This is an advice blog geared toward LGBT issues and inspirations. We welcome any and all messages and questions, including anonymous.

There are three advice givers on hand -- Gordon, Daniel, and Rachel. Check the links for posts made by each particular contributor.

If you want a question answered privately, please state so in your message.

Hello!

We are having some technical difficulties with our computers, so we are working to resolve those. We are aware of the messages in our inbox and will reply to them as soon as we can.

-Daniel

+ 0

(Sorry if it looks a little weird, I edited it down from two messages down to one solid text.)

From personal experience, I can relate on a deep level with what you’re feeling. While I’m not a biological female, I feel as though we may share some common ground. From the time I was very young (like 5) I knew I was supposed to be a girl. I never related at all to masculinity, much less understood the concept of it. But I knew that I could never tell the people around me, because they would never understand or accept it. 

Being at such a young age, so many things are happening for you all at once. Not only do you have the social pressures of school and friends, you have the pressure of your family weighing down on you. It may seem like there’s no escape, but let me tell you, there is. Someday very soon, you’ll break free and be able to spread your wings and fly.

As far as what you should do: you should do what ever you think is best for you. Once you have considered your personal safety, you can take a better look at your options. You can tell the people around you how you feel, or you can choose not to. It’s entirely up to you. It’s a hard decision to make, but one that is important.

Sorry if this didn’t address any question I missed! If you need any further help, don’t be afraid to ask again! I would love to hear more from you!

-Daniel

+ 0

Tagged: danieladvice trans* advice trans* gender identity gender expression advice advice blog anonymous ask lgbt lgbt advice

Anonymous asked: I'm in love with my best friend and we are both girls but I'm pretty sure she isn't romantically attracted to me at all. She's not even attracted to girls, but the thing is, neither am I, it's just her. Ive never been attracted to any other girl. And I want to tell her but I don't know how, and it just hurts.

Hi!

It’s perfectly understandable that the person you consider your best friend would be one that you have strong feelings for. These strong feelings are liable to express themselves in any number of ways.

For starters, it’s ok for you to find yourself attracted to just her. There may only be on person that lights that spark within you. It’s ok to be confused. Getting through something like this takes time and effort, and doesn’t have a simple answer.

The thing you have to ask yourself in this situation: what’s more important to you? Your friendship or expressing your feelings? If you talk to her about it, any number of things can happen. She may take it well. She may not. She may return the feelings. She may not. Life is about uncertainty and risks.

I hope this was able to help! If you have any further questions or need clarification, don’t be afraid to ask.

-Daniel

+ 0

Tagged: danieladvice lgbt lgbt advice lesbian lesbian advice advice advice blog anonymous ask

Anonymous asked: Is there a way to talk to you parents so they will accept you? My parents hate me I think ever since they found out I'm bi.

*great big hugs*

We live in a culture that is oppressively heteronormative. With each new generation, such prejudices are more widely questioned and challenged but this often results in distressing conflicts between members of two different generations including parents and their children. Ideally, the strength of a parent’s love for their child overpowers past biases when a confrontation is forced by the child’s courageous decision to announce that they themselves do not conform to society’s presumptions. Some parents take longer than others to get through the period of psychological adjustment required by such an important revelation while other parents have so internalized the hateful dogma of society that they may never free themselves of it.

It is possible that the behavior that appears to be hate is largely borne of your parents’ confusion. For most of their lives so far they’ve had a consistent monosexist and heterosexist rhetoric drilled into them and they were subtly or not-so-subtly indoctrinated to fear and despise anyone who “chose” not to conform. Now they are faced with the reality that someone they love very deeply doesn’t fit into these preconceptions; you’re the same person you always were and you didn’t choose to orient romantically to more than one gender. This fact shakes a considerable part of the foundation that society built for and imposed on them. The tension between the reality of their love for you and the long-held illusion that they must hate and eschew any sexuality other than the state-approved heterosexuality undoubtedly results in a significant amount of anxiety and confusion.

The truth is, though, that it’s not your job as their child to hold their hand and walk them through this process. It is their job as parents to love and protect you and to prepare you for your independence. Although it is possible to understand why they are failing to do that, that understanding does not excuse their failure and it does not obligate you to take on the responsibility of educating them. I strongly hope that they will come around in time on their own, realizing the harm they are doing and stopping it. In the meantime, there are some things you can do :)

The most urgent step is to ensure that you are safe. I’m not sure if you live with your parents or elsewhere or how hostile or dangerous your environment is, but if you ever feel that you are in danger for any reason—physically or emotionally—it is vitally important that you find help. That can mean having someone to talk to:

or having a safe place to spend a night while things calm down at home (a friend’s house, local safe houses for LGBT youth, with an appropriate white lie you can even sleep in an airport terminal waiting area without getting hassled).

