Ask a Gay!

Hey, life is confusing, but we can all get along—through humor, ridiculous projects, and understanding. Feel free to send questions from here or email questionsgohere@gmail.com. I’ll answer them!

God of freedom, all victorious**

Where are things at with this gay marriage stuff?

Good question. Let’s catch up. Nineteen states have legalized gay marriage! That’s great! Three by popular vote! Let’s all move to Maine, Maryland, and Washington! It’ll be great. If you refuse to move with me to those places, then take your pick of the sixteen others that allow gay marriage thanks to legal proceedings.

The list:
I’m going to put Massachusetts first, because Boston rocks, and Massachusetts was first. In your face inequality!
Then alphabetically: California, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois (starting 6/1/14), Iowa, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and Vermont.

You can also move to Colorado I suppose. They only allow civil unions but you can buy pot legally so I guess for all of you gay potheads out there who don’t want to live on the coast, you must make choices.

This question was brought to mind when I recently read that North Dakota is the only state in the union that does not have a pending case challenging same-sex marriage bans. My first assumption was that this was because only 19 people live in North Dakota and if one in ten people are gay, then one more person needs to move there in order for there to be a gay couple that wants to get married. Now, though it seems that this will change in the upcoming few months. This means two things. First, we can now change that North Dakota population sign to twenty! Second, there is no state that is not calling this inequality into question. This was a great thing to think about for me. I feel often that it is too easy to read and hear the yelling magazine shows and soundbite personalities declaring that the nation is torn in two and those two groups have absolutely no common ground. On certain issues we may have quite a distance to go, but I feel that if there is truly no common ground then there would be no hope. I think that instead it’s important to remember that there is hope. Things can change. People are far more often neighbors, family members, and friends than they are screaming pundits. Anyway, apparently the population in North Dakota in 2012 was 699,628. Just to put this into perspective. I live in New York City and that is the exact same number of people that occupy one train car at rush hour in the rain here.*

*Don’t check my facts.

** This is a line from the North Dakota state song. Go learn all of the state songs. It will probably make you more popular at parties.

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It’s a Cis!

What the heck is cisgender?

Good question. I had no idea either and then when I looked it up I found out, I’m it. It’s a person who identifies as the gender they were assigned at birth. The word cis comes from the Latin, “on this side of/on the near side of”. If I were on a transatlantic voyage, I would be heading to Europe. If I were on a cisatlantic voyage, there would probably be more Jazzy scooters and college kids.

When a community is trying to educate people about their experience and advocate for themselves, language can be very important. Asking people what gender pronouns they prefer as opposed to making assumptions or using the term cisgender can serve as a signifier to show that you are an ally to their cause and that you support equality and inclusion. Saying cisgender also can serve to remind people that there are transgender people and cisgender people, not trans and normals. Although, I’ve always used the term “normals” to identify people who don’t do comedy. Here are a couple links to nice explanations of the thing: Trans 101 and Queer Dictionary.

Now, here’s a short counterpoint. I have nothing particularly against the word but it feels like it’s elbowing its way into my lexicon a little bit like that period of time during which certain feminists looked at me with pity for bowing down to the oppressive patriarchy if I didn’t start spelling “women” with a “y”.  I will use any terms that people want me to use in reference to them. If you identify as queer, gay, lesbian, trans, straight, andro, etc. I’m up for it. I might screw up the first time and say the wrong thing, but just kindly correct me and I’m on board. I’ve been called sir at the bodega near me despite the fact that I don’t even have short hair. I just have a low, forceful voice and a pushy demeanor. At my old bodega (I need a lot of pasta at strange hours) the clerk had a sign letting people know he was Sikh and to ask questions if they had any. We all need lessons in assumptions sometimes. My beef (sorry vegans) with the word cisgender is that I felt like before I even realized that there was a new word, people were already really angry about me not using it. It felt a little bit like, “We are using the word cisgender in discussion, and how dare you not be doing the same you oppression monster?” I only have feelings of support for equality, education, and a world where every minority group can stop having to fight the world just to attain the same rights as everyone else. I’m assuming that my feelings about this particular term come more from the fact that I’ve been reading the internet too much. As we all know the internet’s temper has a tendency to run a little hot.

