Join the debate. Vote Now on the Dear Abby Poll of the week.

by Abigail Van Buren

DEAR ABBY: What do you do when your daughter tells you she has turned into a lesbian?

My husband and I raised her properly. She was married, but things changed. We are respectable people who try to be loving and kind.

Abby, will our daughter ever "turn around" and realize her biological clock is ticking? Will we ever see grandchildren? -- A MOTHER WHO CARES A LOT

DEAR MOTHER: Your daughter's sexual orientation has nothing to do with the way she was raised. Continue to love her as you always have. She needs your support now more than ever. Although your daughter will probably never "turn around," it is still possible for you and your husband to become grandparents. Many gay couples adopt or give birth to children, so don't give up hope.

I'm sure you may have many more questions than you have put in your letter. An excellent source of information and support for you would be an organization called PFLAG (Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays). Contact them by writing PFLAG, 1726 M St. N.W., Washington, DC 20036, or by e-mail at info(at)pflag.org, or by visiting the Web site at www.pflag.org. You'll be glad you did.

DEAR ABBY: This is for the "Freshman in Dallas," who asked how to adjust to his/her first days in high school. Please print my letter, because I have been in that person's shoes.

Dear Freshman: I'm about to start my senior year. When I was a freshman, I learned that none of my friends would be going to the same school as me because I was going to a magnet school. I was painfully shy, but I loved the theater and decided to join the drama club.

It worked miracles! Not only did I find a slew of new friends, but I overcame my shyness as well.

Any activities, like sports, band or drama, will help you meet great people who share your interests. In these activities, it is also common for a freshman to have friends who are juniors and seniors -- very helpful!

Good luck. I really hope you have as much of a blast as I've had in high school. Ninth grade was my best year so far. -- BEEN THERE AND LOVED IT, NEWPORT NEWS, VA.

DEAR BEEN THERE: I'm sure your upbeat and encouraging letter will be appreciated by more students than the one for whom it is intended. How generous of you to share your personal experience. Read on:

DEAR ABBY: Please recommend that "Freshman" investigate the different campus organizations and activities available at his or her school. There are many clubs and service groups in addition to classes in journalism, yearbook production, drama and music.

All these activities provide legitimate social interactions while students work together on common goals. They are a wonderful way to meet new people, get involved and have fun.

Incidentally, all of these activities look great on college applications. Sign me ... COLLEGE STUDENT IN SANTA CLARITA, CALIF.

DEAR STUDENT: Your letter is sure to provide food for thought to thousands of incoming freshmen. Thank you for the input.

Dear Abby is written by Pauline Phillips and daughter Jeanne Phillips.

For everything you need to know about wedding planning, order "How to Have a Lovely Wedding." Send a business-sized, self-addressed envelope, plus check or money order for $5 (U.S. funds only) to: Dear Abby -- Wedding Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Postage is included in the price.)

4520 Main St., Kansas City, Mo. 64111; (816) 932-6600