You know your children perhaps better than they know themselves...but do they know all of you? The full picture? For some of us, as our children grow and develop, there’s that nagging question of how much you ought to reveal to them about your sexuality. Because your current relationship status and choice of parental partner do not always reveal the complexity of your sexuality, romantic history or identity.

As we’ve shared many times before on The Inside Slip, your bi curiosity sometimes plays second fiddle to other sexual identities - in some cases, it’s something to box away with your college memories and school medals, out of sight out of mind. But while some might deem bisexuality and bi curiosity as more of a sexual niche than a valid identity, it’s an important part of feeling ‘seen’ and validated. It’s important to know that your nearest and dearest love and support you - the real, authentic you.

Because if those of you in your life don’t know about this part of you, do they really know the real you? And more to the point, if your children are old enough to know the meaning of LGBTQ, should you talk to them about your place in this mix?

Have they noticed there’s something ‘different’ about their Mum? Coming out (or having a candid conversation about where you stand on the issue) is an important part of cementing trust and enhancing the parent-child bond, but it can also provoke anxiety and fear in parents.

Indeed, older LGBTQ parents navigating the arduous journey to self-acceptance have worse mental health outcomes and may have grown up in a culture of mistrust, shame and stigma thanks to a lack of legal protection, the criminalisation of homosexuality, the AIDS epidemic and ‘Section 28’ legislation.

As part of a mini series of articles representing the lives of the many mothers and caregivers in the Skirt Club community, we shine a light on the real-life stories of community members and our Skirt Club team around the globe. 

Have you or would you ‘come out’ in such a way to your kids? If so...when and how? Let us know your thoughts in the comments and join in the conversation on social!

Be sure to check out Marina’s Top Tips for having a healthy, age-appropriate conversation about your sexuality at the bottom of this article.

Marina’s story (Berlin) 

Image courtesy of Virginia De for Lola Magazine

If you’re a bisexual mother, at some point in your motherhood you’ll be worried. You’ll worry about how and when to talk with your kids about it. Even more if you live in a hetero-normative relationship with the man your kids call dad.

I’ve been thinking a lot about it since my daughter became a teenager. She’s never been the type to ask many questions, but she watches and observes a lot… and she’s smart so she always gets things before you think she does.

I don't lie to my kids. I have secrets – we all should have – and they don't know everything about my life. But the fact that I identify myself as a bisexual woman is a very important side of me as a human beeing, so this was a point I never wanted to make a secret of. 

But how to tell them?

Destiny gave me a little hand, actually. We were making our family photo-album, and my daughter (14 at the time) suddenly handed me a picture saying “I don’t think that's us“. It definitely wasn’t. It was a picture of me with my fellow Skirt Club Sisters, dressed up and sexy at the Pride Parade.

My heart started beating very hard, but I thought: now or never. So I told her that I’d gone to demonstrate at the Pride Parade with my friends and other women from my community. And that this was a community of bisexual women.

She said okay.

I said that this meant that – of course – I identify as bisexual.

She said okay.

I told her that she didn't have to worry, that I loved her father and that we would stay together. But if I was not with him, maybe I would be in love with a woman.

She said okay.

I asked if she had any questions.

She said: No, everything is okay. Don't worry.

I asked if she wanted me to stop talking about it, she giggled and said: “yes, please”.

So we just finished our family album and after a few minutes my heart was beating normally again…

And that was it.

Later that day she came to me, hugged me and said that I am the best mother in the world. I took it as a compliment for being honest with her and also as a sign that she didn't want me to be worried about her.

With my son it was even easier and it happened some weeks later. He was 9 at that point and he had some questions. Different from his sister he always has been the type of kid to permanently ask questions. Sometimes very uncomfortable ones…. He was confused about all the “-sexuals“ terms. We have a friend who is transsexual, and my son was confused with the words so I started to explain a bit more...

“Our friend X is transsexual, that means he was born as a girl, but he feels like a man and lives as a man now. It doesn't have anything to do with who he loves…”

I told him:

“Homosexual means that you love someone of the same gender, just like A, B or C (friends & familiy members he knows)....and Bisexual means that you can fall in love with a man or a women…”

and then he said:

“Just like you, Mama”.

I was surprised. I didn’t have any conversations about my sexuality with him yet, and I don't know if his sister told him, if he heard any conversation or if he just felt it. When he was very little, he insisted that our transsexual friend was a boy, even if for us and the rest of the world at that point, they still lived as a girl. But he said it with such confidence and simplicity that I just said: yes, just like me and we never had to discuss this topic again.

So my coming out to my kids, which was the thing I had always feared the most, turned out to be the most easy of all. I didn't have to explain or discuss anything like I had to with friends or grown up family members. 

My bisexuality isn’t a topic we often talk about. I mean, I really dont want to discuss my sex life with my kids - and I don’t think they would even let me. Remember... mothers do not have sex!. But if the topic comes up, I can speak openly, and if it slips out that I think that Penelope Cruz is really hot they just turn their eyes as they would do if their father had said the same.

My daughter wants to go to the Pride Parade with me next time. And my son told me he was sure he was a boy, but that he was not sure yet if he likes boys or girls or both… I told him he was way too young to know that, and that he will find out in time. At least he won’t have to worry about coming out to his parents, whatever he finds out.

My son has a sticker at his bed which says “It doesn‘t f***ing matter who you love!“

If children believe that this is the truth for everybody, it will be the truth for their mother too.

