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“reign in blood”

Since: May 09

Wilmington, IL

#1 Dec 11, 2013
DEAR AMY: My 24-year-old son has come out as "gender queer" and states that he doesn't want to identify as either male or female. He just wants to be himself.

Although he has never shown a desire to wear women's clothes before, he has recently taken the stance that if he is asked not to wear a skirt to an event, he simply won't go.

I understand, since we never tell anyone else what they can or cannot wear. I have loved my son's differences since he was born and totally accept him.

There are, as you can imagine, many issues that arise, however. His father really doesn't understand, and even though he keeps his opinions to himself, it is obvious that he doesn't approve when our son shows up somewhere wearing a skirt. His sister accepts him totally, but she thinks his girlfriend is obnoxiously pretentious and has chewed her out.

I am afraid all of this is going to come to a head soon.

A dear friend of mine has graciously invited my entire family (plus girlfriend) to a very expensive and somewhat conservative restaurant for dinner.

I know my son won't come if I ask him not to wear a skirt. I am afraid my daughter and my son's girlfriend will get into an argument, and I know my husband will be incredibly uncomfortable.

I would be horribly embarrassed if my friend took us on what he expects to be a friendly family outing and my family implodes.

Any ideas on averting disaster or on how to handle this going forth?-- Understanding Mom

DEAR MOM: You should not ask your son to wear -- or not wear -- any particular thing. He's an adult, for goodness sake. If he wants to swan around town in a tutu and scuba mask, that's his business, right?

In advance of this event, you can say to him, "This restaurant is expensive and conservative. We are guests." That's it. Do not discuss his wardrobe with him.(The restaurant probably won't care about his skirt, though they may try to wrestle him into a jacket.)

The most important thing you can do to prepare for this night is to use separate transportation. That way if there's a problem your son (and/or daughter) can find their own way home.

And here's some bonus (unsolicited) advice for your son: Stop acting like a toddler. You need to figure out how to interact with people in various contexts, and not sulk in your room if you think your mommy is not going to "let" you wear your skirt. Grow up already.

DEAR AMY: I am 22 and currently dating a 27-year-old. He is a super-nice guy, treats me nice and is a real gentleman. I've always said that someone who smokes marijuana (or even cigarettes) would not be someone I would go for. That's my personal opinion.

Well, he smokes marijuana with his friends on the weekends. If I'm present he'll do it in another room. I don't know what to do. Should I ask him to stop? Should I call things off?-- Confused

DEAR CONFUSED: By all means, ask your guy if he is willing to stop smoking. But enter this conversation knowing that he will not stop for your sake. He will only stop if the negative consequences of his smoking are greater than his desire to do it.

The most important choice you need to make is to decide how important this issue is to you. If this is tolerable, then tolerate it. If it is a true deal breaker, then you should be prepared to leave the relationship.

DEAR AMY: "Secret Holder" was wondering if she should tell the wife of her husband's friend that she thinks he is gay. Your suggestion was that she tell the wife that her own husband is gay and that the two husbands had "grown close."

Why on earth should she tell the wife anything? It's none of her business what goes on in someone else's marriage.-- Been There

DEAR BEEN THERE: Other readers agree with you and did not like my suggestion to "split the difference."

“reign in blood”

Since: May 09

Chicago, IL

#2 Dec 11, 2013
1- Does your friend know about all this drama? If he did, he'd probably rethink the invitation. If your son doesn't want to identify as female, why does he insist on wearing a skirt? And he has a girlfriend? What self respecting girl would date thus freak? Thanks for reminding me I'm glad to have a normal family

3- if the other woman's husband is involved with the lw's husband, then it's not "someone else's marriage"

Since: Mar 09

Pittsburgh, PA

#3 Dec 11, 2013
edogxxx wrote:
And he has a girlfriend? What self respecting girl would date thus freak?
Obviously an obnoxiously pretentious one!
"his girlfriend is obnoxiously pretentious"

“I Am Mine”

Since: Dec 08

Location hidden

#4 Dec 11, 2013
Lw1: if your host does not know he is likely to show up wearing a dress, you should let her know. Freak boy is not your problem to manage. But I agree with Amy. The same way a sports fan can change his attire accordingly based on the setting(ie: not wear a game jersey, shorts, and a ball cap out to a 5 star reataurant), this dude needs to figure out how to be an adult and not go the shock value rout every time.

“A Programmer is not in IT!”

Since: Feb 09

Neda, stay with me!

