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15 Times Dear Abby Was An LGBTQ Ally

With a worldwide readership of more than 110 million, the most widely syndicated columnist is—and always has been—an LGBTQ ally.

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If you don't know Dear Abby, you're missing out.

Her advice column has been running since 1956, and currently has 110 million readers world-wide. She's also a champion of educating her readers on LGBTQ issues.

She helped a woman who had been shut out of her son's life

"DEAR ABBY: I came out of the closet when my son was 4. I thought I had taught him not to judge because of a label. He's now 30, with a wife and two adorable children who own my heart.When my granddaughter was born, my partner and I were at the hospital and have visited with them often and they with us. However, after my grandson was born last year, my son quit speaking to me.I have asked him numerous times what the issue is. His response is: "I have to protect my children from people who are gay. I don't want them to know anyone who is gay." His wife and her family are very religious, and I feel this is the real reason. What can I do? -- HEARTBROKEN GAY GRANNYDEAR HEARTBROKEN: If your son is under the mistaken impression that he is going to somehow "protect" his children by isolating them from gay people, he must be living in an alternate reality. Does he also plan to emigrate to the moon?I suspect you have put your finger squarely on the reason why your son is now ostracizing you. His wife appears to wield the power in that family, and could benefit by learning more about homosexuality and her religion, which I assume preaches love and tolerance for one's fellow man rather than judgment and exclusion.You can't force your son and his wife to have contact with you if they don't want to. Leave open the possibility that they may, over time, reconcile their love for you with their faith.For your own emotional well-being, it's important you find other outlets for your maternal instincts and go on with your life because any child would be blessed to be a part of it. Sadly, a large number of LGBT young people are rejected by their parents when they come out. These kids would benefit greatly from having a positive adult mentor like you. This could be your golden opportunity to make a significant, positive difference in someone's life. Contact Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays at pflag.org to find out how to get involved."Original post here.
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"DEAR ABBY: I came out of the closet when my son was 4. I thought I had taught him not to judge because of a label. He's now 30, with a wife and two adorable children who own my heart.

When my granddaughter was born, my partner and I were at the hospital and have visited with them often and they with us. However, after my grandson was born last year, my son quit speaking to me.

I have asked him numerous times what the issue is. His response is: "I have to protect my children from people who are gay. I don't want them to know anyone who is gay." His wife and her family are very religious, and I feel this is the real reason. What can I do? -- HEARTBROKEN GAY GRANNY

DEAR HEARTBROKEN: If your son is under the mistaken impression that he is going to somehow "protect" his children by isolating them from gay people, he must be living in an alternate reality. Does he also plan to emigrate to the moon?

I suspect you have put your finger squarely on the reason why your son is now ostracizing you. His wife appears to wield the power in that family, and could benefit by learning more about homosexuality and her religion, which I assume preaches love and tolerance for one's fellow man rather than judgment and exclusion.

You can't force your son and his wife to have contact with you if they don't want to. Leave open the possibility that they may, over time, reconcile their love for you with their faith.

For your own emotional well-being, it's important you find other outlets for your maternal instincts and go on with your life because any child would be blessed to be a part of it. Sadly, a large number of LGBT young people are rejected by their parents when they come out. These kids would benefit greatly from having a positive adult mentor like you. This could be your golden opportunity to make a significant, positive difference in someone's life. Contact Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays at pflag.org to find out how to get involved."

Original post here.

She shut down neighbours that thought it was OK to shun the gay couples in their community

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"DEAR ABBY: My husband and I relocated to Florida a little over a year ago and were quickly welcomed into our new neighbors' social whirl. Two couples in the neighborhood are gay -- one male, one female. While they are nice enough, my husband and I did not include them when it was our turn to host because we do not approve of their lifestyle choices. Since then, we have been excluded from neighborhood gatherings, and someone even suggested that we are bigots!

