ASK AMYDear Amy: When I was 14, I came out as gay to my parents. We lived in a small town in the South. I was beaten, kicked out of my home temporarily and forced into reparative therapy. I left home the day I turned 18 and, needless to say, at 27 years old, my relationship with my parents is strained at best.
I have always gone home for major holidays and maintained contact with my family, but recently I have set new limits on our relationship. I have been with my partner for three years now and want to spend major holidays with him. They will not allow him to come to family events like Christmas and Thanksgiving.
I have now told my parents that I will have very little contact with them and will not be returning home until they can accept me for who I am. I have convinced them my homosexuality is not a conscious choice, but they still see me as "mentally ill" and a sinner.
Why would I invite them to a wedding they don't think should be legally allowed to take place? Why would I allow them around my future children?
Am I wrong for setting these new limits? Have I stooped to their level by cutting off family members because I feel differently than they do? Should I be the bigger person?
— It Got Better
Dear It Got Better:
Given your parents' mean, abusive and overall terrible parenting, being the bigger person isn't a very tall order.
Invite your folks to share your life on your terms — and let them struggle to make choices that up until now, only you have been forced to make. If you marry your partner, invite them to attend. Then this issue really becomes one of them dealing with their own prejudices and anxieties.
Being inclusive sometimes means being kind toward people whose views are repugnant — but you should only do so if it is physically and emotionally safe for you.
I suggest this not because you owe your parents anything, but because you redress a little of the wrong done to you if you can move forward by behaving as you wish others would behave.
Dear Amy: "Miss Dialer" asked why people return cell phone calls from callers who have not left a message and whose numbers they cannot identify (i.e. "Someone from this number called my phone").
I am a landlord. Frequently, people interested in renting call but don't leave a message. Returning these calls means I am contacting a potential renter.
I received a huge response to this question. Thank you for providing one explanation.
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