Once you are safe, addressing any psychological damage is important. Therapy can be helpful for those who can afford it and have the time and resources to find a therapist they are comfortable with and who understands issues as delicate as these, but just talking with anyone who is a good listener can be a great help. The goal of this step is to free yourself of the burden of resentment. Forgiving your parents doesn’t mean suggesting that their actions are in any way acceptable—they aren’t—it just means that you refuse to accept the consequences of their failure to live up to their responsibilities. Resenting those who have wronged us can be exhausting and, while indignation and anger are valid and useful emotions, holding on to resentment can actually impede us in our efforts to address and correct injustice. An honest understanding of exactly what your parents’ shortcomings are and how and why they have hurt you paired with your ability to act unencumbered by the example of shame and hatred that they set for you frees you to focus your efforts constructively in the following steps.

If it’s safe and possible to do so, confront your parents. If they haven’t already figured out how to treat you decently and prioritize love over hate, then they’ve left it up to you to take control of the conversation. The goal here can vary depending upon your ultimate intention. You may have decided you don’t particularly want to continue associating with your parents at this point, which is well within your rights; if that is the case, then this step is essentially about providing yourself closure and that can be done face-to-face, in a letter, over the phone, or, if they aren’t available or aren’t safe to be around, you can address a mental projection of them. If, as I suspect is your case, you would prefer to salvage a relationship with your parents, this step is an effort to establish a constructive dialogue and help your parents to acknowledge that their behavior is harmful and needs to change for everyone’s benefit. Maximizing the progress made by this conversation requires maintaining as much composure as possible while your parents say all the wrong things (which they most likely will) and setting a better example for them. Showing them the empathy they have fallen short of showing you may inspire them to try harder. I would advise leading with an acknowledgment of their confusion and the obvious difficulty they’re having with reconciling and contextualizing this information. Then lay out specifically what behaviors/statements they have displayed that have been hurtful and exactly how they have made you feel. Hopefully they will recognize their actions as unacceptable and apologize profusely and the long process of healing as a family can begin. If not, they may need more time, time which you can spend further strengthening yourself without them.

Once an honest dialogue about the complex emotions of everyone involved is established, feel free to describe to your parents how you would rather they interact with you and how things can change for the better; they may sincerely have no idea how to proceed or what does and does not have to change. Again, it’s not your job to tell them how to be decent parents, but succeeding where they have failed may be the most efficient means of healing your home.

Handling this situation requires resolve and fortitude. That you are facing such emotional turmoil and asking how to promote acceptance and love rather than giving in to an environment of hate and oppression tells me that you are extremely strong, stronger, I’d wager, than anyone has ever allowed you to believe that you are and strong enough to get through this. I have faith in you and I’m here for you.

Good luck and please keep us updated <3

-Gordon

+ 2

Tagged: gordonadvice BI bisexuality bisexual advice Bisexual lgbt LGBTQ* lgbt advice advice advice blog Ask open ask Anonymous Ask heterosexism monosexism

Anonymous asked: Hi, i'm pretty sure i'm bi (girl, 17). I've liked one of my best friends for quite a while and last year she came out as gay to me. I think i'm the only one she told and i think she likes me too.. I really want to tell her how i feel but i have no idea how to go about it. Should i tell her i'm bi, or just tell her i like her? I don't want to be really awkward and just bring it up randomly but it's kinda hard being around her anymore, pretending i'm straight.

Hello :)

It’s perfectly normal to be nervous about making yourself more vulnerable to someone; as counter-intuitive as it is, the closer we already are to someone, the scarier it can be to take the next step since, if we were to lose someone we love deeply and rely upon, we would be losing so much more than a mere acquaintance. In your case, though, it sounds like your friend will understand and respect your feelings and may even reciprocate them :D

