I’m a straight woman but a resolute gay ally, and I’m completely, totally sickened by what’s going on in Russia. What drives me bonkers more than anything is that my friends – mostly straight, mostly upper class – have NO IDEA that anything is even happening. I tell them about the violence that’s basically sanctioned by the government, and they have trouble wrapping their heads around it.
The thing is, I’m not sure what to do about it. I keep hearing from some fronts that we should boycott Russian vodka, whereas others say that doesn’t hurt the country, just the companies. Then some people are saying we should boycott the Olympics itself, while other people are saying we shouldn’t, because it’ll be an opportunity to make a visible protest. But then THAT could lead to sanctioning from the Olympics, which bans political messages, or God forbid arrests from the Russian government or even worse, violence from thugs.
Basically, any advice on what we as allies who are concerned for our LGBT brothers and sisters can or should do would be greatly appreciated.
I get it, CA. There’s a lot of conflicting information out there, and I want to thank you for being such a strong ally.
So let’s start with one basic truth I think everyone can agree on: what’s going on in Russia is not a good situation. And this not-good situation is quickly becoming a big old clusterf*ck.
So what can we do?
Let’s start with the Stoli boycott. I know there a lot of people who decry it as a misguided notion, the idea being if it’s not single-handedly crashing the Russian economy, then what’s the point of a boycott? Simple – it creates awareness of an issue.
Let’s set up a scene.
INT. STRAIGHT BAR – DAY
MAN: Hello there, attractive heterosexual woman.
WOMAN: Good day, sir.
M: Would you permit me the honor of buying you an adult beverage in the hopes of winning your affections?
W: An adult beverage? Indeed! How delightful.
M: Oh, bar keep! Stoli on the rocks for my newly acquired lady friend, if you please.
W: Stoli! Heavens forbid! Don’t you know there’s a boycott on Stoli?
M: A boycott? You don’t say! Why, whatever for?
W: To protest the horrid abuses the Russian government is inflicting upon its LGBTQ citizens!
M: I had no idea such atrocities were happening!
W: And now you do.
M: Thank for opening my eyes. Shall we have heterosexual intercourse on the bar?
W: Oh, that sounds most refreshing. Let’s!
That’s … that’s how they talk, right? Look, I don’t know a lot of straight people.
Anyway, right now there’s way more people than there should be still in the dark about what’s going on in Russia. And this is something that every single person needs to know about. Have a Facebook page? Then link to articles like this one and this one incessantly. Make people aware of the truly heinous shit that’s going down.
While we’re talking about spreading the knowledge, I’d like to let people know about Project Educate, an initiative begun by my friend Eric Ulloa right here in New York City, which was created specifically to get the word out to people about exactly what’s going on in Russia, and to organize a huge push to move the Olympics from Russia to Vancouver, where facilities still exist that could support the games.
25-year-old gay guy here. I met my boyfriend online last year. We’ve been chatting almost every day since the first day we met in a gay gamer forum. The only bummer is I live in Ohio and he lives in Seattle. We skype sometimes, but mostly we just talk through G Chat and text.
I’ve known for a while that I’m falling in love with him, but I don’t know how to tell him. How do you tell someone you’ve never met in real life that you love them? We’ve been together for a year and I’m thinking about marriage, but I know, one step at a time.
I guess my question is how do I tell him I love him without scaring him off?
Let’s hit the brakes for a second, TT.
As we all know, the Internet has changed how people date, and many fantastic relationships begin online. But “begin” is really the key word.
To really get to know someone, there’s an intangible, nonverbal, animalistic connection that needs to happen, and that’s impossible over a computer screen. You can have similar interests and senses of humor, similar dreams and ambitions, and all of these things make your personalities compatible, but you never really know someone until you talk to them face to face and experience what they’re like in real life.
I’m not saying that you don’t have strong feelings for this dude. It’s clear you do. But before you commit to yourself that you love him, see him in person. Hang out with him in the same room. I think it’s hard to know how you really feel about someone until you’re breathing the same air, so you can get a good idea of who they are, and maybe a nice up-close upside down view of their grundle.
I mean, I’m not saying you have to sleep with someone to know who they are. But it doesn’t hurt.
Kidding aside, TT, here’s my advice. Before you say anything to him about love, save up some money and visit him, or have him visit you. Spend some real time in each other’s presence. If at the end of this time you still feel like you’re falling in love with him, well, then shit, man. Tell him.
I’m coming to NYC this weekend and wanted an inside scoop on what show to go to. Any suggestions?
You bet! There’s a ton of shows on Broadway and I’d be happy to recommend some (Once, Newsies, Kinky Boots), but here’s the great thing about New York: we have downtown theater! And it’s crazy and edgy! And cheap!
And right now, we’re in the middle of the ultimate in downtown theater mayhem – the New York International Fringe Theater.
Now I’ll give it to you straight. I’ve seen some of the best theater of my life at the Fringe – and I mean that sincerely – and I’ve also seen some of the worst. That’s what makes it so exciting. You never know what you’re going to stumble across, but at fifteen bucks a ticket for every single show, you can see a bunch and not have to skimp on drinks afterwards.
Go see some Fringe shows. Newsies will be here next time you come to town, but most of the time even the best Fringe shows rule triumphantly for two weeks and then are often never seen again.
To ask JT a question, email him at email@example.com. Or you can be super tech-sexy and ask via Twitter. Messages may be edited for space (but they’re totally more likely to get chosen if they’re three paragraphs or less. Just sayin’.)