“Dear Kristin and Dannielle, I am pretty young ( under 15 ) and I’m pretty sure I’m bisexual. I’ve had crushes on girls and guys, but I haven’t told my family anything about it. I think my parents will say ‘You’re to young to know that.’ How do I fix this? Is there some way I can prove it to them? Please help.”
- Question submitted by Anonymous
Dearest most loveliest Anonymous,
First, I want to apologize. I want to apologize that we all live in a world where others (even our own parents!) don’t often believe that we know ourselves, know our own feelings, and speak truth about our identities. This is true no matter how old we are, but when we are young… it’s even worse. I know this. I’ve lived this. I can’t tell you the amount of times I hear people speak about young people as though they have no awareness of their own feelings. I know that you have real, true feelings, and I know and believe that those feelings are valid and important.
Next, I want to tell you the most important thing you need to know: You do not need to prove those feelings, or your identity, to anyone. You can express who you are in whatever way you think makes sense, but if your parents do not believe you, it does not invalidate the realness of you.
Now, I am going to try to help you with ‘what to do,’ though I think this looks different for all of us. If you know that you live in a safe environment – one where you don’t have to worry that your parents will disown you or be abusive in any way to you once you come out to them – then you should think about what you want them to know. A lot of times, when we know that we are bisexual or gay or trans or queer, keeping our identity to ourself feels horrible. It feels like every tiny thing we do, even going to the fridge and eating a cheesestick, is a lie. If this is how you are feeling, then I suggest you write a letter to your parents. Tell them what you’ve told us: that you have had crushes on boys and girls and that you identify as bisexual, that you were hesitant to tell them because you were scared they wouldn’t believe you, and that you realized that they didn’t need to believe you… because you’d still be exactly who you are without that belief. Tell them you would love to have their support. Tell them that you love them. Maybe, if you’re really feeling it, tuck that letter in a copy of This is a Book for Parents of Gay Kids.
Lastly: Even if your identity shifts and changes over the years, it will never take away who you are right now. Right now you are an under-15-year-old who has feelings toward more than one gender. No one can ever take that away from you, and we are here to tell you that we believe and support you one million fucking percent.
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