My parents are strict Catholics and were very shocked and disappointed when my sister, 35, recently revealed she is gay by introducing us to her partner. Sis now wants to be legally married to this woman, who she’s been seeing for less than a year. While I support her wish to be happy, I am stuck between her and my distraught folks. I’m thinking of telling my sister to secretly tie the knot so that they can both be happy. Is that OK? — TIED IN KNOTS
Being Catholic means you are respectful to your parents, open and honest as they have taught you both. Whether or not your parents can accept your sister’s declaration of love and choice of partner is not your concern. Living her life as a gay woman should not alter your support for your sister who needs you now more than she has ever needed you before. Do not even think of ‘telling’ her what she should do but rather listen and care for her on that bumpy road ahead which can be made so much smoother with a brother or sister staunchly in her corner, knowing love is where you find it. And when it comes along with courage to choose against opposition in the form of ’shock and disappointment,’ applaud your sister’s standing fast with her head held high. Such a step as marriage will do more than words can ever do in keeping those who have ‘come out of the closet,’ safe and free without persecution and malice. Threats against gay women and men are very real in our society. Congratulations on taking the steps now to provide your sister with clear and unvarnished support as she embarks on an honest life, knowing she has family on her side. Oh, and the Creator as well, who made such a diverse world in all its beauty that can contain in peace and truth, both your sister and you.
I like to think the dark ages are past now and that acceptance of gays and those who are judged ‘not part of the mainstream,’ has turned around. Every time someone steps up and refuses to live their life in a corner due to who they are, another piece of darkness is gone. So good to have questions like this to open our eyes to the reality around us, another chance to speak out against hate and oppression, especially when it comes disguised as a religion of love and truth.