Abby, we moved here from a conservative community where people were pretty much the same. If people were "different," they apparently kept it to themselves. While I understand the phrase "when in Rome," I don't feel we should have to compromise our values just to win the approval of our neighbors. But really, who is the true bigot here? Would you like to weigh in? -- UNHAPPY IN TAMPA

DEAR UNHAPPY: I sure would. The first thing I'd like to say is that regardless of what you were told in your previous community, a person's sexual orientation isn't a "lifestyle choice." Gay people don't choose to be gay; they are born that way. They can't change being gay any more than you can change being heterosexual.

I find it interesting that you are unwilling to reciprocate the hospitality of people who welcomed you and opened their homes to you, and yet you complain because you are receiving similar treatment.

From where I sit, you may have chosen the wrong place to live because it appears you would be happier in a less integrated neighborhood surrounded by people who think the way you do. But if you interact only with people like yourselves, you will have missed a chance for growth, which is what you have been offered here. Please don't blow it."

Original post here.

She answered questions a woman had questions about what her boyfriend's bisexuality meant

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"DEAR ABBY: My boyfriend and I have been together for 18 months. Last night we were talking about doing more in the bedroom, and he told me that he is bisexual.

I have nothing against the LGBT community, but finding this out after so long shocked me. I'm worried now, and I can't seem to wrap my head around the fact that he has sex with guys. I just can't quite look at or think of him the same way.

I really do love him and can still see a future with him. I just don't know how to handle this BIG news. Please, Abby, you're my only hope. -- LIZ IN TEXAS

DEAR LIZ: I would be curious about why your boyfriend waited so long to tell you. Because someone is bisexual does not mean the person is unfaithful and sleeping with both sexes at the same time. It simply means the person is attracted to members of both sexes. You need to have further discussion with your boyfriend regarding his attitude about his commitment to you before deciding what to do about his "big" news."

Original post here.

She coached a woman through her husband identifying as transgender

"DEAR ABBY: A year ago, my husband of four years disclosed to me that he's transgender. We have a 3-year-old who has medical problems, which has resulted in numerous surgeries. Our lives have changed beyond belief, and I'm afraid our marriage has been damaged beyond repair.He has come out of the closet, and I have gone into one to protect his secret and hide my heartache and devastation. The pain I feel is mostly for the lifelong struggles my husband has endured, but now I'm feeling the loss of my husband and our happy future together because I can't be the wife he needs.How do I know that I've tried every option to make this work, especially when I am the only one regularly seeking therapy? When do I resign myself to the fact that my expectations of our marriage will never be achievable? And how do I say I want out without risking his (her) well-being? -- LAST STRAW IN THE MIDWESTDEAR LAST STRAW: It would be helpful for you to get emotional support in addition to the counselor you have been seeing. There are no "magic words" to tell your husband you can no longer live with the new person he's becoming.However, I know of a group that can help you. You would benefit greatly by contacting the Straight Spouse Network, a group that was started by Amity Pierce Buxton, Ph.D., in the '80s. It offers peer support, as well as an online (worldwide) network of support groups. Just knowing you're not alone with this problem should be comforting. Find it at www.straightspouse.org."Original post here.
Giphy / Via giphy.com

"DEAR ABBY: A year ago, my husband of four years disclosed to me that he's transgender. We have a 3-year-old who has medical problems, which has resulted in numerous surgeries. Our lives have changed beyond belief, and I'm afraid our marriage has been damaged beyond repair.

He has come out of the closet, and I have gone into one to protect his secret and hide my heartache and devastation. The pain I feel is mostly for the lifelong struggles my husband has endured, but now I'm feeling the loss of my husband and our happy future together because I can't be the wife he needs.

How do I know that I've tried every option to make this work, especially when I am the only one regularly seeking therapy? When do I resign myself to the fact that my expectations of our marriage will never be achievable? And how do I say I want out without risking his (her) well-being? -- LAST STRAW IN THE MIDWEST


DEAR LAST STRAW:
It would be helpful for you to get emotional support in addition to the counselor you have been seeing. There are no "magic words" to tell your husband you can no longer live with the new person he's becoming.

