Dear Cousin Butchie,
I feel very stupid and helpless right now. I thought I had a great plan for staying in the closet for as long as I needed to and then surprising everyone with the news when I jumped out of that closet. I'm psyched to come out now, and the complications are going to be more difficult than I ever expected when I wrote out my plan.
I don't go to a school with a Gay-Straight Alliance, my family is clueless (at least, I tried to make sure they are) and I need to come out to the girl I've been dating for two years.
Thinking of my need to find a girlfriend to throw everyone off the track about my being gay, I heard about a girl in school who had taken one of those "no sex before marriage" pledges. It was something Kirk Cameron tries to get teenagers and young adults to promise. Well, the girl turned out to be very attractive and very much into her pledge. What more could I possibly want? I had a steady date for the prom and for a few family weddings, and we went on dates which included some of the hottest guys in school.
Things went well, and I congratulated myself for being so clever when the girl told her parents how wonderful I am and that I have never tried to do anything except give her a chaste kiss. I had lots of fun with her and the totally awesome straight dudes with their girlfriends. On one of the rides at Great Adventure, I was on one ride where I got sandwiched between two of the guys in their bathing suits. Oh yeah, it was that water rapids ride, and the girls were on one side of the round tube and the guys on the other. I was really scared when I had a very obvious physical reaction to the guys on the ride. The girls didn't notice, and the guys actually patted me on the back. Laughing about it with them made things return to normal very quickly. They also considered me to be one of THEM.
My problem really starts now. I have met another guy and we have just the right chemistry. We came out to each other and this makes me ready to come out in my last year of high school. I think my girlfriend also has a lot of interest in this guy's looks and personality-- and no one would ever consider him (or me) to be anything less than heterosexual.
How do I break this news to my girlfriend? She's attractive and fun to date, but she thinks I have taken the same celibacy pledge and has marriage plans way into the future. HELP!!!
You didn't sign a name, but that isn't a big problem.
You asked for advice, and your Cousin Butchie has never knowingly met anyone with a story like yours. I know that some gay guys have a friend who is a girl-- and they arrange to help each other out with necessary social events at school and in the families. Most of the time they are lesbians who are seeking what your seeking-- NOT a boyfriend, but a BEARD. You get the drift? This girl was not your girlfriend in the usual sense of the word. She thought you were the answer to her prayers to find a chaste young man whom she would date and love but remain a virgin until her wedding TO YOU.
If you are a selfish and rotten human being you can break the news now. This will assure that you break this girl's heart. She will feel betrayed by you, and she will probably feel stupid with her friends.
You have your senior year of high school left. I suggest that you stay in the closet until you graduate. Yes, see your boyfriend with discretion... but there is no valid reason to burst this girl's balloon. Chances are good that you will go to different colleges or get jobs in distant cities. This way you will let things fizzle slowly.
Please don't be offended, but I feel I must tell you that if you come out now and cause this girl pain and confusion and feelings of betrayal, then you are a lot lower than pond scum, a tool, a heartless person... and karma teaches us that things like this come back to haunt us.
She has unknowingly made your life easier for the last few years. Have the decency to continue it in your senior year and let it die out on its own.
Hey, Cousin Butchie!
Before school starts again I need to ask your advice on how to handle a dude who finds me to be his Mr. Right!
All last year I knew that this weird boy in most of my classes has been flirting with me. I have been as kind as possible but I may have been making a mistake. He is from a poor family, lives in a bad part of town, dresses like a pig, has crooked teeth and usually smells strange. We also play on the same sports team. He knows I am gay because I am proud of what a great dude I am. He, on the other hand, stays in the closet. When the team plays an away game, he manages to sit next to me on the bus. We have never talked about the gay issue, but he has commented on my looks and in the locker rooms after our games he looks at me with x-ray eyes and has even winked at me.
I do not blame this dude for coming on to me. I am really very handsome. I am also extremely smart and will probably be a lawyer. My parents are both professionals and I can have pretty much anything I want. I always wear designer clothes, including my underwear. I have some close friends who are very much like me. We are planning a trip to Rome and we share "news" about guys who are gay and hot in school, at the shopping mall....anywhere!
So how do I get the troll to stop being so needy and to stop coming on to me. I have very high standards and expectations, but I don't know how to proceed without hurting this troll's feelings.
