I’m heartsick over an engagement announcement I just received.

A guy I absolutely love, who I’ll call Nolan, sent word that he and his lady friend have decided to make it official. Their engagement photo is lovely. I’m sure the wedding will be, too.

There’s only one problem. Nolan is gay.

I’ve known Nolan for at least a decade and liked him immediately. I’ve met several of his former love interests – all guys – and have always enjoyed his company. He gives the best parties, is a dedicated community volunteer, and is always so much fun. I’ve dedicated exactly zero seconds to pondering his sexual orientation. To me, being gay is like being brunette or being right-handed. It’s just how you were born.

Nolan’s family, on the other hand, is very conservative and old-school (not that there’s anything wrong with that). I think Nolan feels pressure that might not even be real to conform to a straight way of life.

I’ve heard, second and third-hand, that he is panicked over what his mother thinks. He’s apparently never come out to his family even though everybody – and I mean everybody – is hip to his orientation. And is totally fine with it.

Anyway, Nolan’s mom is not doing well and the thinking is she might not have much time left. I haven’t asked but I wonder if this “engagement” is meant as a way of assuring his mother in her final days that her son is, in fact, a lady’s man. No one has asked me but I would suggest that Nolan and his mom might enjoy a closeness like never before if he simply opened up to her.

On the other hand, who am I to insist Nolan is gay? Is it possible he’s decided he likes women? Am I being pushy and inappropriate in fretting over this?

I don’t know. I want to support my friend no matter what. I’m just not sure what that means.

If this wedding does happen, I hope there’s an open bar. I suspect I’m not the only one who’s going to need it.

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