A lesbian who was cut out of her mother’s will has described the pain of being alienated by her entire family, simply because of her sexuality.
Writing to The Oregonian, the anonymous Texan woman asks the Dear Annie advice column for help navigating a bitter family feud.
She begins by explaining that she is now estranged from her sister after a disagreement with their mother, who has since passed away.
“It was a bad falling out, as she talked my mother into making her the sole heir of her estate because I am a lesbian,” she says bluntly.
That alone would be devastating, but most painful of all is the fact that she has been cut off from her two beloved nieces, whom she helped raise.
“My niece is getting married, and I suspect I will not be invited, as I was not invited to her high school or college graduation,” she writes.
“We once were very close, but now she doesn’t want to appear a traitor to her mother, I guess.”
The woman sent congratulations after hearing of her niece’s engagement, but after meeting no response she’s left wondering if it’s worth keeping in touch at all.
“My falling out with my sister is bad enough, but my mother and sister hurt me deeply by keeping me away from my two nieces, especially after I helped raise them,” she said.
“I have not said anything in years about it and don’t care to. It’s done and over with. I think I need to walk away.”
She now asks: “Is this childish of me? Can I give myself permission to save my self-respect and dignity by unfriending them?
“I don’t want to seem petty, but my mother and sister schemed to hurt me as badly as they could, all because l’m a lesbian and they don’t approve.”
It’s a tragically familiar problem for many LGBT+ people, and The Oregonian‘s Annie Lane had nothing but sympathy for the letter writer.
“In a perfect world, our parents and siblings would support us unconditionally and never judge us,” she replied. “In your case, their disapproval sounds extreme.”
She pointed out that while we can’t control others’ actions, we can control how we respond – and cutting off contact is a perfectly valid response.
“If you want to unfriend them on Facebook, that sounds like a fine idea,” she said. “In fact, social media never really makes people feel better about themselves, so why not just deactivate your account altogether?”
She also advised speaking to a professional therapist to help her process her family’s rejection.
“Work on forgiving your mother and sister for yourself, not for them,” she suggested. “After all, forgiveness is a gift you give to yourself.”