Amelia’s & Muma DuMonde’s story (Sydney)

I started to feel the tingling of lady love midway through my teens. Those tingles then progressed through awkward “would you rather” responses choosing Rachel over Joey (there is little to no contest when it comes to Jennifer Aniston in my opinion), innocent sleepover practice kisses, drunk kisses at a party to full girl crushes, along with boy crushes.

While strange at first, these feelings just became a part of who I am. My family has always been close and both of my parents were always open and willing to discuss questions we had, about anything really. ‘No holds barred’ style of open communication was how they dealt with these questions. So as these tinglings were appearing and growing, my natural reaction was to go to my mother. Telling her about my feelings and thoughts, she was understanding, patient and very insightful.

As our discussion progressed, she admitted to me that these tinglings were something she has experienced firsthand. I was both relieved that she understood and could help me make sense of my feelings but also, so incredibly intrigued by my mother’s revelation.

She had come out to me and being the youngest of four kids, my first question was “do the others know?”. With a laugh and smile, she replied with “Dad does. But as for you kids, it’s never come up”. 

Naturally, I had to know more. My urge made even more urgent by the fact, I could know something my brother and sisters didn’t. For my mother, her sexual awakening came early in her twenties. She had grown up in a country town, 451km North west of Sydney with a population of approx. 2,000 inhabitants. Her exposure to anything other than heteronormativity was virtually nothing. Once she finished high school, she moved to the nearest major city for university. It was her exposure to a new way of life and new people which helped her to realise her bisexuality.

In her words, “she had a few female and male dalliances, few wild nights and 1 short lived, down low committed relationship with a woman” during her years at university. It was never something she was ashamed of but simply didn’t want the drama and negativity that would be directed at her if she openly paraded her bisexuality. 

Her family moved to Sydney, during her last year of university and she joined them the following year which is the same time she met my father. Both of my parents admit that while they did love each other, their relationship was never a fairy tale, it definitely wasn’t an all sunshine and roses kinda romance. Early on in their relationship they discussed past experiences and my mother admitted to her bisexuality.

My father was a stereotypical male and excited by the prospect of threesomes. My mother skimmed over the details of this at the time. I was proud that my father gave my mother the freedom to indulge in her fantasies within their agreed boundaries. After a few years together, they got married because that is what was expected of them and they were happy to do so. Children quickly followed and with 4 children over 8 years, her sexuality became more focused on convenience.

It turns out that the open acceptance and understanding that she showed me was exactly what she had been looking for. By the time of her admission, my parents were amicably divorced.

For the first time in 27 years, my mother had the opportunity to explore her sexuality. I wish there had been a community like Skirt Club available to her during this time. Although bisexuality was becoming more spoken about in the mainstream, she said the avenues available to her were limited. She found herself in situations where she was pursuing her bisexuality mostly to appease men. A familiar scenario to many Skirt Clubs ladies. 

As it happens, she found and married my step father, who is a much more conservative man than my father. My mother has since abandoned her own bisexuality in favour of heteronormativity as she simply “lost interest in the puzzle of are we just friends or can I kiss her?”. This makes me sad but according to her she had her fun and now takes the vicarious thrill I offer her with my stories.

Even to this day my mother has never “come out” as bisexual publicly and as far as I can tell, my grandparents are none the wiser. I would assume my siblings have an inkling, but it has never been openly discussed.

I feel enormously proud of her for embracing her sexuality and instilling the same virtue in me. My initial discussions with my mother was the start of our extreme closeness. She is my best friend and the one person in the world who knows EVERYTHING about me.

Oh, and she is firmly in the Angelina Jolie camp, one of the only things we clash on.

Marina’s tips for talking about your sexuality with your children

Image courtesy of Virgina De for Lola Magazine

1. Raise your kids as open and tolerant people, from the very beginning. When explaining to them about where babies come from, use this as an opportunity to highlight that not all families have mummies and daddies, explain that there are kids with two moms or two dads, or kids who live only with a mom, or with their grandparents. Emphasise that there really isn’t a “perfect” or “ideal” formula for families. A good family is one where children are taken care of, valued and loved. Tell them that there are lots of ways to live and be happy besides traditional heterosexual partnerships. Tell them that people are free to love anyone they want, but in some parts of the world, this is not allowed and people have to hide their true selves.

2. Keep your secrets. If you live in an open / polyamourous relationship, or you have a girlfriend (or a boyfriend, or both), your kids obviously don’t need to know ALL of the ins and outs. They don't need to know who you’re sleeping with, unless your partner plays a role in their life. They don't need to know about play parties (definitely not!), kinks you have or dates you go on. Children just want to know that their nest and family is safe and that they can rely on their parents. And they never EVER want to know that their parents have a sex life. Like, ew!

3. If you’re married or in a relationship with a cis/oppositte gender parent, reassure them that your queerness/bisexuality has no bearing on your commitment to this relationship and family unit. It’s important to normalise your set up and reaffirm your love and respect for their other parent and your family unit. If you have other LGBT friends and loved ones, you can reference them for context, too.

4. Tell them the things the way they are. Be matter of fact. You are bi. That's it. Kids aren’t looking for masses of detail or long lectures. They are much more flexible and resilient than adults ever give them credit for.

You can find additional coming out advice from Proud 2b Parents and


Read similar Skirt Club content:

Bisexuality & Me: Member stories 

Putting the 'B' back into LGBT

The Bioneers: history's bi trailblazers

Image Credits:

Virginia De and Lola Magazine


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