Lesbian Sleepover – Should your daughter’s GF “sleep over” at your place?
by RV/Vijay · Published · Updated
Question on Parenting
This is probably happening as we speak.
Prudie advises a parent unsure whether to let a daughter’s girlfriend stay with them if her parents don’t know she’s gay.
Q. Houseguest or no?: My 16-year-old daughter is gay. This past summer, she met a girl on our family vacation who was at first a close friend but whom she now considers to be her girlfriend. Because they live on opposite coasts, all of their contact is via text/Skype. While they were still just friends, I promised my daughter that the other girl could come and stay with us for the summer. Recently, I suggested that my daughter give the other girl’s parents my number so that we could discuss details. That is when my daughter disclosed that her friend’s parents have no idea that she is involved with another girl and would “kill her” if they found out. She is begging me for secrecy. I don’t want to kill my daughter’s romance, and I certainly don’t want to out someone against her will, but I also don’t feel comfortable lying to another parent about the nature of a visit. To me, a “girlfriend” visit and a “friend” visit are different, and a parent of a 16-year-old has the right to determine if it is appropriate or not. Advice?
A: I’m not sure if “they would kill her” is standard teenage hyperbole or if your daughter’s girlfriend is at actual risk of physical violence from her homophobic family. LGBT youth face a much higher risk of violence and homelessness after being rejected by their family of origin. You’re absolutely right not to want to out her, in any case. Talk with your daughter about her girlfriend’s living situation. Is she in immediate danger? Does she have a place to stay if her family discovers her orientation and throw her out? While it’s understandable that you don’t want to host your daughter’s girlfriend in the same way you would have happily hosted a platonic friend, it’s possible that you and your family can be a resource for this poor girl.
You may not feel comfortable hosting her under the guise of “just friendship,” but perhaps you could arrange for her to stay with a family friend so the two of them could see one another without temporarily moving in together. If that still doesn’t sit well with you, I think it’s fine to tell your daughter you have separate sleepover rules for friends and girlfriends, and now that they’re dating, you can’t host this girl in your home, but I hope that you can continue to offer support and acceptance to her. It sounds like she’s going to need it.