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Dear Jody

By |2004-12-23T09:00:00-05:00December 23rd, 2004|Uncategorized|

By Jody Valley

Home for Christmas
Q: I know you probably get a million of these letters at Christmas and other holidays, but I just wanted to tell you how my partner and I solved the problem of having some relatives that are accepting of us and others that choose not to be around us because we are a gay a couple.
The situation for us– for the first three years of our relationship– was that we spent a lot of our holiday time away from each other because we had some relatives that just wanted to see one of us, some wanted us to act like friends not a couple, or others didn’t want to be around us at all. That made it so that it was hard for family members planning holiday parties to know who was coming and who to invite, and to what. It was pretty uncomfortable for everyone concerned.
Well for the last two years, we decided to open our house at Christmas to those that want to join us. We have three times they can come: Christmas Eve, Christmas morning and Christmas evening for dinner. We write a letter to each family or individual family member. It is a form letter with a little personal note at the end. The letter explains what we will be doing at each time and asks that they RSVP, if they wish to join us.
Since we are in our own home, we feel free to act like and be a couple. We don’t have to leave each other for any part of the holiday. If family members choose not to come, we figure it is their loss. The response has been great. A few family members have chosen to not come to anything. But most of them come, bring their children and have a great time. This has solved several problems for us: we can be a couple in our own home, family members are getting used to our holding hands or calling each other a sweet or pet name, and we feel we have grown closer to people that come to our home because we are not on guard and are free to be who we really are. If someone doesn’t like us or our being gay, they can choose not to join us or they can leave. This has made Christmas a very joyful time for us instead of a time that we dread.
Hope this helps other couples out there.
Welcoming the Holiday Season

A: Sounds like you have solved this problem in a way that works well for each of you, individually and as a couple. Thanks for sharing. Does anyone else have ideas that have worked for him or her in making the holidays a time of celebration, rather than dread? I would like to hear from you. It helps when we share what works.

Troll boss
Q: I hope you can give me some advice. I am afraid I am about to lose my job and I don’t know how to stop it from happening. My boss is planning to fire me. The reason being is that he wants to date me, and I keep turning him down. I know this is illegal, but I have no proof. He always approaches me when we are alone. I’m not even sure the other office staff knows that he is gay, but they do know that I am.
I like my job and the people I work with, and I hope to keep this job because it works well with my school schedule. I am in college right now. What do I do to keep from losing this job short of trying to get proof and going legal on him?
One Hand On The Door

A: I would first talk with him and tell him that you are not interested in dating him, but that you do want to keep your job. You might let him know that you know that his behavior is illegal, and that you will go to his boss if he doesn’t stop his behavior or tries to fire you. Just by telling him that, he may get scared and quit, whether or not you decide to take any legal action. However, ultimately, if you don’t want to do anything, legally, and these suggestions aren’t getting you anywhere, you might also consider looking for another job before you get fired from this one. It’s harder finding another job after you’ve been fired from your last one.

{ITAL Have a problem? Send your letters to: “Dear Jody,” C/O Between the Lines, 20793 Farmington Road, Suite 25, Farmington, MI 48336. Or, e-mail:
Jody Valley spent 12 years as a clinical social worker. She worked with the LGBT community both as a counselor and a workshop leader in the areas of coming out, self-esteem and relationship issues. The “Dear Jody” column appears weekly.}

About the Author:

BTL Staff
Between The Lines has been publishing LGBTQ-related content in Southeast Michigan since the early '90s. This year marks the publication's 27th anniversary.