Gay adult son can’t for­give fa­ther’s ex­tremely ho­mo­pho­bic views

Lodi News-Sentinel - - LOCAL/STATE - AN­NIE LANE “Ask Me Any­thing: A Year of Ad­vice From Dear An­nie” is out now! An­nie Lane’s de­but book — fea­tur­ing fa­vorite col­umns on love, friend­ship, fam­ily and eti­quette — is avail­able as a pa­per­back and e-book. Visit http://www.cre­ator­spub­lish­ing.com for

Dear

An­nie: It seems im­pos­si­ble for me to mend my re­la­tion­ship with my son.

He is 38, and I am 68.

Back when he was 22, he came out of the closet and told us he was gay. It took me nearly two years to ac­cept that, and two years of hardly talk­ing. Fi­nally, I ac­cepted it — with a few years of coun­sel­ing.

My son and I got along for a while. But a few years ago, Ohio passed leg­is­la­tion le­gal­iz­ing same-sex mar­riage. To me that was a big no-no, be­cause men don’t marry men. I let him know, big-time, that I was against it.

But he found some­one to of­fi­ci­ate the mar­riage and marry him and his part­ner. He even got the mar­riage li­cense. But he didn’t get mar­ried through a tra­di­tional church.

I told him I would never ac­cept it, and that I hoped his mar­riage fails. Of course, he didn’t like that at all. Even af­ter my coun­sel­ing and apol­o­giz­ing, and be­ing sorry for my be­liefs, still I can­not change how I feel; nor will he change his be­liefs. I want him to put this one thought aside and agree to dis­agree. For two years, he and his hus­band have wanted noth­ing to do with me at all! He still talks to his mom and his brother, but only be­cause they want no an­i­mos­ity be­tween them. — Frus­trated Dad

Dear Frus­trated Dad: If you want to be part of your son’s life, then you’re go­ing to have to ac­cept that he’s gay. You seem to rec­og­nize this fact, and I take it you’re still try­ing to work past your feel­ings in coun­sel­ing. I urge you to keep go­ing to coun­sel­ing and to keep dig­ging within your heart for a way to get past this. He is your son, and life is short. It would be heart­break­ing if you two went the rest of yours with­out ever speak­ing again.

Dear An­nie: Ev­ery year, I see a lot of peo­ple stress about buy­ing presents in grow­ing fam­i­lies and fam­i­lies with dif­fer­ent styles.

My fam­ily has al­ways made Christ­mas lists (I know, I can al­ready hear the boos and gasps), but if done right, lists are not a sign of greed. My fam­ily un­der­stands that a list is not a guar­an­tee of get­ting ev­ery­thing on it. We were raised to be grate­ful for what­ever was given us, whether it was on the list or not. When han­dled cor­rectly, lists make lives eas­ier.

My in-laws don’t like the idea of a lot of presents on Christ­mas, es­pe­cially not for adults. They don’t buy us presents, but be­cause they value ex­pe­ri­ences, their whole fam­ily gets to­gether to bake cook­ies and treats and sends those out to ev­ery­one. To re­spect their tra­di­tions, I look for ac­tiv­i­ties to give the kids, such as a Build-a-Bear gift cer­tifi­cate or a sub­scrip­tion box for a ro­bot-build­ing kit. Those gifts are the most ap­pre­ci­ated for that fam­ily be­cause they of­fer ex­pe­ri­ences and mem­o­ries.

So, can we just start lis­ten­ing to each other around this sub­ject? Maybe that way we can spend less time try­ing to guess the per­fect gift for some­one and more time talk­ing and en­joy­ing each other and the sea­son. — Check­ing My List

Dear Check­ing My List: It’s hard to be­lieve that it’s al­ready al­most time to start talk­ing about hol­i­day shop­ping, but here we are. My Christ­mas wish this year is that we all fo­cus on be­ing grate­ful for the pres­ence of our loved ones rather than wor­ried about the presents.

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