My family threw a bomb, so I threw one back. Here’s the email.

Dear family,

I’d like to explain why I won’t be joining you for any of the lovely weekend events planned for Grandpa’s birthday: It has been gently, kindly explained to me (via text message) that my beloved partner’s presence makes one of you uncomfortable;  therefore, I am not welcome to bring her along.

I would like you, dear family, to imagine being told by someone you adore and admire that the sweetest, best person in your life – the person you have waited and hoped and worked for until the cusp of middle age – is a source of discomfort. Imagine that the smartest, wisest, most full-of-integrity person you have ever known; the one with whom you are finally your best self, is not welcome among the people you have loved since the day you were born.

Imagine being expected to understand this and just sort of be cool with it.

Now imagine being un-invited to the Sunday brunch you bought a new outfit for; all the while excitedly telling your partner: I can’t wait for you to spend some time with my family! You’ve never even met my grandfather; my uncle John or cousin Mike!

Imagine the person you love. Go ahead. Really bring that person to the forefront of your mind. Let him or her wash over you in all his or her inimitable verve. Think about the way he or she forgives your mistakes; encourages your dreams; gives your life form and color and meaning.

Now imagine, if you can, that your family requires you to treat that person like he or she doesn’t matter; doesn’t even exist. You are only welcome if you come alone. You are only welcome if you STAY alone. Like, for the rest of your life.

You are only welcome if you lie.

Never. That’s a thing that will never happen. If you’re surprised by this in the slightest, then you don’t know me at all.

Because that is a denial of my full humanity, dear family, however kindly it is put to me. Every gay and lesbian person knows that this denial will come, and often, but we hope it is delivered by strangers or cable television personalities with bad hair. Better the rock; the brick; the can of spray paint; the loud, ugly scream of “FUCKIN’ DYKE” from a stranger, than the gentlest denial of our humanity from our own families.

I hope you have a beautiful weekend together.  I love you all very much.

But also? I love myself.


– Your daughter, granddaughter, niece, and cousin,




17 responses to this post.

  1. I am so sorry. Your family is so wrong to do this, and I am sorry that this is happening. You deserve better.

  2. Thank you, Caitlin. I’m still kind of in shock.

  3. Inform your family that they have things upside down, that it is they who have lost the privilege of having contact with you. It’s a matter of self-respect, hon.

  4. already been done.

  5. (hug) i am so sorry. you are wonderful. self-respect is a profound form of compassion. (hug)

  6. What a shitty turn of events. I’m proud of your response and would expect nothing less

    Big love.

  7. Fuck that shit. Take care of you and yours.

  8. Posted by dariaann on June 20, 2014 at 10:52 pm

    Reblogged this on Growing Christian Woman.

  9. I think I would have been tempted to say “Screw you” and brought her along anyway (if she agreed to go).

  10. We…weren’t at all tempted. There was a time when I might have been, but not now. Much alienated. Many anger.

  11. Big love to you, my dear and beautiful friend CB.

  12. I love that quote, redhester, and will remember it always.

  13. Posted by firstherbs on June 22, 2014 at 5:05 am

    Make family, there are lots of people out there who are not welcome at their family’s celebrations. Gather together and have good food and fun.

  14. I have a chosen family as well. Some are blood relations; others not, and they are all tremendous.

  15. Posted by Ninabi on June 24, 2014 at 1:18 am

    Your family doesn’t realize how goddamned lucky they are to have you and the person you love. Fortunate that you are in love and love, alive and healthy, bright and funny. As I morph into a senior, the more I see others in a parental, nurturing way, trying to fathom how anybody could call or email a younger relative with such a horrible request.

    I’m sorry you, plural, as a couple, were treated this way.

  16. Thank you, Ninabi. That is so kind, and I appreciate it.

    (What’s even worse…it wasn’t a call or an email. It was a text message. Klassy!)

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