However, I know of a group that can help you. You would benefit greatly by contacting the Straight Spouse Network, a group that was started by Amity Pierce Buxton, Ph.D., in the '80s. It offers peer support, as well as an online (worldwide) network of support groups. Just knowing you're not alone with this problem should be comforting. Find it at www.straightspouse.org."

Original post here.

She told a nosy brother to MYOB about his sister's sexuality

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"DEAR ABBY: I think my sister "Gladys" is a lesbian. And I don't know how to approach her to ask.

I think she's a lesbian because at 44 she has never been married. She hasn't even had a boyfriend since 1998. She still lives with our parents and acts like she's daddy's little girl. She does everything with Dad, and Mom usually stays home.

My sister is an RN and has only one friend from the hospital where she works. Of course, that friend is a woman. How can I ask my sister if she prefers women and why she is still alone at her age? -- BIG BROTHER IN CALIFORNIA

DEAR BIG BROTHER: I would caution you against doing that. If you and your sister were close and she was gay, she would have said something to you by now. Not all women meet the right man, and not all women these days want to be married. It does not mean they are lesbians.

Your sister is gainfully employed, so the fact that she lives with your parents does not mean she's financially exploiting them. That you would call her "daddy's little girl" is pejorative and implies that you're jealous of the relationship she has with your father, which is why I think you should MYOB."

Original post here.

She educated a mother on polyamourous relationships

"DEAR ABBY: My daughter, the mother of six children, has left her husband and is now involved in a three-way with a man and woman. She has not shielded her kids from these "new friends," as she calls them. Because I won't let her "friends" come along, she refuses to visit me.I love my daughter, but I consider this relationship to be sick, and I hate that she's exposing her children to these people. Am I wrong to tell her to leave her bedroom activity out of the picture and visit me for just a day without them? We were always very close, but no more. -- DISTRESSED MIDWESTERN GRANNYDEAR DISTRESSED: I'm sure you love your daughter, but sometimes the way we phrase things can get in the way of the message we are trying to convey. Perhaps if you invited her to visit "because you love her and would like to spend some mother-daughter time with her," it would be perceived as less judgmental and more welcoming.She may be reluctant to spend time alone with you because she knows it will result in a lecture from you about her lifestyle. Remember, she's an adult woman and can make decisions about her sex life for herself. While you and I may think it's unwise for her to expose her children to this triad, that message might be more appropriate coming from their father, rather than her mother."Original post here
Sho.com / Via sho.com

"DEAR ABBY: My daughter, the mother of six children, has left her husband and is now involved in a three-way with a man and woman. She has not shielded her kids from these "new friends," as she calls them. Because I won't let her "friends" come along, she refuses to visit me.

I love my daughter, but I consider this relationship to be sick, and I hate that she's exposing her children to these people. Am I wrong to tell her to leave her bedroom activity out of the picture and visit me for just a day without them? We were always very close, but no more. -- DISTRESSED MIDWESTERN GRANNY

DEAR DISTRESSED: I'm sure you love your daughter, but sometimes the way we phrase things can get in the way of the message we are trying to convey. Perhaps if you invited her to visit "because you love her and would like to spend some mother-daughter time with her," it would be perceived as less judgmental and more welcoming.

She may be reluctant to spend time alone with you because she knows it will result in a lecture from you about her lifestyle. Remember, she's an adult woman and can make decisions about her sex life for herself. While you and I may think it's unwise for her to expose her children to this triad, that message might be more appropriate coming from their father, rather than her mother."

Original post here

She coached a man through his parent's sudden rejection

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"DEAR ABBY: I am a 39-year-old gay man. After knowing I am gay for more than 15 years, my parents recently announced that my longtime partner and I are no longer welcome in their home. They say that if any of their neighbors found out they have a gay son, they would be outcasts in their community.

