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by Abigail Van Buren

Racist Language Puts Friendship in Jeopardy

DEAR ABBY: I have known my friend "Matt" for more than 20 years. We've been close for most of those years.

Matt is gay, and early in our friendship, we had a mutual friend, "Gary," who used a gay epithet often, even though he knew Matt is gay. It hurt Matt, but he wasn't comfortable speaking to Gary about it, so I did. Gary not only apologized to Matt but to this day (some 18 years later), I haven't heard Gary say that word in our company.

Recently, Matt has started using the N-word. I have told him that not only is it disgusting and offensive, but I compared it to the situation with Gary. Matt laughed it off and continues to use the word with no regard for me. I have started spending less time with him because of it because I don't want him to think I condone his racist language. Is it time to sever ties with Matt? -- DISAPPOINTED IN MARYLAND

DEAR DISAPPOINTED: I think so. The next time Matt uses the N-word, make clear to him that if you ever hear it from him again, your friendship will be OVER. And then follow through.

Read more in: Friends & Neighbors | Lgbtq