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Dear Abby rocks again

Back in August, a Dear Abby column took on a reader that was offended by the hanging of a rainbow flag by a neighbor, and Abby put them in their place. Now we have a lesbian couple that is dealing with fundies offended by their definition of a family. Abby comes through again.

Dear Abby:

I am a 35-year-old lesbian. I have a wonderful partner and we have an amazing 10-year-old son. My problem is, we seem to offend people when we refer to ourselves as a “family.” I have had people correct me, sometimes even suggesting that I refer to my family as “my friend and my son” or “my friend and her son” (depending on who they think is the biological mother).

Abby, this woman is more than my friend. She’s my partner, my life mate, my support and my co-parent. We try to be sensitive to people’s beliefs and not call each other “wife” or refer to our union as a “marriage,” but how far do we have to take this?

We aren’t “in your face” with our lifestyle, but to deny our partnership is to deny our son his family. We generally refer to each other as “my partner,” which I think is an inoffensive term, but even that can send some people into a snit.

How should we handle people who want to redefine us? Why is it so hard for them to acknowledge that, untraditional though we may be, we are a family?

Trying Not To Offend in Texas

Dear Trying Not To Offend:

Forgive me if this seems negative, but some people are so rooted in their fundamentalist ideology that they cannot and will not change. The way to handle people who want to force you into their mold is to avoid them. You’ll be happier, and so will they.

As I mentioned the last time around, the original Abigail Van Buren, Pauline Esther Friedman, is alive but the column is now handled by her daughter Jeanne Phillips.

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Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding