Telling Your Family

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This week bubba helps Michelle tell her family

Dear Bubba,

I am currently in my second year at Manchester University and I’m having a great time.

I’ve met someone special and would like to take her home to meet my family, including my Bubba. My mum knows that I like girls but no one else, not my dad or my older sister. I don’t want to spend the summer having to lie or hide my feelings. It’s my sister’s wedding in a few weeks’ time and I would love to take my girlfriend with me to meet everyone.

I’m so confused I don’t know what to do, I read that your granddaughter is a lesbian. What was it like when you found out?

Please help bubba!

Michelle

Darling Michelle,

Thank you for writing to me. You are a brave girl, I can tell.

When I was a young girl, I loved my bubba more than anything and I often went to her for advice and she would always smile and say to me: “A bi gezunt”. It was only much later, when I became a bubba myself, that I really understood why she said that.

And that’s my message for you today: As long as you have your health.

All I ever wanted for all my grandchildren was for them to be happy, healthy and turn up on second Seder night. When my granddaughter, India, came to see me because “she had something to tell me”, the first thing I asked her was: ‘Are you happy and healthy?’ She said yes, and then I asked her what was on her mind. She told me she was Lesbian and all I could say to her was: ‘I love you no matter what, you are my beautiful granddaughter, a bi gezunt’ and I gave her a big hug!

A few years later, a friend asked me if I was ‘disappointed’ in India because she will never marry a nice Jewish man. Oy! did I go mad! Disappointed? What about? I have a beautiful, healthy, happy, intelligent granddaughter. There is nothing to be disappointed about. I am proud she is MY granddaughter.

Your family may be different and your father and sister may not be so understanding at first. Remember you’ll be telling them something that you’ve known for a long time. They may need time to get used to the idea that you are Lesbian. However, since you’ve already shared your ‘secret’ with your mother, I am sure she has already started to prepare them for the news — you know how mothers have a special way of ‘planting a seed’ in someone’s head. Your mother is your biggest ally. So, speak to her first before you break the news. Mothers and daughters have a special bond. It will make everything easier and she will be able to support you. And you do need support in this.

Even though it is important for you to ‘come out’ and be true to yourself, doing this on the weekend of the wedding may not be such a great idea. It is your sister’s special day and it should be all about her. I think your mother will give you the same advice. Weddings are big family occasions, filled with all kinds of emotions. When my daughter got married, Harry and I were ‘plutzing’ for weeks before the big day, hoping everything would be perfect. Coming out to your family AND introducing your girlfriend to them on the weekend of a big wedding could add unnecessary emotions and stress.

Your ‘coming out’ should be about you and the people you are sharing it with. It’s a moment that needs a special time because it can be joyful but can also be difficult. You don’t want to put you and your girlfriend in a tricky position… After all, you want your father to give her a hug at the end of the summer and say “Welcome to the family”, don’t you?

So, think carefully. And when you tell your Bubba, ask your mother to be there, because your Bubba might need someone to talk to. Most importantly, as long ‘as you have your health’ and you’re happy, you are the same person you have always been and you should remember that.

I wish the best of luck to you and your girlfriend… she is very lucky to have you in her life.

And as my bubba always said: “Zol zein mit mazel!”

Bubba Ruth


If you have a dilemma and would like bubba’s advice, you can email her at bubba@hotsaltbeefandmustard.com, she can’t reply to you personally, in between her kalooki club and watching Masterchef, she doesn’t have much time but she promises she will post her reply on Jewish News and HotSaltBeef&Mustard (such lovely boys, as she says!).

Bubba believes ‘It doesn’t matter who you love, only that you choose to love’. We love bubba’s wisdom.

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About Author

Bubba, or Ruth as her family knows her, is ’70-something young’… widow. She shared 35 wonderful years with her husband Harry. Bubba has a stunning daughter, Rochelle, and is grandmother to four wonderful grandchildren (including her beautiful lesbian granddaughter, India), who gives her more "nachus than she knows what to do with", as Bubba puts it. Bubba likes nothing better than a game of Kalooki and solving the crimes on Murder She Wrote… apart from watching every re-run of Masterchef. And of course, she loves your problems, because she can solve them… or at least try to help.

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