Abby, I am devastated. Although they were never totally supportive of my orientation, they have been guests in our home many times and seemed to genuinely like my partner. We are successful people in our community and socialize with an array of civic leaders and wonderful people of all orientations. I am unable to accept the level of shame my parents wish me to bear, and they seem unfazed about dropping me from their lives.

I cannot convince my parents of their folly. They say their decision is final and don't wish to discuss it further. I have spent thousands of dollars in counselling trying to deal with this loss. My siblings tell me that having put my parents through the "horrors" of having a gay son, I should be more understanding of their fears. This has destroyed my relationship with them as well.

I have trouble sleeping at night and would appreciate any advice you can offer. -- HURTING IN HOUSTON

DEAR HURTING: Please accept my condolences for the premature loss of your dysfunctional family. You're not going to change them, and they're not going to change you. Perhaps one day they'll realize their loss and change their minds, but you can't live your life waiting for that to happen. It might help you to remember that sooner or later, every one of us becomes an orphan. Sadly for you, you were "orphaned" sooner than most.

Alcoholics Anonymous has a saying called the "Serenity Prayer." I hope you will commit it to memory and use it as the need arises:

"God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference."

You now have the opportunity to create your own supportive family through your loving friends and neighbors. The good news is that from your description of the people with whom you socialize, you and your partner are already off to a good start."

Original post here.

...and then she printed his follow-up letter 13 years later

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"DEAR ABBY: You mentioned in a recent column that few people write to follow up on what happened since their original letter was published. You printed mine April 1, 2001.

I am "Hurting in Houston," the son who, with his partner, was suddenly no longer welcome in his parents' home after they moved to a retirement community, because they were afraid their neighbors would shun them if they discovered they had a gay son. You advised that I should live my own life and, maybe, someday they would come around -- and that is what I did.

After a number of years, I received a call from a sibling informing me that my father was ill with only a short time left, and I should fly to their city to see him. I asked if I was wanted, and he said, "It doesn't matter, just come!" So I swallowed my pride, flew there and made my way to the hospice house.

Although my mother received me well, Dad did not, and we never had a good moment before he died a few days later. I told my mother I was staying for the funeral whether she liked it or not and had my partner fly in.

After the service there was a gathering at my mother's house with all their friends. I introduced my partner to them and everyone was as kind as could be. Many mentioned their own gay siblings or relatives.

When the event was over, my mother said, "Wow, this has all been pretty silly, hasn't it?" It was such a colossal understatement that I could not find words to respond.

Ten years have passed; my mother is now in hospice care with only a short time left. We have built a great relationship, and she loves my partner of more than 20 years very much. We are glad to be able to be there for her.

Much has changed in the world over these years and the acceptance of gays has been remarkable, but for me, having these last years with my mother's love will be a comfort I can hold onto for the rest of my life.

I have no great moral here, I just wanted to let you know what has happened. Thank you, Abby. -- NO LONGER "HURTING IN HOUSTON"

DEAR NO LONGER HURTING: And thank you for letting me and my readers know your story has a happy ending. I couldn't be more pleased to know you are doing well.

In case you didn't see it, there was a follow-up column regarding your letter that was published May 24, 2001, in which a family in California offered to adopt you and your partner! PFLAG (Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays) was mentioned in that follow-up and is still an excellent resource for building bridges of understanding in families. Find it at pflag.org."

Original post here.

She empathized with a son whose parents were clearly in denial

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"DEAR ABBY: I'm a gay male college student who is out and comfortable with who I am -- 99 percent of the time. When I was in high school, I tried to come out to my parents and it didn't go smoothly. They had an emotional crisis for a day, then shrugged it off as "just another teenage phase." After the panic mode was over, they bought me off with an expensive car and continued believing I'm straight.

I make no attempt to hide who I am because I expect to be treated the same, regardless. But it's awkward whenever I am asked by either parent, "Do you have a girlfriend?" or, "How are you doing with the ladies?"