My advice for bringing it up would be to make the conversation special and memorable. Orchestrate the perfect moment in which to bring up your feelings by arranging to spend some time together privately; it could be in a quiet park, in one of your homes, a classroom nobody uses during lunch, anywhere that you feel safe and that can belong to just the two of you for awhile. Once the two of you are alone, establish comfortable eye contact and smile. At this point, your heart and mind may well be racing; when I have something to say and I’m so overwhelmed by nervousness that I’m struggling to speak, it usually helps me to get things started by saying something like, “I’m really nervous right now. I have something important to talk to you about and I’m worried about finding the right words.” It’s simple and completely honest but it usually gets the words flowing and establishes an environment in which it is safe to express emotions as they present themselves. When you proceed to share the exciting news, I would recommend sticking pretty close to your thesis, which is that you like her; that you identify as bi is relevant but not really the focus of this exchange so if she asks about your sexuality, definitely feel free to talk about it, but otherwise lead with your feelings for her :)

Keep in mind that she may respond in any number of ways and you should be prepared as her friend to acknowledge and respect whatever emotional response she expresses. She may have been suspecting and hoping that you felt this way for some time now or this may come as a huge surprise. She may have plenty to say right away or she may need some time to organize her thoughts. However she responds, continue to be the wonderful friend that I trust you are and be there for her :)

I’m so excited for you! Good luck and please feel free to update us on how things progress! :D

-Gordon

+ 1

Tagged: LGBT love LGBTQ* gordonadvice lgbt bisexual advice BI Bisexual advice advice blog Ask open ask Anonymous Ask

Anonymous asked: I have a question about sexuality. I'm bi but more attracted to girls. I've been physically attracted to guys before but now I feel nothing for them and everything for women. I also want to be in a long term relationship more with a girl over a guy. My question is, what do I identify as: bi or just a lesbian? Thanks!

Hi :)

Ultimately, your identity is entirely yours to determine as you see fit and no one else could ever make a more informed decision than you :) The desire to standardize the language of our labels is typically a desire to more efficiently identify others with whom we share certain traits; this provides opportunities for a sense of community that is extremely important, especially for marginalized communities like those of sexual minorities whose collective experiences are often invisible outside of those communities.

Ideally, any member of the LGBTQ* community would acknowledge and affirm your identity and happily associate with you regardless of what label, if any, you adopt, but there does exist prejudice even amongst sexual minorities. For example, it is not uncommon for gay and lesbian people to exhibit monosexism (the prejudicial assumption that each person orients sexually and/or romantically to a single gender, thus invalidating the identity of bisexual people). It would be perfectly understandable, then, if you wanted to assure that the identity you assume is one that you will be comfortable sticking with indefinitely so as to avoid potential conflict and social alienation.

The question becomes, then, whether you feel this is a preference for women which could shift in the future, or if you’re confident that your orientation is more or less fixed mostly or completely toward women. Commonly, women who feel that their orientation is stably toward other women identify as lesbian while those who feel their orientation is stably toward more than one gender regardless of shifting preferences tend to identify more often as bi :)

You have every right to identify in any way that you see fit according to any rules you see fit and employing any definitions that feel right to you and no one has the authority to question or invalidate your identity but you. My advice is to consider your motivations for isolating a label for your sexuality, whether they’re social or personal or a combination of the two, and then identify which label, if any, best fulfills those needs. The factors affecting that decision may change over time, so feel free to repeat this process as necessary. If anyone tries to invalidate your identity for any reason, whatever that identity is and however often it evolves, rest assured their hostility reveals a great deal about their own identity—likely misogynists who fail to recognize the ability of a woman to determine her own labels—but does nothing to tarnish your own.

You have my total confidence and support. Any identity you feel is right for you is right for you :)

I hope that helps!

-Gordon

+ 3

Tagged: gordonadvice advice advice blog lgbt advice lesbian bisexual advice BI Bisexual bisexuality monosexism lgbt LGBTQ*

"What if those of us who were raised either explicitly or implicitly to believe that sex is dirty, secretive, and unspeakable hadn’t been? What if we didn’t see sex everywhere, but honest dialogue about it almost nowhere? What if the sex we saw portrayed was genuinely varied both in practice and participants? What if some entirely consensual sexual practices weren’t routinely portrayed as “weird” and “deviant” while non-consensual ones were portrayed as “normal” and “how it works”? What if sex was treated as healthy, for those who want to have it, when they want to have it? What if desired, consensual sex was not treated as something to be hidden, something that was frowned upon or disapproved, something that might result in shame — and not desiring or having sex was treated the same way? What if having an STD or unplanned pregnancy did not have a stigma attached to it? What if there was no confusion about what people meant when they talked about sex, because questions could be asked openly and without embarrassment? What if knowledge of your sexual orientation or activity wasn’t tied to the threat of not having a place to live, a caretaker to help you live independently, or money to survive? What if knowledge of your sexual activities wasn’t likely to be used as a weapon against you because of your race, class, disability, gender identity, or sexual orientation?"

