DEAR ABBY: I live in a rural community in southern Indiana. It's an "everyone goes to church on Sunday, and everyone knows everyone" kind of place. I was employed at the local health care center here for almost four years before quitting to become a full-time caregiver and homemaker.
During my time at the health care facility, I became acquainted with an elderly gentleman. We became good friends, and remain good friends to this day. I visit with him several times a week, when time allows, and we talk on the telephone.
The problem is, his family doesn't like that I am a homosexual male and that I have such a close relationship with him. He does not want me to stop visiting, nor do I want to. What can I do to make everyone relax, so he and I can still remain good friends without someone disapproving? -- UNAPPRECIATED FRIEND
DEAR FRIEND: I wish I understood exactly what the family's objection is to your friendship with this person. Are they afraid you are after his money? Or are they incapable of understanding that homosexuals can (and do!) have platonic friendships with straight folks?
If you and that gentleman want to remain friends, you may have to grow a thicker skin. You cannot please everyone, and whether his family "approves" is beside the point. I hope you will keep doing what you have been doing because it is beneficial for that man to have a friend he can count on.