Times Standard (Eureka)

Pride flag creates confusion for parents

- Contact Amy Dickinson via email at askamy@ amydickins­on.com.

DEAR AMY » My stepdaught­er is 21. She came out as gay about a year ago.

We have been very supportive of her. We are very fond of her girlfriend.

For Christmas, the two of them bought my wife and me a pride flag to display on our front porch.

I have to be honest that while supportive I do not have any desire to fly the pride flag on my house.

My stepdaught­er and her girlfriend do not live with us and I don’t think they even have a flag at their own home.

Is there anything I can say or do to not sound like a terrible person that I don’t want to fly this flag at my home?

My wife may also feel offended if I say something against this.

I’m really struggling with this.

— Ally

DEAR ALLY » This presents an opportunit­y for you and your wife to learn the intent and symbolism behind this gift.

Did these two women present you with this flag to acknowledg­e your allyship? Have they given this to you in hopes that you will somehow complete your ally-journey by quite literally flying the flag?

I asked my friend Zack Ford to weigh in (Zack most recently covered LGBTQ issues for ThinkProgr­ess). He responds: “First, the parents need to talk to each other: What is their hesitation to put out the flag?

Are they concerned about how neighbors will react? Do they not want to have to explain or defend it to others?

“Then of course talk to their daughter. Does she feel like she needs more support from them, and if so, what does that need to look like?”

Zack and I agree that once you communicat­e about this and know more about the intent, you could make a decision.

We also agree that if you ultimately don’t want to display it, you shouldn’t.

One possible compromise is that you might fly this flag for a period during June, which is LGBTQ Pride month.

DEAR AMY » Regarding the question from “Canine Questions” regarding her boyfriend, who lets his dog roam free, I work with animal control officers who have to go out and talk to people like this gentleman who refuses to contain his dog per the regulation­s of the city or county he lives in.

Every single city or county in this country has a rule where all dogs must be leashed or contained in areas when outside, up to date on rabies, and licensed.

— Concerned for Canines

DEAR CONCERNED » This also presents considerab­le risk to the dog, other animals, and humans.

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