Rich Gay Boy with Standards
Hey, Rich Gay Boy!
I am not addressing you as "dear...." because I don't feel that you are dear to many people, and you certainly are the epitome of attitude and arrogance.
If you pay attention to some gay men you will find that they are very much like you are. They are very wrapped up in themselves, cannot pass a mirror without kissing it, act rude to other gay men (often just until they get to know them...if that's meant to happen.
If you catch the daily news you will have to admit that our world certainly is lacking in kindness and respect for others. As LGBT people, Cousin Butchie isn't trying to sound like Pope Francis. BUT we need to make every effort to accept and befriend one another. So often our closest friends become those with whom there have not been any sexual advances. In reality, they have not been turned off by our shortcomings and become the people we often consider as brothers and family. The same applies to women (lesbian and heterosexual) who often are there for us in a really caring way.
So...Rich Gay Boy, I advise you to start showing some care and compassion to all of our brothers and sisters. No one should ever be called a "troll." Sometimes you might assume it's difficult to become friends with a lesbian or a straight woman. In general, I have found that we do become friends with them. This is especially mystifying to the heterosexual guys who wonder why the women are hanging around with us so much. They are puzzled because they don't understand the dynamics here. They would also be mortified if they knew some of the things the women tell us about them (L.O.L.)
For your immediate answer regarding the boy who is flirting with you, I suggest that the first time you can have a private one on one conversation with him, tell him that you would like him for a friend.... and that you honestly know that some guys make much better friends than lovers. Tell him you desire the friendship but that's as far as it can go. He just may become another one of your close friends!
Hello, my faithful and wonderful readers.
I appreciate the fact that you read my advice blog, and I ask you to indulge me this time in asking (again) for some words of wisdom from Uncle RJ.
I'll ask him his opinion and see how he replies.
What is your opinion of the political scene in the United States and the increasing terrorist attacks in the United Sates and in the rest of the world? AND for which of the candidates will you vote in November?
I ask these questions because some of the very right wing religious (evangelicals, etc.) are saying that the world is doomed and the blame goes right to us, the LGBT community. One nun said that we do things which make God "puke."
I have no idea how to respond to this stuff, and I find that most of my friends simply don't care.
Do you think we are in the end times and that the world is about to end as we know it?
Thanks, from your nephew, Cousin Butchie!
Dear Butchie and all of his readers,
Thank you for bringing this question to me to answer. I do not have beliefs and opinions which are totally trustworthy, but they do represent what life has taught me from the time before Butchie's parents were born, and I have formed my opinions on what life has taught me thus far.
First of all, I believe that people have never had access to worldwide news the way they do today. I recall my own parents saying that they knew about the Holocaust and other horrendous periods in history by attending the "News Reel Theatre" in Newark, NJ. (and other cities). In essence, we have never before been bombarded with so much bad news before. If you think about the horrible events of the past, for example: the Inquisition, the torture of "heretics" as just a few examples, I would not suggest that we have moved forward very much. I don't think life is hopeless, but it can be very scary at times. When the fundamentalists of every religious group isolate passages from the Old Testament and the Book of Revelation in the New Testament, they are doing what so many fanatics do-- THEY ARE CLAIMING TO KNOW where this world is headed and the causes for any disturbing and frightening events. LGBT people are easy for some of these self proclaimed prophets to blame. We have been implicated for and blamed for everything evil in society which has happened since the beginning of time as they know it. If we take a search engine and read all the times that the end of the world has been forecast by Jehovah's Witnesses, Oral Roberts, Pat Robertson, various Catholic mystics and Jewish prophets of doom... you may get unhinged unless you study how wrong they are about almost everything that goes wrong in this world.
The hardest thing for LGBT people to understand is that they are created with their unique sexuality and that the bigotry and bullying of heterosexual society is embarrassingly at the center of all our oppression and condemnation through the centuries. What people fail to understand, they condemn. Using their self-righteous stupidity makes it easy for them to join in the fight against what they fear and what their various religions tell them is right. The terrorist suicide bombers believe they are gaining the approval and reward from the "god" of their understanding. How many times in this country did people lynch African-Americans for crimes they were imagined to commit? And how many people opposed an end to slavery because they found it approved in the bible?
