Gay brother os­tra­cized by par­ents

The Commercial Appeal - - Sports -

I am 13 years old, and I live in Ken­tucky. I have a prob­lem with my par­ents that I can’t fix.

I have an older brother, “Greg,” whom I love and look up to as a role model. He is 24 years old and my fa­vorite per­son in the world. Six months ago, he came out as gay to my par­ents and me. He told us he has been in a se­cret re­la­tion­ship with “Harry,” his best friend since he was 15 years old. They have been shar­ing an apart­ment for three years.

My par­ents went bal­lis­tic and dis­owned him. They said he was no longer wel­come in our home. I got re­ally up­set and biked over to his apart­ment a few times to see him.

When my par­ents found out, they banned me from see­ing him or talk­ing to him in any way. They threat­ened to ac­cuse him of kid­nap­ping if he ever sees me again.

I got into a big ar­gu­ment with them and begged them to let me see him. My dad said Greg is a dan­ger to me and is a dis­gust­ing per­son.

Greg has al­ways been noth­ing but a great older brother to me. Since he moved out three years ago, I have had a bunch of sleep­overs at his apart­ment. Nei­ther he nor Harry has ever done any­thing in front of me that even made me think they are a cou­ple.

An­nie, I love my brother so much and miss him. He is so cool and the best per­son I know. I don’t care that he is gay.

Dad said that it is his job to keep me safe and that if I want to see Greg, I will have to wait till I am 18. My brother tried to talk to my par­ents about this, and they slammed the door in his face. I tried to talk to my school coun­selor, but she said I must ac­cept my par­ents’ de­ci­sions be­cause they only have my best in­ter­est in mind. Please help find a way to change their minds.

I am so sorry you’ve been sep­a­rated from your big brother. I know your heart is hurt­ing. I would en­cour­age your brother to speak to a lawyer about op­tions to pro­tect him against kid­nap­ping charges, should that arise in the future. I’d also sug­gest you call the LGBT Na­tional Youth Talk­line (800-246-7743), which pro­vides fac­tual in­for­ma­tion and re­sources for cities and towns across the coun­try.

Thank you so much for pub­lish­ing the let­ter from John, the re­tired Marine. It was so up­lift­ing and spot on. Many thanks for your won­der­ful col­umn. Your ad­vice is al­ways so per­ti­nent to the sit­u­a­tion.

Thank you for writ­ing. I re­ceived a great deal of pos­i­tive feed­back regarding John’s let­ter. I’m print­ing your re­sponse so John might see that he’s made some­one smile.

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