The short answer is YES!
I was inspired to write this due to a friend’s post about another Bisexual Mom. She was much younger than I am and had kids who were toddlers. My three kids are grown adults now ranging in age from 23 to 32.
I have been out since I was 17 and never in the closet…except to my kids. Well, I should qualify that. I was naive enough to think that my clear and outspoken support of the LGBT+ community, my indication that everyone should be accepted no matter their gender identity and/or sexual orientation, my discussion of my bisexuality with friends within their earshot and what I thought was my extremely obvious bisexuality should have been enough to clue my kids in. However, I did not factor in that what they were most aware of was my relationship with my husband, who is also their father ,and how that took precedence in their minds. It seems like a no-brainer now but at the time I just assumed living with me made clear who I was. As I reflect on that it is truly ridiculous. I should have factored in that most kids don’t really give much thought to their parents sexuality.
I have now told all three of my kids I am bisexual. I told my son who came out to me as Bi in his teens first as I wanted to make sure he knew I understood exactly what he was going through as I had lived it. I told my other kids shortly thereafter and only recently found out my daughter is also Bi.
I never meant to be dishonest or inauthentic. I guess I was so busy with the day to day business of being a parent I did not put enough emphasis on making clear what my own sexuality is. I should have realized that it was just common sense to be clear and unequivocal about that aspect of my self.
It does not seem that any harm was done by my somewhat belated outing of myself to my kids. However, I would encourage parents to be honest. There is no right way or wrong way to come out to your kids. I actually did not find much guidance for Bi parents in this context when I was doing a little research. I think, in hindsight, it would have been easy to just discuss other people, including women, I had been in relationships with prior to marrying my husband. If they had questions they would have asked. They were inquisitive kids. Since my husband knew I was Bi from when we first met we could have talked about prior boyfriends and girlfriends if the subject came up.
I fear internalized biphobia may prevent parents from being clear about their own sexuality with their kids. Just remember you are valid and worthy and you matter and your bisexuality is your superpower. If you feel confident and sure of yourself your kids will sense that and respond accordingly.
Being a parent is a tough job so don’t beat yourself up if you don’t always meet your own expectations. Love is the most important ingredient in good parenting. Just be yourself and love your kids and everything will work out just fine. ❤
5 thoughts on “Should you come out to your kids?”
I can safely say, that I have not come out to my kids. This is one of those complex questions, that I tend to disagree with most of the “community” about – I simply believe that sexuality is no one’s business, unless it’s relevant to me to share it. Although, I think I am fairly open minded, I just don’t feel the urge to explain it to my kids nor anyone else. If it became a question in their minds, I would not lie, but I just don’t see the point in expressing it.
But then again, I detract in a lot of things…
You are entitled to your opinion and, of course, your actions. I feel everyone should do what they feel safe and secure doing. I am hardly one to push anyone out of the closet.
However, my sexuality is as important to me as any aspect of my being and I find it extremely important to advocate for and support my community. I would not want my kids to think I was ashamed of who I am. I would not want them to feel ashamed of who they are. I am hardly a perfect parent but I would always want my kids to know I value honesty and try to be upfront and transparent about my life and my views. The thing about being a parent is generally your kids have a pretty good idea about exactly who you are and hiding things is pretty futile. Your call, of course.
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I agree! I had a hard time coming out to my 5 kids, but then again, my oldest is only 8 years old. I can’t say that she has quite grasped it yet, but she’s the only one I have attempted to tell because they others are way too young right now. My 7 yr old son would not even care to know. But my 8 yr old was really confused and silly about it, but she claimed to understand. She just made a face and laughed a bit and hasn’t asked me any further questions since. I await the day when she asks me more about it, perhaps when I finally get a girlfriend and she sees me dating someone other than my husband. 🙂 #poly
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Whoa, 5 kids 8 and under….you know what is best for your family/kids….while we did not have a specific conversation about my sexuality until the kids were tweens/teens our family was clearly in favor of LGBT equality and I know that had an influence on them…the main thing, and you have got it right, is to maintain open lines of communication ….initiate the conversation, don’t push it…believe me they will come to you if they want more in-depth information…that does not impact only discussions of sexuality but everything….good luck with that brood and with all things poly…
Yes, I agree. Thank you! It is imperative that I remain open with them. 🙂
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