Ever since I wrote my book about LGBT manners, people have been asking me: “Are gay manners any different than straight ones?” My answer: No, we don’t set the table any differently than straight people. Nor do we treat houseguests in any special way. Values are values, whether you’re LGBT or straight. But, yes, our weddings, our children’s coming-of-age ceremonies, and many of the other rites and rituals we participate in often have a decidedly different flavor.
Unfortunately, you won’t get much help on the particular manners quandaries of LGBT people and families from mainstream etiquette books. We’re largely invisible there. Those authors don’t advise a gay or lesbian person how to make a domestic-partner or a civil-union “proposal.” They don’t explain the mechanics of planning a funeral or composing an obituary when a partner’s family doesn’t recognize your status as next-of-kin. Even in their newest editions, there’s not a word about bisexual or transgender people.
That’s why I do what I do ... and here’s a sampling of the "Queeries" I’ve received from LGBT folks and the people who love them:"Can I share the news that my son came out?"
"What the heck do I call my in-laws?"
“How do we celebrate Father’s Day when there’s no dad?”
“Must two brides dress like twins?”
"Turned away from the inn"
"What's the politically correct way to refer to my gay and lesbian friends' beloveds?"
“What pronoun should I use for a trans person?”
“I’m not sure if my new neighbors are a gay couple. May I ask?”