Your Other Dad says don’t hurry to share the pain — and have a goal when you do.

Dear Other Dad —

I’ve been wondering about how parents can safely share their own histories of trauma/abuse without harming their kids. I’m grappling with how my mother shared her history of sexual abuse with me when I was 13, which resulted in me experiencing some trauma as well, especially since it was being shared as a way for me to help her carry the burden of her own unresolved trauma.

How can parents share their difficult pasts without passing on the trauma and responsibility to their kids?

— ASPAP

The starting point of your question is so loving: You’re…

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Your Other Dad says first you must untangle discomfort from harm

Dear Other Dad —

My child has a friend who uses the pronoun “it.” Using this pronoun is incredibly difficult for me in a different way than learning how to use they/them. There is no instance in which you do not use someone’s pronouns, but I have a lot of feelings about using this pronoun for a human.

I feel sad when I think about using this pronoun, which makes me think of the homophobia I experienced personally in the 80s. …


Your Other Dad says sexuality and sex aren’t interchangeable.

Dear Other Dad —

Following a TikTok trend, my daughter has started using the hashtag #bipride and posted pictures of her with her female friends. I’m not comfortable with her talking about sexuality in a public forum — she’s 13 and isn’t even at a point to be sexual herself. She says this is not about sex. How do I help her see that it is?

— Mom

There are two reasons you and your daughter can’t see eye to eye on this. To start with, she’s a teenager, which means viewing all your unsolicited opinions with the particular mix…


Your Other Dad says you might not really know what she’s signalling

Dear Other Dad —

My child, who says she’s not gay, posted photos of herself with the gay pride flag on Instagram because she said it will get her more followers. We have gay family members and I think her post does not respect what they went through in real life. It just exploits being gay for likes. Should I make her take the photo down?

— Tired of Social Media

This past winter, I heard from multiple parents that their children were adding images of themselves to a rising tide of social media posts that feature LBGTQ hashtags, acronyms…


Your Other Dad says consider his impact on you — and vice versa

Dear Other Dad —

I have a friend I think is racist because of all the things he says. He’s white and I’m mixed. I’ve known him since middle school so it’s hard, but should I stop being friends with him?

— Noodle8355

Your question is one that is sure to resonate with many Americans who, more than ever, are finding themselves at odds with friends and loved ones over issues that involve race.

It’s often hard to talk about racism because people use the term to mean many things. One definition is dividing humans into categories of merit by…


Your Other Dad says she needs to learn about the physical toll of microaggressions.

Dear Other Dad,

I live on the East coast with my white family but I am adopted from Asia. Having a conversation with my mom in particular about race has become increasingly more difficult and she doesn’t understand/believe me when I tell her something racist has happened to me because her definition of racism is not up to date.

I want her to understand how her views are not very understanding of my experience or that of other POC in the US but it is very hard to do that. It’s really important though because racism affects me personally. …


Your Other Dad says if it’s important, don’t wing it — strategize.

Dear Other Dad —

I need to have a serious talk with my mom about something difficult but whenever I try to bring things up, she doesn’t take it seriously. She treats me like I’m a child and talks to me that way. But I need her to listen. What do I do?

Sign me — RIDM

It’s really frustrating when you don’t feel heard. There are some parents who simply will not be able to hear because they find it difficult to listen to others, period. There are others who try to listen but have trouble because, instead of…


Your Other Dad says one kind of privilege doesn’t guarantee another

“Dear Other Dad —

I grew up on welfare — still am. My parents have been out of work for a year. I don’t even know if I’ll go to college and if I don’t then I’m in this town forever. So I hate hearing about white privilege. How am I supposed to feel about that? Everyone I know is white and I don’t see much privilege.

— Teddy”

Hi Teddy —

I hear your frustration and anxiety clearly — and I can relate to it from my own youth. I was raised on welfare; when my mom, brother, and…


Your Other Dad says depression and mental illness are never go-it-alone conditions.

A year into the pandemic, it’s no surprise that questions about mental health are on many teen minds.

Dear Other Dad —

What r some good ways to deal with depression. It’s getting really bad. There is moldy stuff in my room.

— Can_U_Like_Not

Dear Other Dad —

I recently told my parents about how I’m struggling with mental health and they’re putting me in therapy. Should I be scared?

— kiera0_0

First, I want to say that both of you are doing the right thing by acknowledging that you are struggling; going it alone makes a hard road harder…


In the rubble of Westview, I saw my divorce and found my superpower

She’s a nearly all-powerful witch who doesn’t yet understand the true forces she can unleash when she’s furious. He’s a vibranium synthezoid who’s pretty placid for someone who can’t quite remember who (or what) he used to be. You may not think that the union at the heart of WandaVision resembles your marriage, but I bet if you’ve been divorced, you’ll find plenty to recognize in Westview.

(Before you read any further, let me be clear that there will be spoilers. Lots of them.)

WandaVision has been widely discussed as a potent exploration of grief and many have called it…

David Valdes

David Valdes is a Cuban-American playwright and author. He’s written about family, race, and LGBTQ issues for the New York Times, Boston Globe, and HuffPo.

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