Help me, Obi-Gay Kenobi, you’re my only hope!
Okay, I have a problem and I know I’m not the first one to have it, but no one seems to be able to tell me what to do. Two of my friends are in a monogamous relationship. Let’s call them Luke and Han (okay, so I’m not original). I met them both at the same time, as we were all hanging out with mutual friends.
They’re both really cute and fun, and I’ve spent a lot of time with them together as a couple and also occasionally individually. My problem is that I’ve got a HUGE crush on Luke. I think about him all the time. And whenever we’re together, I really get the strong impression he feels the same way. He hasn’t said anything, obviously, but the signs are definitely there.
I don’t want to violate the bro-code, and I want to be a good gay, but this crush on Luke is driving me freaking crazy. Do I tell him or should I keep my mouth shut and suffer in silence?
Keep your mouth shut, LP.
I know it sucks. I know it’s depressing. But trying to butt into someone else’s relationship leads to suffering, and suffering leads to the dark side. And no one likes a Sith ho.
I’ll say to you what I find myself saying a lot in this column, which is simply good old-fashioned common sense. Flip the situation around. Put yourself in Han’s shoes. How would you feel if you were in a monogamous relationship, and some dude came sniffing around your man and telling him he wants to take a ride on his light saber? Probably not so good, right?
We’re all slaves to our hormones, and a lot of the time we can trick ourselves into committing selfish acts – like trying to break up a relationship so you can have one of them to yourself – by convincing ourselves it’s somehow supposed to be this way, that we’re supposed to be with this guy or that girl, and the person they’re actually with is standing in the way of the universe’s plan, damn it!
But when you cool off and think about it, you realize there’s enough BS in that thought process to fill Jabba’s barge. (How am I doing, by the way? I’m not really a Star Wars guy.)
As for the “signs” that Luke is into you, well, maybe you’re seeing what you say you’re seeing. Or maybe there’s some wishful thinking involved. If Luke really is into you, then it’s up to him to decide what to do. And keep in mind, people in monogamous relationships get innocent crushes on other people all the time, but that doesn’t mean they act on them. The thing about crushes? They pass. And if someone is truly committed to another person, they’re not that likely to act on a passing infatuation.
I know this probably isn’t exactly what you want to hear. But remember, you don’t want to accumulate any bad relationship karma, and being a home-wrecker is the numero uno way to do that.
I don’t really know where to start. I’m 20 years old, gay, awkward, too skinny, and really effeminate. And I feel like because of all that, I’m never going to find anyone. Every guy I’ve ever had feelings for has said they’re not interested in femme guys. Everyone wants a butch guy. I’ve tried to fake it, but I just can’t pull it off. I’m so tired of being told that I’m not good enough or sexy enough for people.
Now I’m terrified I’m never going to find love. Is it foolish to hope that somewhere out there is a handsome, masculine Prince Charming who is interested in femme guys like me?
Hmm. You had nothing but my sympathy until the last line, F. You still have my sympathy, but it’s going to come with a dash of tough love.
Go back and re-read what you wrote to me. Your first paragraph is all about how no one wants an effeminate guy, and the anguish this causes you. Then you wrap up your letter by saying you want a masculine guy to come and sweep you off your feet.
You see where I’m going with this?
I could write a whole thesis paper on the damage that effemiphobia (both internal and external) causes the gay male community, but you know what? Our former colleague Brent Hartinger already did that way better than I ever could have (I would have thrown in too many dick jokes and probably ended up talking about Legolas’s secret man-craving for Aragorn for three pages).
Brent ends the article – SPOILER ALERT! – with these words: “Why can’t effeminate men butch it up? That’s the title of this article, the one question everyone wants to ask. But it’s the wrong one. The right question is: why should they have to?”
(Did I mention he won a GLAAD award for that article?)
Society favors the masculine because society is misogynistic and super into dudes and … huh … that sounds kinda gay, doesn’t? Anyway, the ugly chain goes something like this: society disrespects women, so people loathe men who (in their limited views) act like women, so men who act like women grow to despise themselves.
That there is such a bias against effeminate gay men WITHIN the gay community is appalling, but there’s no denying it exists. What’s most upsetting about your letter, though, is that while you’re a victim of this effemiphobia, you’ve become a perpetrator of it as well, without even seeming to realize it. You’re looking for a masculine Prince Charming? Why are you so quick to dismiss all the effeminate Prince Charmings out there? The answer is internalized effemiphobia.
Here’s a few sentences you need to remember, F: There’s nothing wrong with being effeminate. Not all gay men are looking for masculine guys – just the guys you’ve encountered in your own experience so far have happened to. People who are hung up on “types” at a young age often grow out of that very limiting behavior. And most importantly (and forgive me if this is corny), you’re perfect exactly the way you are. Seriously.
I feel very ready to answer your question, F, because my boyfriend and I just poured through two season of RuPaul’s Drag Race. (It was the first time we’d ever seen the show, and while I have no ambitions to become a drag queen, I do want RuPaul to be my life coach now. She’s so wise!) Anyway, Ru ends each episode with a little mantra, and I want you to adopt this for yourself:
“If you can’t love yourself, how the hell you gonna love anybody else? Can I get an amen up in here?”
Help! I’m throwing a barbecue party for Memorial Day. What kind of drinks should I serve?
Hostess without the Mostess
You’re in luck, HWTM. Memorial Day is a chill holiday and thus pretty lax as far as drinks are concerned.
Traditionally for a barbecue-esque shindig, you’ll want a healthy assortment of beer. You should also have a few bottles of red and white wine for those guests not into beer. And it never hurts to have simple mixed drinks available, ie gin and tonic, vodka and soda, etc.
Most guests are easy to please (and if they’re not, why are you inviting them to your house?). Summer parties are by nature less exotic when it comes to drinks, so pile up on the beer and have fun!