DEAR AMY: I'm a gay man estranged from my two sisters. My family has been supportive, but my sisters married men who are not gay-friendly. Both sisters used to be fairly progressive but since marriage they've become echo chambers for their husbands' opinions. During the last presidential election, I explained that if they wanted to vote for someone who felt I don't deserve rights, I would at least appreciate not having their vote shoved in my face. One sister did shove it in my face. There was a short, unpleasant exchange over Facebook and text, and I haven't spoken to either sister since. My aunt has asked me to send a card to the less obnoxious sister, who is upset about the situation. And that's where I'm stuck. I love my partner and plan to propose to him. I attended both of my sisters' weddings; I won't be inviting them to mine. Part of me wants to mend things with my more reasonable sister, but I can't get past the fact that she has adopted religious and political views that deny me the right to marry my partner, keep my job and live a life free of violence. I would never vote for a political candidate who voted against women's rights. I would never date or marry a misogynist. What can I say to her to explain the situation without acrimony?--With Friends Like This
DEAR FRIENDS: Why isn't your more reasonable and upset sister sending a card to you?
You should do what makes you feel best about yourself and what makes you feel like the person (and brother) you want to be.
Many of us are members of families that are held together by little more than shared experiences (good and bad) and forgiveness. You should at least consider experiencing forgiveness at its most challenging level -- when your forgiving someone does nothing to change the outcome but does everything to change how you feel. You don't announce your forgiveness; you just do it and feel the change within.