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» Hatrack River Forum » Active Forums » Books, Films, Food and Culture » Back in the Closet, You! (Page 1)

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Author Topic: Back in the Closet, You!
KarlEd
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I'm so angry right now I could spit. Today I got a call from my father, who's out in Utah for the blessing of my brother's two new babies. He is also organizing the next big Jennings family reunion for next summer. There was one this summer which I didn't attend since I heard about it too late, and wasn't planning to go out there at any rate until maybe summer 2007 to visit my sister. But my dad found it necessary to call me (with an uncle on the line, for good measure) to tell me that if I planned to go out there Chris and I were welcome to share lodging with him and his wife, but "the family" thought it best if I attended any family functions alone (i.e. without Chris), to avoid giving "the wrong impression" to the younger family members.

I was floored. It was so damn random. I haven't spoken to any of that side of the family in years, except a couple of cousins who keep in touch. I remember replying, "That's not going to happen", meaning there's no way I'm attending anything without Chris, and I remember my dad trying to say something, but I just quickly ended the conversation with "Well, Chris and I have to be somewhere and we're running late. I'll talk to you later." But the whole thing upset me. And now several hours later, it's just worse. I have gotten progressively madder at "them" to the point right now that I couldn't care less if I ever see any of them again, my father included.

I try very hard to understand and respect views that are more conservative than my own, but this has made me feel like crap in a way I don't think I ever have before. I feel like I've just been told that my family would prefer to not know me. "But they want you to come" you might say. No, what they want is the fantasy Karl, the one they wish I was to be there. Or worse, they could care less about me one way or the other as long as they don't have to answer any inconvenient questions their kids might ask.

I'm very angry, and not the least of it at my own father. I've been trying to parse out why that is, after all, he did say he'd be fine having Chris and I stay with him, and he never expressed any problems like this before. But I feel like he, of all people should have been more inclined to protect me from the insult than to pass it along. (Not that anything in his life has ever given me reason to expect that from him.) But if I were in the dad position here, at the very least I would tell the individuals with the problem that if they weren't adult enough to hold their tongues they should convey their feelings themselves and then I'd step down from organizing the event all together. But if my father were to stand up for my feelings, this would be the first time, so I shouldn't be surprised, I guess.

Needless to say, it's all moot at this point. They won't be seeing me there with or without Chris.

But now I'm curious. Who here would have a problem with a gay family member attending a family function with a partner? If so, why, exactly? Would you actually ask that family member to leave their partner at home?

Ya know, knowing as I do their religious views on the subject, I could even respect parents who went home after a reunion and explained to their kids that what I was doing was wrong. But I can't respect treating me like an embarrassment. Use me as an object lesson if you must, but don't ask me to hide in your self-righteous closet.

[ December 10, 2005, 11:58 PM: Message edited by: KarlEd ]

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Icarus
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[Frown]

I'm sorry.

(((KarlEd)))

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Icarus
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(And I know that's not the reply you were asking for, but I just have nothing else worthwhile to say--this is so far out of my realm in so many different ways. I don't have enough family to know what it would be like for them to treat me this way, for one thing.)
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KarlEd
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I'm just venting. I probably wouldn't have even posted this except I just put my Mom on a plane to Utah where she's trying to enjoy a holiday with my sister and really needs to see and hear as little about my dad as humanly possible right now.
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erosomniac
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That just sucks. I'm sorry, Karl.

To answer your question, I certainly wouldn't have a problem with a gay family member attending something with their significant other, but I have family members who would.

Most of them, though, would go the route you mentioned: letting them do it and then being angry/hurt about it in private. I don't think any of my relatives would actually ask a gay family member to show up alone.

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quidscribis
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Of all the relatives I have, the ones I wouldn't want to have come include an aunt's second husband who hits on (and by that, I also mean sexually assault and tell nasty dirty jokes to) every female over the age of puberty and thinks he's just so charming when in reality we all think he's a dirty old man and a cousin who lies to everyone about everyone else to try to manipulate us into having spats. Or my uncle who's molested every female child in reach. Oh, and my parents who are abusive beyong belief. Those are the people I wouldn't want there and would go to great pains to avoid.

