Could my child be homosexual?

My teenage daughter has been kissing other girls. Does this make her a homosexual?

It is very, very common for young people to question and experiment with their sexuality at some point during adolescence. Although age 14 may sound early for this young woman to truly “know” that she is homosexual, many individuals report “knowing” as young as age 3 or 4. It is entirely possible that your daughter may be homosexual. Her experimentation might not be a phase that she can be talked out of. However, there is also a chance that your daughter’s experimentation may simply be “situational homosexuality,” in which case, she might change her mind about being homosexual in a few months, a year, or a few years. Homosexual childhood experimentation is common and does not always lead to homosexuality. Unless the exploration is interfering with her studies, her social life, or her physical and mental health, there is no need to consider it “excessive.” It is also important to remember that human sexual orientation can be very fluid and does not always fit within rigid boundaries. Some people are almost completely heterosexual or homosexual, but many others have varying degrees of attraction to both genders and do not fit so easily into one box or the other.

For many heterosexual parents, it is difficult to cope with the idea of having a child who is homosexual, especially if traditional or religious values are a strong part of the family dynamic. This is understandable. It may take you a long time to fully accept her sexuality, or you may feel you will never be able to move past it. However, we recommend you try your best to understand your daughter’s wishes, regardless of which path she chooses. If you want to maintain a happy and healthy relationship with your daughter, it is important to fully accept this part of her identity. Effective communication is an important tool in working through this confusing time with your daughter. Ask her to explain her feelings, see if she will open up, and then share your feelings with her. Parents, for example, who reject their child’s sexual orientation tend to report major family conflict and even loss of communication between them and their son or daughter.

Should your daughter remain interested in women past the age of 14, she will need your full support. Our society is heteronormative; even though gay marriage is now legal in all 50 of the United States, the general public is still not completely comfortable with non-heterosexual interest and identities. She will face hurdles that heterosexual women do not have to, and she will need your love and support.

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