Life Advice


Health & Spirit

Sibling wants coming-out guide for 'Modern Family'

By Amy Dickinson, Tribune Content Agency on

Dear Amy: Earlier this year my youngest brother "came out." The fact that he is gay isn't exactly shocking, but it's something we are all still adjusting to. He is the youngest, so he is spoiled, and acts very emotional when he doesn't get his way.

Some months back he informed me that he was seeing someone who is twice his age. I am uncomfortable with this, but have not addressed the subject with him.

We're having a family gathering soon. My other brother will be bringing his girlfriend, so naturally the younger brother insists that his boyfriend also be invited.

I'm not comfortable with this. There is something very predatory about a 40-year-old man seeing a 20-year-old kid. Realistically, the chances of this relationship lasting are slim.

My parents are afraid to say something to him about it because they are concerned it will push him away.

The whole situation makes me dread going home. I don't want to be forced into an awkward situation. I don't understand how his being gay all of a sudden invalidates our feelings. We are instantly dubbed homophobic if we state that we want more time to process this.

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There isn't exactly a pamphlet on how to go from awkward to "Modern Family" status when a loved one comes out. I don't know if I should just keep my mouth shut and keep this visit very short, or if I should say something that will inevitably hurt his feelings.

Your feedback?

-- Dreading

Dear Dreading: My first reaction is to wonder why you need so much time to process this simple (and "not shocking") news, and why this makes you so uncomfortable.


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