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The Cat Can’t Take Any More Clothes Off

Dear Ask A Gay,
Everybody knows Halloween is a holiday where straight girls dress up as slutty versions of whatever.

How likely are gays to do this?  Is this practice limited to just straight girls, or do gay girls impress each other by wearing only their bras in public places?

Thanks,
Maria

Ah Halloween. I’m posting this late, but what else is new? So this year on Halloween I saw two girls dressed as slutty cats and it raised a lot of questions for me. First of all, why not slutty dogs? And if it’s because we associate the word “dog” with ugly then why not slutty puppies? Women are slutty cats all of the time but they are never slutty puppies. Is there a time in human history when we decided that we think that the cat looks just a little dirty? When was that? Second of all, how much more can you take off before it will cease to be a cat costume and you will just be a naked girl? The girls I saw this year were pretty much down to ears, a tail, thongs, boots and bras. If I saw them on the street I wouldn’t think, great cat costume. I would think, there are some naked girls.

So, is it just a straight girl thing? Well, here’s my probably inaccurate understanding of straight girls history. The way that women dress and look has long been controlled by society. The bodies that we see in media are impossible ideals that are often computer generated and usually not wearing much. There are half naked women all around selling us everything. Conversely there is a theory that women who aren’t wearing enough are horrible heathens and if you are going to keep a woman from spoiling then you should probably swathe her in cloth and never let her see the light of day. Basically, uncovering and covering women up has been a strange obsession for centuries.

Over time, between sexual revolutions and the internet which teaches us that our whole lives and everything should be public, we have decided in this country that a minimal amount of clothing is needed to go out and on Halloween you can cut that in half. Women believe that this is a way of owning their sexuality and being sexy is fun. Men believe that half naked women are awesome and wisely keep quiet about the fact that a naked woman with a nurse’s hat and high heeled white boots doesn’t look empowering at all.

Meanwhile, over at lesbian central…I was never out at gay clubs when I was in my prime naked cat years (17-23) so I’m not sure what the Halloween protocol was. What I have found more recently is that women at lesbian clubs do like to impress each other by wearing only their bras. These seem to be what I like to call a “going out sports bra”. On a Saturday night, one would go out wearing jeans, a G/O sports bra, t-shirt, gray hoodie, and fleece vest. Throughout the night as alcohol, dancing and generally poor air flow at the dance club causes everyone to heat up you lose the vest, hoodie and t-shirt. I don’t know if lesbians are impressing each other with said bras though. I think that once again they are impressing each other with their functionality. Clubs are hot and vigorous dancing can cause the girls to sag, so why not dress with intelligence? As for Halloween, I assume it’s all exactly the same. Add on cat ears.

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Waxing Politic

Dan Savage recommends that people who are gay and bisexual should come out because when people know that they know and love sexual minorities it helps lead to less LGBT-bigotry. Do I need to come out to my aesthetician?

I will begin by coming out about this question. My girlfriend asked me this question and at first I just laughed. I’m kind of a jerk. I haven’t written in a while though, so I thought I would use it to kick off this blog again. I also wanted to try to not misquote Dan Savage here because I personally love his column, so I pulled the phrasing of the beginning of the question from this article.

Now back to the question. I agree that coming out is really important for everyone. First of all, it is great for your sanity. Lying and hiding who you are is completely stressful. See how at the beginning of this article I outed myself as a jerk? I immediately felt more at ease after that. I know that it can be scary. I also went through a time in my life when I was really angry about it. I was so mad that people who were straight never had to sit down with people and have a super-awkward moment when they said, “Can we talk?” I thought it was a really gross phrase. Part of me still does and because of that, I like to come up with creative ways to tell people I’m gay. I find that I say it on stage a lot. I’m also trying to popularize the term “lady-gay”. That’s my own personal crusade though.