Do you have any advice on what I should say in response, given my parents' emotional reaction? -- IT'S WHO I AM IN CALIFORNIA

DEAR WHO I AM: It is obvious that your parents are in denial. If you haven't told them again about your sexual orientation, you should.

If you are unable to summon up the words to tell them what they are waiting for isn't going to happen, then contact PFLAG (Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays -- pflag.org), not only for your own sake, but also for theirs. In light of your parents' reaction the last time you leveled with them, they may need emotional support to accept that you are gay, and PFLAG can provide it."

Original post here.

She helped a mother and sons adjust to the idea of a transgender father

"DEAR ABBY: After 10 years of marriage, my now ex-husband told me he is transgender. He isn't taking hormones, but he makes no attempt to hide his feminine dressing, makeup and wigs from our 6- and 9-year-old sons. They understand little of their dad's new life, other than that their dad likes "girl stuff." They often tell me they are embarrassed being with their dad in public when he has his nails painted or is wearing female clothing.I have tried talking to my ex about this, but he becomes resentful when I bring it up. He feels he can do whatever he wants regardless of how he embarrasses our sons. Do you think I could take him to court to have an order put in place that he not dress like that when he has our children? -- NEEDS TO KNOW IN NEW YORKDEAR NEEDS TO KNOW: You could discuss it with your divorce lawyer, but I don't think it would work. It would be much better if you asked your ex to explain to his boys the reason he's dressing in female attire so they can understand it. Your husband is not going to change, so they are going to have to interact with him until they are quite a bit older."Original post here.
CNS News / Via cnsnews.com

"DEAR ABBY: After 10 years of marriage, my now ex-husband told me he is transgender. He isn't taking hormones, but he makes no attempt to hide his feminine dressing, makeup and wigs from our 6- and 9-year-old sons. They understand little of their dad's new life, other than that their dad likes "girl stuff." They often tell me they are embarrassed being with their dad in public when he has his nails painted or is wearing female clothing.

I have tried talking to my ex about this, but he becomes resentful when I bring it up. He feels he can do whatever he wants regardless of how he embarrasses our sons. Do you think I could take him to court to have an order put in place that he not dress like that when he has our children? -- NEEDS TO KNOW IN NEW YORK

DEAR NEEDS TO KNOW: You could discuss it with your divorce lawyer, but I don't think it would work. It would be much better if you asked your ex to explain to his boys the reason he's dressing in female attire so they can understand it. Your husband is not going to change, so they are going to have to interact with him until they are quite a bit older."

Original post here.

She explained that love doesn't need labels

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"DEAR ABBY: I am a man who has recently fallen in love with a beautiful male-to-female transgender. She considers herself a woman, but on social media lists herself as male.

I am wondering whether I should consider myself gay, bisexual or straight? I always considered myself straight until recently. -- NO LONGER SURE IN TEXAS

DEAR NO LONGER SURE: Because the person presents herself to you as female, then you are a straight man who has fallen in love with a transgender woman. If you were attracted only to members of the same sex, then you would be a homosexual. People who are attracted to both men and women are bisexual."

Original post here.

She encouraged a brave man live his truth

"DEAR ABBY: In 1972 when I was 12, my father found out that I was gay, although that wasn't the word he used. After a severe beating that landed me in the hospital, I realized that to survive I was going to have to live "straight." Eventually I married, and for almost 25 years I was relatively happy. My wife died of cancer five years ago, and now I need to move on.Can someone my age enter gay society? One thing I have noticed is that it can be more difficult for older gay men than straight. Any suggestions or should I just continue living the lie? -- AT A CROSSROADS IN MINNESOTADEAR AT A CROSSROADS: The gay community may be biased toward youth, but that doesn't mean it is impossible to be a part of it. You have "served your time" hiding in the straight world. Contact the nearest gay and lesbian center (lgbtcenters.org) and talk to someone there about your chances of successfully integrating. I'm sure you will be pleasantly surprised because most centers have programs for LGBT people of all ages."Original post here.
Buzzfeed / Via ak-hdl.buzzfed.com

"DEAR ABBY: In 1972 when I was 12, my father found out that I was gay, although that wasn't the word he used. After a severe beating that landed me in the hospital, I realized that to survive I was going to have to live "straight." Eventually I married, and for almost 25 years I was relatively happy. My wife died of cancer five years ago, and now I need to move on.