Gay partners? It wouldn't even occur to me to think about excluding them. Well, if there were any - no one in our family, extended or otherwise, has come out of the closet, so as far as I know, there aren't any. But it wouldn't matter to me.

It sucks, KarlEd. I'm sorry you're going through this. [Frown]

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tern
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I'm sorry to hear of your difficulties. I'm sure it comes as no surprise what my views on homosexual behaviour are, and I won't list them here. (Especially because it's inappropriate) My opinion is that homosexuality is a fact, whether one likes it or not, and hiding it from one's children would be doing them a disservice. I'd probably be among those who would go home afterwards and have a little discussion with my children. The thing is, we're taught to act with love, which I equate to doing things which will be effective. I.e., telling someone they are going to Hell is ineffective. So I always try to treat my gay friends with respect, not merely out of friendship, but also because I wouldn't want to do anything that might detract from them doing what I consider to be the right thing.

Perhaps your father doesn't know how he would deal with family and with how they would react? It's also possible that he might be worried about what they think of him. My mom is a Utah Mormon, and she is always concerned with how her family percieves her and her children.

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Kayla
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I wouldn't have a problem with a gay family member attending with a partner. Actually, besides my general love of gay men, my mom's cousin was gay and I always felt sad for him to be so in the closet. I mean, flaming, but since no one in my family would acknowledge there was anything slightly different about him, including asking when he was going to meet the right girl and settle down and have kids, it drove me nuts.

Then again, they refuse to acknowledge a lot of things. Stuff that happened to me, a cousin that was in and out of jail, an alcoholic aunt. . . see a pattern? People in my family slowly went insane because they couldn't be themselves.


I've taken my sleeping meds, so I'll try to be more coherent tomorrow. But, hugs Karl. [Frown]

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Dagonee
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((KarlEd))

And to answer your question, no, I wouldn't have a problem with it.

Edit: one possibility is that your dad knows his family will act badly toward you and Chris, and he's trying to protect you from it. He's not going about it in a smart way, but it might really stem from a desire to protect you. Still sucks, though.

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mr_porteiro_head
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quote:
Who here would have a problem with a gay family member attending a family function with a partner?
Since you asked...

Would I have issues? Probably. Would I let that turn into a problem? I don't think so, but I can't be sure.

quote:
If so, why, exactly?
I don't rightly know. Sorry. I'd tell you if I could.

Most of the issues I'd have would be the same as if a hetero family member brought their live-in boy/girlfriend. Of course most means not all, and the part that is different is the part that I am least able to explain.

I personally would have issues with the two lodging together far sooner than I'd have problems with the two coming together to family functions. That's just weird.

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Risuena
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KarlEd - I'm sorry to hear that. I can't imagine how it would feel to have my family me or a partner like that.

Not surprisingly, I would have no problem with a gay relative bringing his/her partner to a family event. And as far as I know, neither would anyone in my family, particularly since my uncle is gay and his partner came to every party while I was growing up. As religious and conservative as my granmother can be, she loves anyone who makes one of her children or grandchildren happy.

On a related note, after my uncle and his partner broke up, the next person my uncle brought home for the holidays was a woman. The first half-hour after they arrived that Thanksgiving was pretty awkward as we tried to figure out what was going on (nothing - they are coworkers and she had just moved to town and no one to spend the holiday with).

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Tante Shvester
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quote:
Who here would have a problem with a gay family member attending a family function with a partner? If so, why, exactly? Would you actually ask that family member to leave their partner at home?
I would have no problem. As an Orthodox Jew, I understand that open (or veiled, for that matter) homosexuality is not at all accepted in the community. This is why I make a point to make sure that my gay friends and relatives know that they are always welcome, with their partners at my house, at any family gatherings, events, or even just to come to religious services and to sit with me. I tell them that anyone who says anything against them will have to answer to me.