In general though, it can be scary and difficult to come out to people. It involves having to put your trust in someone, and if they react poorly, then you have to deal with that. There will be times when you meet someone and think, here’s a fine person to hang out with, and then boom, they are homophobic. It can be a real disappointment. Even worse, there will be times when it really just goes terribly. If you have had a bad experience, or want to read something really sweet, go to the website,  www.yourholidaymom.com. It’s loving moms supporting LGBTQ kids at the holiday season. It makes me cry. There I just came out again, I’m someone with emotions. Also, while I’m getting into it, my parents were great when I came out and still are. I always feel pretty lucky to have been raised in an open and accepting family.

The sad truth is that not everyone’s parents and loved ones are accepting. Some will grow to be but will need to take a while to come around and accept it. Sometimes you worry for years about how you think that your parents will react and then in the end they surprise you and do a great job in the end. Until you tell the people in your life though, you won’t know. You won’t even be giving them a chance. They won’t know that they know and love a person who is really awesome and also a member of the LGBTQ community. Instead you are just closing them out of your life. It really is the worst for everyone.

Now, should you tell your aesthetician? Sure! Why not? The reason that it made me laugh is that it gets back to the thing that I feel is unfair. In the beginning, you are in a constant state of sharing the news. “Have you heard the good news? I’m gay.” When I started coming out to people, I felt like everything became a conversation about my sex life. “Excuse me sir, I need this cab to take me uptown, also, can we talk? I need to tell you that I am a homosexual.” “I’m here, I’m queer, please fill it regular!” I got weary and began to do a certain amount of internal bargaining. If I don’t tell this co-worker that I’m gay is that okay? I don’t even like this jerk. I say that the answer on that one is you make the call. If anyone asks me point blank, “Hey! You gay or what?” I will always tell them. If they say dumb things like, “How are things going on the dating front? We need to get you a man.” I would tell them I was gay even if I wasn’t because what a stupid thing to say. If you are a person who talks to your aesthetician about your life and she says, “Who’s the new man in your life?” Well, there’s your chance, and lying is the worst. Especially when you aren’t wearing pants. As to the point that this would be a particularly awkward moment to discover that said aesthetician is homophobic, I understand that point. My only thought on that is that the waxers of the world have gay men to thank for really expanding their business. Not only do gay men tend to take the time to wax and groom, they also opened the door for straight men to do the same. If your aesthetician is homophobic it would be terrible for business.

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Geek Squad

Dear Ask a Gay,

Do you want Britney and Santana to get together on Glee, or do you think she and Artie should stay together?

Oh hi. Am I going to blog about Glee again? I guess the answer here is yes. I’m not even ashamed of it (I’m a little ashamed of it). Then again I found myself talking about Anne Rice books last night without any sense of irony so I might as well own up to the geek that I am. Anyway, here is an overlong answer to this question.

So, spoiler alert, Artie and Britney’s relationship is in trouble because Artie felt threatened by Santana and called Britney stupid. Meanwhile, Santana isn’t ready to be openly gay. Britney was going to publicly ask Santana to the prom and Santana stood her up. Is all of this emotional turmoil happening to tunes from Fleetwood Mac’s Rumours? Of course it is.

At first glance it might seem like my obvious answer would be that I want Britney to get together with Santana. And I do. Both because I feel like it’s good to show positive lesbian relationships on television and because I’m a gay shipper so I get excited whenever the relationship that I’m rooting for on a show is one that looks at all like my life. It’s a cross between a logical feeling of affirmation obtained from seeing mainstream culture portray lesbians and an illogical feeling that if these two female characters get together then somehow there is hope that in the future I will get to watch less Glee and have more sex. On the other hand Artie is super cute. You don’t believe me? Well watch this then. Slam! Super cute. (I tried to find one where he was in the wheelchair but couldn’t.)

