Support your mom, teen panel advises


Dear Straight Talk: Now that gay marriage is legal again in California, our mom is marrying her fiancé in August. They are planning a formal church wedding announced in the newspaper and we are moving into her fiancé’s house. Our friends don't know our mom is gay and we don't think we can handle the humiliation and embarrassment. Our mom says most people accept gay couples and we should feel lucky to move into a nicer house with our own bedrooms. We love our mom and her fiancé is good to us, but we would rather stay where we are than have everybody tease and humiliate us. There’s a girl at school whose mom married her partner and kids tease the hell out of her. We’ll be embarrassed to have friends over and sleepovers will be impossible. I'm heading to college in a year, but my sister is only 14 and has to live with this much longer. Please help. — Embarrassed daughter

Taylor, 16: All I can say is family comes first. You need to be supportive and happy for your mom. If your friends see that you don't have a problem with it they probably won't either. Lots of people support gay marriage. Be proud of your family.

Carlos, 18: The first thing you must do is accept that your mom is gay and getting married. It’s clear from your letter that you don't — and your sister will mimic that. I understand wanting to keep her safe from teasing. I caused some “scandal in the halls” without considering the implications to my sister. So I sat her down and told her what to say to deal with it successfully. Stand together on this — and you be the stronger one. This will teach her how to have a thicker skin. Tell anyone who dares humiliate you that all their closed mindedness will do is hold them back in life.

Nicole, 23: Criticism only affects me when I lack comfort in my beliefs and statements. Find a way in your heart to understand the reality of love between two same-sex people and negative comments won't bother you.

Treyvon, 19: She's getting married and you need to accept that. Get some perspective: Anybody who would abandon you does not deserve the title of friend — (or family, if you emotionally abandon your mother). Nonetheless, your social fears are understandable. Remember this: Courage isn't the absence of fear, it's feeling the fear and doing what's right anyway.

Molly, 21: If your friends would humiliate and mock you for having gay parents, you need new friends.

Dear Embarrassed: Fully accepting your mother will shift everything. Putting her happiness first will automatically help you tune out negative remarks. Tell your close friends before the wedding and get their support. If there is bullying, report it to parents, principal, and police. — Lauren

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