DEAR ABBY: My problem is unusual, but I'm hoping if you address it in your column it will help. I'm a married man, confident in who I am, who wears skirts for comfort. I feel skirts are more comfortable than pants, which I find tight, restrictive and uncomfortable. I wear skirts around the house, when I'm out running errands and when I attend church. My clergyman has raised no objection to it.
After much research, my wife and I have concluded that the only thing against men wearing skirts is social pressure, and then only in certain countries -- America being one of them.
Pants are a relatively new style of clothing. For thousands of years of recorded history, men and women both wore skirts. Then women fought for and won the right to wear pants, shorts, whatever they wanted -- which is great. I believe men should have the same option. My wife supports me in this.
Our problem is some family members who disagree have talked behind our backs, started rumors and turned people against us with false information. How can I make them understand that they are entitled to their belief, but that they shouldn't gossip and create problems for us because I am not doing anything wrong? -- JOE IN PENNSYLVANIA
DEAR JOE: Gossip is the province of small-minded people, and it is sad that your relatives have used the fact that you have chosen to be different as an opportunity to spread malicious falsehoods.
As long as you have the testicular fortitude and shapely enough legs to wear skirts, then you have my blessing. Some men's clothing designers have been trying for years to revive skirts as part of men's wardrobes. Because fashion trends not only change but often revolve, who's to say you're not on the leading edge of what's to come?