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A question for any lesbians or bi women.

(28 Posts)
Kaheki Sat 27-Jun-20 17:32:34

At what age did you know you were a lesbian or bisexual? I’m asking because I want to help support my daughter who has recently come out to me.

OP’s posts: |
NonnyMouse1337 Sat 27-Jun-20 20:59:19

What kind of support do you think your daughter might need?

I would hope that you made it clear to her when she came out to you that you accept and love her as she is - it's perfectly natural to be a lesbian or a bisexual and you are totally fine with whatever her sexual orientation is or whoever she loves as long as she is happy and safe. She can take her time to figure out if she is exclusively same sex attracted or bisexual.

Do your best to keep a good relationship with her and let her know that she can always turn to you with questions, doubts, worries etc. Has she mentioned any concerns about bullying at school or pressure to date boys?
I'm sure as long as she knows you love and accept her, it will go a long way in helping her feel comfortable in her sexuality.

I'm a bisexual woman. I was always attracted to boys / men, but I think at some point in my teens... Maybe 13-15 years old .. I realised that I was also finding women very attractive and appealing... Not in the 'oh she looks pretty' kind of way, but sexually arousing. I found women's bodies and features much more arousing than men's, and still do. And I had crushes...

This confused very much me because no one ever talked about bisexuality, and I think many people today don't either. It was always heterosexuality or homosexuality that was mentioned. I thought my desire for women meant I was a lesbian, but felt very confused because I also found men very desirable and attractive. I had no idea it was possible to be sexually attracted to both sexes! I think I was in my twenties before I realised I was probably bisexual.

I had the added problem of being raised in a very conservative and religious family / culture. I would sit and listen to sermons and read the Bible about how homosexuality was an abomination, so I was terrified and deeply ashamed at my 'dirty thoughts' towards women... Because it meant I might be a lesbian and that was immoral... So I didn't want to be a lesbian and bring shame upon my family and have my friends react in disgust or mistrust.

I was in my mid twenties when I finally turned my back on religion and decided I was an atheist. And then I realised that I didn't actually hate gays and lesbians as the Bible always told me to, and I was totally fine with homosexuality, but it still took a few more years to realise and admit to myself that I had same sex attractions in addition to opposite sex ones. Coming to terms with myself being bisexual took a lot longer than realising I had no issues with homosexuality in other people.

Hopefully it won't take your daughter that long to figure herself out! I still feel very isolated at times as there aren't many bisexual role models that I'm aware of and I don't know other bisexuals that I can talk to about my experiences, or rather the lack of them. I 'discovered' my sexual orientation in my thirties so feel like I've missed out on the formative years that people experience in their youth in terms of relationships, romances and flings. It's very hard meeting women as there aren't many around. I'm autistic too which makes matters worse as I struggle with interactions with people in general and I think there's a disconnect with neurotypical women... I can find conversations with them frustrating as there's unspoken rules or expectations that I don't quite understand. My dream date would be another autistic bixsexual woman. grin

Anyway enough of my rambling. I still glad I'm not a young woman today. All this gender identity nonsense would be so confusing. Sexual orientation is a journey in itself.. all these silly labels must complicate and confuse the hell out of teenagers!

I'm sure lesbians have a different trajectory in exploring their sexuality and more unique problems and pressures in dating men due to societal expectations.

Wauden Sat 27-Jun-20 21:42:48

I guessed it when I was early teens.

MrsFionaCharming Sat 27-Jun-20 21:47:04

I was 19. I’d had crushes on girls before that, but explained them away as “I think she’s really cool” and “I just want to be her friend”. It wasn’t until I met a girl I was obsessed with at 19, I looked back and realised how obvious it was.

BertieBotts Sat 27-Jun-20 21:50:09

15 I think. I had crushes on girls before I got into boys, but I never thought I was gay.

Cwenthryth Sat 27-Jun-20 21:53:43

Around 13/14

WynneWoodles Sat 27-Jun-20 21:54:26

10. I had a crush on a girl in year 6. I was year 5.

In year 7 i had a crush on a year 9 girl.

My 12 yr old dd has just come out to me as bi.

theproblemwitheyes Sat 27-Jun-20 21:59:58

As a kid i assumed everyone liked both and most women picked men because they wanted babies. I was super confused when i realised at about 11 that most of my friends only liked boys, I'd always had crushes on girls and kinda thought everyone else had too.

