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?
I have what you would call the ’gay voice’ (lisp, “Oh my God,” high pitched) and I’m kinda worried how it will affect my introduction into the gay world/dating life.
I got picked on at high school relentlessly, and I never really could hide my sexuality because of it, but the one thing that really peeves me about my voice (and I’m kinda wondering if any other gay guys get this or if it’s just me) is that to my own ears/brain I sound completely normal, like your average guy, and because of it I generally forget that I really sound like. And it’s my voice; it’s not like I can change it even if I tried to.
Now I do have my effeminate traits (Broadway, LOVE Glee, kinda gossipy) but I consider myself much more of a nerd/emo/loner. I guess I’m just kind of afraid that every guy I meet will hear me, assume I’m some offensive stereotype (Effeminophobia is still alive and kicking) and not even bother to get to know me. (Also I stutter… but that’s a completely separate issue.)
So any advice or should I just ride it out?
We’ve got two issues here, L, so let’s take them on one by one.
First, we’ll deal with effemini effem ephem that thing where dudes don’t like a dude because he acts kinda like a chick sometimes. You can bet your Glee-lovin’, gossipy ass I’m not going to pretend that it doesn’t exist and it might not arise as an issue with some guys you might think about mackin’ on. But guess what, L? Who cares what those guys think? You are who you are, and if someone isn’t into you for whatever reason, it’s their loss.
Like every other demographic on the planet, there’s a wide range of behaviors to find among gay men, and while butch guys are for whatever reason exalted, that doesn’t mean they’re more likely to find love. In fact, in the unscientific survey I just did in my head of all my gay friends, the queenier ones tend to be the dudes who get into and stay in long term relationships. But here’s who doesn’t end up in relationships: people who use the self-descriptor “loser.” You’re not a loser, L. I don’t even know you, and I like you already. So buck up there, soldier.
Next, let’s talk about how you hear yourself in your head versus how others hear you. I think every man, woman, and child in the world has experienced that startling moment when they hear a recording of their voice and go, “Is that what I really sound like?!” No, you’re not alone.
So to recap: you’re not the only one dealing with this, and you’re beautiful in your way ‘cause God makes no mistakes etc. etc. born this way.
Finally, though, rather than your mannerisms and pitch, let’s talk seriously about your lisp and your stutter. First of all, neither of those things is anything to be ashamed of.
Says stutteringhelp.org: “More than 68 million people worldwide stutter, which is about 1% of the population. In the United States, that’s over 3 million Americans who stutter.”
That’s a lot of damn people. If for the sake of argument we say 5% of the world’s population is gay (please don’t harp on this number, commenters, because it’s just to make a point), then according to Start Menu-All Programs-Accessories-Calculator that’s 150,000 gay people who stutter. And if males account for 49% of the population, then … ugh, I’m tired of numbers. You can all do the math. Don’t forget to show your work.
There’s less information on lisps – the first three Google hits were AskWiki and Wikipedia entries, which are none too trustworthy – but I know a few former lispers who now seriously salivate over saying superfluously sibilant sentences.
What I’m getting at, L, is you might want to consider going to a speech therapist. It’s worth a shot. But remember, a little lisp and stutter is nothing to be ashamed of. Same goes for a high-pitched voice and penchant for spitting out random Glee trivia.
I repeat: there is nothing wrong with knowing EVERYTHING about this show.
I’m a gay dude in his early 20s and one of the biggest reasons why I can’t have a relationship is because my parents are really conservative. They know I’m gay, but they simply told me to keep it to myself, which has been difficult. That means I can’t go out on normal dates with guys I like. So instead, I log on to Grindr and to have some fun and let off some steam.
While I was looking for a night time playmate, some really hot guy messaged me. I thought all he wanted was to hook up, so I entertained him in the meantime, but to my surprise, we simply talked the entire day away. He was actually a pretty funny, sweet guy who genuinely liked me and not out just for sex. I thought he was pretty cool so we decided to exchange numbers, photos, and Facebook. And ever since then, we’ve been talking and flirting every day… and wouldn’t you believe it, we haven’t even brought the topic of sex in our conversations yet.
Now, the thing is, I think I’m slowly falling for him, which is scaring me. Other than his smoldering looks, he’s actually a really sweet, caring, funny guy. Plus the fact that he’s in his early thirties is very attractive. Bottom line is, he pretty much is a living definition of my ideal guy checklist.
Anyway, given my current state, it will be pretty difficult to delve into a relationship with him. But at the same time, if I don’t try, I’ll always wonder in the future if he’s the one that got away. On some days, I want this connection we have to actually develop into romance, but on some other days, I don’t because I’m scared it might end in failure and I just cannot deal with a broken heart… Anyways, do you think it’s worth trying it out? Or worth fighting for?
Kid In Turmoil
“So … I was thinking now would be a good time to talk about my parents …”
Yes. It’s worth it.
For the next question, we’ll …
Oh, I’m sorry, did you want something more? Okay, here goes, KIT.
You obviously are crushing hugely on this guy, and he seems to dig you, too. I get that it’s hard with your boner-killer parents, and some people might turn up their noses at the ten-year age difference and the way you met. Well, you’re both adults and there’s nothing illegal about Grindr, and relationships have certainly had much less reputable origins, so I say go for it, my man.
If you have to, see him on the DL from your ‘rents until you figure out a way to not let them dictate your social life.
Final issue? You don’t want to let yourself fall for him because you can’t deal with a broken heart? I get it. Broken hearts are scary, because they totally, totally suck donkey balls. But they’re the danger we have to face head on if we’re going to find that magical thing called lurve. So screw your courage to the sticking place, screw your parents (not in that way), and screw your guy (in that way).
You should do more lifestyle postings between the advice. The Miz Liz drink one was really fun. What would come in a Miz Liz, if she were a cocktail?
That’s a tough one, Addy, because how does one encapsulate the sensual enigma that is Miz Liz in one single drink? On the one hand, she’s the kind of girl next door you could bring home to mom, show off at the local barn dance, and make sweet country music with. On the other hand, she’s an exotic temptress who leaves a trail of broken hearts in her wake. Oh-oh here she comes. Watch out, boy, she’ll chew you up.
I think the only way to encapsulate this feisty little minx is a slight variation on the Sex on the Beach. So here we go, AfterEltoners. Your second AfterElton-created cocktail after the SGM, entitled the Miz Liz:
1/2 oz Peach Schnapps
1 1/2 oz Vodka
1/4 oz Chambord
2 oz Pomegranate Juice (Miz Liz is above such petty things as cranberries)
2 oz Grapefruit Juice
Simply mix all of your ingredients in a tall glass over ice and stir with a long spoon.
The end result will be a sexy font of deliciousness, much like Miz Liz herself.
To ask JT a question, email him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Messages may be edited for space.
You can find previous editions of AfterElton’s Ask JT advice column here.