Non-Binary Daughter

My daughter is 11 (almost 12) and a few years ago told me that she is gay. She had a “girlfriend” at school and some of her other friends identify as gay also. Honestly, I wasn’t sure if being gay was true for my daughter as she hadn’t even started puberty yet when she decided this. But I was supportive and we have always talked about it and she has always felt comfortable coming to me about it.

In the last couple of weeks, she has told me that she’s non-binary and wants us to use “they/them” pro-nouns for her. I’m having a hard time with this one. This seems to be the next level up and I’m having the same thought I did when she told me she’s gay – “I’m not sure this is real” and “I think she’s being influenced by other things like social media and people she meets”.

And yesterday, she asked me if we could get her a binder for her chest because that’s what her friend Joe uses. Joe is a friend she met through an online meeting in a LGBTQ group who is “female assigned at birth” but now identifies as a boy. Again, I feel like she’s being influenced and isn’t really identifying as non-binary.

The crazy thing is that I don’t have any issue with the LGBTQ community or even that my daughter says she’s gay (whether she is or not). I feel like if she wants to explore what that means for her, then that’s fine and she’ll either discover that she is or isn’t gay, or maybe she discovers a different version that’s comfortable for her.

But her saying that she’s non-binary, wants to use they/them pro-nouns, and now wants a binder for her chest is too much. Let me be clear, I don’t think there is anything wrong with my daughter and I’m not angry with her, but I gave birth to a girl and she has been a “girly-girl” her whole life until recently. And now she’s made this dramatic shift from that to wearing oversize sweatshirts, cutting her hair short, and denouncing anything that has to do with being “girly”. It’s too much. I want my daughter back. I want to be accepting of her but I can’t accept this.