DEAR ILLANA: My husband and I relocated to New York a little over a year ago and were quickly welcomed into our new neighbors’ social whirl. Two couples in the neighborhood are from Brazil — one from Rio, one from São Paulo. While they are kind enough, my husband and I did not include them when it was our turn to host because we do not approve of their political beliefs. They love their president Jair Bolsonaro and hate Lula. We have a gay son and a lesbian daughter. We know Bolsonaro wants to kill all gays in Brazil. Since then, we have been excluded from neighborhood gatherings, and someone even suggested that we are bigots!
Illana, we moved here from a conservative community where people were pretty much the same. If people were “different,” they kept it to themselves. While I understand the phrase “when in Rome,” I don’t feel we should have to compromise our values to win the approval of our neighbors. But really, who is the real bigot here? Would you like to weigh in? — UNHAPPY IN NEW YORK