This whole plot line and conundrum obviously made me think of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. I was rooting endlessly for Willow to get together with Tara. Who wasn’t? The scene in New Moon Rising when Willow tells Tara that she’s with the person she loves and blows out the candle is amazing. I feel like I’ve gotten lucky because of that scene. On the other hand, before Willow dated Tara, she was totally bisexual. She had a crush on Xander and was in love with Oz—she wasn’t just lying to herself about her true sexual orientation. So, Oz was a really well written character and once again, super cute. When he came back into town able to control his werewolf self, I felt a little torn about what I wanted Willow’s character to do. Then again, it was clear that she had moved on, so it ultimately made sense. When Tara died though, I felt like I would have liked to see Willow continue to be bisexual, but instead she was pretty much all gay. I suppose dating a half-woman, half-snake demon in subsequent comic books  proves that she is open minded, but still pretty gay.

I want Britney to get together with Santana but I want her to continue to be bisexual. I think that it’s important to show that there is the existence of sexual fluidity. Again, I might just want to see this because I have pinned some of my relationship hopes on that idea. I’ve mentioned my attraction to women with a sliding scale of straightness, yes? I think that there is a complexity in relationships between women that isn’t really explored on television.

Which of course made me think of My So Called Life. Okay, that’s a more personal leap but still, who doesn’t want to talk about MSCL a little? It’s important to mention here that when I was was watching My So Called Life I was in love with my straight best friend. She and I obsessively watched every single episode of MSCL and I definitely thought that Jordan Catalano was dreamy. I mean I would have made out with him, why not? I remember thinking that I totally wasn’t gay, I just had a super intense friendship, like Rayanne and Angela. Sometimes women just have really close friendships. When Rayanne and Angela were “broken up” after Rayanne slept with Jordan, I remember how much sense that all made to me. Of course eventually I had to own up to the fact that the thing that set my super intense friendship apart from being just friends is that I wanted to kiss her. When I owned up to that to said friend it actually led to a very strange moment in my life where she said, “I don’t understand, do you mean that you were lying when you said you like Jordan Catalano?” And I wasn’t, I was kind of bisexual. In the end I’m pretty gay actually, but I think the transition of,  “I’m straight, oops, no, I’m bisexual, oh, just kidding, I’m gay,” leads some people to think that bisexuality is just a stepping stone between straight and gay and in the end although it can be, I don’t think it always is.

So in conclusion, Britney should make out with Santana because people, I need this—but Artie is probably the more stable relationship there. He’s nicer and more self-accepting and less manipulative so in the end she should work that out.

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And God created Gays and saw that it was good

There’s not a question on this one but I ran across this video yesterday of Rep. Steve Simon giving testimony at a legislative session about a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage in Minnesota. His main quote came down to this, “How many more gay people does God have to create before we ask ourselves if he wants them around?” His point was that if sexuality is innate and not just a “lifestyle choice” then maybe God’s trying to make a point here. And who are you to question God? It was nice to hear because I am not particularly religious and so I don’t always know how to talk to people who come from that point of view. I thought this was a pretty simple and elegant argument.

When I started this blog, it was actually the day after I saw the movie, “For the Bible Tells Me So” a documentary about how families from very conservative religious backgrounds deal with having a gay child and whether it’s possible to reconcile being gay or having a gay child with religion and the bible. It was very well done and it gave me hope that there is a way to cross that divide. I believed that there was a way (what can I say, I’m made of hope) but I was also having some personal experiences that were calling that into question. So I decided, in a fit of ridiculous idealism that I would start a blog where I openly answered people’s questions about being gay and through education and open discussion and honesty I would solve the world’s problems! I can’t quite explain why I thought that religious conservatives and people with little experience with homosexuality and queer culture would seek out the blog of a lesbian comedian in Massachusetts but there you go. I just hope that my wide eyed idealism is charming…