Let's make a concerted effort in the LGBT community to become more loving and caring for one another. The old issues of racism and sexism and intolerance need to be swept away so that we know in our heart of hearts that we are a loving people... still somewhat MARCHING FOR OUR LIVES. The march is now as important as it ever was. Ellen DeGeneres ends every program by exhorting us to be "kind to one another (or is it "each other"?).
I don't feel that it's appropriate to name the candidate I want elected in November. Actually, it's so easy to buy into Donald Trump's exploitation of the fears and insecurities we probably all have deep down inside. This, I believe, betrays what America is all about.
So... I didn't say which candidate will get my vote, but I think it's a no brainer.
Please get back to asking Cousin Butchie for his expert advice. I think he's getting depressed (whether he admits it or not) because he doesn't have all the answers. NO ONE DOES!
Have a safe and gay summer,
Happy Pride Weekend to all of our readers.
I will not hesitate to let Uncle RJ write in this space. He bribed me.. LOL.
It is expected that this will be the largest NY Gay Pride Parade ever. Gone are the days when the parade started up in the Central Park area and went to the Village in a much longer parade. Now, it's much shorter but its meaning is especially important this year.
The horrendous murders in Orlando two weeks ago have had a profound impact on LGBT people of all ages all over the country. I would not have the stupidity to explain any reasons for the Orlando Massacre. We just know how many of our LGBT brothers and sisters were killed and others are still recovering at various stages in and out of hospitals. We also have many grieving parents... who could be OUR parents.
We will have more people marching this year in support of the Orlando Massacre. It has motivated many to realize that our safety as a community is not as safe as we have assumed, nor are we accepted by others in the way we had presumed and hoped.
It is at times like this that we really come together in the solidarity we should have at all times. For instance, in the beginning of the A.I.D.S. pandemic, so many lesbians and gay men joined together in caring for the people with the disease which decimated our entire community. The beginning of the Gay Men's Health Crisis, Act Up, God's Love We Deliver... all sprang into action. And the NAMES PROJECT A.I.D.S. MEMORIAL QUILT began as a healing way for survivors to remember those they had lost. "One Life to Life" was the first soap opera to deal with the disease in a week of stories all being taped in New Vernon, New Jersey.
From anyone's point of view, it seems that our LGBT brothers and sisters rise to the occasion when a crisis hits. BUT we really should think about how we treat each other in the post crisis times-- the way we so often don't show much solidarity. Can we say that racism and ageism have disappeared? Do we ever take time to listen to the experiences of the men and women who started a Gay Freedom movement before most of us were even born?
Let's take some time to thank people on the parade route who have continued to support all of us even as their numbers waned. P-FLAG, Dignity, GAAMC, various gay ethnic groups, HIV Supporters still lobbying for early detection and treatment of a scourge which hasn't gone away. And how do we treat LGBT people over 30 years of age? In many places they appear to be invisible.
Whether you are in NY on Sunday or not, let's make this a day when we start treating one another with respect... and with the love which is so essential for us to survive. We must never forget how far we have come AND never rest with the assumption that the struggle is over.
Have a wonderful Pride Celebration!
Uncle RJ... and Cousin Butchie just told me to tell you that he approves!
ALSO... There will be a wonderful tribute to the victims of Orlando tomorrow morning (Saturday, June 25th) at Sacred Heart Roman Catholic Church in South Plainfield. Following the 9 A.M. Mass there will be the planting of two memorial trees in front of the church. As soon as possible there will be a stone monument between the trees. All are welcome.
I am writing to you because I know that you are around my son's age-- and because he has let me read some of your blogs. I don't know where else to turn because my son is out of the closet, but I am not! I just don't have the right answers to give when people say ignorant things.
I have been very accepting of my son and his friends over the past two years. I even went to several Pride events last year. Now, I am scared to death that some mentally deranged person or group of people could kill my son and his friends just as horribly as the Radical Islamic pig terrorized, seriously wounded or outright killed so many gay and lesbian people in the prime of their lives, the ages of my son and his close friends.
I love them but I am not blind to the very possible dangers in New York on June 26th.
I also want to add that I have attended a Pride Parade in NYC and was mortified and more than uneasy with the way some of the gay and lesbian people "dressed" and made fools of themselves. What possible good does this type of display achieve?
Very Worried Mom
Dear Very Worried Mom,
Thank you for reaching out, and from all that you've written I thank you for being a loving and accepting parent of your son and a support to his friends in the LGBT community.
