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11 year old Pansexual Son

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11 year old Pansexual Son

My 11 year old son mentioned tonight that he is pansexual. 3 months previously he told me he thought he was gay. When we discussed it, he said that he actually didn’t feel attracted to boys but he liked them. He is attracted to girls and only just last week, he asked a girl out. It lasted 24 hours!
He knew a lot about being pansexual and explained it to me as I knew nothing about it.
On both occasions I assured him that whatever he was, providing it wasn’t unlawful or harmed anyone or anything, that I’d support him. That I loved him and that wouldn’t change. That I wasn’t disappointed and nothing had changed. We had cuddles and kisses and I tucked him into bed.
My concern is that I’m confused if this is a phase, part of growing up, too much information availability and him wanting to belong to something or if it’s the beginning of his actual sexual identity.
I haven’t discussed this with my husband and my son has explicitly told me not to. I did suggest to him that he could talk to his 22 year old sister whom he is close to.
Any advice would be appreciated.

Re: 11 year old Pansexual Son

Hey @Marleym00 

Thanks for sharing this with us, its so lovely to read about how you're supporting your son - and its always great when young people educate us on things we know nothing about! How wonderful he was able to share information about pansexuality with you.

I think the suggestion you've made that he could speak to his older sister is a great one, I'm sure he would really appreciate being able to speak to another family member that he trusts. 

I'm interested to know a bit more about what him telling you this means to you? Sometimes sexuality can be fluid for people and sometimes it can take time to work it all out. It sounds like your son is reflecting on what his sexuality means to him, he is the only person who can know for sure whether this is his sexuality or if things might change again - and its great he's got you on this journey.

He clearly really trusts you and you must have such a close and special relationship for him to share this with you Heart


Parent/Carer Community Champion

Re: 11 year old Pansexual Son

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Hi @Marleym00 

Welcome to the parenting forum. I first came here a few weeks ago wanting some advice for one of my daughter's friends and found the parenting forum and have been coming regularly. I have lost touch with a lot of my friends and parents from the school during covid and I've been trying to isolate for health reasons and so I've appreciated the forum. I have a 16 year old son and 14 year old daughter. 

Your son has shown courage talking to you and that also reflects the closeness of your relationship, which is great and very important with the issues he is processing. Encouraging him to chat to his older sister would be great, and ideally being able to share with his Dad would be ideal. Having the support and acceptance of all his immediate family would make such a difference to him as he navigates his way through this. 

In our family we had a different issue, which was my severe medical condition and associated disabilities and there's been a real possibility that I could pass away right from when our daughter was a baby. So, I've always ensured our kids have been involved with various community groups so that if they lose me, they still feel loved and supported. When you're living with complexity, I think these multiple foundations are very important. We have also had dogs and they've helped each of us get through all sorts of things and are amazing. 

My thinking about him exploring his sexuality as an 11 year old, is to take his time and tread slowly. Hang out in groups rather than pairing off. Take one step at a time. He doesn't have to jump in the deep end and make a big announcement to anyone, himself included, about his sexuality. I say that now as a 51 year old when it's much easier to be sensible and I'd rather my own kids didn't get too serious about anyone til they've left school, but I am a realist. 

Your local area health service might have a youth health service which could help steer you both through this. I encourage you to be his safety net, while allowing and empowering him to undertake this journey. I know with my own kids, there's that desire to hover and to try to ease the road. Ideally, he will develop the resilience to get him through life in general and encouraging things that can do that would ease his path. 

I'm sorry my reply is all over the place, but I've had a few goes at this trying to really provide you with a thoughtful response. I hope this helps. If you help your son feel good about himself as a person, and build up strong connections, these will help him cross any hurdle he comes across and help him as he works out his sexuality.

Best wishes,



Re: 11 year old Pansexual Son

I don't think this it "just a phase" in fact, thats what called me out most. As you mentioned, he has probably done LOADS of research. I came out as Bisexual to my mum on my 12 or 13th birthday. I told my mum to not tell my dad either, why? because he is slightly homophobic, he would kick me out of the house. I decided to tell him when i was 20 and got a house already. I suggest you go on and see how it goes, if he stops liking boys then it doesn't mean he isn't pan.