I've fallen out with my sister because she's unsupportive of our gay nephew

DEAR DEIDRE: I’VE fallen out with my older sister because she’s a narrow-minded bigot.

At a recent family party I was shocked by a homophobic comment she made.


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Since then, I’ve not been able to bring myself to speak to her.

I’m a woman of 56 and she’s 57. We used to be close but lately I can barely speak to her – because of her views.

We have a younger sister, aged 48, whose 15-year-old son has just come out as gay. That was no great surprise to me.

At the party, my older sister was very nice to our nephew’s face and supportive of his mum. But once they were out of earshot, she turned to me and said: “I blame her for turning him gay.”

She claimed it was because he’d been allowed to wear make-up and dance as a child. I was horrified at her ignorance.

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If she was a friend, I’d just stop speaking to her. But she’s my sister.

How do I make her see she’s wrong?

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DEIDRE SAYS: It is hard to change entrenched views. All you can do is tell her you find what she said offensive and unacceptable, and explain why she is wrong.

You could give her my support pack on sexuality to read. Perhaps – over time – by being around her nephew, she will become more understanding.

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Try to be civil, for everyone’s sake. But sometimes you have to accept that people can grow apart.

Contact familylives.org.uk for advice.

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