Dear Annie: I am 13 years old, and I live in Kentucky. I have a problem with my parents that I can’t fix.
I have an older brother, “Greg,” whom I love and look up to as a role model. He is 24 years old and my favorite person in the world. Six months ago, he came out as gay to my parents and me. He told us he has been in a secret relationship with “Harry,” his best friend since he was 15 years old. They have been sharing an apartment for three years.
My parents went ballistic and disowned him. They said he was no longer welcome in our home. I got really upset and biked over to his apartment a few times to see him. When my parents found out, they banned me from seeing him or talking to him in any way. They threatened to accuse him of kidnapping if he ever sees me again.
I got into a big argument with them and begged them to let me see him. My dad said Greg is a danger to me and is a disgusting person. Greg has always been nothing but a great older brother to me. Since he moved out three years ago, I have had a bunch of sleepovers at his apartment. Neither he nor Harry has ever done anything in front of me that even made me think they are a couple.
Annie, I love my brother so much and miss him. He is so cool and the best person I know. I don’t care that he is gay.
Dad said that it is his job to keep me safe and that if I want to see Greg, I will have to wait till I am 18. My brother tried to talk to my parents about this, and they slammed the door in his face. I tried to talk to my school counselor, but she said I must accept my parents’ decisions because they only have my best interest in mind. Please help find a way to change their minds. — Missing My Brother
Dear Missing: I am so sorry you’ve been separated from your big brother. I know your heart is hurting. I would encourage your brother to speak to a lawyer about options to protect him against kidnapping charges, should that arise in the future. I’d also suggest you call the LGBT National Youth Talkline (800-246-7743), which provides factual information and resources for cities and towns across the country.
Dear Annie: Thank you so much for publishing the letter from John, the retired Marine. It was so uplifting and spot on. Many thanks for your wonderful column. Your advice is always so pertinent to the situation. — Cindy in Louisville
Dear Cindy: Thank you for writing. I received a great deal of positive feedback regarding John’s letter. I’m printing your response so John might see that he’s made someone smile.
Send your questions for Annie Lane to email@example.com. To find out more about Annie Lane and read features by other Creators Syndicate columnists and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.