I really like your site (you have great pop culture coverage!) and I need some advice from representatives in the gay community.
I’m a 25-year old straight Christian woman, and I really want to help fight inequality and prejudice against the LGBT community. (The videos coming from Russia just send chills up my spine). I don’t want to judge, pity, or condescend, I only want to help. I’m submitting a video to the NALT campaign and I’m looking for other opportunities as well.
However, I get a vibe from some pockets of the gay community that’s kind of like, “If you’re straight, f*ck off. We can get our own rights, and we don’t need you.” And for straight Christians trying to help, this can occur even more often. So, I guess I wanted your advice because I’m a little intimidated, and don’t know which organizations to contact/reach out to without getting scorned.
Thanks. I appreciate the help.
B, I always try to imbue a sense of snark in my advice, but I’m going to check that just this moment and tell you sincerely how glad I am people like you are in the world.
This has come up before in my column, and I’d like to reiterate that without straight allies, the LGBT movement would never have made the leaps and bounds it has in recent years, because our community just doesn’t have the numbers. It’s our straight brothers and sisters doing the right thing that’s largely the reason real change is happening.
And that’s why it totally upsets me that anyone would ever sneer at an offer of a helping hand. The only reason I can think of is if the person who gave you that vibe had one too many experiences with “Christians” who seemed friendly at first, only to slowly reveal their desire to “fix” that person. It happens sometimes, and it’s ugly. And that’s one of the reasons the NALT campaign is important, and I’m so glad and proud of you, B, that you’re taking part.
For those new to this, the NALT Campaign works in the same vein as the It Gets Better campaign, but the subject is different. NALT stands for “Not All Like That,” meaning that not all Christians are anti-gay; in fact, Christians who truly follow the spirit and basic tenet of their religion – to love your neighbor as you love yourself – are just the opposite. Change happens when good people take a stand, and other people who may have been on the fence see this and are influenced by this goodness. That’s what you’re doing right now, B. Thank you.
As for other ways you can help, in addition to national organizations like GLAAD and HRC, a great place to start is by going to your local LGBT community center and asking about volunteering opportunities. There will be a wide range, and these days a lot of volunteering has to do with the ongoing fight for marriage equality, which is a great place to start.
However, after informally polling some friends, I was reminded of something by my buddy Sam. I worked with Sam back in my days teaching at Harvey Milk High School, and as Sam pointed out, a lot of people are fighting the fight for marriage equality. But the future of any community is, of course, its youth. At this point we should all know the staggering statistics about LGBT youth: how they’re more likely to attempt suicide, and more likely to be homeless, than their straight peers. If you really want to help make a difference, B, volunteer with gay youth.
And hey, speaking of helping gay youth …
A week ago today I got match-made to a guy over Facebook from a friend (we’re all 19). I was told that I’m his type and he’s definitely mine. We’ve talked over Facebook almost everyday since. He only messages me once a day and its usually only a few lines, so our conversation hasn’t expanded as quickly as I want it to. I asked him for his number, and he replied that he didn’t want to swap numbers till he knew me better. But how can that happen when he barely checks Facebook?
Even though it may seem like we have no connection, I feel we do. But it’s not shining through fast enough for him to keep interest in me, and sometimes I feel like I’m initiating everything. I don’t know what to do at this point. It got a tiny bit flirty today but it needs to go better. I don’t want to freak him out, when is the best time to ask to meet him? I’m bad at this kinda thing and I want a chance to date him properly!
I also feel like he’s not interested in me because he’s a 10 and I’m a 5 (well in my eyes), yet apparently I’m his type which may be right, ‘cause his ex looks similar to me (which is the friend who paired me with him). He makes me crazy already. I need help!
As the sage philosopher Kathy Griffin once said, “Calm down, gurl.”
Okay, you’re young and have yet to learn the subtleties and nuances of dating. As you get older, you’ll find it’s less “the game of love” and more Game of Thrones. So here’s a handy-dandy guide …
Rule #1: Desperate is NEVER sexy.
I had to edit your letter down for space, but in its original form its impossible not to read in a super-hyper voice. I understand you’re excited. I get it. I. But take it down a notch. It’s human nature to want the unattainable and you’re making yourself to glaringly attainable to him.
Rule #2: Read the room.
He only sends you short, non-committal messages. He doesn’t want to share his phone number with you. I’m not saying there’s no chance he’s interested, but in brutal honesty, he’s not sending you any signals that he is. What that means is you need to play it cool. Match him in terms of what he’s giving, and don’t push it. Why? See Rule #1.
Rule #3: Omigod, it’s only been a week. Relax.
I know it’s exciting. But remember: calm down, gurl. You can’t force these things to happen, and it’s only been a week. Dating is a marathon, not a sprint.
Rule #4: Beware the wicked gays.
Again, this might be nothing. But it might be a little suspect that your new crush’s ex was the one who set you guys up. Just be wary that no games are afoot.
Rule #5: So, we know desperate isn’t sexy. You know what is? Confidence.
Confidence means not referring to yourself as a “5” while he’s a “10.” That’s arbitrary and subjective. And it means knowing you’re cool enough and enough of a catch that you don’t have to hang on his responses. You’ve let him know you’re interested. You can be upfront about it if you haven’t put it in those terms. But then back off. Let him come to you. Be flirty – that’s all well and good. Great, even. But don’t be overbearing, or you’ll scare him off.
And finally, Rule #6: Hope for the best, but plan for the worst.
There’s always another guy in the future, DG, even if it never feels that way. So if it doesn’t work out with this particular gent, take heart. There will still be wedding bells some day in your future. And hey, that brings us to our next question …
… man, I need to hire a segue writer …
I’m my best friend’s maid of honor, and want to show her a good time in NYC for her bachelorette party. Any ideas?
Not the Girl in White
I’ll give you three ideas and crowd-source the rest, NTGIW.
First up, for a raucous good time, there’s always Lips, the preeminent drag lounge where they hold nightly shows and offer bachelorette party deals. I’ve been, and it’s awesome.
The next is Hunk-O-Mania, the all-male revue. It’s guys. They take their clothes off. Hot.
And finally, if the oversexualized semi-nudity of Hunk-O-Mania doesn’t grill your cheese, you can go full monty but tasteful with The Artful Bachelorette, which is basically a bachelorette party/art class where you get to down champagne and draw a naked guy sitting right in front of you.
So those are my suggestions. Anyone else?