DEAR ABBY: I am a 42-year-old lesbian. I consider myself a nice, easygoing person who tries her best to follow the Golden Rule. I have an outgoing personality, and have no trouble making friends and keeping them. However, it seems as though each time a female friend finds out I'm gay, she expects me to come on to her.
Abby, all I ever wanted was a friend with whom I didn't have to be on guard -- a person who would accept me as a true friend. Just because I'm gay doesn't mean all my friendships have to be sexual. I can enjoy having fun, a good conversation, sharing a movie or shopping with someone who's straight.
I am happily in love with my soul mate of a year and a half, and she has encountered the same thing. Am I doing something wrong that friends view me this way? How can I change my personality to maintain friendships without my kindness being mistaken for anything more? -- "D" IN ST. PETERSBURG, FLA.
DEAR "D": I see no reason for you to change your personality. There is a common misconception in the straight world that because people are gay, they must be attracted to ALL people of the same gender. Of course, that's no more true than the idea that all straight people are necessarily attracted to every person of the opposite sex.
When it happens again, keep your sense of humor and show the friend this column.
DEAR ABBY: I don't know what to do about my father. He has recently reunited with his second wife, "Florence," after a three-year separation. During their separation, he would telephone me several times a day and visit our home several times a week. He always complained about Florence and the things she did to him when they were together. I am the only one of his six children in whom he confided.
Abby, now that Dad and Florence are back together, he expects me to forget everything he told me about her and pretend that nothing unpleasant ever happened. He wants us to have a close relationship with her, and he is angry that I don't call or visit them in their home. I have explained that I don't call them because I don't want to speak with his wife.
Abby, I was honest with my dad from the start, but he lied to me for months. He had been seeing Florence for quite some time before they moved back in together.
At the last family get-together, Dad was nice to everyone except my husband and me. He was downright rude to us, and I'm at the point where I don't even want to see him again. My husband feels the same way. Must I force myself to have a relationship with my dad just because he's my father? -- DESPERATE IN ONTARIO, CANADA
DEAR DESPERATE: Estrangement often occurs when a third party knows too much about that which a person would rather forget. Although you were a shoulder to cry on and a willing ear into which he could pour his troubles, you now symbolize an unhappy chapter in your father's life.
Don't write him off quite yet. It's very likely that your dad will be back before long with more tales of woe about Florence. Next time, don't let him isolate you by being his only confidant.
Abby shares more of her favorite, easy-to-prepare recipes. To order, send a business-size, self-addressed envelope, plus check or money order for $3.95 ($4.50 in Canada) to: Dear Abby, More Favorite Recipes, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, Ill. 61054-0447. (Postage is included.)
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