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'I felt like I'd failed my bisexual daughter. Then we watched The Bachelorette together.'

As a mum of four (and sometimes more as we foster) I often wondered if one of my kids might come out to me one day and it didn’t faze me one bit. Honestly, not for a single second. 

I’d imagined the conversation and how flipping supportive I was going to be. I would help them be whoever they wanted, however they wanted to do that, because that is the kind of mum I want to be. The kind of person I am.

But when my 13-year-old daughter Caja told me she was bisexual while we tried on clothes in the H&M changing rooms, that isn't what happened. 

Instead, my words came tumbling like verbal diarrhea and I just made it worse.  

Watch the trailer for the Bachelorette 2021. Post continues below. 


Video via Ten

“How can you be bisexual if you are not even sexual?” I blurted out. “Is this because some of your mates have come out? You’re all confused.”

Her tears fell, and my heart broke for her. So much pressure these days from friends and social media to feel you need to have a label. 

But looking back now the only one confused about sexuality and labels, was me.

Image: Supplied.

Don’t get me wrong, I felt like a terrible mum. I was straight into my mums group chat that night confessing how I felt like I failed as a parent, but I still thought it was her, not me, who had it wrong.

Fast forward to Wednesday night and The Bachelorette season premiere.  

Caja made us both hot chocolates and sat on the sofa next to me. She has never been that interested in the show before so it was kind of nice. 

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She ohhed and ahhed over the dresses and noted that the tradie love seat guy had dodgy bleached hair like the boys at school.  

The next day we were still talking about it. I had so many questions and she had all the answers.

“So you can be bisexual, but never be with a woman?” I asked. 

And she was smiling ear to ear as she explained a million various situations that could happen. 

Image: Supplied.

I’m so thankful that Brooke has put herself out there to shine the light on modern day sexuality. I know I won't be the only one who is learning a lot from the show and honestly as a nation, we need it.

I know I am only just touching the surface of what it means to my daughter to be in the LGBTQIA+ community and for me to be an ally. 

But I’m going to keep learning and Caja is happy to keep teaching me.

Caja says:

"I felt crushed when mum reacted that way. I mean, I get that she is worried about peer pressure and that stuff is valid, but dismissing my feelings was harsh.

"I do know she didn’t mean it though, if anything I’m mostly proud of how progressive she is about so many things. She is the first to stand up and fight for human rights and important issues, she was just really out of touch on this one.

"I really loved watching Brooke on The Bachelorette. I love that its is showing Australia that being bisexual is not what most people expect. I absolutely encourage anyone with tweens or teens to use the show as an opportunity to open up the conversation with your kids. I think you will be pretty surprised by what they have to say."

Caja’s tips on what to say (and not to say) to kids coming out:

  • Don’t say it’s a phase
  • Do say you believe them 
  • Don’t ignore it 
  • Do ask what kind of support they need 
  • Don’t say you always knew 
  • Do get support and read up yourself. 

Jonica is an adoptive and foster mum of four (sometimes more) you can follow her honest and relatable family updates on Instagram

Feature Image: Supplied.

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