DEAR ABBY: I'm a 30-something bisexual man who is in a relationship with a bisexual woman the same age. We both lived different lives and dated a variety of people before we met, but now I am pretty certain she is The One. The issue arises when it comes to how others, particularly my parents and their friends, perceive us.
To us, we are two queer people who have identified as some form of queer or bisexual since we were teenagers. We have repeatedly faced backlash from conservative family members and family friends about those we are attracted to. One of my mother's best friends is extremely homophobic. She has, at various holiday parties my parents have hosted, loudly voiced her homophobic views, including how proud she was to vote against same-sex marriage.
How can I kindly explain to my mother that my girlfriend and I are not straight, and it's wrong to attach the straight label to us when we don't identify that way? Also, I want to say that I don't feel comfortable around her friend. A lot of what she talks about involves denigrating the sexuality of folks I have deep affection for.
My mother is extremely defensive about her friend. She didn't take it kindly when I told her I deserve an apology for having to sit through this woman's homophobic diatribes given that I am LGBTQ myself. We would like to be married in the next couple of years and make it a homophobia-free wedding. Can you help? -- UN-STRAIGHT IN MICHIGAN
DEAR UN-STRAIGHT: The way to explain to your mother that you and your soon-to-be fiancee are not straight would be to tell her that in plain English. If you want to ensure that you and the woman you love have a homophobia-free wedding, plan it yourselves and control the guest list.