Dear Savvy Auntie,

My 14-year-old niece thinks she’s bisexual.

She told her mom who was very warm and inviting for her daughter to open up. But one thing I disagree with is that she told my niece that she didn't think she was old enough, or has had enough experience with boys, to be making this decision.

I disagree; I think at 14 you are aware of your sexuality . I know I was.

As they live in a small community outside of a larger city, my sister thought it best that my niece keep this between the two of them, until my niece experienced what it is like to date boys.

Technically, I'm not supposed to know, but my sister couldn't share it with her girlfriends in the community as some of the adults are the biggest culprits for spreading rumors and secrets.

It makes it tough, as I want my niece to know I support her; gay, straight, bisexual - I don't care, as long as she finds love and happiness.

Thoughts on how I can broach the subject, without betraying my sister?

Bisexual Niece

Dear Bisexual Niece,

Since many teens (girls especially) go through a stage of being attracted to girls and have major crushes on women (teachers and celebrities), it is necessary to fully know why your niece thinks she is bisexual. Has she actually had sex with either gender? Is she upset about the possibility? Is she trying to define herself in a unique way? Is she boasting? Is she fearful of a relationship that includes sex? It is a difficult time in her life and the culture makes it even more complicated with its emphasis on looks, sex, and girl-with-girl physicality and intimacy.

Since you are not supposed to know, I suggest you keep being the loving accepting aunt you have been. It would be great if she opens up to you about relationships and if the opportunity arises you can make a casual statement about teen confusions and sexual questions…keep it light.

Remember that your sexual experience and consciousness is a study of one, from a different generation, and may not apply to your niece.

I wish you much luck,
Natalie Robinson Garfield

Photo: anpet2000 ,

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