I have found that my willingness to be seen with my lesbian friends has caused some people to gossip and speculate about my orientation. In the Orthodox tradition, that kind of gossip is sinful, but what I am doing (making everybody welcome, and role-modeling appropriate hospitality) is not. So shame on the gossips.

You would always be welcome with us, Karl. And tell Chris that we'd love to have him, too! How would I introduce the two of you? Same as I introduce any couple who are unmarried -- "Karl, and his friend (or good friend) Chris."

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ketchupqueen
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I don't have a problem with anyone (currently) in the family. Do I believe it's right that my sisters live with their boyfriends and have no intention of getting married? No. Do I criticize them? No! Do I deny myself the opportunity to enjoy the company of their very cool boyfriends? No. And it would be the same if one of them had a girlfriend instead. The only person in my family I ever wished to avoid was the alcoholic husband of my cousin who hated children and was completely out of line with the rest of the family's sense of humor. And she divorced him (and then he died.) So, why someone is included in family functions is not what we focus on; what kind of company they are is.
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Amanecer
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(((KarlEd))) That sounds like a horrible situation. [Frown]
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Shan
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Wow, Karl - that's hurtful and I'm sorry.

In answer to your question, no, I wouldn't have a problem with it, at all. And as Tante says, you and Chris would be welcome at any time. Just like my friend Amy from college days and her partner, Sarah. Or my friend Laura and her husband, Doug. Or Ellane (my son's godmother) and her partner, Danny. Or, or, or . . .

(((Karl)))

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sweetbaboo
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Sorry that you're hurting Karl.

I think sometimes it's easier to play the avoidance game (in this case situational avoidance) rather than have to explain or to deal with it, both on your side and your Dads. I don't know if it's right or wrong. It's an issue, that in thinking about, I'm wrestling with how to explain my thoughts and feelings.

I would hope, if it were me, that discussions could aid in understanding for both parties.

Good luck to you. Sometimes I wish life were easier.

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Rico
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I'm sorry KarlEd.

If there's at least one group of people who should support you, it should be your family. I find it sad that for the most part, it's them that end up judging you the harshest.

Hang in there!

[ December 11, 2005, 01:50 AM: Message edited by: Rico ]

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Shanna
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Its terrible that your family would treat you that way, Karl. Its terrible to imagine that those closest to you would think so little of your feelings and your life.

My family is very religious on my dad's side. To the extent that I'm not allowed to get married until my grandma dies because the shock of one of her grandchildren not marrying a Catholic boy would be too upsetting for her. I'm in a serious interracial relationship and I'm having to deal with my own mother who is very uncomfortable with it all. I can't even imagine asking in the future if he and I would be welcome together at a gathering of my dad's family.

I'm glad that you're sticking up for you and your partner.

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Tatiana
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Karl Ed, I would have no problem at all welcoming the partners of gay family members into our family. Not only would I do my best to make them feel welcome and part of the family, but I would also try to protect them from any family situation in which (or people by whom) they might be slighted or treated with anything less than complete warmth and respect.

It seems to me that if you love someone, you love who they are. If they're gay then that's part of who they are, and not something I would want to change.

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Stan the man
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I think it's stupid, but I then also don't have any sway over this. I can techinically understand where they are coming from, but then again I think they are short sighted. I would allow a gay family member and said partner to a party/gettogether, but that's only because I have had the opportunity to meet some people that were not necessarilly straight. Like I told someone earlier tonight: "I don't care how you live, I won't tell you how to do things different. Just do me a favor in return and don't tell ME how to live."
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mr_porteiro_head
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quote:
It seems to me that if you love someone, you love who they are. If they're gay then that's part of who they are, and not something I would want to change.
I'm not sure I understand what you are saying, but if I do, I disagree. It is possible to love somebody and not love everything about them.
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kyrie
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if your Dad has never done anything like this before, then think the best of him as you can. it might have been his atempt to give you some warning of the unacceptence your own extended family might dish out (however, im sure you already knew their prospectives on the matter).

no one in my family would have a problem with it, although it might take some adjustment.

