Just in time for potentially awkward holiday gatherings, author and civil rights lawyer Abby Dees tells our allies to go ahead, ask LGBTQ relatives or friends the questions burning inside you. Like “Which one of you is the man?” If you’re queer, she says grin and bear it, even encourage your loved ones to ask cringy questions.

Dees believes that if asking out of love, all questions are opportunities to broaden understanding. So she wrote Queer Questions, Straight Talk: 108 frank & provocative questions it’s okay to ask your lesbian, gay or bisexual loved one. Hear a bunch of those questions — and how Dees has handled some — on this week’s Out in the Bay.

We also hear Dar Williams‘ “The Christians and the Pagans,” about the solstice-celebrating lesbian couple that drops in unexpectedly on a conservative uncle’s family on Christmas Eve. “Makes me cry every time I hear it,” says host Eric Jansen. “It’s my favorite holiday song!” (Learn about Williams’ songwriting and other workshops, her books, and her new music on her website.)

Year-end request: Please help us keep bringing LGBTQ news, voices and stories to the world by making a tax-deductible donation to Out in the Bay now. We’ve been promised $1,500 from an anonymous donor if we get that much from other donors by January 1st. Thank you!

(This episode, first aired in 2013, remains relevant today. Enjoy the dated terms and appreciate how far we’ve come!)

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