Can someone my age enter gay society? One thing I have noticed is that it can be more difficult for older gay men than straight. Any suggestions or should I just continue living the lie? -- AT A CROSSROADS IN MINNESOTA

DEAR AT A CROSSROADS: The gay community may be biased toward youth, but that doesn't mean it is impossible to be a part of it. You have "served your time" hiding in the straight world. Contact the nearest gay and lesbian center (lgbtcenters.org) and talk to someone there about your chances of successfully integrating. I'm sure you will be pleasantly surprised because most centers have programs for LGBT people of all ages."

Original post here.

She helped someone in a new trans relationship

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"DEAR ABBY: I'm a divorced woman with grown children. I have always supported gay rights and thought of myself as straight. But a few months ago, I met a woman, "Stephanie."

We hit it off immediately, and I was shocked to learn she's a transgender woman who was born male. We have spent a lot of time together and are falling in love. Stephanie will be having surgery soon to complete the transgender process.

I have been surprised and disappointed by the lack of support from my family and friends, whom I always thought were open-minded. Some have voiced support, but have shown no interest in meeting her and seem uncomfortable hearing about her.

I'm excited about this relationship and would have thought my family and friends would be happy for me, as I have been alone for a long time. But now I find myself refraining from mentioning Stephanie in conversation.

How can I discuss her with others? We are taking things slowly and not jumping into anything, yet we can definitely see ourselves spending the rest of our lives together. We have already faced disapproving strangers and handled it well. -- LOVES MY FRIEND IN OHIO

DEAR LOVES: It appears Stephanie isn't the only one in your relationship who is in transition. Both of you are, and because it is new to those around you, they may not understand it -- which is why they are uncomfortable.

The fact that Stephanie is transgender should not be mentioned right off the bat. It is not the most important thing about her, and it should not be her defining characteristic. Discuss the matter with your friend and ask how she would like to be introduced and referred to. It's only logical that this will vary according to how close these people are to you."

Original post here.

She helped a sister be supportive of her brother's possible coming out

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"DEAR ABBY: After recently meeting my older brother's male roommate, a few things occurred that make me wonder if my brother is gay. Whether he is or not doesn't matter to me, and I don't feel it's my business to find out unless he chooses to share it with me.

Although I am a strong supporter of the gay and lesbian community, my concern is that because we were raised in an extremely conservative home, my brother may think I still hold those beliefs and may be reluctant to confide in me. I don't want to make a wrong assumption about his sexuality, nor do I want to force him out of the closet before he's ready. How can I let him know I support him, no matter what, without crossing the line? -- LIBERAL GIRL IN TEXAS

DEAR LIBERAL GIRL: There are ways to communicate your feelings to your brother without being direct. If you are still in school, consider joining a gay/straight alliance. If you see something in the news about a gay issue, call it to his attention and say something positive. Or, if you think that might make him uncomfortable, how about giving him a hug and telling him how lucky you feel to have him as a brother and that you will love him forever? (Come to think of it, a straight sibling might also appreciate hearing it.)"

Original post here.

She encouraged a doubtful couple to use the word "husband"

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"DEAR ABBY: My partner and I were happy to be married two weeks ago, now that same-sex couples can marry here in California. During the 25 years that we have been together, we have introduced each other simply as "my partner." Is it now socially correct to introduce each other as "my husband"? It sounds right to us, but would it make straight people uncomfortable? -- RON IN SAN DIEGO

DEAR RON: Because gay marriage is new to many people, it may do that initially. But to call your spouse "husband" is correct, so go ahead and do it. As more gay and lesbian couples officially tie the knot, the less unusual it will be. Trust me on that.

Original post here."

You go, Abby.

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