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LadyDove
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Karl,

You would be very welcome in my home with your SO. You would also be very welcome with my extended family as long as they were given the opportunity to be good hosts.

A couple of months ago, my cousin and his wife invited a friend from work home with them. The friend invited some of his other male friends. When everyone was in the hot tub, my Aunt and my cousin started getting these *weird* vibes. The friends were talking about cooking, doing alot of touching and generally not flirting with my cousin's tall blond wife.

Finally, my cousin said, "Are you guys on a double date." They laughed and said, "Yes. Actually, it's a double blind date. Do you mind?"

My cousin didn't mind that they were gay, but he did mind the idea that, since he, his wife and my Aunt, don't believe homosexuality is okay by the Bible, he may have said something to offend his guests. Not to mention that he felt embarrassed for putting on his trunks in front of them. He also felt a bit hoodwinked that his co-worker hadn't let him know and help him avoid the above mentioned discomfort.

The group has come over a couple more times and it's been fun, but the first time was awkward.

Karl,
I'm sure that a big part of your anger comes from your dad causing pain to Chris. I'd bet that you're feeling the same need to defend someone you love that you wish your dad felt for you.

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Lyrhawn
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Sorry you have to go through this Karl. Maybe your dad really is just trying to protect you by heading things off before you're put in an uncomfortable family situation? After all, if he has no problem with Chris and you staying with him, I would that means he has no problem with you two being at the family event, but wants to spare you the uncomfortable outcome.

To answer your question, I don't think I'd have a problem with it, but I know for a fact that half of my family would. Everyone outside of my mother, father and brother in my family are extremely religious. On one side of the family that religiousity is tempered by a fair amount of tolerance and a lot of love. I think they would be uncomfortable, but they'd get over it and complain it private for the sake of family love.

The other side of my family, I shudder to think. Many of them are close minded bigots who still openly refer to black people by the n word. Tolerance is not their style, I have a feeling they too might even allow it, but there'd be such a furor at the event that it would cause a lot of problems.

quote:
It is possible to love somebody and not love everything about them.
I want to say that I agree more with Tatiana, but I have to side with mph. When you love someone, you take the good with the bad sure, but that doesn't mean you always approve of, or love, everything that person does.
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Samarkand
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I personally have never felt drawn to any form of religion due to the fact that so much intolerance is associated with being religious (I mean this across very broad lines; I have investigated a great many religions). I think it's a bit of a shame.

Anyway, KarlEd, I think it is perfectly righ and normal to feel very very pissed off, but see if you can get past all that and see the root of the issue in his eyes. It's a bit of a mystery to me why same sex partnerships are a difficult for everyone, but then I don't get people who cant comprehend evolution either. I have a hunch your dad loves you very, very much. Which just makes it hurt worse, at least initially, but helps a bit in the long run. Good luck. *hugs*

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TomDavidson
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quote:
I'd probably be among those who would go home afterwards and have a little discussion with my children.
See, THIS I don't get. Because I've spent time with Karl and Chris, and the conversation would have to go like this: "Kids, you saw how much those two guys love each other, how they were hanging on their partner's every word? You saw how they were quite possibly the funniest, gentlest, most stable people at the party? That's because they're sinners."

Again, having met them, I can't think of a single speech you could give your kids about the evils of homosexual relationships that would counteract their obvious embodiment of the contrary.

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Tante Shvester
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Tom, I've had that talk with my son. I told him that lots of gay people are picked on and discriminated against, and that he needs to be sensitive in his speech and actions to make sure that he doesn't hurt anyone's feelings. I've told him that some of his friends might be gay, but afraid to admit it, or their parents or other family members might be gay. So that even an innocent comment like "Dude! You're shirt is tucked into your boxers! That's so gay!" can turn out to be a cruel and hurtful thing.

