Ask JT! How to Deal with Long Distance Relationships and Homophobic Moms

Your friendly neighborhood bartender is taking a break from his wild dating life to tackle your questions with his patented blend of advice and adult beverages. So slide on up to the bar my friends. Now, what can I get you?

Hey JT,

I’ll be graduating from college in May and looking for a big boy job. At the end of the summer I’ll be starting an internship at Disney World. Yay! Unfortunately, this means that I will be away from my boyfriend, who I’ve been with for almost a year and a half, for the first time since we started dating.

The real problem is that I don’t see a time in the near future when we’ll be able to be physically together again. He has at least another semester of college to go, and while I’m not entirely sure of his post-graduate plans, I know he’d like to travel overseas and teach English as a second language. At this point, I’m planning to stay in Orlando for a while to get some experience with their conservation-related internships.

I love him very much, and I want to stay with him for a long time. I don’t want geography to get in the way, but from my point of view it presents a lot of complications. Do you have any advice that would help in coping with the distance? Any words of wisdom you can offer would be greatly appreciated.

Magical Bookseller

Here’s the number one way to make long-distance relationships work, MB: there has to be a light at the end of the tunnel. If there’s a set time when long distance becomes close-enough-to-do-it distance, then it’s easy to keep your eye on the prize and hold out for when you know you’ll be reunited.

If there’s no end to the separation in sight, that makes everything a hell of a lot more challenging.

Now it used to be that even with the promise of an eventual reunion, long-term relationships were still a one way ticket to a major league bummer. Fortunately, though, we now live in a golden age of communication technology, and since you’re still in college, that means you grew up with this kind of stuff and will have no problem accessing it.

Though Skype has been around for a while, it remains the go-to program for star-crossed lovers who also find themselves land-crossed. When my boyfriend Morris recently booked a gig that took him out of town for a few weeks, it was almost like he never left, because we were still, in a way, in a room together every night.

That sense of quasi-closeness in conjunction with the beautiful bounty of free pornography online makes it a lot easier these days to be apart from the one you love. But it also requires discipline if you choose to be monogamous. Discipline and, even more important, honesty.

Human beings have needs, obviously, and some couples are okay with getting some action on the side provided it’s completely sexual and not romantic. Most of the time they have a non-disclosure agreement, but some couples love to dish with one another about their extracurricular actions and compare notes. For other couples, of course, this would lead to tears and heartbreak. It’s up to you guys to decide where you stand.

 

Hello JT.

I was in denial about being gay, but last year I came out to friends, then came out to my mom, then moved out the house for two weeks. However, right now I am back home and continuing my studies. My mom has been in denial about me, saying she loves me but she doesn’t condone ‘that.’

I have two younger brothers, aged 7 and 5 years old. (I’m 20.) Whenever my brothers are in the room and we’re watching a show where there might be a gay couple, she sounds off about her disdain and outrage. I am worried that she will end up turning my brothers against me as they don’t know that I am gay and If I tell them it will result in a whole family drama as it may seem like I am ‘influencing’ them.

Coming out was already a whole movie trilogy’s worth of drama and I don’t want to start another trilogy yet. Should I be worried or take comfort in the fact that my brothers are part of a new generation that won’t be so caught up with sexual orientation?

Worried Big Brother

PS- The last time I wrote I was the guy who asked about why gay guys don’t hold hands in public, except now I am a gay guy. LOL

Ah, a repeat customer. Welcome back.

Well, considering your first letter to us was written as a heterosexual man who was VERY curious about gay male behavior, I’d like to offer you a congratulations for coming to terms with your identity. I know that can be super difficult, so you should feel proud of yourself for that.

Okay, let’s talk about Mom. Through a little point-and-click research, I discovered that South Africa, where WBB hails from, actually has a pretty decent track record for LGBT rights, including legalizing gay marriage in 2006. So his mother is not a vessel of her surroundings, but rather personally has issues with the gay thing.

As I’ve mentioned before, parental acceptance of their children’s homosexuality often occurs in stages, beginning with “I still love you, but I don’t like what you are” to “I can’t wait to dance at your wedding.” Not every parent makes it to that last step, but we can hope.

Your mother, presuming she grew up in South Africa, lived through the apartheid government, which was incredibly hostile to gay people. My guess is a lot of her world views were formed during this time, and ideas cemented during one’s formative years can be hard to break.

My advice would be to just keep being the good, upstanding guy you are with your mother. Gently bring up the gay thing when you can, trying your best to be as non-confrontational as you can. If she gives you a lot of grief, tell her that you’ll wait until she’s comfortable talking about it, but it is not ever, ever going to change.

As for your brothers, have a talk with them when you deem they’re old enough. It could be now or a few years from now – they’re your brothers, so you’ll know when the time is right. Explain to them that being gay doesn’t make you a different person, and that no matter what they hear, you’ll always be there for them. Like you said, they’ll have the benefit of living in a country with legal gay marriage, and a positive gay influence in their lives in the form of you. Be there for them like any big brother should, and they’ll learn that gay people are just people like everyone else.

 

Hey JT,

Devoted fangirl here. I’m having my lady friends over for a St. Patrick’s Day party and know I’ll have appletinis on the menu. Any other green cocktails you could suggest?

Thanks!

Lady Who Lunches

Sure do, LWL!

Here’s another martini glass cocktail, the Emerald Martini. When done right, the color is totally gorgeous, and it tastes super sexy. It’s also really alcoholic, though, so watch it when you’re drinking these. You might hallucinate you’re seeing a leprechaun and then try to fight it.

That only happened to me? Okay, moving on.

What you need:

1 1/2 oz Midori
1 1/2 oz Vodka (I suggest a citrus flavor)

This one’s simple. Just pour into a shaker over ice and shake it out, shake it out, shake it out, shake it out, oh-whoa-oh. Then strain into a chilled martini glass, garnish with a cherry, and enjoy!

And remember, leprechauns fight dirty, so make sure to wear pads.

 

To ask JT a question, email him at jtadvicecolumn@gmail.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’.)


You can find previous editions of AfterElton’s Ask JT advice column here.


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