Your fears are part of the grief and helplessness felt by many, many people since Sunday's unspeakable massacre of forty-nine young people (LGBT and Straight) in Orlando. There has been a remarkable and wonderful outpouring of support and love from the sane and caring/loving people from EVERY faith and every walk of life. There have been some expected tirades from the likes of Pat Robertson of "The 700 Club," but they might have redeemed themselves if they had been humane and true to the demands of their faith traditions. That wasn't gonna happen!
My Uncle RJ has told me that right after the September 11th destruction of the Twin Towers and almost three thousand people there was fear and trembling, probably on a larger scale. Life as Americans had known it would never be the same again. New York City virtually shut down. People were silent and somber for days. The theaters were shut down and Broadway went dark. Churches and synagogues were filled to capacity. It was the start of funerals for people of all faiths and those of no faith at all. The clergy were at a loss for words and they found it even harder to console the families of those whose loved ones were simply buried in the rubble.
Amidst the feelings of impotence, rage and grief, President George Bush, Mayor Guliani and Governor Pataki all spoke to New York and the nation telling them to diminish any sense of joy and victory from our enemies and get back to being vibrant and resilient. They were told to go back to the restaurants and theaters-- and resume living as best they could. I don't recall who said it...but, "LIVING WELL IS THE BEST REVENGE."
No one can totally assure you that the coming Pride events will be safe, BUT you can know that the security of the area will be monitored closely by the full force of the F.B.I., police, Homeland Security and anti-terror forces in our nation. Your son and his friends are old enough to make up their own minds, and they will probably not be stopped by the fears which are running rampant in your mind. I don't think you could ask for anything more. Just remember that your son (and the parents of his friends) can be proud that they raised kids who grew into proud and caring people. Without you, it would never have happened as well.
As for the sights one sees at some Pride Parades, Cousin Butchie has always been very interested in seeing some of the scantily clad LGBT people, but I can understand the shock some parents have when they first see this type of parade marcher. Although it possibly does more harm than good with the general public, it is only one day a year. It's one wild and crazy day to flaunt all that has been hidden or reviled for so many years.
Love to a Great Mom,
ORLANDO MASSACRE OF OUR BROTHERS AND SISTERS
I asked my Uncle RJ how the murder of so many people could have happened in the United States in 2016. It is not the absolute worst murderous event to occur in the world-- ISIS has been victimizing people in many parts of the world. We can recall the horrendous killing of many different minority groups by the Nazis in their concentration camps. I have tears in my eyes, but I will now quote what Uncle RJ told me:
'AFTER A VERY SAVAGE AND HORRIBLE EVENT IN MY OWN FAMILY, I WAS LOSING FAITH AND HOPE. I ALSO COULD NOT HAVE CHARITY OR FORGIVENESS FOR THE LOSS OF MY NIECE AT THE HANDS OF A MENTALLY DERANGED 'BOYFRIEND' AND I REACHED OUT TO ONE OF THE HOLIEST, LOVING, AND PASTORAL GAY-FRIENDLY PRIESTS I HAVE EVER KNOWN. WHAT HE SAID THEN, APPLIES NOW. THERE ARE SHOCKINGLY TERRIBLE THINGS WHICH OCCUR IN OUR LIVES, PERSONALLY AND COLLECTIVELY, WHICH MAKE US NUMB AND SO VERY HURT. ANY FAITH WE POSSESS IS TESTED TO THE POINT OF DESPAIR. SOME OF US WILL ASK HOW AND WHY GOD COULD HAVE LET THIS HAPPEN. DISMISSING ALL OF THE SENSELESS ANSWERS WE MAY HEAR, WE MUST REMEMBER THAT THERE ARE TIMES LIKE THIS WHEN WE CAN ONLY LOOK TO THE GOD OF OUR UNDERSTANDING AND CRY. NEVER FORGET WHAT A VERY WONDERFUL RABBI TOLD ME... THAT WHEN HUMANKIND CRIES, GOD CRIES.'
OUR PRAYERS AND OUR THOUGHTS GO OUT TO THE FAMILIES OF THESE LGBT BROTHERS AND SISTERS WE HAVE PROBABLY NEVER MET, BUT WHO ARE STILL OUR COLLECTIVE PARENTS WHO NEED TO KNOW WE ARE ALL SHARING IN THEIR GRIEF AND SORROW.