I've also explained the difference between being and doing. The prohibition in our religion is not against being gay, it is against doing certain specific things. People can not help who they are, but they can do their best to act in the right way. Then I remind him that there is no one among us who does not do sins, and I won't tolerate one kind of sinner acting all holier and superior to another kind.

So, yeah, I have had that talk.

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imogen
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Tom, I agree. Except, our views come from a standpoint where there is no religous ban/taboo on such a relationship.

I don't think anyone could seriously justify an anti-homosexual relationship stance if all they were basing it one was the relationship itself, especially if it was one as loving as Karl and Chris's seems to be.

But the thing is, the view against these relationships isn't based on the relationships themselves. It's what those people who believe see as the words of their god. And given that basis, no example of the "banned" behaviour, no matter what the example, will change the status of the behaviour.

**

I think your Dad's treatment of you is outrageous, Karl.

I wonder if you should consider talking to him about it, and telling him exactly how it made you feel? The only reason I venture this is I had a situation with my father a year or so back where he basically told me that as his new partner (who he cheated on my Mum for 6 years with, and eventually left her for and is now living with) didn't feel comfortable with me, he couldn't come around to my house until she did.

The message I got was until I learnt to get on with his new partner, I didn't get to see my Dad.

I was extremely, extremely upset. In the end I called him up and told him everything I was feeling - and it turns out, he had never meant it that way. He was just trying to "spare my feelings" and make things less uncomfortable. He was genuinely shocked that I was upset. And, it forced him to look at what he was doing and what priorities he was placing on things - and things have gotten better. Not perfect, but better.

I guess what I'm trying to say is often parents get it very very wrong, for reasons they might think are good.

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Dan_raven
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Karl, I'm sorry this is happening. May I suggest the conversation with your father begins, "Dad, I know that Chris and my love flies in the face of some beliefs that there is no such thing as a long standing monogamus homosexual relationship, and I understand you not wanting to ruin some dumb people's delusions, but...."

((Edited because I confused Karl with Tom in my writing. But, hey, I'm feeling much better now.))

[ December 11, 2005, 08:15 PM: Message edited by: Dan_raven ]

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Synesthesia
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My relatives would probably do the same thing if by some fluke I had a female partner. I got the bible quoted at me for even hinting at my sexuality. But, they would probably react the same if I bought to a gathering a tattooed Japanese man... Or anyone for that matter. It is very depressing. Please do not feel to bad about it though.It's just so hard to explain it to some people so they can understand things and get them right.
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Megan
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(((Karl)))

That just sucks. [Frown]

In answer to your question, I would have no problems. Some members of my immediate family would probably struggle a bit internally at first, but as soon as they got to know the hypothetical person and partner, I'm sure they'd be fine. (I say this because I've witnessed my mom, who at first expressed difficulties with my sister living with a guy, come to absolutely adore the guy in question and have no problem with the arrangement.)

Some of my extended family, I'm sorry to say, is a whole other issue.

And because I think you need another hug...

(((Karl)))

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Anna
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I would be quite pissed off if I was you, Karl... There's no good reason to treat you and Chris that way. I don't have a problem to welcome anyone's SO in the family, same sex or not. The personality of the SO is the key, not his/her being male or female. the personality and of course the way he treats you.
EDIT to add a hug for you. (((Karl)))

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Olivet
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No problems here. Plus, I think family gatherings, when my mom was alive, would have been exceedingly cordial. My grandmother would have said something embarrassing, so we'd have probably talked to her first, to avoid that. She'd never have said anything really offensive, but she might have tried to match-make or asked about the guest's wife or something. >_<

I think my papa would be fine, though he might giggle a bit after everyone was gone. I dunno.

I like Tom's talk with the hypothetical 'kids'. I may try that if we ever get to visit Karl and Chris or Steve and Scotti [my writing group buddy and his partner, who have been together almost as long as my hubby and me].

