Dear Dolly: “Ten years with a marriage proposal on the line and a happy family’s existence. But is it enough?

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  • What would Dolly Pawton do?

    Old Compton Street. 5.47pm

    Bursting with Pride!

    It’s pride month! Whether you go, want to go, have never gone or don’t care to go – Pride month has definitely taken a huge dose of positive commercial power this year. Amen to that!

    I have found it hard not to hear Pride off the lips off every person. Gay, straight or Queerly fabulous. Just as it should it be.

    Now as you all know, not only will I be flying the rainbow flag with all its added inclusion colours from every home, car and float I can, but I will also be celebrating Pride attending multiple events throughout the month and will be kicking it off with the fully inclusive “Queer and now” at the Tate. I mean who doesn’t love the Tate?

    If you’re in the mood for a little “Queer eye” head over to “sexuality late” at the Science museum. I was there last year and after hours means just that: Express yourself! We had a full on Madonna sing a long at closing. I knew my coned bra corset wasn’t over dressed, free the nipples! It’s one not to miss!

    After all my gallery and museum Pride events I will be getting myself in full party mode for the parade itself. If you have never been, the only way to describe it is one huge marching, dancing wave of love. I can’t wait to strut my sequin ass and truly take pride in our London community.

    So close to London Pride I couldn’t believe the LGBTQI+ questions and dilemmas I’ve had landing in my inbox.

    I had to pick this one up from MD Moe….

    What Would Dolly Pawton Do?

    “Dear Dolly,

    I have been with the same man for 10 years. I met him when I was 19 and he was 25. We are both masculine men, I am white, he is black, I’m a free spirit, and he is governed by a set of rules and plan B’s. We really are yin and yang. We compliment and balance each other well. That’s not to say we don’t have issues, but we do work through them and have grown together. At the end of the year I turn the big 3-0. He is in his mid 30s.

    We both want to have a child and be a family and live the American Dream, happily ever after. But one problem – he is still in the closet with his family (and largely with everyone, like he is okay with being gay but feels like nobody needs to know about his personal life) I am known as the friend/roommate to them. His sister guessed we were a couple from the way we interact with each other, and he denied me to her. Which completely hurt. I on the other hand am “out.” My family knows and it’s not a big deal. I don’t make it a point to tell everyone but if it comes up, I am open about it.

    His family lives 12 hours away, as mine live in the same town – so we are closer with my family, and they all know who he is and really like him. I’d like to ask him to spend our lives together forever. But I don’t know how one can have a wedding when one of the grooms is in the closet. I don’t want to force him to come out. I want it to be on his terms, and in his time, but we have always discussed this and he always said he will tell his family.

    I’m starting to feel like I will always be the bridesmaid and never the bride! (Showing my age a little haha!) But after ten years, a marriage proposal on the line, and a happy family’s existence lays in the balance & it doesn’t seem to be enough to make him take the step. What should I do? Marriage is not the be all and end all in the situation. Progressing our relationship into owning a home together, having children together, etc – is what I want. But the same principles apply. Please help with some of your amazing guiding wisdom from across the pond!!

    With love,

    MD Moe”


    As you can see this is one I simply couldn’t ignore…..


    Hi MD Moe,

    Firstly thank you for bringing this to me. You have explained your situation perfectly and I can do nothing but feel for you. It’s great to be out, feel confident with who you are and also having the acceptance of your family and friends. I guess the real question is what is your partner of ten years family and friends like? Are they open and liberal? Being truly yourself through coming out, isn’t always the answer for everyone.

    If he feels or knows his family will not accept him this could be a very trying time he doesn’t wish to face now or possibly ever. That will be a challenge for you both either way.

    Coming out is a very personal individual choice, whether you are in a relationship or not. You do not seem pushy or demanding for this to happen and I can see a hundred percent from your perspective in how can you move into the next phase or your relationship with only half the couples family knowing!?

    Hearing the denial of who you are to him must hurt so much, but if he is in love with you and you explain this he must have good reason for doing so? Or why would he do it? You could get married and no one needs to know but the two of you if you wished. But having a family and bringing children into the world where there would proudly be two Daddies and one set of grand parents unknowing there is two Daddies, would be disrespectful to you, your relationship and completely confusing for your future children.

    I guess the root cause for him staying in the closet should be your main focus. You are owed that conversation after a decade of love. Once you have that answer you can move into working through how you best support your partner living his most open and honest life with you. If he can’t do this with no real explanation maybe your future life plans are simply not on the same page.

    Keep in touch.

    London love

    Dolly Pawton xx

    Dolly Pawton

    Don’t forget, you too can ask Dolly a question.

    Nothing is off limits so consider me your Dollylama (spiritual guru) here for all the real talk. Write in at

    Don’t worry you can be anonymous!

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