Hello, Cousin Butchie!
Today is Memorial Day, and it's also very close to the anniversary of when my brother died from the complications of A.I.D.S. back in 1996. The new drugs didn't arrive to take effect soon enough.
I am still devastated by his loss. Mark was the most caring, loving, generous and giving men I have ever known. He was the kind of son my parents will remember with pride until their dying days.
Today we went to the cemetery to put flowers on his grave. It is Memorial Day in honor of those veterans who lost their lives in the service of their country. Is it wrong to include my brother in this time of memory? The entire family gets together and we have a picnic style meal (what Mark always enjoyed) and we recall stories about him. It seems to keep the love alive.
Mark's Lesbian Sister
I know from my own experience that there is never a right or a wrong time to grieve and remember a loved one who has passed on. The hurt MAY lessen over time, but there's no hard and fast rules for feeling grief and loss. Sharing that love for Mark on Memorial Day is certainly acceptable. You need not answer to anyone about this. As long as you keep Mark's memory alive, you keep Mark alive and close to your hearts.
Since Mark passed away from A.I.D.S. you might want to contact the NAMES PROJECT/A.I.D.S. MEMORIAL QUILT chapter in your area. It is very therapeutic for a family to create a panel which can be added to the thousands of names of other people who have physically died of A.I.D.S. and are always in our hearts. Making a panel for a loved one for the QUILT is a wonderful way to remember him.
P.S. On this Memorial Day, let's recall all of the men and women who have died in the service of this country, and let's also remember all the veterans who died never being able to let the world know that they were LGBTI and truly and silently served their country as well.
Dear Cousin Butchie,
I am out to just about everyone at my all boys high school. I know that sounds like paradise to some guys, and I'm proud to say that I have experienced no problems or discrimination. I know that I am really lucky and fortunate and blessed. I have so many friends who respect me and the gay issue never comes up... except for some of the students who have come out to me.
I am now being asked questions about the transgender bathroom issue.
Honestly, I have had very little knowledge about transgender people and I even confused these people with transvestites!
I need to know what to tell my peeps when they bring up this situation which is being covered by the media almost daily.
Out & Proud
Hi, Out & Proud!
Your email is honest, and I think that everyone in the LGBT Community needs this kind of honesty.
You have also described your school situation as ideal. You must have very good friends, and it seems only logical that they would come to you asking questions about transgender people. Admitting that you don't know much about them and the "bathroom controversy" is a wise move right now because you aren't prepared. I have had some gay friends say some very stupid and ignorant things, and it's all based on ignorance.
I suggest that you Google the information you need. Many of us in the LGBT Community have totally ignored the "T" people among us. In fact, some had no idea at all what the "T" stands for.
When I was younger, a female cousin told me that she felt like a man trapped in a woman's body. At the time I guess I merely thought it was drama and a bid for attention. I apologize to her for that. In my case it was possible to "cure" stupidity.
Transgender people know how they feel. They often feel isolated and discriminated against. They often also receive deplorable treatment from gays and lesbians and straight people.
We have these people as our brothers and sisters in our community. As you said in your email, that your school friends give you respect. Respect is what we really lovingly owe to these transgender people. While ignorant people may look down upon them, most of us know that WE are still looked down upon by some similarly ignorant people.
The "bathroom issue" is very puzzling to me now. If a woman biologically and mentally feels that she is a man, so be it. Dressing as a man is something in this person's comfort zone, and no one should deny them this right. If you were in the men's room and someone walked in with jeans and a flannel shirt, would you be disturbed?
WE might also note that this issue isn't a "problem" which is going to impact on a high number of LGBT people.
It is difficult not to see that the "religious right" among Christians and Jews (some of them!) is crusading to make this a big issue and has dreamed up a number of scenarios which are not even logical. GIVEN THE FEELINGS OF THESE SAME PEOPLE... WE WOULD NEVER HAVE HAD FUNDAMENTAL RIGHTS FOR AFRICAN AMERICANS AND WE WOULD NOT HAVE EVER COME TO THE VICTORY OF LEGALIZING SAME SEX MARRIAGE.
So... Out & Proud... Get the information you need, and make the effort to treat transgender people in the way you are treated in school-- and in the way that all people deserve.