+ 138

Tagged: advice blog sexuality the politicization of sexuality generates and maintains rape culture and contributes to the framework of sexist racist heteronormative op...

Like this post
Hello! :)
It&#8217;s perfectly understandable to feel anxious and a little overwhelmed or confused while trying to pin down your precise identity. That is largely because identities evolve and shift over time. Our identities are incredibly flexible and can change shape merely under the pressure of being examined. While this can be frustrating for those (myself included) who prefer a sense of constancy and stability, it is this very tendency of our senses of Self to constantly&#8212;though usually gradually&#8212;change that prevents stagnation and that allows for personal growth.
That said, the means by which we orient ourselves to others romantically tends to be fairly well fixed and, for many, can provide some sense of security while continuing the endlessly exciting adventure of self-discovery :) You are free, of course, to identify in any way, with any label or with no label at all and no one is as qualified as you are to know what of the infinite options available are best for you. Also, should you find that one particular label suits you right now, you are under absolutely no obligation to stick with it forever; you will still be you and those who matter enough to see and appreciate the core of you that is constant regardless of any change in labels or preferences will continue to respect you.
Based on the information you offered about your attractions, many members of the LGBTQ* community who feel similarly to you identify as bisexual. If you identify as bisexual, then you would be, in fact, consistently bisexual no matter the gender you were primarily attracted to at a given time or the gender of those you date or are otherwise romantic with :) There are also plenty of members of the community with strong attractions to women but mild or occasional attractions to other genders who identify as lesbian. A lesbian identity isn&#8217;t invalidated by any interactions with men (past, present, or future). The bottom line is that no one has the right to question your identity but you.
I hope that helps! &lt;3 Please feel free to message again with any follow-up questions or updates :)
-Gordon

Hello! :)

It’s perfectly understandable to feel anxious and a little overwhelmed or confused while trying to pin down your precise identity. That is largely because identities evolve and shift over time. Our identities are incredibly flexible and can change shape merely under the pressure of being examined. While this can be frustrating for those (myself included) who prefer a sense of constancy and stability, it is this very tendency of our senses of Self to constantly—though usually gradually—change that prevents stagnation and that allows for personal growth.

That said, the means by which we orient ourselves to others romantically tends to be fairly well fixed and, for many, can provide some sense of security while continuing the endlessly exciting adventure of self-discovery :) You are free, of course, to identify in any way, with any label or with no label at all and no one is as qualified as you are to know what of the infinite options available are best for you. Also, should you find that one particular label suits you right now, you are under absolutely no obligation to stick with it forever; you will still be you and those who matter enough to see and appreciate the core of you that is constant regardless of any change in labels or preferences will continue to respect you.

Based on the information you offered about your attractions, many members of the LGBTQ* community who feel similarly to you identify as bisexual. If you identify as bisexual, then you would be, in fact, consistently bisexual no matter the gender you were primarily attracted to at a given time or the gender of those you date or are otherwise romantic with :) There are also plenty of members of the community with strong attractions to women but mild or occasional attractions to other genders who identify as lesbian. A lesbian identity isn’t invalidated by any interactions with men (past, present, or future). The bottom line is that no one has the right to question your identity but you.

I hope that helps! <3 Please feel free to message again with any follow-up questions or updates :)

-Gordon

Tagged: gordonadvice lgbt LGBTQ* lgbt advice advice advice blog Ask open ask Anonymous Ask identity lesbian Bisexual bisexuality

Anonymous asked: Hi, I'm a 16 year old, openly gay male. I recently came out the beginning of this school year, and I have already had a big response by a lot of the gays in my school, but for some reason I chose to date a closeted gay instead. I really, really like him, but with him being closeted, we are never able to do cute things, kiss, or do anything for that matter. I was wondering if you could give me any advice on what I should do to make this relationship work?

