My partner and I have been together for 11 years and have a set of 19 month twins via surrogacy. My sister recently became “born again” and has accepted their teachings.
In two recent emails she told me that God did not create me this way, and that homosexuality is an example of Satan’s influence in the world. She states these things while expressing her love for me, saying that we are “amazing” people.
Needless to say, I’m devastated. I felt my sister to be one of my closest relatives. My partner and I have been wonderful to my sister and her husband. We helped them financially in starting their family and assisted them in purchasing their home. We also asked her to be my daughters’ godmother, not having a clue about how she felt about my partner and me. I feel betrayed, and am not sure I want a relative in my life who is going to cite passages from the Bible to try to prove that being gay is against God’s law.
My children are very young and have not formed an attachment to my sister. Should I continue to involve my sister in my children’s lives knowing what she believes about gay people?
For LGBT people (and often their children), being told by friends and relatives that they “love-the-sinner-but-hate-the-sin,” offers no comfort. It still just feels like hate. And it hurts — especially when the message is delivered by someone who you thought you could count on.
The views your sister is expressing to you now may reflect some doubts she had all along. It’s just that before you became a father, there were fewer opportunities when she had to explore her views. When it was just you and your partner, she and the people around her could have avoided the topic, or let themselves “forget” that you and your partner are something more than “good friends.”
But babies “out” entire families. Your sister probably started bragging about her dear nieces to co-workers and neighbors, only to realize that “small talk” is hardly “small talk” when a family member is gay. Confronted by questions and judgmental comments that she never had to face before, she may have felt pressure to define her ambivalent views more clearly — and more rigidly.
Many anti-gay relatives truly think that “loving-the-sinner-but-hating-the-sin” is middle ground, and that they really will be able to maintain a quality relationship with their gay relative. The flaw in this perspective, however, is that the anti-gay relative has reduced sexuality to a behavior rather than a core part of a person’s identity. While your sister feels she is only disapproving of “what you do in bed” she really is judging you, since you are a man in a committed relationship with a man every minute of your life.
If the children were older, I would encourage you to make every effort before cutting your sister off from your kids. But tell her right now that although you love her, it’s not fair to you or your kids to maintain a close relationship with someone who questions the validity of their family.
Regardless of your children’s sexual orientation they take it personally when people judge their parents. Your kids are going to hear enough anti-gay rhetoric as they grow up. The last place they need to hear it is within their own family.