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Is it cool to be lgbt now a days? 12 year old says her and her friends are bi.

(71 Posts)
aligee24 Tue 28-Aug-18 13:15:44

A few months ago when my daughter was 11 I found lgbt memes on her phone. I also checked her search history and she had been searching what different sexualalities meant. When I asked her about it she told me that she was bi. I was quite shocked, more because of how matter of fact she was about it. She said that her and her two best friends are also bi. I told her that I am happy as long as she is happy but I couldn't help but wonder if it's genuine or whether her and her friends have been talking about it and she has just decided it's cool and wants to join in or something. She seems to be obsessed about everything lgbt and wanted rainbow badges to wear to school. She has just turned 12 this month and has went into high school. I tried to tell her that when she goes into high school that she should let people get to know her for who she is and not by a label (in the hope she could avoid/ postpone any bullying) but she's been at school one week and has been asking for lgbt books in the library and asked her guidance teacher to join the lgbt group infront of her class. I'm torn between supporting her in being 'out and proud' and trying to protect her from bullies by telling her to keep it more private. Especially when I don't know if it's genuine or if she fully understands what she's saying. Once it's out there you can't take it back if you change your mind. She seems to have no understanding of how much grief kids get at school for it, she's completely oblivious.

fromtheshires Tue 28-Aug-18 15:14:45

Im a live and let live kind of person and its great to see you supporting her. I do have a couple of red flags on this one though...

You say she is completely oblivious. Is she an innocent child overall? If so she may not 100% realise what sexuality is. At 11 I had no idea. It wasnt until I hit puberty i knew who I was into. It was around my late 12's early 13's my drive developed.

Have you spoken to the school to gauage their reaction to who things are panning out? They may even have an LGBT teacher you can discuss your concerns with to see if they are unfounded or not. If the school has an LGBT group then it must be a progressive, inclusive school with strong policies in place to safeguard these children.

Kids on the whole are pretty cool with sexuality. Yeah there are some dicks out there but they are the dicks we face in adult life at work.

Its a shame you came on here at the end of the pride season as i would have suggested you take her to a local one to immerse herself in the scene and had a proper chat about things, guage her reaction to seeing LGBT people giving PDA and it would also be a great show of support for her as well if you take her to a pride event.

IrishDadof2 Thu 30-Aug-18 07:40:57

I believe there are parental filters that can block any internet sites related to LGBT; that might be an option for you. At such a young age it would be irresponsible to allow a child to make such life altering decisions.

crunchtime Thu 30-Aug-18 07:49:50

it's absolutely cool to be lgbtqkjndfhxdfnxdfbs+++++
whatever these days and loads of kids are labelling themselves to be part of the tribe.
I think i'd be saying 'that's nice dear' and waiting for her to grow up a bit while keeping a close, watchful eye on things.

TheHollowLeggedGoat Thu 30-Aug-18 07:53:12

I think a lot of it is fashion and wanting to be in with the cool crowd. Statistically, most of these kids won't end up gay or bi.
They've very young and just want to do the same as their friends.
How times have changed since I was a teenager in the 1980s, when "you're gay" was offered as an insult, and if you were indeed harbouring such feelings, you kept them hidden as long as you could.

aharddaysnight Thu 30-Aug-18 07:59:37

@IrishDadof2 But deciding that you're bisexual at 11 isn't a life altering decision. She may well find out she isn't as she grows up. I can't believe anyone would use a 'LGBT block'.

ADastardlyThing Thu 30-Aug-18 08:00:45

She might be but o the other hand I declared I was a lesbian when i was 13, and then bi at 15 despite never having any sort of attraction to girls. Then I went through a goth stage, an asexual stage, then about a month later I lost my virginity.

Teenage years are full of trying cool things and getting reactions. Be supportive but it could just be a phase that she's experimenting with too or it could be that she is bi. Feels a bit young though to be thinking about it but maybe I'm too naive!

TheFallenMadonna Thu 30-Aug-18 08:03:45

Life altering decision to be bisexual confused?

ADastardlyThing Thu 30-Aug-18 08:04:09

And i would consider an LGBT block only to block out some of the more questionable sites out there. Some of them would be very confusing to a pre-teen as they don't only go into the lgb but but some are very heavy on the t and really push this agenda, I'd want to protect a young child from that aspect until they are ready to apply their own developed sense of critical thinking.

thebeesknees123 Thu 30-Aug-18 08:08:24

I think there is an element of this. In some ways, it's good to bring it in the open and get rid of all stigmas but agree that at 11 can you really know for sure? I was pretty much asexual at that age. I dont think it's life altering. It's not as if she's changing her gender

AsAProfessionalFekko Thu 30-Aug-18 08:13:41

Is does seem to be cool to be a letter these days. At 11 I was still a baby.

