Hi Acaricia, decease
I ’m a 24-year-old girl attracted to other girls. I have had boyfriends in the past, but realised that it’s a girl I want to be with. My family is conservative and they will never understand my sexuality. I have a girlfriend now and we do hang out on the sly. What do I do? I really want to come out clean to my mom, but I know she will never understand. My father will probably disown me if he ever finds out. Please help.
Aisha from Baga
There are a few things you can point out to your family and friends about this, Aisha. First, humanity has come a long way in recent years from the days when homosexuality was considered an aberration or illness. There’s a reason why many societies around the world are now moving to legalise same-sex marriage and provide the same rights to gay couples that straight ones enjoy. Scientific research has shown that homosexuality is a normal and natural variation of human sexuality, and that we don’t choose to be gay any more than we choose our skin colour or height. In addition, research has shown that rejection, discrimination and prejudice against gays and lesbians can and do cause significant psychological damage. If you choose, as you say, to ‘come clean,’ show these findings to your loved ones. Tell them how important their love is to you. And how much you love them. Unfortunately, sweet Aisha, none of this is likely to be easy. In fact, it could be very, very hard. Follow your heart on the pacing and breadth of what you can and cannot say. But in the end, there’s a lot to be said for being true to yourself – and for not wasting your precious, limited time on Earth. Good luck, dear.
Dear Acaricia May,
I am an 81-year-old retired engineer. I lost my wife of 54 years about a year and half ago. I miss her so much that I find myself crying every day. I live alone, but I usually take my meals at my daughter’s house, which is about 10 minutes away from mine. Of course she’s wonderful and always makes me feel welcome. But she has three kids of her own and now she’s also looking after me more and more. She’s very careful not to make me feel like a burden but I really I feel like one anyway. Over the past four months, there’s been a new twist to this story. A woman who was friends with my late wife – I’ll call her Jane – has taken a liking to me. Jane is what some people would call a difficult lady. She’s very critical of others, she complains a lot about everything and she’s a little on the selfish side. My three children have made no secret about their dislike of her. My wife felt sorry for Jane and became her friend, and my kids say that was proof of their mom’s good heart. She was the only person who was willing to be Jane’s friend. Jane is pressuring me to marry her. I’m tempted to do it, because then I’d have someone by my side and I wouldn’t have to feel like a burden to my children. My kids say she’s after my money. What do you think I should do?
My column is a column about love. I believe love and marriage should go together. But I also recognize that, especially as people get older, there are other important factors as well, companionship being chief among them. John, I am not here to tell you what to do or how to live your life. But I’m reading your words and noting that you do not have a great deal of positive things to say about Jane – except that she might help alleviate the feeling of being a burden. Ask yourself, John, what would be worse: the feeling of being a burden, or the feeling of being married to someone who isn’t very nice? Would Jane’s companionship make up for her faults? Whatever you decide, John, your life is yours to steer – don’t let others do it for you. May you find both peace and happiness.
If you have questions about sex, relationships or any other matter relating to the heart, please write to Acaricia May at firstname.lastname@example.org.