For more than 15 years Steven Petrow (aka "Mr. Manners") has been writing about LGBT and straight manners, which he currently does in his bi-weekly Washington Post column, "Civilities." Over those years people have been asking: "Are gay manners any different than straight ones?" His answer: "No, we don¹t set the table any differently than straight people. Values are values, whether you¹re LGBT or straight. But, yes, our weddings, our children¹s coming-of-age ceremonies, and many of the other rites and rituals we participate in often have a decidedly different flavor."
The queries that pour into Petrow¹s email box reflect both the confusion of the social landscape and the hurt and anger caused by bullying and discrimination. His job is "simple:" To be a guide for both LGBT and straight people as they faced one novel (and anxiety-producing) situation after another.Here are some of Petrow's columns on LGBT/straight social dilemmas: "Did a lesbian couple bully Christian innkeepers over the right to marry on their farm?"
"Do I introduce my child as my transgender son or daughter?"
"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?”
"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?”