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Christmas dilemma
#1
Hello! Let me explain the whole situation. I would like to invite my boyfriend to spend Christmas with my family. He lives in Dublin and moved to Europe at the age of 14 with his mother. Now his parents are gone and all his closests live in Brazil so he would be alone. I live in Poland and next year I gonna move to Ireland but until I'm here he comes to visit me and he's already booked a hotel and flight for Christmas.

On Christmas Eve there are supposed to be my parents, sister, mother's parents and her brother along with his wife and my cousin plus my father's mother and his brother with his wife. My mother's family knows that I'm gay and they are open-minded but my father's does not know. He told me that he doesn't want my boyfriend to come over because he's scared that his mother (my grandmother) will have a heart attack. She's a very religious person but not in a positive way. She's not a bad person but very simple and she agrees on everything that a radical radio station in Poland will say, including gay hate. My father tries to protect her but it pisses me off because I feel like I'm doing something wrong and her stupid religious beliefs are more important in my father's opinon. I didn't see my grandmother for about a year because of that and she thinks the reason is that I met a girl and she got pregnant with me and I'm trying to hide it. Maybe I would understand health issues but it looks like my father somehow is trying to "protect" his brother as well. I think that he's rather ashamed of a gay son and just tolerate, not accept my sexuality. Sometimes I feel like to tell my grandmother on my own but then, if she really has a heart attack, it stops me. Please advise me what to do because I cannot imagine spending Christmas without my boyfriend but at the same time I want to be with my family.
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#2
Good morning/afternoon.

Your problem is actually more common than you might imagine. Many men are caught in the middle when only partially out, and many many men are exactly that. It is a reasonable method of minimizing stress from conflict. The math boils down to telling those who can accept, and avoiding those who cannot.

In your case, I can see about three alternatives. See what you think.

1. Go see your paternal grandmother. Don't buy any of the bullshit about heart attacks. If she were that fixated on you and your happiness, she'd have already had one from not seeing you and your supposed bastard child for a year. Tell her how much she means to you. Tell her how much you respect her, but that you are 25 years old, a man, and that you must have the same respect as both an adult and a loved one. Then tell her how you met him, why you love him, and how much you want her to be a part of your life and your love. Don't give her an ultimatum or try to pressure her. Let the news sink in on her own time. Leave her to deal with it. If she comes to Christmas and accepts you, then good. If she stays away out of respect, good. At any rate, respecting your father doesn't include tiptoeing around Grandma.

2. Bring your boyfriend just as a visiting friend if you feel he can do that without feeling like he is hiding. Many families have guests at Christmas. Those who know will know. Those who don't can preserve their fantasy that it is a platonic friendship. As you are already living this way, half-in, half-out, it is consistent with how you are living the rest of the year.

3. Excuse yourself from Christmas with the family. Tell your family that it is important for you to be with your love at Christmas, and that you have reached an age as a man and must live as a man, not as a child. If your father has been straddling the fence and not accepting you, he needs to know now that being ashamed of you and your love are not acceptable. It doesn't mean fighting with him, or making an argument about it. Just make your position known, gently, but firmly, and stick to your guns. In the long run, those will love and accept you who will, but perhaps some won't. It is your parents' home. If one of them chooses to make you unwelcome at Christmas, they need to sort that out as well.

Best to you. Tough problem, but a good one to have. Many envy you with the love of your life being there with you.

Jason
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#3
^ Pretty much this.
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#4
I think the visiting friend scenario is the most workable if your boyfriend is comfortable with it. It has never seemed right to me to upset the traditions of holidays with news which may bring on a crisis in the family. Christmas is such an important thing to many people with strong religious beliefs that making an issue of your being gay during the celebrations may mar it for years for many of your family and that is not kind. Talk to your friend about this and do the best you can to respect your grandmother and other family members by bringing this up at a less emotion-filled time when there is more chance of dealing with it rationally.

As for not joining the family for Christmas, I could never have gotten away with that while my parents were alive. I suggested it once and the reaction of my Mother was enough to make the Second Coming look like a Saturday Morning Cartoon.
I bid NO Trump!
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#5
Well, by offering to step away if his boyfriend's presence is a distraction, Krzysztof's putting the consequences solely on his parents, who would have to explain his absence. But I agree that holidays are stressful enough; this is the kind of thing that should be dealt with at another time by being forthright with the grandmother and letting her decide whether her "religious" values (which is vaguely disturbing because -- assuming she's Catholic -- the church does not say you should shun or judge people about it, at least not officially. How people interpret the church's teaching is another matter entirely) are more important than her love for her grandson.

I the opposite problem, sorta... my BF's mother is not satisfied with us being there only 50% of holidays since we also have my family vying for our time. This year, my BF decided he wanted to spend Thanksgiving with friends of ours down in Rehoboth Beach. He started working in real estate which means most weekends he has to work, so it's a rare chance for us to get away. His mother gave us a raft of guilt, which was funny enough til we realized it was MY family's turn to have us. My folks are fine because we'll actually see them that Sunday for my grandmother's birthday. She's 92, also Polish Catholic, but luckily has no issue with it. Krzysztof, your post was a good reminder of how lucky I am.
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#6
Approach it from the 'we promise not to start having sex under the Christmas tree or in front of grandma' angle...

Then go on to remind father that Jesus hung out with the dregs of society and preached a message of charity, love, tolerance...

Underscore that your BF will be alone this year.

An alternative here is you go spend Christmas with your BF... your not being there at the Christmas table will send a clear message to your father.

The message?

If he forces you to choose, you will choose the man that you love most.
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#7
Did you ask your bf's opinion on this situation ? maybe he doesn't want to upset anyone by been there if he isn't going to be totally welcome !! and would you want him to feel unwelcome also just to show all your extended family you are gay and have a bf

I would spend your time with the one you love - if your family want you to be there then make the point of asking if this includes your partner too - if not then graciously decline and explain why if needed.

Don't buy into the heart attack scare tactics either - your father is thinking this is the best way to protect her buy shielding her from your orientation but your grandmother will be a stronger lady than that...she may well be very upset but that is not your fault just because you love someone

Good luck and have a happy christmas
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#8
I like all the responses and I'll play devil's advocate with a different opinion just for the sake of alternatives.

I wonder why you would take him as "just a friend" when you know full well the majority will know better, father will likely catch on as well and be angry, and grandma deserves a certain degree of respect in the established family structure UNLESS you are actually going to take my favorite approach of contacting her first without anyone else's knowledge, clue her in assertively and respectfully and hope she'll be fine with the guest and then SURPRISE Ole POP with a coming out!!!

I know, I'm bad. Xyxwave
Heart  Life's too short to miss an opportunity to show your love and affection!  Heart
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#9
I think you should probably talk to your boyfriend about all this. He might not want to be around people who could be hostile. But I think the first answer has some good advice, too.

I hope things go okay! Smile
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#10
I guess I'm kinda late to this thread, but it's not Christmas yet so what the hell...

I agree with the others ^^^ who've said to take him as just a "friend". All your family needs to know about him is that he's your friend, special to you, and he's away from his family and alone at Christmas.

They don't need to know who sticks their Yule Time Log up who's chimney type details.
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