So since then I have answered a lot of questions from my mom, liberal friends, a few confused teenagers, and some stuff I’ve made up. It’s fun to write, don’t get me wrong, but I’m still waiting for that one person to write to me with earnest questions about their recently out of the closet child or family member. I’m so ready to assure them that everything is going to be okay. More than okay actually. The very fact that your kid has told you that they are gay is a good sign that you’ve done a good job as a parent. You have a kid that is strong enough to be themselves even if that will be challenging at times AND they trust you enough to be honest with you. Don’t treat that trust lightly. Also, you may end up with an even stronger relationship with your kid because you will have conversations with each other that most straight folks don’t have to have. Even if those conversations are crazy awkward at times, you will definitely find out more about one another. And if you have to re-examine your faith due to this, then you will find out more about yourself. I’m ready to reassure some parent who is confused when their child comes home looking different or is worried that they have become a stranger that it’s the opposite. Your kid is probably finally becoming themselves. Also, you aren’t alone. Sometimes straight kids come home with blue hair and piercings. Or worse. Dreads and Berkenstocks. And white kids with dreads is one of the saddest things to see because the dreads are lumpy and not uniform so they look like a wet muppet spider is stuck on their heads. I’m ready to tell parents that as long as you keep and open mind and open heart, it only gets better from here.

So now all I need is one confused parent seeking the advice of one lesbian comedian. Anyone? What can I say? I’m a helper.

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We match on all the same crazy

Dear Ask a Gay,

Not new to Gay. So, I just got dumped by someone who seems to be saying I am too intense. (Because we are bothe femme she said it really, really nicely)

I thought this was one of me best traits for attracting a lesbian. What do you think? Also, I think she was great—but not funny enough for me. Do you think there are certain traits that make people “right” for you ? (Because maybe if it’s that simple I will change my match profile to just traits)

Call me old fashioned, but I believe that one of your best traits for attracting a lesbian is being a woman.  If you don’t have that one down then you are going to have to do some extra work. Other than that female thing, I really don’t think that there are any traits that will attract lesbians in particular. Lesbians—just like everyone else—are just a bunch of individuals each with different interests and different things that they find attractive. The bad news is there is absolutely no formula. The good news is that whatever your bag of traits happen to be, there’s probably someone out there who is looking for just that.

Now, onto this business of writing a Match.com profile. I myself, have a bit of a hard time with online dating in general. I suppose someone can write a really great profile talking about how much they love to hike and love new things and that they equally enjoy going out as well as appreciating a night in and then toss on a book they’ve read  to prove they aren’t low brow and a television show they like to prove they aren’t a snob and lo and behold those preferences will totally match someone else. Then upon meeting for a date, magic will happen. I guess that can happen, but I think that there is something great about meeting someone just by chance in real life. As opposed to meeting on some date where you are trying to go from online strangers to people who make out, you get to see them doing their thing, whatever that might be. Plus if you meet by chance in real life then it proves that you at least have enough in common to be out at the same place whereas all you know if you meet on match.com is that you both have access to a computer. That may just be me though. I’m looking for a meet cute. So listen up world, if you are looking to date me then we both better hope that we meet up in some wacky way. Bonus if we are both kind of awkward and fumbling about it. That’s my thing. Dating sites can’t get that done. Sorry OkCupid, I’d be better off signing up for some service where you followed me and pushed me “accidentally” into people you thought I would be good with. That tirade being said…

I don’t think that just a list of traits is the right way to go (although there is probably someone out there who would be totally into that). I’m going to get all metaphorical here, but you wouldn’t describe how great a cake is by listing all of ingredients. Maybe saying the word “chocolate” will get folks’ attention but they will drift off by the number of cups of flour. Without that flour though, you don’t have a great cake. When you think someone is awesome, and you completely fall for them and they completely fall for you it’s because a whole bunch of things happen to mix together in just the right way for both of you. It might not even be in the way that you would have expected. Humans are crazy that way. So in conclusion, yeah, I think there are certain traits that make someone completely right for me and I think that none of them really count for a damn when I fall for someone. Usually when I fall, all I can tell you is that I like the person for being so completely who they are. Is that just me?

