To bisexuals, trisexuals . . . piesexuals?: A conversation with my daughter

Pride FlagsMy 10-year-old daughter started singing lines from Rent at dinner last night. I reminded her to not sing the parts of La Vie Boheme that she doesn’t understand in front of other people until she asks me what they mean (if you’ve heard the song, you know what I mean).

She said, “okay,” and proceeded to sing, “to bisexuals, trisexuals, homo sapiens . . .”

And then followed up with, “You know there’s also piesexual.”

Me: “Do you mean pansexual?”

Kiddo: “Oh yeah, that’s it. Do you know which one I am?”

Me: “No. Only you know that.”

Kiddo: “I’m not sure.”

Me: “And that’s totally okay. You don’t have to know.”

Kiddo: “And you know it has nothing to do with gender, right?”

This is how the 30-minute conversation about sexual orientation and gender identity started. I am consistently floored by the dually existing maturity and vulnerability in my child. We spoke about the spectrum of sexuality, about the differences between bisexuality and pansexuality, about labels by definition and preferred labels, about gender identity, about asexuality. And she participated with interest and composure. She also showed uncertainty, a bit of insecurity in not knowing how to identify herself. And she smiled when I told her that there are tons of people still figuring that out . . . even at my age.

This how the conversation ended:

Kiddo: “If I had to say one right now, I’d say I’m straight.”

Me: “That’s totally okay. And it’s okay if it stays that way forever, and it’s okay if it doesn’t. You are loved and accepted as you are. If you only ever like boys . . . . if you realize later you like girls too, to whatever degree . . . . all that matters to the people who love you and care about you is that you are happy.”

And again, she smiled.

***I understand that as my daughter gets older, she both needs and desires more privacy. Any conversations with, photos of, or stories about her are only shared with her explicit permission.***