My 11-year-old daughter came to me and told me that she thinks she has feelings for another girl. She explained it as she has the same feelings for this girl that she has had for a boy all school year. By feelings she explained that she gets kind of nervous, happy, and her body just feels funny when she is around the girl and also the boy she likes. This girl is also one of her best friends. All 3 of them are in the same class at school and all 3 sit at the same table together. She is very confused as am I. I have tried to explain to her that her body is going through all kinds of changes because of puberty, she is getting older and growing up.

She told me that she has talked to her other two best friends at school about this. And one of the friends told her that she has felt that way about another girl also but she just told herself didn't really feel that way or couldn't feel that way because she also liked a boy. Do you think the conversation with her friends confused her also?

I don't know what to say or do or how to help her. I just want her to continue to feel comfortable enough to talk to me. What do I say or not say to help her? How can I help her understanding her own feelings when she doesn't understand them herself? I don't want to make her uncomfortable.

She is very open with me and her father. She has always been very open with her questions about boys, problems that she's having, and questions about her body. She has asked me to tell her Daddy about all of this because she wants to be honest with him but she is afraid that he will see her differently. How do I explain this to my husband when I do not understand all of it myself?

I need advice on how to process this myself and how to help her when she can't make sense of what is going on with her body?

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    Hi and welcome to the site. This is a Q&A site, (not a forum with which you might be more familiar.) As such, we need a clear question, which I can't see here. Your daughter has feelings for another girl, and you're both trying to cope, that much is clear. How can we help you? That's what we're here to do. Commented Mar 24, 2018 at 4:40
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    Since there really isn't a question expressed, I can't really give an answer, but I think I understand the concern. At 11 she is just beginning to explore sexuality. It is common for kids to begin explorations with their own gender and then mature out of that phase.
    – pojo-guy
    Commented Mar 24, 2018 at 13:36
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    As the question reads right now, answers will be primarily opinion based. What would help from you is the perspective you'd like to impart upon your daughter so answers will be most helpful for you. There aren't any fact/science based answers that can be offered for this topic at this point because there is no evidence to support it as a genetic trait, and completely disproving it as a genetic trait in a short space would be difficult. So we're left with what perspective are you trying to get across?
    – user24631
    Commented Mar 24, 2018 at 13:44
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    @shoebottom I see that your post was from a few years back. I am going through the same thing with my 11 year old daughter and every single thing that you said in this post is EXACTLY what my daughter said to me and I said to her. I was just wondering now that it has been a few years, how is your daughter now and how did you handle things?
    – GirlMom
    Commented Oct 31, 2021 at 1:33

3 Answers 3


I think the main messages you need to get over are:

  1. Some people are attracted to both men and women. This is called bisexuality. Its perfectly fine and there is nothing wrong with it. Also, bisexuality doesn't have to mean equal attraction to both sexes: someone might find they are mostly attracted to men but also to a few women, or vice versa.

  2. Its normal for feelings during adolescence to vary a lot. Things settle down as you get older. So its too early to be sure what her adult sexuality is going to be.

  3. However her sexuality turns out, you will always love and support her.

The fact that she can talk to you about this, and also talk to her school friends without being afraid of ridicule or ostracism, is a great start. So it sounds like you are doing the right kind of things already.

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    Good answer. To add to #2, the fact the girl is her best friend could have something to do with the attraction. She already really likes the girl as a friend, the hormones and stress of puberty could be expanding those feelings even more. Quite a few teens don't know their orientation until they're almost adults for similar reasons. So tell her to take it easy, don't push anything past her comfort zone and to wait and see what happens.
    – Dan Clarke
    Commented Mar 24, 2018 at 20:27
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    What is the purpose of adding #2? I realize this is an old answer, but it strikes me as odd that this "you're young, who knows what'll happen when you get older" attitude is only really brought up when there is same-gender attraction. Would you say to a boy expressing opposite-gender attraction, "Who knows, you might turn out to be gay in the future"?. It is perhaps true, but it is at best completely irrelevant and at worst vaguely homophobic. I'm not trying to start a flamewar, but this information should be accurate for those finding this answer.
    – naiveai
    Commented Dec 4, 2020 at 16:34
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    @naiveai Its a good question, and one I considered when I wrote this. The problem is one of labelling. This is already visible in the OP: a friend told the girl she couldn't be attracted to a girl because she already liked a boy. I.e. she was either "lesbian" or "straight"; no other categories recognised and no change possible. Adding a third category "bi" to this doesn't deal with the underlying issue. As for your hypothetical boy, I would certainly say "Don't be too certain just yet" if he wanted more information (obviously in an appropriate context). Commented Dec 5, 2020 at 9:51
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    @naiveai Rather than exclude #2, I think we should indeed say that to straight-leaning teens as well. It's just a special case of being in identity exploration phase, and any identity foreclosure, whether with or against the social norms, should be cautioned against. I'm a teacher and I try to give this message when such questions come up in class. "Of course, things can change as you discover who you are" can be used neutrally. Commented Dec 6, 2020 at 6:11

Does she know what bisexual means? Maybe her dilemma is in thinking she can only have those feelings for one or the other. If you truly want to support her I would just be clear that what she is feeling is perfectly okay and normal. That you support her regardless and are there for her. Maybe ask her if she'd like to speak to a counselor? It sounds like you could benefit from one as well.


She may be either bisexual or pansexual. Perhaps she doesn’t know what that means and you should tell her about it. Have a chat with her, but do not sound angry or anything. Also don’t seem worried, or don’t feel worried. It’s perfectly normal. My daughter is also eleven and believes she likes girls. She knows a lot about LGBTQ+ and always surprises me with her knowledge about it, I think you should tell her that it’s alright, and teach her about it. It’s okay, there’s nothing to worry about. :)

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