{{{{{{{Karl}}}}}}}

I do not get the whole "It's not the relationship, it's the deviant sexual acts" thing. Because gay couples don't do anything that hetero couples don't do, but it's okay if the hetero couples do it. [Confused]

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Chris Bridges
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I would expect gay relatives to bring loved ones. I'd want to know what's going on in the lives of my family members, and I'd be interested in meeting people who are in the process of becoming part of my family.
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ClaudiaTherese
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I am trying to find a way to say this that is not offensive.

Unless one is accustomed to detailed discussions of private sexual activities at one's family reunions, how on earth could it matter to those involved? If the child is young enough, a "friend" will just be a "friend," regardless of anyone's gender.

And if the child is old enough to ask questions, then what a perfect time to either:

1) answer those questions, if it is an appropriate time to do so, or

2) clarify what is and is not appropriate for discussion at such a social situation, and then attend to #1 later

Edited to add: And what Chris said, in spades.

*sigh

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Anna
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*nods at CT*
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breyerchic04
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I recently learned that a girl my age got a transfer out of our first grade class, because her mother didn't want her to be taught by a gay man. I told my mom, who was outraged that such a thought could be possible, and that she never thought it mattered, so never explained anything. No one in my household would care, my extended family might, especially my mom's side, my dad's side is most likely to object to a child bringing home a republican.
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El JT de Spang
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Didn't read the thread beyond Karl's post, but here's my $0.02 -- anywhere couples will be you have every right to be as well, and how your relatives explain your lifestyle to their kids is their problem. And by problem, I mean responsibility.

Sorry your family is being so insensitive.

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littlemissattitude
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(((Karl)))

I'm so sorry that you're having to go through this. It really sucks.

I certainly wouldn't have a problem with someone who is gay (relative or not) in my home with his or her partner. Unfortunatly, I have grown up around relatives who were the sort of people who were virulently homophobic. This to the extent that if they had known I have gay friends, I would not have been welcome in their home even though I'm straight myself.

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Nato
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I'm sorry to hear this, Karl. They aren't being fair to you (or to Chris, for that matter).

And keeping Chris out of family gatherings would be dishonest to the family as well. I'm sorry you have to deal with that, especially because I know my dad would do the same thing.

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Goody Scrivener
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{{{{Karl and Chris}}}}

Unfortunately, I've been hearing a lot of this sort of thing lately. In fact, a friend of mine in another forum recently reported that her gay cousin (who she didn't know was gay because the family had essentially kicked him out and she hadn't seen him in years) had just passed - and his parents refused to acknowledge any of his life past about age 15. All of the pictures, all of the remembrances, all of the guests even, were of him as a child and people who knew him as a child. None of his adult friends, coworkers, etc. were welcomed, most especially his partner.

As for what I would do? I would welcome the relative AND their partner with open arms. Perhaps it helps that my first boyfriend ever realized he was gay a few years after we'd broken up (and remained friends), and he and I became even closer afterwards. Heck, we used to go clubcrawling together, we had very similar tastes in guys except for their orientation LOL

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Lisa
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People suck. And Karl, I don't know your exact situation with your family, but I know that I'd take that comment about going to functions without Chris as nothing more than a suggestion. I'd show up, and it wouldn't be alone.
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Joldo
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Hm. Well, let's say first that I actually came out to my family as gay. Let's say that I gave them a few years to mull it over.

Hm. I bring my significant other to a family function. Not on my dad's side; those're never SO occasions. Well, my mom's family would be awkward at first. But considering the guys I get in relationships with tend to be pretty friendly and charming, could work things out quick enough. My aunts would probably slip off to the kitchen to gossip, but hey, I'd join 'em and leave my SO to fend for himself (I'm cruel in some ways, occasionally). And I would be gossipping with them about my SO, probably.

Karl: This whole thing makes me sick to my stomach. I feel for you so much, not to mention the preview of what's to come for those years while my family adjusts to me being gay scares me. I hope this works out. They're in the wrong here, and frankly, I say you skip the reunion altogether. If my family doesn't want my company as myself, then I feel no need to thrust it upon them.

