Columnists » Ask%20phyllis

Coming home for the holidays

by Phyllis Steinberg
Tuesday Dec 14, 2010

Dear Phyllis,

My daughter says she is bisexual. I am trying to learn to accept this. Jane has a girlfriend. I met Terry. She is very nice. My daughter and Terry seem to be very happy together. Jane is coming home for the holidays and she is bringing Terry with her. The problem is I don't know how to talk to Terry. I feel so awkward around her. What can I do? (Secretly I still wish my daughter was straight.)


Dear Dolores,

Gay men and women are just like anyone else. They love. They laugh. They cry. Gay and lesbian people are involved in the same things as everyone else. They are productive members of society. You can find them in every profession and in all aspects of society. In fact, you probably interact with gays and lesbians frequently and don't even know it. Yet you have no problem speaking to these people when you don't know they are gay.

Perhaps you can find an interest that you and Terry have in common. Do you both like to cook? Are you both creative? Maybe you both enjoy writing or sketching. You may both enjoy going to museums. Traveling is another topic people often like to talk about. You may consider buying tickets to a holiday concert that all of you can enjoy together. Once you break the ice it should become easier for you to talk with Terry.

I understand that you wish Jane was straight but she is who she is. That will not change. As you become less ill at ease with Terry you will have a happier visit with your daughter.

Good luck and may you have a joyous holiday season,


Wishing everyone a happy holiday season.
Peace on earth and good will to all.
Happy New Year!


  • , 2011-01-20 11:25:36

    It’s now past the holidays but I have a suggestion for the future. I traveled to visit my partner’s family for the first time many years ago. I’m sure it wasn’t easy for her mom to have her bring me there to stay for a whole week. Within an hour of being there we were sitting down playing cards and it was fun and broke the ice (I was also nervous and wanted to make a good impression). Do something fun like playing games or do activities you enjoy together. On other visits we went to garage sales, out to eat/movies, shopping and other simple activities that allowed everyone to relax and have fun. Best wishes!

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