My daughter who is gender neutral/bi had a game she would play with her friends where they would jokingly say, "I want to have sex with you," and then laugh. She said this to a younger girl from a conservative/phobic family and told her she was just joking. That girl told herparents, the girl's father expressed his displeasure, and my daughter avoided the girl the rest of the time we were with this family. Three years later we were at an activity that this conservative/phobic family attends and I found out that the girl is still messed up from this little encounter and still feels really uncomfortable about my daughter. Apparently my daughter is an "evil attack lesbo" to this family but she (my daughter) did not even attend the activity this year. I am very upset about the whole thing. Here is my question: The girls were both minors at the time. Is there any law that would allow this family to charge my daughter with something after all these years? They claim my daughter put her arms around the girl but my daughter says maybe only some leaning into personal space took place. I am a bit concerned about our safety and how far their phobia may go. Fortunately, they live in a different part of the state and it's highly unlikely that we will ever seem them again.

She Said, She Said

My response after the jump...


I'm not a lawyer, SSSS, but I do know that sexual harassment laws and statutes of limitations vary from state to state—and I don't know what state you're in. But even if the sexual harassment laws where you live are broad and the statute of limitations is lengthy, I doubt very much that a prosecutor could be persuaded to bring charges against someone for having said something shitty/dirty/inappropriate to someone else back when both were children. And I don't think the "leaning into personal space" (your daughter's account) or "arms around the girl" (the other girl's account) would really make a difference.

Again, I'm not a lawyer. If any lawyers out there reading this want to jump into the comments thread, feel free.

But you know what I am? I'm a parent, SSSS, and as a parent I have to say: The game your daughter was playing doesn't sound very funny and I sincerely hope that you, as her parent, discouraged her from "playing" it. Not to squelch her gender neutrality, her bisexuality, or her curiosity about sex—God forbid—but because a sexual "joke" that may seem funny to one child and her peers could seem threatening or scary to, say, a child who is younger, more sheltered, not in on the joke, not into the joke, etc. It's possible that this whole stupid, messy business could've been avoided if you had communicated to your daughter that the dumb wanna-have-sex-with-you game was for close friends only, i.e. kids whose sense of humor she had some read on, and not for new kids.