"You could teach your son an important lesson by changing your sexuality to show him how easy it is. Try it for the next year or so: Stop being a heterosexual to demonstrate to your son that a person's sexuality is a matter of choice - to be dictated by one's parents, the parents' church and social pressure.
"I assume that my suggestion will evoke a reaction that your sexuality is at the core of who you are. The same is true for your son. He has a right to be accepted by his parents for being exactly who he is.
"When you 'forget' a child's birthday, you are basically negating him as a person. It is as if your saying that you have forgotten his presence in the world. How very sad for him.
"Pressuring your son to change his sexuality is wrong. If you cannot learn to accept him as he is, it might be safest for him to live elsewhere.
"A group that could help you and your family figure out how to navigate this is PFLAG.org. This organization is founded for parents, families, friends and allies of LGBT people, and has helped countless families through this challenge. Please research and connect with a local chapter."
-- Advice columnist Amy Dickinson, writer of "Ask Amy," dispensing advice to a parent who wrote in, distraught about their son being gay and worried that he was doing it to get back at them for forgetting his birthday.