Uncle RJ helped me understand by his logic and decency. However I didn't even try to understand until I was SURPRISED to learn that one of my teachers was a transgender person... and there have been others I have met. In a very real sense, they are often at the rejection level that we have all experienced in one way or another. YOUR LOVE AND UNDERSTANDING CAN LITERALLY SAVE LIVES.
Dear Cousin Butchie,
Because Mother's Day has already happened I was not going to write to you, but I think holidays will always stink unless I get some handle on the problem now in 2016.
My boyfriend and I went to my mother's house for dinner on Mother's Day. My b/f insisted on this, and it didn't go well. His mom has never been accepting since when we started dating seriously last summer... I'll give her credit for making a really good Italian meal, but she almost totally ignored me. She served her husband first, the assorted relatives, then my b/f, herself, then Sparkie the dog, then me. There were some other clueless relatives at dinner and they were the only people I felt comfortable with. My b/f's mom also made a good number of remarks about how her other son and his wife were the joy of her life. In fact, she is NOT my brother's wife, but they have been living together for six years and have five kids... ages 2,3,5,6 & 7. I've noticed that they fight a lot and could be guests on Jerry Springer's show.
My b/f doesn't ignore his mother's attitude, but he doesn't get as angry as I do.
On the way back to our dorm, we stopped at my mother's house to give her a box of chocolates. My mom and dad are wonderful people. They have told me that they love me and want only good for my b/f and me.
Since Father's Day will probably create the same kind of treatment, what do you suggest we do?
NOT FEELING WELCOME
Hi, Feeling Not Welcome,
Since you guys went back to your dorm, I'm assuming that you share a dorm room. You appear to have a good relationship cooking, but you will need more smarts in handling the treatment you get from the mother of your b/f. Living together will give you time to really plan for Father's Day or any holiday.
The first thing that comes to mind is how strange it seems that your b/f's mother cooked and served a large meal on Mother's Day. She should have been taken out for brunch or dinner. In a restaurant venue, she would not have as much freedom to be obnoxious. Since money has to be a big consideration, why not consider taking the b/f's parents out to a reasonably priced restaurant on SATURDAY night... when the prices aren't pumped up. On the holiday itself, go to your parents' home. Just as with straight couples, there has to be an equal division of where holidays are spent.
You could also take the easy way out by calling the parents and telling them you have a viral infection and that your b/f has also come down with it. I think this is the type of situation which begs for a lie or two to make things easier and better for you gentlemen.
Since many college dudes do not find jobs in NJ you can solve the problem by finding employment far enough away that visits to both your parents cannot be made too often.
Oh yeah... as for Father's Day, invite both your dads to a minor league baseball game. It will be a boys night out, and the b/f's mom (and yours) are not invited. The b/f's mom can babysit for her five grandchildren-- and you can also invite your brother to the game.
Dear Cousin Butchie,
I honestly never thought I would write to you for advice, but this problem has me going totally crazy.
I am a freshman at a local university which I will not name (but President Obama will be the graduation speaker L.O.L.). My problem all year has been a roommate from hell. When I first met him, I thought he was okay. He is also gay and out of the closet, but he's not like any other gay man I have ever met. He doesn't seem to ever consider that we share the same room. The result is that he will use all the hot water when he showers, snores like a buzz saw, farts at any time, asks me to leave when he has a playmate coming over. When I request the same courtesy, he makes certain that his half of the room looks like a garbage dump. I have had to do most of my studying at the library and I also have to hide any beer or it will be stolen by this roomie.
How can I make sure this kind of situation isn't repeated next year? I want to remain somewhat friendly with him, but I cannot handle having him as my inconsiderate and filthy roomie.
Felix Unger Type
Dear Felix Unger Type,
I can understand the problem you have with your roommate. If you are really the "Felix Unger" type, the roommate would have to be far removed from the Oscar Madison "type" for you to cohabitate peacefully. In other words, he may not be as bad as it seems, but that's a moot point.
I believe every dorm has a monitor or a dude who handles situations like yours-- and ones far worse. Tell him now that you would appreciate his help in getting a better roommate for next semester.
Should you arrive next semester and find you have the same roomie (not a likely happening), ask for a transfer as soon as possible. Don't wait until you become unhinged again.
Dear Cousin Butchie,
I am writing to you because I have read your blogs in NJ Gay Life... and I don't know who else to discuss things with.
