My sister had a homophobic outburst when I gave my husband a quick peck. Can I bring this up constructively?

I’m sorry you had to go through that, writes Eleanor Gordon-Smith. It might help to explain how this felt for you, rather than litigating what your sister meant by it

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My husband and I have been together for nearly five years, married for two. Last year at a family gathering, my eldest sister witnessed me giving my husband a quick peck on the cheek and flew into a homophobic-tinged rage, accusing us of “rubbing our relationship in her face”. Being a queer couple, I felt like her anger was disproportionate to the level of affection publicly displayed (this was a quick peck, not a prolonged session of tonsil tennis).

The rest of the family was shocked, but no one came to our defence. It was humiliating. I was left with feelings of internalised homophobia I thought I’d worked through in my early 20s. I feel anxious even holding my husband’s hand in public now.

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