Facing mixed feelings over a gay sibling

    Dear V,

    I think that my brother might be gay. It’s not that I care or anything, and I really don’t have that much evidence, but I think that it’s kind of strange. I have no idea why I’m thinking like this because I have a lot of gay friends. I just think that it’s weird. I feel kind of like a hypocrite for feeling this way, but I can’t help it.

    Gay Brother?

    Dear Reader,

    Well, I think that it’s kind of cool that you’ve decided to actually deal with your feelings regarding your brother’s sexual orientation as opposed to bottling them up and completely denying that you are weirded out by your brother’s choice in partners. I’m sure that your reasons for feeling this way are warranted because you have already decided to welcome people (i.e. your gay friends) of different walks of life into your own. Perhaps you’re worried that your brother will face unending bouts of discrimination and be treated poorly by those who can not take the time to accept others regardless of their race, sexual orientation, gender or religion. I am certain that there are people out there who would deny that those of sexual and racial minorities must still battle bigots because we, as a collective whole, have been brainwashed to believe that we live in a tolerant and “civilized” country where the melting-pot ideology prevails; it’s a fallacy, we still have a lot of work to do here.

    Before I get sidetracked on some political strand, I think that there are tons of things that you can do to both let your brother know that you are completely accepting of him and his lifestyle and to acclimate yourself to a life with your gay sibling. Your definite first step is education, but I’m not saying that you should familiarize yourself with irksome statistics. Robert Gottieb’s book, Side by Side: On Having a Gay or Lesbian Sibling, is one that might be able to help you learn from others who have been in your shoes. On that note, you should probably brush up on your ability to empathize and to picture life from another’s perspective. It also might be helpful to discuss your brother’s sexuality with him, with other members of your family and even with a therapist.

    If you still are having problems coming to grips with your brother’s lifestyle, you must rely on time to help you. Like anything else that seems puzzling, time (and occasionally effort) is the only soother. However, the passage of time is not an excuse to give into your “weirded out” feelings, and if you refuse to stave off those nasty feelings you’re hardly supporting your brother.

    Best of luck!


    Fact O’ The Day…Internationally, Baywatch is the most popular television show in history…yeah, Hasselhoff! Oh wait, a twofer…condoms are six times thicker than plastic wrap.

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