I am gay, and my parents took a little time to get comfortable with this "news" but they quickly educated themselves and asked me many questions. Now, it's cool with them.
But, they have told me that they are very concerned about my younger brother who is telling them that he is really transgender and plans to transition as soon as he can. He is 13 years old and sometimes dresses in jeans and shirts which would better fit a girl. And there are other signals. My parents tell me that they can't make any progress trying to understand his decision. I have not been told anything at all by my brother, so I am in the same "feeling stupid" mode as my parents. They have agreed to seek whatever help is available.
I don't know if you can suggest any place to turn so that we can deal with this situation as a family. Forgive me, but I had a brief time getting my parents to accept me as a gay dude. My little brother has really topped them (and me) on this revelation.
Dear Feeling Stupid,
First of all, I suggest that you stop saying you are feeling stupid. This doesn't help matters any, and you are really just not well informed on this subject.
For many years, there has been reference to the LGBT community. Stop and think how often we have given any consideration to the "T" people in our community identity. Admittedly, the transgender people have been coming out in fairly large numbers in the past several years but we still haven't responded as well as we should. They are still part of our community!
Instead of trying to accept and understand your brother on your own, it would be a great idea to go to a specific support group for transgender people and their families. It will work best if you all go.
Any PFLAG group in NJ will be kind and understanding and somewhat helpful with this situation. However there are two NJ chapters which have specific meetings only for people and families dealing only with our transgender people and their issues-- which is only slightly similar to the gay and lesbian and bisexual challenges.
Please call either of the PFLAG numbers listed below. Even if it might be a distance, I urge you to go and make friends with other transgender people and their families and friends. You will be given valuable resources which will make this stage of your lives much better... and your little brother will thank you and love you more for going to real lengths to understand.
PFLAG-Ridgewood/Bergen County 201-287-0318
PFLAG-South Jersey Chapter 908-814-2155
Any readers who might wish to add some encouragement or resources for this family is asked to reply to NJ Gay Life in the comments space following this blog.
Dear Cousin Butchie,
I hope you can help me with this problem because no one else even takes me seriously.
I am 16 years old and attend a private school. I am absolutely and undoubtedly in love with one of my teachers. He is super handsome, dresses well, has manicured nails, a smile that melts my heart, and no wedding ring! I know that he suspects I have a crush on him because he is always so nice to me. Do you think I should ask him for a date? Would I get in trouble?
So in Love
Dear So in Love,
First of all, I don't know anyone who didn't have a serious crush on some teacher at some time in high school.
My advice is to continue to have your fantasies, but don't ask him for a date! That is totally in left field and could make him feel very uncomfortable. You want to know if YOU would get in trouble! This teacher would get in big trouble if he ever accepted one of your overtures. There have been many stories in the media about these teacher/student debacles.
Look-- you only have two more years. When you are 18 and not attending this school anymore, you could make a move and ask for a date. Remember to let me know in two years.
Hi Cousin Butchie!
I am a Catholic priest and wish to remain anonymous. For the record, I am liberal, loving and gay. I also abhor the sex scandals and the men in the hierarchy who made it all worse by moving pedophile priests from parish to parish.
My reason for writing is to express my views on a new television program which has made me angry. "The Real O'Neals" is supposed to be about a typical Irish-Catholic family. Because Dan Savage is one of the writers, and because I figured that parishioners would be watching it, I saw three episodes. The advertising which generated my interest in seeing it is the excellence of Dan Savage and the fact that the son in the show comes out of the closet in the first episode.
I can definitely say that I have not seem such an idiotic show in ages. I want people here to know that there are many laughable things which occur in Catholic families, but nothing is ever as stupidly portrayed as it is in "The Real O'Neals".
I hope you will let me warn LGBT people that the show is dissapointingly trashy. The Catholic Church has enough problems, but this show is a total embarrassment.
Thank you... and God Bless!
Dear Father Anonymous,
When I first started reading your posting I thought you were referring to the Academy Award winning "Spotlight" which focuses on the mishandling of the sex abuse crisis in the Catholic Church, and I was ready to make it clear that this is an excellent movie.
I was wrong, and I'm happy that's so.
This will be a brief answer. I have watched this program, and I agree with you about its banal and unrealistic qualities. I am also not happy about the fact that any number of television critics have given this show praise. Perhaps, readers will watch "The Real O'Neals" tonight (Tuesday) at 8:30 PM on Channel 7.