Because this was about 2003, bisexuality wasnt really a thing i was aware of. I spent 10 years going "im straight! No im gay! No im straight!" and being utterly miserable until i realised that even though everyone (mainly the queer community actually) told me that bi people don't exist (attention seeking straight girls or cowardly lesbians, apparently) i definitely am one. 5 years later i feel much better about it.

My parents treated it all as a phase and kept telling me i didnt need to label myself. The label was the most helpful thing ive ever had in terms of identity.

SummerBreeze23 Sat 27-Jun-20 22:10:50

I was 16 when I admitted it to myself then 18 when I came out at university (but not really to family) cue a long period of trying desperately to be straight (due to religion) then fully out at the grand age of 30. I dreaded telling my parents then when I did they just sort of said "ok, any girlfriend will be made welcome here, we only want you to be happy" lovely reaction and they're completely supportive and accepting of it now.

PatsyStone39 Sat 27-Jun-20 22:18:03

I'd say I was early teens when it dawned on me what my being attracted to other women meant, but "knew" long before that.

Whilst all my friends fancied the brother's from Bros, I was lusting after the blonde with the big boobs from Police Academy. haha

fluckityfluckfluck Sat 27-Jun-20 22:18:46

Almost mid thirties

ahumanfemale Sat 27-Jun-20 22:22:59

40.
And I wish I'd figured it out much earlier. I just assumed everybody was the same. Until I realised that nope, straight women aren't more turned on by women than they are by men!

It's probably different when you're younger, but the few people I've told have seen it as A Big Thing. I actually forgot to tell one friend because really, it's pretty boring. There are loads of things about me that are far more interesting than who stirs my loins. I probably won't tell anybody else because I find it a bit boring.

So support, especially yours, is important, very important, but perhaps also keeping it in perspective too. Her sexuality can be a defining feature but it doesn't have to be if she doesn't want that. Other people are likely to make it a defining feature, but she has some influence in how much they do.

Kaheki Sat 27-Jun-20 22:26:24

Thank you for the replies.

@NonnyMouse1337 I absolutely agree. I’ve always talked openly about same sex relationships since she was very young, she has always known that it is entirely normal to be gay or bisexual and she was very relaxed telling me. I am pleased she felt so comfortable talking about it.

With regards to how I want to support her, She is only 11 and her father has said privately to me that she can’t possibly know at that age. I totally disagree with him. I believe that the reason that a lot of children don’t come out until they are older is because they are not listened to, their feelings are dismissed and they’re treated like it’s something they will grow out of.

I wanted to ask about what age people were when they knew because I want to understand what it is like for a child or young person. I don’t want to keep asking her lots of questions because I don’t want her to feel overwhelmed, but the more information I have the better placed I am to support her.

She has told a few of her friends and from what she’s told me they have been really cool about it. I do worry a little about bullying as she gets older. I’m doing everything I can to make sure she feels very proud of who she is so that if anyone does make negative comments to her in the future she is secure enough in who she is that it won’t make her feel bad about herself.

OP’s posts: |
Kaheki Sat 27-Jun-20 22:31:14

Sorry lots of crossed post.

Really appreciate all the replies. I‘m also incredibly grateful that the courage of so many lesbian and bisexual woman like yourselves means society is a lot more accepting. You’ve all played a part in making it an easier path for my dd and for other girls and young women.

OP’s posts: |
WynneWoodles Sat 27-Jun-20 22:32:33

If he says she cant possibly know at that age... Ask him if she was having crushes on Harry Styles or Tom Holland would he say she cant possibly know she is straight?

HornedBeefCash Sat 27-Jun-20 22:35:51

I finally realised I was around 27 (bi)
I suppose I knew deep down from around 12-13 I was attracted to females but thought if you were bi you liked females and males 50/50, Haha it's not like that at all!
My eldest son came out to us as bi last year, he's 14 now
My 8yo son is almost certainly gay, I've known since he was a toddler, I'll be more shocked if he tells us he's straight tbh

Kaheki Sat 27-Jun-20 22:54:20

WynneWoodles

If he says she cant possibly know at that age... Ask him if she was having crushes on Harry Styles or Tom Holland would he say she cant possibly know she is straight?

Exactly! Nobody would bat an eyelid if she was talking about boys.

