Dear Abby: I am a longtime reader. This is the first time I have ever written to you, and I’m hoping you will have an answer for me. I’d like to know the proper way to address a surviving gay spouse in the unfortunate event of a death. Is a gay man who has lost his husband a widower or a widow (seeing as he lost his husband and not a wife)? Is the title of the survivor dependent on his or her gender or the gender of their partner? I’d like to know the proper terminology. For the record, I support gay marriage because I believe in true love in all its forms. – Hannah in Carrollton, Ga.
Dear Hannah: Regardless of sexual orientation, if a male loses his spouse, he is a widower, and if a woman loses her spouse, she is a widow. The terms don’t change because the union was a same-sex relationship.