March 3, 2011 in Features

Annie’s Mailbox: PFLAG can help you tell parents

Kathy Mitchell/Marcy Sugar
 

Dear Annie: I am bisexual and don’t know how to tell my family. They say it’s against God, but I can’t help who I am. I told one of my best friends, and she told me she felt the same way. Please help me talk to my family about this. – Bi in the Boonies

Dear Bi: Don’t be in too big of a hurry to make any announcements. It is not uncommon for young people to be temporarily confused about their sexuality, including being attracted to both sexes. PFLAG (pflag.org) can help you figure this out and find ways to discuss your sexual orientation with your parents. Please contact them.

Dear Annie: I believe you misread the concerns of “Son who is Wondering,” who said his father constantly touches him during conversations. While the son didn’t tell us everything, he did say that his father ignores obvious attempts to maintain personal space and even “flew into a rage” when the son moved out of range.

It should be acknowledged that the father’s behavior is creepy, disrespectful and maybe obsessive-compulsive. It sounds like the son has fought this battle for a long time, and his father continues to be unable to respect his son’s basic requests, which has created a rift.

We all have the right to define and protect our personal space. Maybe if the son understands why his father cannot restrain himself, then, hopefully, a solution will present itself. – My Space, My Rules

Dear My Space: We agree that something about this situation seems off-kilter. The son objected primarily to Dad poking him on the arm when speaking to him, which strikes us as more of a control issue, reinforced by the fact that the problem began when the son reached his teens. But you are right that one’s personal space should be respected, even by parents.

Please e-mail your questions to anniesmailbox@ comcast.net.


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