Our expert says:
Firstly, please relax. Panicking doesn't help anyone. Kids around that age are often not clear about their sexual identity, and some who are indeed gay do indeed start to feel more convinced about that at around this age. Gay or straight, going off to live with anyone instead of completing matric is plain stupid.
If she is gay, that need not be any sort of disaster ; if shes confused, reacting too hectically won't help at all. Calm down, and don't make this a calamity. The more you try to force your kid to come home immediately, the more likely it is that she'll become more stubborn and then when she starts to have doubts about her decision, it'll make it harder for her to come back.
She is still legally underage. This could be a legal problem for her girlfriend, if she is older than your daughter, but check with a lawyer.
Some of these daft romantic ideas turn out to be so much more miswerable than they expect, that they become more open to changing their plans back to something more sensible, given a bit of time to find what its like to have no money, and no help.
Maybe suggest you meet with her and her friend for coffee somewhere public, and stay calm and talk about what their plans actually are, asking calm but reasonable questions about funding, how she'll pay for her schooling, how she'll get to and from school, how they will support themselves, especially if she doesn't complete her matric and preferably further education / training, too. Don't harp on the sexual aspect of this, but on the practical problems. Maybe she can copme back to live at home but still see her friend ; they may not remain so sure they want to be together in time - most early teenage passions don't last.
See a counsellor for yourself, to help deal with your own feelings and reactions, and to work out how more usefully to respond. And identify a possible counsellor for your daughter, maybe even for her and her friend.
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