So, I normally don't snoop when I go into my kids bedrooms. For some reason when I walked into my 15 year old daughters bedroom and saw a journal sitting there I opened it and read it. I realize I invaded her privacy and I had no right to read her thoughts and private feelings. I always promised her I wouldn't be that type of mom so she could feel safe in her own space.

I read that she has a crush on a girl friend from her school that is also on the same sports team. She used words like "crush" and "wanting physical contact" and she goes on to say that she is confused, wants to tell her friends and hopes the girl likes her as well.

I was completely shocked and to be honest my feelings for her changed and I don't want her hanging out with this girl anymore and I don't want her telling her friends in fear they will disown her and spread rumors and she will lose everything. I haven't stopped crying since I read her feelings. I thought she has hopes of a husband and family one day. What would her life be like? What would our family say? Could we accept this and will things stay this way or is it a phase?

I am not going to approach her. She isn't telling me for a reason. I am heartbroken about the future that I thought she wanted and I don't understand why and how this is happening. I am so confused and I don't have a clue how to deal with this.

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    What country do you live in? (for cultural views on the subject) – A.bakker Nov 19 at 21:58
  • I live in the United States – lincoln101 Nov 19 at 23:04
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    I guess "Tell your daughter that she is a good person and you love her no matter what" is off the table? Her life will, in large part, be dictated by how loving your response is. You are proud of your response so far? – swbarnes2 Nov 20 at 19:35
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    She's ruining her life? She hasn't done anything yet. But do you think you can hide your attitude from her? I'm betting you can't. – swbarnes2 Nov 21 at 5:40
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    @lincoln101 your daughter is not "deciding" to have a crush on a girl, any more than you've ever decided to have feelings for anyone. – Kat Nov 21 at 5:41

You can have a family while being in a same sex relationship. I have a lesbian couple living on my street with 2 sons (thanks to a sperm donor) and a good friend of mine is lesbian and is in a wonderful relationship.

And yes, it COULD be a phase. It's not uncommon for girls around their age to be attracted to other girls and grow out of it. But this could also be who she is. Maybe she is a lesbian, maybe she is bi... but does that really matter? Isn't it more important that she is happy and in love?

The best advice anybody can give you is to leave it be and be supportive when and if she comes out. She might be stressed out due to her having these feelings and it's best for her to discover them on her own. And if she wants to pursue these feelings, let her. Because if you are going to forbid her from choosing who she can and can't love, you might damage your relationship with her for a long time... But if you are there for her when she needs you, you might even grow closer than before.

And concerning your "family"... relatives are the people you are bound to by blood, family are the people you are bound to by love. If they can't love your daughter for who she is, then it's their loss and their problem not your daughters, and you shouldn't make it her problem. And the same goes for her friends, if they aren't willing to accept it, it is their loss....and nowadays I have little doubt that there will be enough people who support her no matter what.

But seeing you are struggling with it yourself, I would advise you to calm down and not overthink it. Because if she has a relationship with a man she could also choose not to become a mother, and in a relationship with a woman there are still several option for her to become a mother anyway. Luckily, our society has advanced enough for her to have a normal life regardless of whether she dates a man or a woman. And if you want her to be open with you about it, then show her (without being too obvious) that you have no problems with LGBT. Because if she is lesbian/bi, any sign of support towards the group might encourage her to open up to you in the hopes you will support her.

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    The only thing you "did wrong" was to be overly confident that your child would fit the heterosexuality norm. Re-read your question but instead of sexuality, imagine you've found out she likes blondes when you has envisioned a brown haired partner. You've done nothing wrong. Homosexual people exist, through no fault of anyone. This is merely a trait you didn't consider. – dxh Nov 19 at 22:52
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    @nick012000 correlation is not causation. – A.bakker Nov 20 at 12:26
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    @lincoln101 She could adopt. She could marry someone who already has a kid. She could be in a loving relationship with another woman and carefully choose sperm donor. There are lots of ways to have children besides the "traditional" way – Kevin Nov 20 at 16:17
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    @lincoln101 Your comments are extremely troubling and, as a fellow Catholic, rather unCatholic as well. Adoption is a very Catholic and pro-life thing to do. You are on a path to lose your daughter and never get to see any grandkids, adopted or biological – Kevin Nov 20 at 16:44
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    @lincoln101 and what if she can't have children? Or if she marries a man who can't have children? or what if she doesn't even want to have Children? You should really realize that it is HER life not yours. She should spend it making HER happy, not YOU. – A.bakker Nov 20 at 16:51

I wouldn't stress over whether or not this is a phase. You should be able to be supportive of your children regardless of whether their preferences may or may not change over time.

