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Wedding Woes

All this and that's your question? (But yay supportive mom!)

Dear Prudence,

My teenage daughter came out as a lesbian a couple of years ago and then started dating her best friend. That friend has since come out as a trans guy and is now my daughter’s boyfriend. As a lesbian, my daughter is having a hard time navigating this change. She loves her partner very much and is seeking my advice about whether they should stay together. They’re relatively young teens who aren’t sexually active. (We talk candidly about these things.) Before they started dating, they were also physically affectionate, sometimes holding hands or cuddling during movies, so really the only physical change in their relationship after they became a couple was that they started kissing. While I see subtle signs of my daughter distancing herself, I think that since she isn’t sure yet, she should stay in the relationship until she knows what she really wants. I’m afraid that breaking up with her boyfriend at this fragile time of self-discovery could be especially hard on him and perhaps jeopardize their friendship. Of course, if or when my daughter decides that going back to being besties is what she wants, I’ll fully support her—and her boyfriend—through any difficulties. I want to help, but I know I’m playing catch-up on her sexuality. Can a lesbian date a trans male and remain lesbian?

—Perplexed Cis Mom

Re: All this and that's your question? (But yay supportive mom!)

  • ShesSoColdShesSoCold bend over and I'll show ya mod
    Moderator 5000 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its
    I think what you don’t do is teach your daughter to stay in a relationship with anyone because of how hard it might be for the other person. That is straight up telling her that her feelings/needs/wants about not being with someone should be subordinated to the other person. 
    This is exactly what I was thinking when I read the letter and I was struggling to put it into words. Thank you. 

    I was shocked that the mom was putting the other child's feelings above her own daughter's. 

    Makes me wonder if Mom here isn't as okay with her daughter not being straight as she originally thought and the thought of her daughter being with a trans man is easier for her than the thought of her daughter being with a woman. 
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    VarunaTTOurWildKingdom


  • Makes me wonder if Mom here isn't as okay with her daughter not being straight as she originally thought and the thought of her daughter being with a trans man is easier for her than the thought of her daughter being with a woman. 
    I don't think that's true.  Visible transgender people are a great thing for society, IMHO; it means we are also all learning how to deal with and create language for gender ID and sexual orientation scenarios.  I can see how mom doesn't want to negate the other person's gender identity, especially since this person is her daughter BFF, I assume he is close with their entire family in a way, and how she doesn't necessarily know how to do that while also supporting her daughter.  Basically, she doesn't want to come off as transphobic, is the way I read it.

    Transman also might no longer identify as a lesbian either.  He is now struck trying to figure out if he goes by straight?  (Another reason I like queer).  One of my friends, who is also trans, was nice enough to discuss her journey with me, that she knew she wasn't gay pre-transition, b/c she imagined herself with a man and felt nothing.  She even admitted she felt a bit of revulsion she's a bit embarrassed by now.  But now that she is post transition, she dates mostly men.  She said once she had her gender identity figured out, she realized she was attracted to men because the picture in her head was right.

    All to say, I think LW's questions are alright to be asked, but I hope she's guided back into, "this isn't for you to answer, just support your daughter."  I do also like the point of not teaching your daughter to subjugate her feelings, even if it's an uncomfortable situation.
    charlotte989875OurWildKingdommrsconn23
  • I think the mother needs to just keep on, keeping on.  Continue listening to her daughter and being supportive.  Including not trying to sway her daughter away from a breakup, if that is what the daughter feels is best for herself.

    You can tell the mother likes and is supportive of her daughter's SO.  Which is great also.  But someone begrudgingly in a relationship with some else "for their own good" is detrimental to both parties.

    I was really surprised to see the mother's assumption that, in the event of a breakup, the daughter and her SO would just naturally step down to being BFFs again.  Whhaattt!  Not usually.  Especially with such young people.  I suppose anything's possible, but it's unlikely and probably not emotionally healthy for either of them, at least not right away.  So I hope the mother wouldn't go pushing for that either. 
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    VarunaTTOurWildKingdom
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