Ask Someone Else's Mom by Susan Writer

Parents of Newly Out Man Try Too Hard

DEAR SOMEONE ELSE’S MOM: When I came out last year, it actually seemed to genuinely surprise my dad and stepmother, although my mother told me she’d figured it out years ago. All my parents have been kind and supportive, but my dad and stepmother are going overboard to let me know just how cool they are with me and my boyfriend. It’s gotten kind of embarrassing, and I know they don’t mean to be causing me any discomfort. They just aren’t sure how to let me know they’re okay with it.

Without hurting their feelings or embarrassing them, how do I let them know their overboard support is a problem? --- MY FOLKS ARE TOO ENTHUSIASTIC

DEAR MY FOLKS ARE TOO ENTHUSIASTIC: It sounds like your father and stepmother may still be processing a new situation that’s old news to you. I’d say give them a little time to figure out that you’re who you’ve always been, and hopefully things will be less strained for them.

In the meantime, and perhaps as a way to get things back on a less stressful footing, you might want to gently, but directly level with them, expressing how grateful you are that they’re so accepting and supportive, but that you really don’t want to be treated any differently by them than how they’ve always treated you.

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