From Steven Petrow’s Civil Behavior column in the New York Times comes this question:
Q. Dear Civil Behavior: I’m 53, a daughter, a sister, a mother, a grandmother and a friend. And I am gay. I was raised in a conservative Southern Baptist Church in Tennessee, and I had spent a lifetime living in hiding and hating myself because of my sexual orientation. I eventually reached a point last year when I could no longer deny that I am gay, and I convinced myself that it would be better for me to die rather than risk bringing shame to my children and family by telling the truth. I had a plan and the means to carry out my plan, and I had chosen the date when I planned to commit suicide. Some things happened to stop me that day, and I eventually told a friend the truth. Shortly thereafter, I told my children, my extended family and those closest to me. I write a daily blog, and on Jan. 1, I posted my “coming out” entry. I’ve lost many friends and a few family members since my admission. And the church where I had been a member for over 20 years has completely shunned me. But for the first time in my life, I am being honest with myself and learning to love myself for who I am. As I continue to interact with people who are not accepting of my sexuality, what advice could you give me on how to treat them now? — Name withheld
Give us your answer then hit the link for Petrow’s response.