What her life is going to be like is largely culturally dependent, there are definitely parts of the world where coming out as LBTQ is associated with more immediate risks than in some other parts of the world. In your position as a parent, though, I'm inclined to believe that this too can be safely disregarded. Things being what they are, I can't conceive of a culture where supporting your child and accepting them for who they are (again, regardless of whether or not it's who they always will be) isn't the most loving and sound thing to do.

I absolutely get that this can be shocking news and that you're confused. But you need to recognize that your wishes and ambitions for her future, loving as they may be, are subordinate to her wishes and ambitions for her future. Perhaps she wishes for a family too, and you just need to accommodate the fact that it isn't going to look the way you envisioned it. Perhaps she doesn't, and this is a conceivable reality even if your child had been heterosexual. If it does turn out that she indeed does not wish to, say, have children, I certainly think you have a right to mourn that life didn't turn out the way you envisioned (eg. loss of grand children), but you need to acknowledge that your desires have no priority over your child's desires, when it comes to her own life. Do not place that burden on her. She only needs your loving unconditional acceptance. Talk about your feelings with someone else.

In a way, there's a silver lining to your accidental invasion of her privacy, in that you now have a chance to accommodate the idea that your daughter may be homosexual. I'm glad you got a chance to have the reaction you describe alone, and not to her face. If she ever does come out to you, I hope you will already have processed your own shock, and be in a better position to be unconditionally supportive.

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It's normal to be hetero, gay, lesbian, bi, pan, whatever. People are different, and you cannot chose. People are who they are.

You seem to have problems accepting this. I recommend you first work on yourself to open up to the world as it is. Your might read autobiographical books or blogs or watch movies by LGBT authors. There are TED Talks by LGBT about their life and their problems with society. Fear of LGBT in most cases is fear of the unknown. So, get to know it. This will be essential to support your daughter, whatever her sexual preference might turn out to be.

Please do not stop your daughter hanging out with this girl or anything like this. Your daughter is who she is and denying her that won't change that. It would only be harmful behaviour directed towards your daughter. With all possible consequences.

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  • I thought if I limited time with her crush it would fade away but I do understand I am afraid of the unknown. Thank you for your comments, very helpful. – lincoln101 Nov 20 at 18:17

What would our family say?

You have a teenager. Your family, your friends, as well as yourself, will say a lot of uneasy things in the years to come. That's just an element of parenting.

Every time, you will have to choose a side: your kid's wishes, what's best for them (not a trivial question itself), your own wishes or your own mental comfort (two different things).

In this particular case, you lost the option of the mental comfort and you look quite irritated of the fact. Keep calm, use the oportunity to grow up a bit yourself and think about the other opions.

And then, about the particular new knowledge you have about your daughter:

First, the development of the sexuality is quite a complex process, no matter what you may or may not remember about yourself. There is no absolutely clear scientific consensus on the matter, but it is likely that you cannot influence the process in any useful manner (or even more likely, not at all). You may try to educate yourself on the matter, but you can as well just stop worrying.

Everything will be fine - this is the success formula for things you cannot change.

(as my mom, also a catholic, likes to remind us)

Second, the fact itself. Either you know almost nothing about the context of the journal entry you did read, or you did read everything you did find in her room. Be honest, at least to yourself.

The text may be just an attemt of creative writing? Are you sure it isn't? Young people are known for diverse mental experiments.

Third, what to do? First, stop worrying, everything will be fine (see above). What you have seen may be a transient in your daughter's development, may be a literature and may as well be a sign that she is at least somewhat homosexual. Either way, it is OK.

