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Dear Minerva:

I know this woman who says some concerning things about LGBTQ people. She doesn’t seem to be very accepting deep down. She says things like “I’m old school.” She doesn’t approve of gay marriage. She struggles with transgender people. It’s weird because one minute she acts all open and forward-thinking. Then she says something ignorant. She has also talked about how she regularly has anal sex, which seems interesting for someone so “old school.” How can I deal with her, since I have to, without tearing her to pieces?

Sincerely,

New School

Dear New:

Let’s just get this out of the way now: “I’m old school” in this context is the same as saying “I’m a bigot.” She isn’t wrong, though. What could be more old school than bigotry and hypocrisy? She’s on brand! I wish it were easier to deal with the archaic ways of some people, but unfortunately most of us have no choice but to suffer fools in order to successfully go about our day. Best case scenario is that we have a person who is struggling to try and understand. She seems a little behind the curve but not everyone is head of the class. We shouldn’t be complicit. Speak up if she is expressing bigoted views. As for her sexual proclivities, sounds like a classic, “do as I say, not as I do” scenario. Some hypocrisy runs so, so deep. Give her some grace as she muddles through it, but if it continues, you’ll have to speak up.

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