Darcy Reeder, yup. It’s complicated, though. The letter I got asking the question explained things in a little more detail. It’s hard striking a balance with an advice column. There’s a tension between keeping things reasonably short and pithy, and putting all the info on the table.

The full question explains that the young women’s parents are quite liberal. They have gay friends and are accepting and affirming of other gay family members. She’s not worried that her parents would reject her or judge her religiously. It’s more a pressure she feels to conform to culture.

She’s deeply distressed at the idea of disappointing her mother by not presenting her with a handsome, brilliant son-in-law and a couple beautiful grandchildren.

She wants to live the sort of idealized life that she grew up to value, and she’s afraid her parents will be secretly crushed if she doesn’t.

I imagine she’s mostly wrong about that, but it’s hard to accept oneself as gay when raised in a situation that’s not homophobic but that remains strongly hetero-normative.

This actually surprises me. I wouldn’t have predicted it a generation ago, but I encounter a lot of young LGBTQ people who feel like this.

Hence my advice to just be as supportive a friend as possible. What else is there in a situation like this?

Written by

Writer. Runner. Marine. Airman. Former LGBTQ and HIV activist. Former ActUpNY and Queer Nation. Polyglot. Middle-aged, uppity faggot. jamesfinnwrites@gmail.com

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