My brother, “Kevin,” came out at the age of 30. Now, 20 years later, I have a son who would like to stay with my brother for a few months while working a job nearby. We have never discussed that Kevin is gay. I had no idea when he came out to me. No one ever asked me about it other than my mother, who goes on and on when we are alone about “how could this have happened?”

The news did not change anything for me. I love my brother for the kind, loving, hardworking person he is. He is always welcome in my home, but my parents refuse to accept any of his friends, so he never brings anyone along. People still sometimes ask me if they can set up a girl for Kevin to date, so I don’t think most people know he is gay. He told me that if anyone questioned me about his sexual orientation to tell them to ask him in person, so it’s a topic I never bring up.

Should I talk to my son about his uncle being gay before he moves in with him? My brother lives alone with his dog in a nice house with extra rooms.

Cautious in Pennsylvania

Talking to your son may not be necessary. If he and his uncle have agreed on the living arrangement, the chances are good that the subject has already been mentioned or is not an issue.

I know a girl through work I’ll call Lydia. She is a hard worker and a great mom and wife. She has a loving husband and three great children under 19. Her youngest just started driving. Lydia hosts all the parties and holidays. Everyone thinks she has a perfect life, and she’s the Rock of Gibraltar. If anyone has a problem, they go to her.

Not long after I started working here, there was a terrible tragedy in Lydia’s family (it didn’t involve her husband or children, but another relative). She is very depressed and doesn’t seem to be able to pull herself out of it. I know everyone is busy with their own lives, but how can I get her friends — or anyone — to help her through this?

Abby, she is such a beautiful and kind person, I feel terrible for her. I have only been at this job six months, and I don’t really know anyone. She never talks about it at work. But I can see the difference in her.

Lending a Hand in New York

You are kind to want to help Lydia. Because you are concerned about her, speak to her privately. Tell her how terrific you think she is, and you know she has been going through a difficult time. Then tell her that if she wants to talk or there is anything you can do to help, all she has to do is let you know.

Johnson Newspapers 7.1

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