulgirl Tue 05-Jul-16 12:49:20

From what I've seen from my niece's friends, it is all about being gender non-binary/ transgender. This seems to be the latest cool thing. If you question any of the logic behind or the consquences for women of transgenderism then they imply that not this is akin to racism or homophobia. A lot of it seems to come from Orange is the new black tv show.

mrsfuzzy Tue 05-Jul-16 12:49:31

okay trendy more denotes my age {grin] but i think i see what clee it getting at, that a lot of youngsters are confused about their sexuality, my dd is 21 and her age group is similar, several lads claim to be bi but then put gays down wtf ? one girl says she's gay but wouldn't kiss a girl ??? sorry, may be i'm bang out of touch but i don't get that at all.

mummymalta Tue 05-Jul-16 12:49:53

they find it easier to label how they feel now.


Dickcheese Tue 05-Jul-16 12:50:06

I work in a school and I've noticed a lot more teenagers are happy being 'out' when I think when I was at school (left less than 10 years ago) there was only one out lesbian at school. I'm queer but wasn't out at school so I'm sure there are loads of others who were the same but afraid to say/confused so I think it's more to do with acceptance and teenagers do like to experiment and I think it's more acceptable to be unsure of your sexuality now. I think it's a good thing.

alltouchedout Tue 05-Jul-16 12:51:01

Homophobia is less acceptable now, so young people feel more able to be honest about their sexuality. When I was at high school it would have been awful to be honest about finding the same gender, or both genders, attractive. The bullying would have been spectacular. I'm glad that's less often the case now .

BakewellSliceAgain Tue 05-Jul-16 12:52:52

I think when I was growing up I the eighties it was more OK in my group to be not particularly "masculine" or "feminine".

I have nieces who seem similar to me as teens and whereas I was just sort of waiting for things to sort out they are keen to analyse and be sorted NOW. So they are self identifying in different ways. Just a different era with different norms I think. If it helps people it's fine imo.

mummymalta Tue 05-Jul-16 12:58:24

mrsfuzzy You don't have to, just support. No one gets anything really. Why do girls wear leggings as trousers? Why do kids born in 2003 dress like it's 1994 again in some forced, awkward attempt to look "cool". Looks just as much as fancy dress as an Elizabethan gown.
In any case....Live and let live? Self expression is sometimes cringey, it's sometimes shallow, it's sometimes boring and it's sometimes shocking. Thank God we live in a society where kids are getting less and less afraid to break out from the norm. When I was growing up, any sense of style that wasn't a plain t-shirt, low rise Jeans, and trainers was shocking. Any relationship that wasn't heterosexual, and within your race was abominable. You could ONLY listen to pop/RnB. Anything else made you a freak. Fitting in was paramount. Anyone who DARED to be different was a weird attention seeking social pariah. What's wrong with attention seeking anyway in harmless contexts?

Cleebope Tue 05-Jul-16 13:01:31

Lots of celebs like Cara Delavigne and her girlfriends are self identifying as pansexual. So teenagers using this word are often trying to be different and stand out from the crowd and be popular. I quite enjoy listening to it all but I don't take them seriously. But if they are suffering inside and it helps them to express their feelings then ok.

BakewellSliceAgain Tue 05-Jul-16 13:02:51

nul girl this effect may be what I am seeing! I should enquire more deeply perhaps.

Narnia72 Tue 05-Jul-16 13:04:38

I've seen this emerging too. My goddaughter had a boyfriend of 2 years at the age of 14, then decided she was gay but had a non sexual (they never met) relationship with a girl on the internet for a year, then had a period of being bi and now is "straight". I think it's great that teenagers are able to explore their sexuality without running the risk of being shunned by society, but I do also think that there is a feeling that it's a cool thing to do right now, along with changing their names to sexually ambiguous ones and identifying as trans.

Self harming seems to happen among a lot of teenage girls and they openly talk about it online (my goddaughter's sister and friends) - I find it odd because the few girls I knew who self harmed when I was a teenager did it all in secret and were mortified when it came out.

I don't know whether it's because teenagers are under more body image pressure, or exposed to much more information much earlier through internet use, but it's so sad that it's seen as an acceptable and casual way to act on your feelings.

cupidsgame Tue 05-Jul-16 13:05:24

Teenagers must be so confused these days. Celebrities and the media are to blame imo.

Mouseinahole Tue 05-Jul-16 13:07:17

I had never heard of the term 'gender neutral' but in recent months 3 friends/acquaintances have said their late teen/early twenties doc have declared them selves to be gender neutral and have changed their names accordingly. I don't understand! Two of them are 'boyfriend' and 'girlfriend' both have made this declaration and name changed! What goes it mean? I am old.

myownprivateidaho Tue 05-Jul-16 13:10:29

I think the vast majority of people are capable of being attracted to people of the same gender, but that strong gender expectations have previously made people repress this or never develop this tendency. It's natural that there will be more exploration now the taboo is lifted. Also, young people are widely dissatisfied with traditional gender roles. I also have lots of friends who reject the gender binary (I'm in my 20s). It's true that they are part of a broader social movement, but that's not the same as it being fake or a trend. Similarly with mh awareness -- it gives people a vocabulary to discuss themselves. I have a very similar character to my mother but view myself (and her) in very different and more medicalised terms. That's normal. Even if people aren't using medical terms correctly, that doesn't mean they're faking symptoms or putting it on to be trendy.

Fibbertigibbet Tue 05-Jul-16 13:11:54

Does it matter? This is something that they identify with now, and that should be respected. If they later don't find that to be the right way of describing how they feel they can always change. What is important is giving everyone the freedom to define their identity how they like and honouring those feelings. I for one am just happy that our young people are growing up in a society that allows them to explore these things.

NeckguardUnbespoke Tue 05-Jul-16 13:12:32

Celebrities and the media are to blame imo.

You've forgotten the Bilderbergs, the Bavarian Illuminati and the International Jewish Conspiracy.

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