Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell?

My in-laws have returned from Florida (HALLELUJAH!), and, of course, we’ve already been hitting them up for favors. When I picked Kate up there on Friday (Kate has the hacking cough from hell, still), my FIL, as per usual, had FOX News on. A story about gay marriage (it got to an early start in Illinois) came on.

“This deeply offends me,” my FIL said.

“I know,” I answered, and walked out of the room.

What am I supposed to say? There’s no point in actually getting into an argument with my FIL about gay marriage. He’s entitled to be offended by it. It doesn’t matter how offended he is by it — it’s happening. Not much he can do to stop it.

*Not* saying anything is difficult for me because it feels disloyal to people I love. I feel like I need to stand up and say… something. At the very least, I would like to ask my FIL to not say bigoted things around my children. I think that’s fair. I may have to couch it in more diplomatic language.

Respect is a two-way street.

While we’re on the subject, I’m wondering about something else. One of my cousins is getting married in New Mexico, and he and his husband are having a reception in our hometown.

Now most of me doesn’t think anything of writing “he and his husband”. I’ve written about my “aha” moment regarding sexuality before, and how I was unexpectedly moved by the DOMA decision from the Supreme Court last year.

However, in my head, I am tripping over what to say to other people. Or how to say anything to other people. Or wondering if I should say anything to other people.

For example, when someone says, “What are you up to this weekend?”, do I just say, “I’m going to a reception for my cousin who got married last month.”

Do I add, “He and his husband got married in New Mexico”? Do I say anything about the fact that my cousin is a man marrying another man? If I don’t say anything, the assumption is going to be that I am going to the reception of a man and a woman. Do I clarify that that’s not the case? Does it matter if I do or if I don’t? What does it say if I do? What does it say if I don’t?

I’m not ashamed of or embarrassed by having homosexual cousins, so I don’t want to cover up or lie by omission. At the same time it feels like saying something is belaboring the point. And again, not saying something feels a little bit disloyal.

Of course, at the same time, I don’t want this to be more about me than about my friends and family.

What do you think? If no one asks, should I not tell? Or should I somehow casually mention I’m attending a gay wedding reception?

5 thoughts on “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell?

  1. I know what you mean, since our generation grew up with the silence=death Keith Haring campaign. But, you probably wouldn’t say “I’m going to my black friend’s wedding, ” or “I’m going to my Jewish friend’s wedding.” I’m the last person to shy away from a confrontation about civil rights issues (as you know) but I don’t think it counts as being deceptive or disloyal if you happen to not over-describe. Let the follow-up questions fall where they may. You vote, right? You’re raising your kids with your values right? These are the important things.

  2. I agree with the High Priestess. I wouldn’t fill in the details, because A) it’s not their business, and B) they probably don’t really want all the details about a wedding for people they don’t know. But if they ask, then be honest. And have fun at the reception!

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