DEAR READERS: On December 6, I published a letter from “Lost in Louisiana,” whose daughter’s fiancé called off their wedding three days before the event “because she is bisexual.”
The mother was concerned about her daughter’s new choices in female partners and upset that she had lied, and told her daughter “not to bring these women with her.”
After responding to the letter, I heard from members of the LGBTQ+ community – particularly bisexual people – that I “could have done better” with my response.
I have since learned that the bisexual community is the largest, least visible, and most misunderstood segment of the LGBTQ+ community. This has helped perpetuate the myth that bisexuality is halfway between straight and gay, a “stepping stone” for people who identify as lesbian or gay, or an identity that people claim to deny being lesbian or gay. Not true.
Being bisexual simply means that the person has the ability to be attracted to people of different genders. And just because someone is bisexual doesn’t mean they can’t be monogamous.
I regret not pointing out to the parents that their unsupportive reaction might be a reason why their daughter had not come out to them as bisexual sooner.
Additionally, I might have suggested that in order to become a safe, loving, and assertive presence for their daughter, they educate themselves about bisexuality. If they do, their daughter might be more willing to hear their concerns about her partner choices, which are less about the gender of those partners and more about how they treat their daughter.
— LOVE, ABBY
DEAR ABBY: A sister-in-law on my wife’s side stayed with us in Florida for a week and a half. I really like it and we all had a lovely visit.
She has already stayed with us, alone and with my brother-in-law. We welcome them with open arms. Family means a lot to us.
Now for the problem: After he left, I found an envelope with a thank you card and $200 in it. I feel insulted, because they are always welcome here. We are not a B&B.
This is the first time something like this has happened.
We have a nice house, but my wife was complaining about money problems in front of our guest. We are going through a tough time right now, but we are not broke or destitute. Compared to us, my in-laws are rich.
My ego is bruised. We are better off than most people and fortunate to have everything we have.
I want to send the money back with a gracious thank you note, but my wife says no.
I’m angry with her too. Was she out of line by not keeping our financial situation private?
— SMOKING IN FLORIDA
DEAR SMOKING: Please don’t be angry at the gift, which was given with love. Write the sister-in-law a gracious thank you note, keep the money, and tell her she doesn’t need to give you more because your situation isn’t dire.
I don’t think your wife crossed the line – I think she was just chatting with her family when she made that remark.
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 PO Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.
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