My younger sister Kat is fifteen years old and is starting to deal with her own sexuality. A few weeks ago, Kat approached our mother with the concern that she is gay. Kat's concerns stemmed from a lack of arousal when kissing boys (she has had a few relationships with boys her own age, some of which lasted a few months, and her sexual experience is limited to kissing.) Also, she admitted to being "intrigued" by scenarios on television involving lesbians who were kissing. My mother told me Kat was very upset; she was afraid our father would find out and be angry and that she "would go to Hell" because she "she knows it [homosexuality] is wrong." My mother told Kat that she didn't think Kat's lack of excitement with kissing boys meant she was gay, that she just hadn't found the right boy, and that it was normal to feel an interest in same-sex activity at her age. Mom wants me to further address the issue with Kat to make sure she's okay and because Kat usually tends to be more open with me than with our mother. When my mom brought up this whole issue, I was shocked. I would never expect my sister to be gay; she has found males physically attractive, both the boys from school and actors (Johnny Depp is one of her favorites; she has a picture of him taped to her notebook.) While I don't think she's gay, just confused, I want to make sure she understands that 1. whatever feelings she may be having are normal even for heterosexuals and 2. even if she is gay, it'll be okay, and she's not going to Hell. (Although our parents raised us religiously and taught us homosexuality, among other things, is a sin, I don't believe God sends people to Hell just because they feel a certain way. People don't choose to be gay.) Anyway, the point of this novella is, does anyone have any suggestions of how I should broach this subject with my sis, and what information I should provide her with in regards to normal adolescent sexual feelings and homosexuality?
Posts: 1 | From: Louisville, KY | Registered: Mar 2006
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You, specifically? I don't know...me, I'd talk about it openly. But both you and your mom have the right idea: that 1) There is nothing wrong with homosexuality 2) She doesn't get sexually excited from kissing boys = no big deal, and 3) Some interest in same sex activity is fine.
How close are you to her? Maybe try writing her a letter if you don't want to talk to her straight up with it?
-------------------- 19, male, interested in Sadomasochism (BDSM) and some bisexual tendancies. Posts: 157 | From: Canada | Registered: Jan 2006
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Why not wait for her to bring up the subject instead of taking the initiative to broach it on your own? Or you could send her the link to the "gaydar" part of ST.
concerns stemmed from a lack of arousal when kissing boys
How are you defining "arousal"? Do you mean sexual longing? Does it *feel good* to her when she kisses boys?
Or does she feel like she's kissing a bucket of earthworms? (My first kiss felt like that... fast forward four years, and my second kiss was ka-POW!)
Your sister may have to kiss a few of the proverbial boy frogs before it feels ka-POW-ish. She may find that she feels more of a spark with girls. Same-sex interest can start when kissing doesn't feel right with the opposite sex, but it generally has deeper roots. i.e. she finds herself physically drawn to girls and more curious about an intimate emotional and physical relationship with them, as opposed to guys.
Intrigue in lesbian activity is perfectly normal. And even though it's less frequent, girls can also be intrigued by male homosexuality as well. So those feelings are not an indicator of homosexuality per se.
Lastly, a total disinterest in sexual activity is normal at that age too. (I happen to identify as straight, but this goes for any other orientation.) I was 17 before I had ANY interest in non-platonic relationships with guys. I was 23 before I had my first romantic relationship.
She's only 15, so most of all, reassure her that she can talk to you about anything, and then back that up with good actions. Let her know that there is no real timetable for deciding her sexual orientation, and that whatever she's feeling is ok.
You might want to talk to your mom about this a little more too, outside of the context of your sister. Your mom considers homosexuality a sin, so she may eventually refer those feelings to your sister. This might be an opportunity for you to help your mom be a little more open minded.
Posts: 455 | From: New York, NY | Registered: Apr 2005
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