Dear Dr. Romance: I do not want to have to choose between family and love.

Go with your family to your sister's birthday, and then go another time with your girlfriend. It isn't the kind of choice you think it is. You don't have to sacrifice, you have to THINK. I think you're wrong about how awful your family is. I think you're the one who's the most homophobic, but you don't have to deal with it until you get out into your own apartment. Stop being all hysterical and accept the fact that you're not ready to tell your family, and don't make such a tragedy out of it. You're going to be fine, whether you tell your family or not. "The Right Way to Love" and "You Are a Gift" will hlep you gain more confidence about yourself and your relationship.

I fully support people being open about being gay, but it's important to understand whether you're ready, and what the consequences will be. Answer the following questions, from Gay Relationships for Men and Women: How to Find Them, How to Improve Them, How to Make Them Last

Questions to Ask Yourself Before Coming Out:

1. Why should I reveal that I’m gay? What response do I hope to get?

* "I would like you to just listen to me, and not tell me how you feel until tomorrow (next week)."
* "I hope you can share my happiness with me."
* "I want to be able to invite you to my house, comfortably."
* "I feel distant from you because I've been keeping this secret, and I want us to be close, because I love you."
* "A very important event is about to happen in my life, and I want to share it with you."
* "I know this may be hard to understand, and I hope I can help you see how important it is for me that you do."

2. What have I got to lose?

3. How can I present my gay lifestyle in the most positive way?

4. Am I prepared to give them time to deal with it?

5. What do I do if...?

6. Am I willing to make it easy on them?

7. Should I consider coming out at work?

Questions to ask yourself before coming out at work include:

1. What are the benefits?

2. What are the costs?

3. Who needs to know?

4. Where do I stand with my job?

5. How much do I want this job?

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For low-cost counseling, find me at 


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