And hey, if all else fails, we can put together a Hatrack function--your gigantic, extended surrogate family.

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pH
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[Frown] I'm sorry, Karl. *hugs*

-pH

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Storm Saxon
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If I were Karl, I would be tempted to go with my SO, anyway, and introduce myself to as many people there as I could with boyfriend. Sometimes the best way to stick it to stupidity is just ignore it and pretend it doesn't exist. Let the idiots take care of themselves. You have every right to be at the family function.

No, I wouldn't have a problem with a gay family member with special friend showing up at any function.

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romanylass
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Karl, I hurt for you, and Chris. What a slap in the face. I'm so sorry, I wish I could hug you.

(To answer your question, no, I'd never do that)

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Zotto!
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[Frown] I'm sorry you're being treated this way, Karl.

I think that some people here are being unfair to the religious point of view. I think it's valid for a religion to consider the act of homosexuality a sin, even if the relationships of individual homosexuals are as (or even more) loving than a given heterosexual relationship (if such things can even be measured on some empirical scale). Calling them "dumb stupid people" and "deluded" will probably be less effective in changing their views than earnestly discussing things with them without rancor would be. Given the hugely emotional nature of this subject, I think it'd be best if both sides could try to curb their passions and talk about these things rationally.

What I disagree with here is not that some people consider Karl's lifestyle wrong, it's the way they're actively rubbing it in his face and using his sinful lifestyle (as they see it) as an excuse to exclude him and Chris. If they are interested in trying to get Karl and his partner to join them in their community of faith, I think they'd be much better served by making it a point to include them in gatherings like this, where their sexuality is not even remotely relevant.

If Karl was not related to the family, merely a good friend, I would hope that they would recognize that because of his secular views, he should be held to a different standard than their friends who share the same religion (obviously not a lower standard, mind you. Just that they should recognize his differing viewpoint and realize that by the moral code Karl lives by, he's actually a really good dude).

In other words, just because someone does not share your religious views, it's no reason to exclude them from important gatherings. And Karl is family. I don't think the religious people would be out of line if they gave their kids a little talk after the gathering about how people can believe different things and think each other wrong while still respecting and loving each other. What I have a problem with is using a differing perspective as a way to exclude important people from important events. But this isn't a problem only with "the religious", it's a problem with anyone who refuses to find value in other people unless they conform exactly to their idiosyncratic definition of worth.

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ambyr
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Hold on, do I gather correctly from Karl's post that his father is a remarried divorcee? Doesn't he belong to a religious tradition that's opposed to divorce? And yet it's all right for his second wife to come to this family gathering, but not for Karl's partner to attend?
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MyrddinFyre
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[Frown] What an awful situation.

I would think Chris is part of the family. You two have a home together, for goodness' sakes.

Many hugs, I hope things work out for the best.

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Glenn Arnold
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You know Karl, I had an experience that's perhaps the opposite of what you're going through.

Uncle Bud and his "friend" Ken had been coming to Thanksgiving for years. Some of us knew what this meant, but it wasn't for open discussion. In our family there is no one who would have had a problem with it, but apparently they never opened up, merely because society as a whole isn't accepting, so they were hesitant.

Anyway, one Thanksgiving they showed up but Uncle Bud went off for a walk and didn't hang out with the family much. It turned out they were breaking up, but since there was no formal relationship, it was very awkward to talk about it. Even weirder was the fact that Bud kept himself out of the picture. It's his family after all.

Society has ways of providing support for people who are going through a tough time, but it's awfully hard to give support to someone that's going through a divorce when we never knew they were married.

Yet another reason for gay marriage, in my book.

Anyway, Ken kept coming to Thanksgiving, only now he really was just a friend. Several years later I brought this whole thing up, about how the family had felt kind of helpless during the breakup, and how in our family there was no need to worry about the gay issue, only that we were uncomfortable providing support because it wasn't an open topic.

That was the last time Ken came to Thanksgiving.

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