Re: I want to wean but I want to do the right thing...
I also had success with the Gordon method, though I must warn you that even though she was night weaned, she didn't necessarily stop waking up at night. She did do better though and I did get more sleep than I was getting previously.
Your son is definitely old enough to start understanding limitations you place on your nursing. It was right around that age that I started telling my daughter things like, "no milk right now, lets wait until we get home" and "if you want milk you must ask nicely." She resisted at first, but it got so much better once she accepted that nursing was on my terms and she couldn't just have it every time she wanted it.
Also, I was better able to distract her once she was that age. I would keep alternative snacks and drinks with me to offer her if she wanted to nurse while we were out. At home, I was sometimes able to distract her with a toy or book if I didn't feel like nursing when she asked.
Just keep trying different things. There's not a lot you can do about the disapproval except ignore it or try to educate them. I generally just ignored it, myself. I agree with the pp, though, if you do decide to wean now, you've done a wonderful thing for your son by nursing him this long!
“We are not put on earth for ourselves, but are placed here for each other. If you are there always for others, then in time of need, someone will be there for you.”