Don't worry about her future family, either. Even if it happens that she is hardline homosexual, it is 2020 and even the Catholic Church got quite soft on the matter these days. See here - quite different situation than few decades ago.

Don't worry about your grandchildren, either. No one is entitled to having them, but once you have kids, it is highly likely that you will have grandkids as well.

Some personal experience: I like to think about myself as a straight male, but both my first and my second wife did have some homosexual relationships. In neither case, it did prevent them from having children or a family. (And I parted ways with my first wife for completely unrelated reasons.)

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  • Easier said then done. I read everything and she has a crush on the girl and said she hopes the girl likes her too and that she's confused about her sexuality and wants to tell her friends. The crush doesn't seem interested in the way that my daughter is. All the girls have their "groups" and they play sports together, walk around town, have sleepovers etc all normal 15 year old girl things. Maybe she looks up to this girl because she's athletic and smart and has good qualities. Once my daughter tells her friends it will be all over the school and it will be game over. – lincoln101 19 hours ago
  • Game over as in "the other girl will decline", game over as in "the other girl may be interested, too", game over as in "my daughter will likely be bullied", game over as "our family will be unwelcome in the groups we socialize with" ? Or something else? – fraxinus 19 hours ago
  • game over meaning once her friends start telling everyone and the school knows she will no longer be welcomed and they will label her and turn their backs on her along with her sports team which is all girls. We live in a small town and everyone talks. It's one reason why I want her to wait and not tell her friends. – lincoln101 18 hours ago

Women are more sexually fluid than men. Even if she's attracted to women, that doesn't mean that she might not get married and have kids some day.

Women are both more likely to be bisexual as well as more likely to change their sexual preferences over the course of their lives, when compared to men (both links were just articles I found on the first page of a Google search). As a result, I would recommend relaxing. It's entirely possible that your daughter's same-sex attraction might just be a phase, and even if isn't, it's entirely possible that she'll get married and have kids some day. If her husband's really lucky, maybe they'll find a second bisexual girl, and he'll have two wives who are as into each other as they are into him!

If you're a Christian, and you're worried about religious aspect, I'll point out that the Old Testament passage banning homosexual activity was explicitly about homosexual men (and is arguably as specific as only banning married men from having sex with other men in the same bed as the bed they have sex with their wives in - a lot of the Old Testament sexual morality is counter-intuitive to modern day sexual mores). The New Testament verse where Paul condemns homosexuality was more about condemning people who refuse to conform to their gender roles; it's more "feminists are bad" than "lesbians are bad".

In general, I'd just recommend loving your daughter and being there for her, even if you disagree with her life choices. Even if you don't like her choice of romantic partner (and there's plenty of bad men you wouldn't want her dating either, let's be honest), I would still recommend making sure that you still love her as a person. Even if you think lesbianism is a sin, well, so are things like drug abuse, pornography, or any number of other things common to our society, and you wouldn't stop loving her as a result of her getting involved with any of those, right?

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  • Nick012000 I think it is not good to compare lesbianism with 'sins' like drug abuse and pornography, which are illegal. It would be better if you find sins which are not illegal. – Willeke Nov 21 at 14:19
  • @Willeke It's generally not illegal for teenagers to watch porn on the Internet, outside of countries where porn is illegal for everyone. – nick012000 Nov 21 at 14:21
  • Then word it as 'watching', as it stands now it is like she is acting in, which is illegal in (almost) all countries. – Willeke Nov 21 at 14:23
  • @Willeke Watching porn is just as sinful as acting in it, from a Christian perspective. I was writing that section as referring to ubiquitous sins that permeate our society, like watching pornography or abusing drugs (including drugs like alcohol, tobacco, or marijuana). My point is that being gay isn't any more sinful than watching porn or getting drunk or high. – nick012000 Nov 21 at 14:24
  • Then use samples which are not illegal, you seem to imply that being lesbian is as illegal as porn (acting in it at least) and doing (illegal) drugs. And that is not what comes across from the rest of your post. Minors in the US are not allowed to drink alcohol either. – Willeke Nov 21 at 14:27

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