1. People & Relationships
You can opt-out at any time. Please refer to our privacy policy for contact information.

Discuss in my forum

What if My Parents Think I'm Too Young to Know I'm Bisexual?


gay pride flag

Many people know they are gay, lesbian or bisexual from a very young age.

Image (c) Stéfan
Question: What if My Parents Think I'm Too Young to Know I'm Bisexual?
Though she is certain of her sexual orientation, this pre-teen is worried that if she comes out, her parents will think that she is "too young" to know that she is bisexual and will assume that she is just going through a phase.

A girl writes to the forum:

"Ok, I'm 12, and I'm POSITIVE I'm bisexual. Absolutely positive. I've known since I was like 7. One of my 15-year-old friends is bi, too. When I told my mom (No, i haven't come out yet, for this reason) she said, "Oh? She KNOWS already? She's only 15...."

It's killing me not to come out. I really need to come out. But I'm positive my parents won't believe me. I really want to tell them. I know they won't kick me out, or not love me. They're not homophobic. But I think they'll think I'm just copying my friend who's also bi because I just met her.

I'm not nervous about telling them. Not at all. But I AM nervous about them not believing me, or thinking this is a phase. How do I come out to my parents and make them believe me? I really want them to know... It's all I think about. All help will be appreciated."

It sounds like you have considered this a lot and that your worries are legitimate.

A lot of girls question their sexual orientation. If you are attracted to other girls, it's common to wonder if you are a lesbian, bisexual, questioning, or "going through a stage."

Some girls and women only realize they are gay in their teens or twenties, or even later. It's also normal to feel that your sexual orientation shifts over time.

But whether you are absolutely certain that you are bi, or still trying to figure it out is probably less related to how old you are, and more related to various individual factors. But no matter how long it takes to answer that question, rest assured you are the best person to do the answering, whatever your age.

It might be helpful for your parents to understand that it is common to simply to know who you are and to be certain of your sexual orientation from a young age. Plenty of people know that they are bisexual from very early in childhood, and it can be upsetting to think that you might be told that you are mistaken about such a core part of who you are.

While it is great that you don't have to worry about homophobic parents, there is no guarantee that they won't say something that upsets you. That doesn't mean that you shouldn't come out. But it is something to consider. If you think that you can handle it if your parents make a comment you don't like, then you might be ready to come out.

If you think that such a comment would be too upsetting, then you might want to hold off. Keep in mind, however, that it is really normal for parents to say things that upset their kids, but most families get through situations like this.

You might also want to start the conversation by telling them that you were worried about coming out to them, since you feared they would think you were too young.

Another teen offers this advice,

"I think if you explain to them that you've thought you're bi since you were 7, that being 5 years, I think they should realize that's long enough to be sure that you're bi. And if they still think it's young to be sure, tell them of other people who are 15 and younger. (You can mention me if you like, my name's Thomi and I'm 14. Oh, and I'm gay.) And if they don't believe you at first still, just try again later. Eventually they'll have to realize your persistence at the matter must mean something."

Try to remember that you have had a lot of time to think about being bisexual. But when you tell you parents, the information will be new for them. In the process of understanding it, they might say things or ask questions that upset you. If they are being supportive, try to be patient with their learning curve!

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.