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I love Glee’s mash ups, so what?

Dear Ask a Gay,

Are you seriously crying at an episode of Glee?

This is a great question. I do seem to be crying at every episode of Glee. If there’s anyone out there who can send me some balancing hormones I would greatly appreciate it.

I really did set out to hate this show. There was something about the description that I was pretty sure I would be able to watch one episode and then use that single experience as an excuse to searingly criticize it every time someone brought it up. But when Kurt’s dad gives him talks about how proud he is of his gay son? I mean, Jesus. I’m a mess.

The premise is absurd. I’ll get that out of the way. A traditional Glee club forced to sing the school Alma Mater at assemblies might get their asses kicked or a slushy in the face here and there, but one that does highly skilled and produced show stopping pop numbers that sometimes involve Gwyneth Paltrow? I think they would do fine socially. And yet I managed to not even hate it when Gwyneth had to sing Cee Lo Green’s “Fuck you” as “Forget you” when usually that really burns me. I mean shut the front door, folks. Didn’t we give up on being tasteful when we started slapping slogans on 8 year old’s asses like “Juicy”. It makes me want to teach toddlers curse words. And in real life would Jane Lynch’s character just be fired? Of course. But Jane Lynch is an amazing comedic actor who rocks an Adidas track suit dress. Also, if she and her partner would be interested in adopting me, I would not be against that.

The show is campy and if you hate musicals in general then I will most likely not win you over. Even if you hate it and you insist on only ever watching Toddlers in Tiaras, it’s still a great show to support because it’s super gay positive. I mean they have four gay characters and a bisexual and they do shows about accepting who you are. High five to that. The show addresses bullying in schools which is highly relevant right now in light of recent suicides. Chris Colfer’s Golden Globe win was significant to the LGBTQ community, as is Jane Lynch’s activism in the gay community. It also received the GLAAD Media Award for Outstanding Comedy Series for the second consecutive year. A LOT of people only learn things from their televisions. Without doing any research, my guess is 90% of Americans (this is not meant to be a factual statement). This ought to be frightening to you but in this case at least, they are learning something about accepting people of different sexuality, gender identity, race, body type, and physical ability.

That’s a good thing. And it must be doing a good job because it’s pissing people off. You know, those types of people who hate messages of equality and self-acceptance.

A Houston, Texas station, RIV FOX 26 is being called on by GLAAD to issue an apology after the station aired a news segment which questioned whether positive portrayals of gay and lesbian characters on shows like ‘Glee’ could negatively impact teenagers. They had Bryan Fischer on from the anti-gay organization, the American Family Association and he incorrectly stated that being gay “is conduct that bears enormous psychological and physical risk to those that engage in it” and that “is just as risky and just as dangerous as injection drug use.” (From a Press release from GLAAD). For more information: www.glaad.org/defendglee.

So, maybe the difference between you and I is that you aren’t ready to admit how often you cry at Glee. I guess I just come out about everything. I still say it’s a good show to support.

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Jeez mom…

Dear Ask a Gay,

Why aren’t you writing in your blog anymore?

This was an email I received from my mother the other day. So I suppose here we are. What was once, “Why don’t you ever visit?” has taken it’s logical course through, write, call, email, text, and now blog. I guess next people will wonder why I used to retweet them all of the time but now barely a twitter. Anyway, I am going to just take the easy out and blame my lack of blogging on the easiest scapegoat.

talking beer glass Jeez mom...

Actually, I can think of few things that would so effectively result in my lasting sobriety as a talking beer mug. Really a talking anything can become annoying. I mean, tell me you’ve never wished that you could just take the batteries out of someone and shut them up. Am I right? Okay. I will begin this blog again…

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Hey, so are you a homosssuhapian?