#5 Dec 11, 2013
1 Oh, the drama! Amy is right, the kid is a spoiled brat and needs to be put in time out. As much as he is free to wear panties on his head, his parents are free to tell him to not bother coming if he does so. They have a right to have a pleasant meal without the obvious disruption the son will cause. If he cant be flexible, then neither should they. His wearing pants for a few hours should be no more bothersome than wearing a tie.

2 Ha, kids and their dreams...

3 Because what is happening is affecting BOTH of their marriages, not just one or the other.

Since: Aug 08

Location hidden

#6 Dec 11, 2013
LW1: "Gender queer,Ē lmao?

Itís all pretty weird, but I would be highly annoyed by all the attention seeking and the demand that other folks specifically request that he wear a skirt, everywhere. He doesnít need to dress in a skirt for every event, no more so than women need to wear skirts everywhere they go.

Itís also not just the fact that he wants to dress as a woman, but that heís so rigid Ö I would be equally annoyed (even if less embarrassed) to have a friend or relative that demanded he wear a tuxedo to every event.

I donít think heís so much of a gender queer, but a drama queen and Iím not surprised his girlfriend seems the same.

He also doesnít need to come to every event for you to have a relationship with him. I wouldnít want to go out to eat at a restaurant with any man dressed as a woman. I really just donít have much patience when it comes to PITAs who go out of their way to make everything as difficult as possible.

LW2: I donít see much of a difference between that and having a few beers with the guys, honestly.
liner

Patchogue, NY

#7 Dec 11, 2013
L1: I think you should run his whole thing past a TV producer. Think reality show. You'd make millions.
L2: Ever think of joining him?

“On Deck”

Since: Aug 08

French Polynesia

#8 Dec 11, 2013
L1. In Scotland it is called a kilt and is considered formal attire for men.
Prince Phillip, aka The Duke of Edinbourgh, is even known to wear one on occasion.

“A Programmer is not in IT!”

Since: Feb 09

Neda, stay with me!

#9 Dec 11, 2013
Yeah, and in Peru they eat ants off of a stick, and in Guam the eat dogs and some African tribes wear penisgourds...so whats your point?
loose cannon wrote:
L1. In Scotland it is called a kilt and is considered formal attire for men.
Prince Phillip, aka The Duke of Edinbourgh, is even known to wear one on occasion.

“I Am Mine”

Since: Dec 08

Location hidden

#10 Dec 11, 2013
loose cannon wrote:
L1. In Scotland it is called a kilt and is considered formal attire for men.
Prince Phillip, aka The Duke of Edinbourgh, is even known to wear one on occasion.
this guy is not wearing it because of his scottish heritage. He's wearing it to tell the world he's gender queer.

“The two baby belly, please!”

Since: Sep 09

Evanston IL

#11 Dec 11, 2013
LW1: His problem isn't the skirt, it's his need for drama and attention. And he seems to be getting it, doesn't he. Tell him what the restaurant expects and leave it at that.

And what Amy said about him acting like an adult.

LW2: What Sub said. This is only a big deal for you.

LW3: She needs to deal with her *own* problems, and they are many.

“The two baby belly, please!”

Since: Sep 09

Evanston IL

#12 Dec 11, 2013
loose cannon wrote:
L1. In Scotland it is called a kilt and is considered formal attire for men.
Prince Phillip, aka The Duke of Edinbourgh, is even known to wear one on occasion.
While I love a man in a kilt, there are times and places for it. When I see the salesguy from Saks Fifth Avenue in his black kilt and combat boots taking his smoke break, I think he looks like an idiot. He looks very nice in them, but wearing one in the workplace seems pretentious to me. I highly doubt he's of scottish ancestory; he's wearing them for the attention he garners.

Clearly it's working for him, he has a job at Saks after all, but he still looks like an idiot, imo.

“reign in blood”

Since: May 09

Chicago, IL

#13 Dec 11, 2013
squishymama wrote:
LW2: This is only a big deal for you.
.
Isn't that all that matters?

“The two baby belly, please!”

Since: Sep 09

Evanston IL

#14 Dec 11, 2013
edogxxx wrote:
<quoted text>
Isn't that all that matters?
Sort of.

As I see it, she has two reasons not to like it:

1) bad experience with a pot-smoking person, like a parent or sibling.

2) on principal, because she heard it's "bad".

If her reason is 1, then Amy can't help her. That's something she has to work out for herself.

If her reason is 2, then she needs to evaluate the actual situation and know that most people do not see pot-smoking as all that harmful.

