Monday, February 8, 2016

"Ask Amy" Receives Question: "Our Gay Neighbors Have Greatly Improved Our Neighborhood. How Dare They Kiss In Public??"

"Ask Amy" writer Amy Dickinson published a best-of column today while she works on her book. This one featured two questions about the difficulty that readers had with accepting the homosexuality of others. The first letter is an interesting (if sad) letter from a mother about her gay son. But I was more interested in the second letter, which was from a Colorado woman about her gay neighbors:
DEAR AMY: My husband and I have lived in our quiet suburban Denver neighborhood for six years. About two years ago, two young gay men moved in across the street. They’ve taken the ugliest, most run-down property in the neighborhood and remodeled and transformed it into the pride of the street. When it snows, they shovel out my car and are friendly, yet they mostly keep to themselves.

Last month, I went out to retrieve my newspaper and watched them kiss each other goodbye and embrace as they each left for work.

I was appalled that they would do something like that in plain view of everyone. I was so disturbed that I spoke to my pastor. He encouraged me to draft a letter telling them how much we appreciate their help, but asking them to refrain from that behavior in our neighborhood. I did so and asked a few of our neighbors to sign it.

Since I delivered it, I’ve not been able to get them to even engage me in conversation. I offer greetings, but they’ve chosen to ignore me. They have made it so uncomfortable for the other neighbors and me by not even acknowledging our presence.

How would you suggest we open communications with them and explain to them that we value their contributions to the neighborhood, but will not tolerate watching unnatural and disturbing behavior? — Wondering
Amy offered some advice that made me chuckled. She told "Wondering" that she should be glad that she's only being ignored. The guys could have began throwing Pride-themed BBQ parties in their front yard and really making a show for everyone!

But here is the gist of Amy's advice:
In your original petition to these men, you basically stated that while you value them when they are raising the standard on your street and shoveling your driveway, you loathe them for being who they are. The only way to open communication with your neighbors would be to start by apologizing to them for engaging your other neighbors in your campaign. Because you don’t sound likely to apologize, you are just going to have to tolerate being ignored.
What do you think of Amy's advice?

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