This past weekend I learned that my 15-year-old recently came out to two of her friends. I learned this in a couple of ways:
The two of us just traveled alone for a weekend, and she let me use her iPad to video her in a sports competition. The iPad's photo stream syncs with her phone I saw numerous screen shots she had recently taken, including one picture she downloaded off the web that says, "Shit, I'm gay"; various photos of people with rainbows painted on them; etc. Because the iPad syncs with her phone, a couple of text messages came in and popped up on the screen about how these friends were so honored that she came out to them. (I should be clear that when the text messages came up I turned off the syncing function because I didn't want to knowingly invade her privacy.)
She knows that I still have the iPad.
I also needed to borrow her phone at one point and she told me the passcode, which could very well be a cryptic variant of "I am gay." She knows I'm very good at puzzles, word games, etc., and I immediately suspected what the numbers corresponded to.
I think she may have been trying to (not so subtly) hint around to my wife and I, because a couple months ago she bought a shirt that says "I can't even think straight." She played dumb about the meaning, but in retrospect it was probably a test. We didn't ace the test. I don't remember our exact reactions; I don't think they were overly negative, but I'm sure they were not as positive as she hoped. I know my wife made some kind of a comment about it being OK to wear around the house but not in public. I honestly have no recollection of any statement I made. My wife is more conservative than I am and is a practicing Catholic. The whole family goes to mass most weekends but I am not Catholic. I'm also more liberal than she is on social issues, although still on the conservative side of the spectrum.
Let me be clear that nothing is going to diminish how much I love my daughter. My concerns are (and always have been) only for her happiness and safety. We've always been very close and I have always given her a good morning kiss on the cheek when she gets up, tell her I love her with another kiss when she leaves for school, greet her the same way when she comes home and finish the day with a goodnight kiss, saying, "Sweet dreams, I love you." I've built my career to work from home since before her birth so I could be around more for both of our children (we have a younger son).
I'm trying to figure out if I should say anything to her and how I can best support her during a time that could very well be extremely difficult for her. I find myself crying at times, worried for her and the difficulties that she may encounter. I'm also trying to determine if I should tell my wife. I am certain that she has no idea. I hate the idea of keeping a secret from her.
Thanks for any guidance you can give.