DEAR ABBY: I’m a 30-something bisexual man who is in a relationship with a bisexual woman the same age. We both lived different lives and dated a variety of people before we met, but now I am pretty certain she is The One. The issue arises when it comes to how others, particularly my parents and their friends, perceive us.
To us, we are two queer people who have identified as some form of queer or bisexual since we were teenagers. We have repeatedly faced backlash from conservative family members and family friends about those we are attracted to. One of my mother’s best friends is extremely homophobic. She has, at various holiday parties my parents have hosted, loudly voiced her homophobic views, including how proud she was to vote against same-sex marriage.
How can I kindly explain to my mother that my girlfriend and I are NOT STRAIGHT, and it’s wrong to attach the straight label to us when we don’t identify that way? Also, I want to say that I don’t feel comfortable around her friend. A lot of what she talks about involves denigrating the sexuality of folks I have deep affection for.
My mother is extremely defensive about her friend. She didn’t take it kindly when I told her I deserve an apology for having to sit through this woman’s homophobic diatribes given that I am LGBTQ myself. We would like to be married in the next couple of years and make it a homophobia-free wedding. Can you help? — UN-STRAIGHT IN MICHIGAN
DEAR UN-STRAIGHT: The way to explain to your mother that you and your soon-to-be fiancee are not straight would be to tell her that in plain English. If you want to ensure that you and the woman you love have a homophobia-free wedding, plan it yourselves and control the guest list.
DEAR ABBY: I have been married to “Jeff” for nearly 50 years. He suddenly learned through DNA that he has a 52-year-old son. The son has visited him, and they have talked on the phone. The guy was conceived in the summer of 1970. I started seeing my husband in September of that year.
Jeff wants this man to leave him alone, and I can’t deal with it either. We have three grown children, two of whom have become friends with this guy. There’s no denying him. He looks more like Jeff than our son does. Evidently, the mother (who is deceased) never told him who his dad was. Are we wrong to feel this way? — DON’T WANT TO DEAL WITH IT
DEAR DON’T: What does this man want from your husband? If it’s information, it should be shared. However, if what he’s seeking is the father he never had and a sense of belonging in your family, and you don’t have it in your hearts to give it to him, then your feelings are your feelings. You have a right to them. I would gently remind you, however, that our society has changed a great deal over the last half-century. While the kind of news you received used to be shocking or embarrassing, people today are far less judgmental and more welcoming than they used to be.
Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Contact Dear Abby at www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.