Dear Ask a gay,

How do you ask someone if they’re gay without offending them?

arton695 300x199 Hey, so are you a homosssuhapian?

Hint: This guy is gay. But it would be funny if you asked him, so are you gay? Or are you just here to be supportive.

I think I brushed this topic in another post but I saw this question on twitter and thought I would take it head on.

Sadly, we can be kind of uptight, we humans. If you ask someone point blank, you are risking showing off either your preconceived notions or airing their prejudices and that can be awkward. It’s a tad bit more confrontational than some folks like to be. You may also be doing a premature outing which can help someone to speed along their self-discovery but can be messy at the same time. Some gays need a little bit more closet time than others before getting all of that light shed on them.  You may end up with flat out denial, anger, or a friend on a nasty bender destined to end in ill-advised drunken straight sex. Or that may have just been me.

Here are a few questions to ask yourself before going down this road:
1. Why do you want to know?
2. Are YOU gay? (see how I just asked you point blank…I’m breaking down barriers)
3. Are you at a family reunion and feel like outing your cousin because you’ve had too much wine?
4. Are you in Texas or other hostile environments? The army? Baptist revival?
5. How do you feel about gay people?

a. Best thing in the world to be!
b. Just fine with it.
c. Anxious…
d. You completely don’t understand why someone would want that but hey, it’s their life.
e. You are asking because if they say yes, you are really gonna be a real d-bag about it.

After examining your motives, location, and attitude you should be able to better assess whether it’s a question to ask or whether you may be better off waiting it out for a bit. If you are asking because you think it’s a pretty awful thing this whole “gay thing” and you want to air your views or if you are asking because if they are gay you really want to “save them”, then you probably should write me and ask another question. I would suggest you ask, “How can I become more accepting of other people’s differences?” I will hit that question out of the park.

So let’s say you still want to ask? Great! Maybe you want to ask someone on a date? Is he a cutie at the gym? Do you want to set a girl up on a date with your awesome lesbian friend? If you have an awesome lesbian friend, maybe set her up with me? I’m gay. Anyway! A few tips. First, sometimes a person will be trying to put a certain vibe out there, so if you are getting a certain vibe, then use some instincts.  Second, if a person has a liberal attitude and hangs in some diverse circles, then if you ask and they aren’t, they will be likely be fine with it. Even if they aren’t, most liberals have to pretend they are fine. If they listen to enough NPR then you can ask pretty much any darn thing and they have to be fine in order to maintain the label, “wordly”. If it’s a tougher case—it might seem squirrelly—but I say drop hints and put an open attitude out there.  Weird thing about this? It isn’t much different than sussing anyone out. You put out some feelers and then check the look on their face. Example: “I would love to have coffee but I would be late for my gun club…” And you could be trying to ask a much more offensive question than “are you gay”. What if you were a raging bigot and you wanted to make new bigot friends. You pepper your talk with some off-color jokes, mention Confederate flags and how great Lynyrd Skynyrd is. Really, asking someone if they are gay is the much better question. It’s positive! You are asking, “Who do you love? Who in this room are you checking out?” Some people are out there trying to work into conversation, “who do you hate?” Jerks.

Final note: I was looking for a picture of someone with a rainbow flag and found a picture of two guys together that was just the cutest and it linked me to the Religious News Service. Tricky. On the front page there is a quote of the day and it is from a Reverend from Georgetown University talking about how he used to hug kids after Mass but doesn’t any more because of the Catholic Church sex scandal. I don’t believe hugging was the problem. Also if you no longer hug kids because you fear that parents and children alike would no longer trust you or your motives then isn’t that a problem? Stay tuned for a future post where I compare priests to lawyers. “Sure I keep him around in case I get into a pinch with the law but I don’t trust him any further than I can throw him.”

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