Dear Andy,

My son invited his boyfriend to our traditional Christmas dinner and I’m not sure what my parents and siblings will say. Personally, my husband and I are more than happy for them. Our family tradition usually takes place at one of my brother’s or sister’s house. We all come together, spend time with each other, catching up on our lives because we live in different parts of the country. One of our traditional games is for the couples to announce their engagement and kiss under the mistletoe. My parents and siblings are a bit old fashioned and I don’t know how they’re going to react when they see my son kiss his boyfriend and announce to the world they’re getting married.

-Mother of the Pride

Dear Mother of the Pride,

You should have nothing to worry about. He is your son and I believe you love him enough that you accept him for who he is and for getting engaged. Obviously, you are a very proud mother and you are allowing your son and his fiancé make their announcement. You and your husband have taken him and his fiancé into your home and you are a proud mother. I’m sure deep inside you’re looking forward to his engagement.

I do see that you have the utmost respect for your parents and their feelings. However, your parents and siblings have nothing to do with his life. Or for that matter, who he chooses to live his life with. They all live in different parts of the country and have no opinion whatsoever of his upbringing. It is doubtful that they don’t already know that he is gay and has a boyfriend. As far as you know they might have already known this far and have accepted him for who he is. You’d be surprised how many people I know knew that I was gay before I officially came out of the closet.

How they might feel about the engagement is not your responsibility or something for you to be worried about. Don’t dwell on the what if’s or if they’ll. Let your family make their own decision, don’t make it for them. Your focus is on your children’s wellbeing and happiness, not your parents or sibling’s ideas of what would be acceptable and what is not.

If I were you I would have them be the first ones. Show how proud you are of your son and fiancé as two normal people just like the rest of the family. This should not be an issue, to begin with. Your parents and siblings have an option of staying and accepting your son or leaving. Don’t make decisions for them, don’t stand in their way, and above all don’t try to change their mind.

My best wishes to you and your family and congratulations to your son and his fiancée.