It really sounds like she's standing on some principal that reality has shown might not be as important as she originally thought.
Kuuipo

Monterey, CA

#15 Dec 11, 2013
LW1: Addressing your immediate problem, I would tell your very dear friend that you are grateful for her generosity but you cannot go to a 5-star conservative restaurant with your family for the reasons you stated. Counter offer with an an evening out that does not include your son or a home-cooked dinner that does, your choice. Now for your deeper problem; you have a lot more to worry about than embarrassment at a restaurant. Squishymama nailed it. Your son craves attention and likes to push the envelope of what is acceptable. The question is, "Why?" He should be in therapy, or you should all be in family therapy. OT: Years ago, there was a college student in Berkeley (where else) who used to go to classes naked. He was simply called the Naked Guy. He was very personable and was tolerated for a while, but eventually expelled for refusing to wear clothes. Later on, he was diagnosed as a schizophrenic and committed suicide. LW's son reminds me of Naked Guy.
Kuuipo

Monterey, CA

#16 Dec 11, 2013
LW2: Personally, I don't think smoking a bit of weed on the weekends with his friends is a horrible deal-breaking habit, but that's LW's call. Most people outgrow the pot-smoking stage; I remember one couple that made that decision when they started their family. Aside from the reasons that squishymama stated, this habit can come back to haunt you in certain job situations. My employer contracts with the gov't and they draw a pretty hard line about drug use.

“reign in blood”

Since: May 09

Chicago, IL

#17 Dec 11, 2013
Kuuipo wrote:
LW1: Addressing your immediate problem, I would tell your very dear friend that you are grateful for her generosity but you cannot go to a 5-star conservative restaurant with your family for the reasons you stated. Counter offer with an an evening out that does not include your son or a home-cooked dinner that does, your choice. Now for your deeper problem; you have a lot more to worry about than embarrassment at a restaurant. Squishymama nailed it. Your son craves attention and likes to push the envelope of what is acceptable. The question is, "Why?" He should be in therapy, or you should all be in family therapy. OT: Years ago, there was a college student in Berkeley (where else) who used to go to classes naked. He was simply called the Naked Guy. He was very personable and was tolerated for a while, but eventually expelled for refusing to wear clothes. Later on, he was diagnosed as a schizophrenic and committed suicide. LW's son reminds me of Naked Guy.
When I was in college, we had a "cape guy." He always wore a cape. Never knew why.

“...,to wit”

Since: Jun 09

Location hidden

#18 Dec 11, 2013
I had never heard this term before so I looked it up

Gender identity is defined as one's internal sense of being a woman, man, both, or neither, while sexual identity refers to an individual's enduring physical, romantic, and/or emotional attraction to others.[7] As such, genderqueer people may have a variety of sexual orientations, as with transgender and cisgender people.

.
Hmmm

LW should do 2 things. Alert the host that her son may be wearing non traditional dress. The whole family need not decline the invitation .

It sounds like the son sometimes wears pants and sometimes wears skirts. Therefore the choice what to wear is his and how he covers his nether regions appears to be optional for him. If I am wrong then he sounds more like a transvestite than gender queer. He also sounds militantly passive aggressive.

This leads to the 2nd suggestion. Nothing here requires him to look like he is dressing up for Halloween. Take him shopping. Offer to buy him a couple tasteful outfits suitable for wearing o a nice restaurant or on a job ( he is working isn't he?).Consider style, cut, fit , whether he can handle a back zipper by himself and what he is doing about shoes(is he wearing stiletto's yet) I have a hunch that when faced with a Nordstrom saleslady who is offering to coordinate tights and a dress that he might be less enthusiastic. Take him someplace nice enough so you can raise a condescending eyvrow at the pretentious girlfriend.

LW2 Everybody ha a deal breaker. It may be minor now, but you don't marry someone with expectation that they will change. A minor irritant now can be a major issue in a couple years.
Blunt Advice

Hoboken, NJ

#19 Dec 11, 2013
Good advice above everyone. Just curious.... is it common for couples with adult children to bring them along when they go out?
2. If you are that against pot smoking then this is not a guy you should be in an exclusive relationship with.
3. Myob.

“I Am Mine”

Since: Dec 08

Location hidden

#20 Dec 11, 2013
squishymama wrote:
<quoted text>
Sort of.
As I see it, she has two reasons not to like it:
1) bad experience with a pot-smoking person, like a parent or sibling.
2) on principal, because she heard it's "bad".
If her reason is 1, then Amy can't help her. That's something she has to work out for herself.
If her reason is 2, then she needs to evaluate the actual situation and know that most people do not see pot-smoking as all that harmful.
It really sounds like she's standing on some principal that reality has shown might not be as important as she originally thought.
Reason #3: Its illegal, and regardless of how harmless it may be, the illegality could be the big deal for her. I don't have a problem with pot, but I don't partake. The biggest reason is the law. And some companies drug test, so it could also be detrimental to my career.

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