She is too young to be thinking about future partners and sex and won't really understand it all beyond 'I like boys and girls and rainbow and it's all fantastic'.

As I used to say to DS with his odd ideas 'thats nice dear.... Will you have done your homework before dinner?'

izzybobsmum Mon 03-Sep-18 14:05:14

Glad I came across this thread. I've just had a text message from my 12 year old daughter saying "Mum, I'm sorry don't be mad I'm bi xxx."

I have no problem with whatever she is, but I do think it's more likely to be a tribe thing at this age - she says there are loads of girls and boys at her school who are gay.

Along the lines of @crunchtime above, I have just replied "No problem babe xxx"

We did have an episode last year where she was falling out with all her friends, and had a go at cutting her leg with a razor blade. I was all over that one pretty quickly, and she saw a counsellor at school, but the school said it was so common these days it was probably just experimentation. Indeed, she only did it once, and has been fine ever since.

I think the "bi announcement" might be another example of experimentation, but will keep an eye on her...

Rebecca36 Mon 03-Sep-18 14:11:48

It definitely does seem to be fashionable at the moment.

AsAProfessionalFekko Mon 03-Sep-18 14:13:22

Izzy - just text back 'Amazeballs - so am I!' and see how well that goes down.

It was Goths in my day.

Dljlr Mon 03-Sep-18 14:15:18

I echo the 'That's nice dear' approach. If she's bi then she's bi and if she's not she's not. If she becomes the target of homophobic bullying I'd expect the school to deal with that immediately, I'd not caution a child to censure themselves in any way in order to avoid the ridicule of others. This just seems rather a non-issue.

MinaPaws Mon 03-Sep-18 14:19:26

I'm baffled at the idea that sexuality is a 'decision' Irishdad. Don't most people have a clear instinctive attraction to one or other or both sexes? (Not a goady question - it's just an assumption I've always made. If you are straight or gay or bi it's because you are biologically, not because you decide to be.)

Biologifemini Mon 03-Sep-18 14:23:08

Are you not worried that she is showing so much interest in Sex? Surely a 12 year old should shouldn’t be going on about heterosexuality either.
Get some filters on her devices and ignore.
Way too young. Healthy curiosity is one thing but kids shouldn’t be doing anything at 12 apart from snogging!

PhilODox Mon 03-Sep-18 14:23:23

I think it's just fascinating to children that some adults aren't constricted by social norms.
My DS is 9, and has a cuddly toy that he claims is transgender and bisexual! He doesn't really know what sexual attraction is yet, and is drawn to people that are non-conformists.
We just say "that's nice" and tbh we don't mind or worry about his own sexuality.

RatRolyPoly Mon 03-Sep-18 14:25:04

Way too young. Healthy curiosity is one thing but kids shouldn’t be doing anything at 12 apart from snogging!

But members of which sex should they be snogging without a concept of their own sexuality??

RatRolyPoly Mon 03-Sep-18 14:26:10

He sounds a right character PhilODox smile

AsAProfessionalFekko Mon 03-Sep-18 14:26:13

I think he is saying that if a child makes a decision based not on facts but wanting to 'join in' then they will find themselves in a world of agencies and individuals who will confirm their choice and encourage them that this is the case.

It's a bit like when I was a kid I really wanted to be a teacher.

This was not through any burning ambition but I felt that the long summer holiday was very attractive. The teachers in the family talked about their jobs and the reality if, it and I soon changed my mind anyway (as you do when you are 8).

If they had rolled up their sleeves and pushed the idea, persuaded me that I was a born teacher, that it was in my dna, that it was my life's ambition... I'd be the crappiest (and least enthusiastic) teacher going by now.

SoftSheen Mon 03-Sep-18 14:33:23

I don't think there's any need to make a big deal about this. At 12, she is most likely at the very earliest stages of beginning to explore her sexual feelings. If she is really bisexual, then there's no reason why that should be a problem. If, as she matures, she realises that she's actually straight (or lesbian), then that's not a problem either. I would just remain quietly supportive without making it into an 'issue'.

PhilODox Mon 03-Sep-18 14:33:33

You could say that, ratrolypoly! grin

FourFriedChickensDryWhiteToast Mon 03-Sep-18 14:35:04

" Way too young." - not really tbh. My son was referring to his cricket bat as 'batty boy' when he was 10..grin

izzybobsmum Mon 03-Sep-18 14:39:26

I get what you're saying, but I don't think she is showing so much interest in sex, Biologifemini.

She's showing an interest in belonging to a tribe, feeling part of a group.

On a practical level, she doesn't even like watching people kissing on TV. All her mates have had loads of "boyfriends/girlfriends" at school, but she's not interested at all.

She's had sex education since year 5 at primary, so it's not really a case of putting filters on her devices (which she already has anyway) - it's on the curriculum :-)

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