OP’s posts: |
Kaheki Sat 27-Jun-20 22:58:38

HornedBeefCash

I finally realised I was around 27 (bi)
I suppose I knew deep down from around 12-13 I was attracted to females but thought if you were bi you liked females and males 50/50, Haha it's not like that at all!
My eldest son came out to us as bi last year, he's 14 now
My 8yo son is almost certainly gay, I've known since he was a toddler, I'll be more shocked if he tells us he's straight tbh

I was like that with DD, I’ve had a feeling for a few years that she might be gay/bisexual.

OP’s posts: |
Dinosauratemydaffodils Sat 27-Jun-20 23:15:54

Bi here. I've known from puberty at least. I don't remember a moment of realisation just that I've always been attracted to both males and females. I told my Grandmother because I thought it was meant to be one or the other (late 1980s) not both and she explained that either was absolutely a thing.

LardiLaLardiLi Sat 27-Jun-20 23:33:34

I was attracted to girls and boys pretty early on, from maybe about 9. Didn't really view myself as bisexual (didn't know you could be) until mid 20's when I met my now DH. I come from a family that never ever discussed sex so never told them. They are quite vocal against LGB so even now I wouldn't discuss it with them. We are low contact. I think a lot of my friends suspected as well, but again we never discussed it.
I am glad that your DD has got a supportive mother to discuss sex with.

notyourhandmaid Sun 28-Jun-20 06:18:46

I was 15/16. But I know plenty of women for whom it wasn't clear until their 30s, 40s or 50s.

Telling your daughter that you're glad she's shared this info with you is a kind and useful thing.

She might change or modify her identity or her labels as she gets older and that's no bad thing - it's OK to keep that option open for her, once it's an option and not a foregone conclusion.

You're doing a great thing by thinking about how to support her, vs how to talk her out of it - give yourself credit for that.

If she's currently identifying as bi - bisexuality is sometimes viewed as 'fake' or 'slutty' or 'not really gay, pick a side', so being conscious of that might be useful.
- if lesbian, be aware of the negative and deeply anti-feminist stereotypes still in existence, and remember that Ellen DeGeneres is not the only lesbian ;) flowers

Whatisthisfuckery Sun 28-Jun-20 08:57:03

I knew I liked girls/women when I was very young, probably about 6. Obviously it wasn’t sexual attraction at that point it was the usual little kid type crushes. When I became old enough to realise that same sex attraction for me was called lesbian, and was definitely not acceptable in my circles I just squished it down and tried to be straight. This was in the days of sec 28, I hope things are better now. It took me until I was 30 to admit my lesbianism to myself and I came out when i was 31. By that time I was married with a child so it was all very complicated and quite traumatic. I’m glad I came out though, it was the best thing I’ve ever done.

I have a niece who is 11 who has had a couple of girlfriends. She actually told my DS she’s a lesbian. She knows her aunty is a lesbian, or I assume she does. Me and DS have only just moved back to my home town so I haven’t seen that much of my DN so she doesn’t know me that well yet so she’s not come to talk to me, but I’m hoping as she sees more of me she will come and talk to me if she wants. I might drop it out to her at some point in a no pressure kind of way just so she knows I’m here if she wants to chat. She is only 11 though and these things do take time to develop properly, so I’m not banking on having another lesbian in the family although I’d love that to be the case.

Whatisthisfuckery Sun 28-Jun-20 08:58:06

Actually, I think I might wear one of my lesbian t-shirts the next time I see her.

Gwynfluff Sun 28-Jun-20 10:23:04

if lesbian, be aware of the negative and deeply anti-feminist stereotypes still in existence, and remember that Ellen DeGeneres is not the only lesbian

Several teenage kids here - honestly, sometimes wonder if there are any straight female girls at the moment. In certain milieus it’s being reported at far higher than the Kinsey rates.

Also watch a lot of Netflix teen stuff with one of my kids. Never ever have I, atypical, end of the fucking world, one day at a time, off the top of my head are all recent shows with lesbian/bi female characters that show them kissing and are generally very positive.

It’s a very different time.

I find it a fascinating social phenomenon and see girls navigating a sexual culture informed by violent porn that doesn’t centre their pleasure. Some of them are just opting out in my opinion.

wrongsideofhistorymyarse Sun 28-Jun-20 10:28:04

I was in my early 40s when I realised I was bisexual.

I'd had crushes on women since I was a teen-ager but didn't know bisexuality was a thing. I didn't know any lesbian or bi women. I assumed I was straight because I fancied men too.

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