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Man's Gender Transition Jolts Couples' Longtime Friendship

DEAR ABBY: My longtime friend of 30 years, "Charlotte," lives across the country. I have just learned that her husband, "Harold," is transgender and is now transitioning to become "Helen."

When they come, they always stay with us for several days because they can't afford a hotel. My husband is now very uncomfortable with them staying here or being seen out in public with them. Is there a way to tell Charlotte to come alone and still save the friendship? Or should I let them come and deal with my husband's feelings, which I think are unjust? -- UNJUST IN THE WEST

DEAR UNJUST: Talk to your husband and explain that he doesn't have to socialize more than he is comfortable with if your friends visit. If he still refuses, why don't you and he visit them this year? You could stay in a hotel while you adjust to the adjustment Harold is making.

I assume that your husband and Harold were friendly before. Perhaps if he and Harold have a chance to talk, your husband can get past his discomfort. It could be a valuable learning experience for him. Your support at this time would be a tremendous gift to this couple.

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