The Lesbian Bridesmaid

Dear Dr. Darcy:

I have 3 daughters, the middle daughter (straight) is getting married, and youngest daughter (gay) was asked to be in bridal party.  The 2 sisters are having a fight because the bride wants sister to wear a… dress (the gay daughter NEVER wears a dress), and, as a result, the gay sister is super hurt, angry, and doesn't want to be in bridal party. The bride also is in a dilemma as to 'where to place her sister in the pictures.'

As the mom, I am so sad and upset that my daughters are fighting, and that my daughter’s sexuality/gender issue is an issue at all.

We've all searched a variety of websites for answers but none that will satisfy my daughters.

Any suggestions?

Mom

ANSWER

Dear Mom:

I’m actually frustrated with both sisters. Let’s start with the straight one, because she’s the easiest to correct:  Whom does she want in her wedding party, her dyke/butch sister, or a femme version of her? The message that she’s sending to her sister is that the wedding photos are more important than with her sister’s dignity. It’s not just a little power struggle here; it’s not one sister refusing to take her nose ring out – it’s her sister’s sexual and gender identity. There are ways to compromise. She’s just not thinking outside the box and being creative.

What she could do is have her bridesmaids wear tailored, sexy, women’s tuxedos/pantsuits so that her sister would fit in and feel more like herself. And by way of personal example, my wife (who identifies as a dyke) wore a gorgeous Armani Prive women’s pantsuit at our wedding. She looked like herself, but a black-tie version thereof. Theory makes amazing pantsuits for women. And unlike EVERY bridesmaid dress that I’ve ever been forced to buy and never wore again, the pantsuit would get worn beyond the wedding. It’s a win for everyone involved. The straight daughter would look like a hero for choosing something that her sister can wear and she’d get props for having a wedding party that actually looked unique and chic. That’s my advice for the straight daughter.  

Now for the gay one: This shouldn’t even be a question in her mind. She needs to set a boundary and stick to it. There are times in our lives when we can’t expect our straight family members to understand everything that we as gay people we go through, and in those moments we need to advocate for ourselves.  This should not be a fight. It’s as unreasonable for your gay daughter to expect your straight one to get this as it is for the straight one to ask the gay one to don a dress.

Now for you, Mom: Support the gay daughter by encouraging the straight one to compromise on her bridal party’s couture. Do this one time and then stay the hell out of it. Same goes for your gay daughter. Let her know that you’ll support her if she chooses not to be in the bridal party. This is a one-time conversation. Best of luck as you navigate this terrain.

Writer’s Stats: Female

Sexual Orientation: Heterosexual

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