Son braces for re­ac­tion to his trans­gen­der fi­ancee

Austin American-Statesman - - THE PLANNER - Jeanne Phillips Dear Abby

Dear Abby: I moved to the Philippines five years ago. While I was there I met “Emma.” Af­ter a few months, I re­al­ized I was in love with her, and last year we be­came en­gaged. I took her to meet my fam­ily. They loved her and sup­ported our en­gage­ment.

I’m now living in the States and she’s still in the Philippines wait­ing for her visa. Emma is trans­gen­der and I don’t know how to tell my fam­ily. I love her and know I want to spend the rest of my life with her, but my dad is ho­mo­pho­bic, and I know he won’t sup­port my de­ci­sion to marry a trans­gen­der wo­man. My mother will also be dis­ap­pointed be­cause we won’t be able to have chil­dren to­gether. What should I do? — For­bid­den Love in Min­nesota

Dear For­bid­den Love: You say that when you in­tro­duced Emma to your fam­ily they liked and ac­cepted her. Be­cause you did not tell them then that your fi­ancee was trans­gen­der, ex­pect them to be sur­prised. That news will bring your fa­ther face to face with his ho­mo­pho­bia. As to your mother, even if Emma were not trans­gen­der, there’s no guar­an­tee that Emma would be able to bear chil­dren. In cases of in­fer­til­ity, cou­ples some­times de­cide to adopt or em­ploy the help of a sur­ro­gate and an egg donor.

As a ma­ture adult, the de­ci­sion about whom you marry should be yours. Your par­ents’ dis­ap­proval should have noth­ing to do with it. If and when you do give them the news, be pre­pared for a neg­a­tive re­ac­tion. How­ever, I see no rea­son why you feel you must tell them since they didn’t ques­tion her gen­der be­fore.

Dear Abby: A long­time friend of mine, “Mia,” mar­ried a little over a year ago and moved a few hours away. They have been hav­ing trou­ble in their mar­riage, but have been try­ing hard to make it work. Mia is now preg­nant, and her baby is due next month.

Over the past few months her hus­band has been mes­sag­ing me on Face­book. He hasn’t said any­thing overtly sex­ual, but it is clearly flir­ta­tious. I don’t know him well, so I ei­ther don’t re­spond or give one-word an­swers.

I feel what he’s do­ing is in­ap­pro­pri­ate, but I’m un­sure how to pro­ceed. He’s ex­tremely sen­si­tive and re­ac­tive to re­jec­tion. I’m afraid if I con­front him, I will no longer be wel­come in their home. I’m also wor­ried that if I tell Mia, she’ll be dev­as­tated and our friend­ship will be ru­ined. Any ad­vice would be ap­pre­ci­ated. — Anony­mous Reader

Dear Anony­mous: If you deal with this di­rectly, your friend’s hus­band will likely deny it and be­come de­fen­sive and puni­tive. Un­less his flir­ta­tion be­comes overtly sex­ual, con­tinue to ig­nore it. Do not re­spond to his mes­sages. If he asks you why, say you are busy. If you feel you must com­ment, keep it ca­sual, re­mote and brief. And ask him to re­lay re­gards to his wife. It may re­mind him that he’s mar­ried.

Dear Abby: Un­der what cir­cum­stances do you ask your adult off­spring (still living at home, work­ing, do­ing their laun­dry, feed­ing them­selves) to con­trib­ute to­ward house­hold ex­penses? — Just Won­der­ing in Penn­syl­va­nia

Dear Just Won­der­ing: At what point? I rec­om­mend you do it tonight!

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