Coming-Out Creates Tension Between Longtime Friends

DEAR ABBY: A dear friend, “Lorraine,” contacted me because her daughter “Gabby” came out to her as bisexual and Lorraine knew I had experience with “this type of thing.” My daughter is bisexual.

Lorraine was repulsed by her daughter’s revelation and upset that Gabby expected her to be supportive and wear pride stickers, etc. My friend didn’t understand why she needed to be proud, and she told Gabby that even if she were a murderer she would still love her, and that was all that was important. I’m mortified and unsure how to handle this.

We fly my daughter’s flag outside her window. We wear pride gear and celebrate Pride Month with her. I tried explaining to Lorraine that we are supporting our daughter’s courage to come out and be comfortable and proud of who she is. When I said it, Lorraine snorted! Although we have been friends for many years, I never realized she felt this way.

I’m struggling with whether to break ties with her or continue trying to help her understand, love and support her daughter. Hearing the hate in her voice is extremely upsetting for me when we talk, but I hang onto a sliver of hope I can change her mind about this. Am I crazy to think that? — CONFLICTED FRIEND IN FLORIDA

DEAR FRIEND: Whether you should maintain the relationship with Lorraine may depend upon how long she has known about Gabby’s sexual orientation. If the news is fresh and Lorraine has led a sheltered life, she may be shocked and dismayed by the revelation. That said, the conversation you had with her can only have been painful and insulting for you. You must care for the woman a lot, because a lesser person would have hung up on her. If you feel there is hope, keep trying to enlighten your friend. It may have an impact. However, if it doesn’t, draw the line.

DEAR ABBY: I am a young woman under 30 with three children. I have been married for five years. I just graduated from college. I have no direction (at least, don’t think I do) of where I am going. I feel like a scared little bee in a room full of bears. All I know is I want to make an impact on my family and go forward, breaking generations that never graduated from college.

I look at some people who have the same degree I do, and they’re working at discount department stores. It motivates me to buck that trend, but I don’t know where to start. What would you do, Abby? — MOTIVATED IN MARYLAND

DEAR MOTIVATED: If there is a career counseling service at the college from which you graduated, start there. Ask how you can apply the degree you earned in a way that will benefit your family. Because so many others have this same college degree, inquire about whether you need to work on a master’s degree to gain employment in your field. Then get your husband on board, because you will need child care and financial help to achieve your goal. Check online for job resources and consider finding a temp job to help with family finances in the meantime.

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