Hi :)

Firstly, congratulations of coming out! I’m glad you’ve found it to be a largely positive experience so far :)

In romances in which one partner is out and another is not, it is very common for expectations to differ and disappointments to mount. The relationship can survive this, however, with a healthy dose of communication. As you may have experienced first-hand not long ago, there are many reasons that can make the coming out process terrifying or even dangerous. I would advise talking with your boyfriend about his personal thoughts and feelings about staying in the closet. Remember, his decision not to come out doesn’t invalidate your decision to come out. While discussing this, he may decide he feels ready to start telling people after all; that would be great and you would, I have no doubt, offer your full support. He may, on the other hand, persist in his decision not to come out right now (he may, in fact, never feel safe coming out) and that, too, would be a valid decision that you would have to respect. Whatever actions this conversation may or may not inspire, the emotional vulnerability established by engaging in the conversation is the real prize, as it offers an invaluable opportunity to grow closer and to develop a more meaningful connection with each other :)

Your feelings are also important, of course, so I would advise talking with him about what he means to you and how much you value him and the relationship. Then explain the things that you’d like to do within the relationship including those that are made difficult or impossible while he remains closeted. Try to do this without making him feel guilty or pressured by focusing on how much you enjoy the time you spend together now and how that is what motivates you to want more. If he does feel guilty, acknowledge his feelings and talk about them, making sure to tell him that you don’t want him to feel bad about himself or to worry that the relationship is in danger (unless it is, in which case you should let him know that things aren’t working out as they are).

Depending upon what sort of activities you had in mind, the two of you may find some compromises that will satisfy both your need for public displays of affection and his need for discretion. You might try taking a trip to the next town over and going on a dinner date in a public restaurant somewhere that you won’t encounter anyone he knows. If you live in a rural area or have access to many public parks, you might also find a quiet place in nature to walk around holding hands away from prying eyes. If you like seeing cute social media posts about how he’s thinking of you, you may be able to adjust the privacy settings for those posts so that only the two of you can see them or you may even develop a secret code that only the two of you will recognize but can be broadcast as publicly as you like :)

I know firsthand how taxing it can be to be out before your romantic partner is. The truth is, this situation is probably very frustrating for both of you and making compromises like those mentioned above may not lessen those frustrations by very much. The bottom line is that you may have to examine your priorities and decide whether being with him is worth sacrificing your image of the ideal relationship. If it is, own those priorities and you may find it easier to accept that, at least for now, your relationship isn’t going to look the way you once imagined it but you get to share it with a very special and very lucky guy.

Good luck to both of you and I hope this helps <3

-Gordon

+ 4

Tagged: gordonadvice advice advice blog LGBTQ* lgbt lgbt advice gay love gay advice dating dating advice gay dating gay Ask open ask Anonymous Ask

Anonymous asked: The guy I was seeing told me he was bi before we started dating. I really like him; he is someone I could see myself falling in love with. I think I am bi (girl)/am also trying to discover my own sexuality, but after we were separate for the holidays, he called me on NYEve to tell me that he is confused/doesn't know if he is straight or gay and thinks we should break things off before he disappoints me like with other girls before. We are good friends,so this is hard & I don't know what to do :(

*hugs*

That must have been very hard to hear. It’s never easy when someone we care deeply for tells us that their feelings are drawing them in the opposite direction we wanted and expected. It sounds like his decision to end the romantic aspect of your relationship may not have implied a desire to end your association completely so if you would like to—and it would be perfectly understandable if you’d rather not—you may be able to continue in your friendship with him.

It’s totally natural to experience feelings of disappointment and emotional invalidation when we make ourselves vulnerable and available to someone only for them to decide—for whatever reason—that they would prefer to devote their attention and affection elsewhere. The next step for you now is to acknowledge and embrace whatever feelings you have and express them. You may be feeling angry, resentful, betrayed, disappointed, sad, crestfallen, maybe even a little relieved or hopeful. Any and every feeling that is competing for attention inside of you right now is valid and worthy of being noticed and explored. Taking some time to organize them and get them somewhere other than exclusively inside your own mind can be incredibly cathartic. You can do this by talking with friends, writing your thoughts and feelings out on paper, going to a karaoke bar and singing a song that verbalizes feelings similar to yours, or anything that works for you. Personally, I like to combine writing my thoughts out and talking about them with close friends.

Once you’ve given your emotions a voice, there may still be a gap in your everyday life that was previously filled by your former romantic partner. Finding something (other than thinking about him) with which to fill that time can help immensely to expedite the process of moving forward. Activities that naturally make you feel better usually offer a great place to start. If you like to volunteer, for example, spend a couple extra hours making your community a better place and feeling great about yourself :)

In my experience, the final step in feeling that I’ve moved on from a past romantic partner has always been finding something I learned—about dating, about life, about myself, about anything at all—from the relationship. This acknowledges that the relationship is over, but was not a waste of time or energy.

I believe in you and your ability to get through this difficult time <3

-Gordon

+ 0

Tagged: gordonadvice advice advice blog ask Ask open Anonymous Ask lgbt lgbt advice bisexual advice Bisexual