[Guest Post] When Your Child Comes Out As Bisexual

Guest Post by Susan Berland

Many parents react with confusion when their child tells them they’re bisexual. Some might even ask, (out loud or to themselves) “Is that even real?”

There is a lot of misconception about what bisexuality is. Some people doubt it even exists and many parents think (or maybe hope!) it’s merely a phase their child is going through. Some people do first identify as bisexual and later identify as gay or lesbian. But for many, bisexuality is as real as being gay or lesbian. It is a real sexual orientation.

LGBT, LGBT parenting, gay and lesbian kids, parenting, , parenting skills, parenting, parent coach, parent coach los angeles, parent coach orange county, parent skills, mercedes samudio lcswParent who may feel (or hope) it’s a phase may try to ignore it, hoping it will pass. They may wonder how their child knows they’re bisexual, especially if the child has only had relationships with one gender. Those of us who are gay or straight knew long before we ever had a serious relationship. It’s intrinsic to who we are. The same is true for bisexuals.

A parent may think if their child is bisexual they can just choose to have relationships only with opposite sex partners. They think, “It’s so much harder to be in a same-sex relationship in society. Why don’t they just choose to be in an opposite sex relationship?” But that denies who they are. They don’t fall in love with a gender; they fall in love with a person and the gender is almost irrelevant. When one is bisexual, they may find themselves attracted to a male or a female. Just as you and I are attracted to whom we’re attracted to, so is your child.

Some people believe being bisexual means that person will always have to have relationships with both genders at the same time. While I’m sure that’s true for some, it’s not for many others. Just as heterosexuals may choose not to be monogamous or to be, so it’s true for bisexuals. When they fall in love, that is the only person they want to be in relationship with, regardless of their gender.

Parents of bisexual children need to know and understand that even moderate levels of rejection can increase the rate of attempted suicide, illegal drug use and risk for HIV infection for their child.

What your bisexual child needs to hear and know is that you love them no matter what and accept them just as they are, even when you don’t understand. Then take some time to educate yourself and find out all you can about what it means to be bisexual. If you are having trouble handling this news, get some help. It will be the best thing you can do for yourself and your child.


This guest blog post was written by Susan Berland, parenting coach for parents of LGBT youth. If you would like some help navigating your feelings and reactions, set up a time for a complimentary conversation at http://bit.ly/talktoSusan

16 thoughts on “[Guest Post] When Your Child Comes Out As Bisexual”

  1. Logan says:

    What do I do if my parents are homophobic ? I fear that if I come out as bisexual they will disown me

    1. Hi Logan! Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts on the blog! I’m sending tons of love and support your way! This can be such a tough time and not having the support of our parents can make it even tougher. If it’s possible, I encourage you to read out to organizations that support the LGBTQIA community – such as PFLAG, It Gets Better, and GSA. But, most importantly, know that you are not alone and that you don’t have to go through this process alone! I appreciate you reaching out and seeking support. I hope that wherever you are you are able to find a supportive community who will love you and care for you jus the way you are and without judgement. Thank you for sharing your story with me here!!

      1. Rebekah says:

        That is so nice of you!! Thanks for the help. If I come out, I’m afraid my parents will be dissapointed.

        1. Hi Rebekah! Welcome to the blog! I am so happy the blog provided you with some hope and support. And, I am sorry that you might face your family’s disappointment when you decide to come to them. The good news is that you don’t have to hide who you are even if you family is not supportive. I shared some resources in my reply to Logan’s comment above – so I encourage you to check them out as well. Also, if you are in a community with local LGBTIA support I encourage you to reach out to them for support. Lastly, this is a huge process and not one that should be done alone. I’ll share the same sentiment that I shared with Logan above with you: I hope that wherever you are you are able to find a supportive community who will love you and care for you jus the way you are and without judgement. Thank you for sharing your story with me here!!

  2. Natalie says:

    I’m scared my parents won’t see me the same or accept me. Me and my girlfriend are keeping it secret anyways but I still want to tell them.

    1. Natalie, welcome to the blog! I am so sorry that you’re feeling this way! I know that coming out can be so difficult, especially when we think that the people we love most will not accept us. I encourage you and your girlfriend to get some support from local LGBTQIA communities and/or organizations. Even if your family does not accept you it doesn’t mean that you are alone. These communities and organizations will help support you emotionally and give you space to share your journey and experiences safely! I shared a few sites that you can check out and reach out to in the comments I made to Logan above in this thread! Please don’t hesitate to reach out to me if you need more resources (info@theparentingskill.com). Sending you lots of love and support!

