Reply To: Protective mom

Support for parents of LGBTQ Forums Discussion Forum Protective mom Reply To: Protective mom

Janet Duke

There are several things to talk about here, so let’s take them one at a time. First, your daughter coming out to you is a big shift in your family view and it can take time to adjust. Give yourself time to learn more and get good information as you work through this. Our website can help and point to many other resources as well.

Second, your daughter now has a girlfriend. When dating starts that is yet another adjustment and this is piled on top of your new understanding of your daughter coming out. Please check out our page on Relationships and Dating for information that might be helpful. Again, give yourself time to adjust — and try hard to handle this as much as possible as you would any siblings who are dating.

It is so normal and natural to feel protective of your daughter as she begins to date and form romantic relationships — and this would be happening even if she were straight! It sounds as if your daughter wants her girlfriend to be open with her family about their relationship. Although this could feel very personal to your daughter, it may not be about her at all. Even though it might appear that it would be easy for your daughter’s girlfriend to share about this relationship if she came out to her family some time ago, it is important to remember that each person has their own needs with regard to what they share, when, and with whom. If your daughter communicates with her girlfriend about how she feels, she may learn some information that offers reassurance or clarity regarding where she stands. To support your daughter, you could invite her to talk with you about her feelings and offer a listening ear, support, and compassion for both her position as well as her girlfriend’s.

Finally, pansexual as a term can mean different things. It can mean not limited in terms of sexual/gender choice in partners, but it can also be a way for someone to say they don’t want to be put in a box or labeled specifically (gay, straight, etc.)

Your concern is natural. Do all you can to keep communication open, find your personal support from books, counseling or online resources, and be a safe person your daughter can turn to. Dating and heartaches are part of the teen experience and she will need you no matter who her partner is.

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