DEAR AMY: I have a guy friend with whom I have had a platonic relationship for a few years. We are in our 50s and hang out a few times a month. I have always known he was Christian and very involved in his church. But last week when we were discussing which movie to go to, he said he wouldn't go to see certain movies because either the character played a gay man or the actor was gay in real life. After two years of friendship this is the first time this has come up, but what he said bothered me. I am very open-minded and accepting. He didn't say hateful or mean things. Just that he didn't approve of that kind of lifestyle and wouldn't support those actors. It may not even come up again. I am now questioning our friendship, but should I let this affect me?
DEAR FRIEND: You seem to associate being a Christian with not accepting gay people; this lack of acceptance is so un-Christian that this might be a mistaken assumption on your part. Although some Christian groups do discriminate against gay people, some people are just free-floating deniers and haters-without-portfolio. Of course this viewpoint affects you, because it comes from someone you respect -- not "letting it" affect you probably isn't an option.
Homosexuality is not a "lifestyle" any more than heterosexuality is. You say your friend's stance bothers you and so in the name of friendship you should express yourself -- just as your friend expressed himself. It is up to you whether to continue to accept this friendship despite this man's prejudice; it is certainly within an open-minded person's power and abilities to accept a variety of people who hold divergent views. This is where you and your friend are different, and if you stay in this friendship -- who knows -- you may influence him to open his mind and heart.
DEAR AMY: I'm about to move to San Francisco from Brooklyn with my boyfriend of three years. I have accepted a job offer and will probably be starting almost immediately after we move to the West Coast. The day I accepted the offer my boyfriend asked if it would be OK if he went on a monthlong hike with his sister and his best friend. This hike would happen after I had started my job. I felt this was unfair because he waited to bring it up until after I had accepted the position and now didn't have the option of going with them. I got upset with him, but eventually suggested we do a shorter hike before my new job started. He says that I am not letting him consider life options, but I feel like he's not considering me. How do we find a middle ground where we can both be happy?
DEAR UNHAPPY: The middle ground you seek is for you to realize that you don't control your boyfriend. That's the path to happiness for both of you.
If he is facing a cross-country move to live with you and can afford to take a monthlong hike before starting his new life, then he should do it. Wouldn't you want to do the same, if you could? It's not up to you to "allow" him to take this trip. Ideally, couples discuss big decisions before making them (presumably you discussed your job opportunity before agreeing to it), but successful couples also take an expansive view of one another's opportunities and encourage them to go for it.
DEAR AMY: You were pretty hard on the woman who signed her letter "Just a Girl Doing Her Job," who described her discomfort at running into co-workers outside of work. She might be introverted and these encounters might be very hard for her.
DEAR INTROVERTED: Rereading this letter, I don't see signs of introversion -- just a young woman who doesn't want to be bothered interacting with her co-workers. Her statement that she simply wasn't interested in their lives didn't sound like she is introverted. To me she seemed boring -- and rude.