Dear Straight Talk: My stepsister and I have fallen in love. We're both girls and both 17. Our parents just think we have become close friends and are pleased. I used to be attracted to both girls and guys, but now that we are in love, I have no interest in guys, so I think I must be gay. Luckily our parents support gay rights, including gay marriage. Still, we are unsure how they will feel about us and if they will continue letting us share a bed. We know our love will last and plan to marry when it's legal, but we don't know how to approach our parents. In some ways, I think the sooner the better, but please advise. - In Love in Sacramento
Scot, 23: Good news. You don't have to tell your parents so it's not an issue. I am a hopeless romantic and would love to tell you your love will last forever. But you have a lot of growing left, and female sexuality is known to be fluidand changeable. Why stir things up before you've even gotten to live together more than a couple weekends a month? Wait until you're done with school.
Gregg, 19: It's great you plan to get married, but don't be rash. You are like Romeo and Juliet, stealing two secret weekends a month. It's hardly a tested relationship.
Mark, 24: There is a huge difference between parents accepting homosexuality and their own children experimenting with it - especially in your out-of-the-norm situation. Things are working as is, so be safe and honest with each other, and it should end or continue peacefully. Replace guilt about keeping this a secret with, "I am learning about myself."
Vanessa, 22: Your parents might be more upset if they catch you. They may not support bed-sharing in their home, but if you plan on getting married, sleeping separately for awhile shouldn't hurt things.
Katelyn, 16: Even though your "love will last" this is incest. Also, if you only "think" you're gay, you could change your mind. Look for partners outside the family.
Winter, 18: Start by telling your parents you are gay. Depending on their reaction, you can share more. Or not.
Heather, 20: This could be a phase. If it's still happening a few years from now, then bring it out. Your parents may be pro-gay but not regarding their own kids.
Dear In Love: I don't recommend coming out as gay to parents unless you no longer rely on them for support. Even the most tolerant parents can become destructive upon hearing the news - and your situation is a triple powder keg. Your situation is why I urge parents to provide twin beds, despite the protests from young people that "nothing" is going to happen. I simply get too many letters like this.
No this isn't incest (you're not blood-related), and I'm not opposed to gay marriage (not that I'm convinced you are gay), but having regular underage teen sex under your parents' roof is "too adult" for my taste - unless perhaps they know and you are paying rent. Otherwise, it's like cheating on them. I recommend that you separate your sleeping arrangements. If you must continue your affair, do so in less convenient settings. It's amazing what a lack of convenience can reveal about love.
To ask a question or inquire about
being a youth panelist, visit
or write to P.O. Box 963,
Fair Oaks, CA 95628