  3. dalya dangerfield says:

    i live in utah the mormon capitol and i’m bi and have a loving girlfriend but no one knows about my secret or her’s we are both scared to come out

    1. Hi Dalya! Welcome to the blog and thank you for your comment. This can be such a tough experience when the people we love do not know our true selves and would not support us if they knew. I also hold your fear and hope that you and your girlfriend are able to find a supportive community to show your love. If it’s possible, I encourage you to read out to organizations that support the LGBTQIA community – such as PFLAG, It Gets Better, and GSA. I also want to refer you to a professional who is in your state and supports the LGBQIA community – check them out here: http://www.advancedawarenesscounseling.com. But, most importantly, know that you are not alone and that you don’t have to go through this process alone! I appreciate you reaching out and seeking support. I hope that wherever you are you are able to find a supportive community who will love you and care for you jus the way you are and without judgement.

  4. Mercedes, thank you for including this wonderful guest blog by Susan Berland. I want to say thank you, also, to the brave folks who have commented here. Thank you for sharing your ideas and support with them, Mercedes. It is sadly, very common for families to have strong reactions when young people come out, related to gender or sexual expansiveness. I recommend that young people find trusted adults to whom they can turn should parents or other family members restrict or remove financial or emotional support. It’s not always necessary, but a good way to create a safety plan about telling parents. It’s also perfectly acceptable NOT to come out if it can create a situation where you are unsafe physically or emotionally. Some adolescents/young adults can be out in some spaces, but not all – and can find connections online as a way to help cope with having to be private at home. Please know there are adults that care and support you. You are wonderful and important. Much respect and love to all you!

    1. Hi Traci! Welcome to the blog! I am so happy that you commented here. I love the work you do and hope that the past commenters and future commenters are able to check out your site and your work. Thanks for the empowering words you shared here! I hope that you are able to share your voice and insights on other blog posts as well.

  5. Andy says:

    I think acceptance and understanding are one of those keys to handle a situation like this. Thanks for this post.

    1. Hi Andy! Welcome to the blog! Thanks so much for sharing your insights on this post. I agree with you 100%. When we accept others for who they are it leads to a better understanding of who they are – and you can’t go wrong with that! I hope to see your insights on other posts on the site as well.

  6. Ellie Winchester says:

    I am only thirteen years old and I have this one crush on a boy named Brandt as well as a girl named Leona. I know she’s a lesbian, but I know it’s hard to be in a relationship with somebody of the same sex, so I probably won’t end up marrying a girl when I’m older. I told my mom and she says all girls have some lesbian in them, just some of us more than others, so I shouldn’t be worried. I can identify as ‘straight’ not ‘bisexual’ because I am attracted to both females and males. But I don’t believe that. Thank you for the help.

    1. Hi Ellie! Thanks so much for reaching out and for reading the blog. It’s healthy to explore your sexuality and I’m happy that your mother is supportive. I completely understand having questions and I want to support you by sharing some resources that can help you and your support system: I’m not sure where you are but I would look for resources like PFLAG or The Trevor Project – these sites have lots of information on how to get local support if it’s available or how to find the answers you need. Wherever you are, know that you are not alone and that you can get support for the intense emotions that you are experiencing. Also, I recommend contacting a colleague of mine who works with the LGBTQIA community – here name is Dr. Traci Lowenthal (click here for her website). Let her know that you got her information from me!

  7. Helena Pires says:

    I really want to come out because I’m really happy with realizing who I am and understanding my sexuality. But my dad is very traditional and I fear he’ll be disappointed in me. And my mom, who I think of as my best friend, will probably think it’s a phase. Just like she thought my depression was a phase and it really wasn’t, but thanks to finding myself I’ve been okay for a while. But I’m scared if things don’t go well, I’ll have another depressive episode and go through this mind hell, all by myself, all over again. Let alone the fact that I would never be able to trust my parents or see them the same way again.

    1. Hi Helena, thanks for visiting the blog and sharing your story! You are so brave for starting this journey and I want you to know that you are so supported here. I definitely think that coming out is a longer process that extends passed your parents and what they think of your identity. What I encourage is that you make sure that you have support that you know embraces your coming out process and will not judge. If that’s your mom, then great. But, if it’s not, then be sure to get support before you come out to them. You can start with resources like The Trevor Project or a LGBTQ-friendly therapist who can support you in the whole process. If you’d like some recommendations, please let me know and I can share that with you. Sending you lots of positive energy and love on your journey.

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