I was out the other day with The Girl, doing errands. It was beautiful out – the wildflowers doing their final display. We live out in the country1 and the drive was extraordinarily pleasant. We were heading to the grocery store when she announced that she has a girlfriend. A Girlfriend-Girlfriend, she clarified after I asked.
“I thought you were trying get that verb – what’s his name? Oh, yeah – Chase! I thought you were going to ask verb-boy out?”
[I’m really not sorry, at all. Teasing your Teen is one of the great pleasures of life. Besides, I have very little wiggle room on this one. I did, after all, name her after a season.]
“Well, he and Best Friend #3 are dating.”
“Ah, I see.”
[We continue down the road in my little car. Joan Jett’s “I Love Rock n Roll” comes on, so we gleefully sing along. When the song stops, I ask The Girl to tell me about her girlfriend.]
“What’s her name?”
“Pretty Girl Name.”
“That’s nice. Haven’t heard anything about her.”
*teenofended* “I have told you all about her, before.”
[I am amused but keeping it on the downlow because this really IS the first mention of Pretty Girl Name.] “Ah. Well, I am sorry. I guess it’s my old brains making me forget.”
“Ah, you’re just 30 years old, Mom!”
[I just snort at this blatant butter-up attempt. After a few more miles, I ask her tell me more about Pretty Girl Name. She does so, with enthusiasm. She is happy and animated. She describes Pretty Girl Name’s likes and dislikes in music, food, clothing, anime. We ramble on, like you do.]
I don’t know if this is something permanent in her world2. All the literature I have read 3 says otherwise though. Kids in her age group are just feeling their way through life, trying on different things, seeing if they fit. I didn’t offer her any unasked for advice. Nor did I say anything that could be construed as judgmental. For one, if she does decide this is a life path that she wants to stay on, I would not be fussed about it. For two, being anything other than gently supportive4 is The Wrong Thing To Do with kids her age.
Am I worried about this? Yes, but not in the “traditional” sense. I am worried that it might cause her some social problems. We do live in a small Texas town. I am worried that some of her family might not be understanding or supportive or willing to just step back and let her make her own decisions. I worry about her because I love her and I want to make sure that she is happy and healthy. That she knows she is loved and appreciated. And that we are always, always there for her.
Addendum: Wanna have a moment of pure terror? Google “gay teens” and see what the fourth hit (out of 24,000,000) is.
PSA: This is my kid, on my journal that we are discussing. If you feel that you have to share something ugly or discriminatory? Why, you can cheerfully go fuck yourself.