You are invited to write back with your opinions of the show.
Let's hear from you!
Dear Cousin Butchie,
The question I need to ask you has really been ticking me off for weeks. I waited to ask you because I was trying to figure out how to handle it myself. So... I am asking you, and I hope you don't find my question silly or trite. I am dating a wonderful guy, and we really think we will wind up spending our lives together. We are both 16 so we're pretty new at the relationship concept, but we do love each other and never date others.
I have told my older sister that I am gay, and she was not deleriously happy, but she was accepting. I have been able to share with her, and together we will probably decide when to tell the entire family. I'm not looking forward to it, but having her help will be a good thing.
Having told you that much, I have to confess that my sister has made some totally inappropriate remarks about my boyfriend and me. There have been many basic questions which didn't bother me because the answers were pretty simple. Now, she asked me in front of two of her friends the following question: "Bro, in your love affair who is the husband and who is the wife?" I was stunned and didn't answer. The three girls giggled and started talking about something else.
Please, Cousin Butchie, tell me how to answer a question like this. I'm sure it will come up again.
Thank you so much,
First of all, I agree with you 100% that your sister's question in front of her two friends was totally inappropriate. It could possibly be that she was sincere in her question, but the most appropriate response was the silence you gave her. Congratulate yourself for that! Many straight people think about this type of question when they meet an LGBT couple, but the answer is truly none of their business. The next time, and there will be a next time, that anyone asks you this question, ask them if they are having oral sex with their partner and if it's satisfactory. This is enough to stop a majority of the dumbasses in their tracks.
For the record, my answer is that each situation is different, but that there are no set rules or roles in most relationships. As they grow and evolve, versatility most often takes over. In addition, with same gender partners, it's very easy to change places at very short notice-- as the spirit moves you.
P.S. Just want to add this. Cousin Butchie was at a beautiful lesbian wedding a few weeks ago. It was witnessed by a clergyperson whose religion would not have approved. This officiating clergyperson was (is) definitely heterosexual with several children. The last words to end the ceremony were "ENJOY AND LOVE EACH OTHER." It was a wonderful affirmation and should be said to every person making a life commitment to another of any gender.
Dear Cousin Butchie,
Hi, how are you? I am fine.
My b/f and I have been having an argument about Valentine's Day cards. I hope you can give a definitive answer.
My boyfriend's mother is very loving and accepting of our commitment. On the other hand, my mother is coldly cordial (at times) but is clearly unhappy about my sexual orientation and my friendship with my Mr. Right. I want to send my mom a Valentine's card signed by both of us. Since she doesn't really like my b/f he isn't keen on this idea. He tells me that his mom isn't supportive BUT that he will sign both our names on the card.
I am confused and befuddled. I know you're not Miss Manners, but what would you do?
This problem doesn't need to be as much of a problem as you're making it. Send your mom a card and sign your name. Have your b/f send a card which begins with the words "To someone special." She cannot find it offensive, and it retains a delicate balance (which her mind still needs). And when you send a card to your b/f's mom, MGG, sign both names OR you might also have your b/f send a "someone special" type card.
When Mother's Day approaches, I suggest the same approach.
Please write back and let us know how this works for you.
Dear Cousin Butchie,
I am disabled due to M.S. I am retired and unable to work. My choices were: Move home with my parents, move into assistaed living, or stay in my home and pay someone to help me.
I chose the third. After many interviews, mostly women, I chose a man who had just lost his partner and the bank was taking his home.
We fell in love after about a year. Now, he works two jobs, does not want my money and buys all the groceries. He is never home and I have told him this is unacceptable, and he just laughs. Now, if I buy something, he yells at me for blowing money. He has nothing to do with my money.
I don't love him anymore, but I need him to clean the house, take care of my property, and do the grocery shopping. He has a terrible temper and I don't know what will happen if I tell him I just want to be friends.
Your situation seems difficult but by no means impossible to solve. You do not love this man anymore, and that is a key element here. I am assuming that any sexual component of this arrangement is totally unsatisfactory or non-existent.
You have chosen your third option in dealing with your entire life situation. I would advise you to sell your home and go into an assisted living facility. I know of one which is anxious to welcome more LGBT people, and I believe there must be others.
If you fear any violence from your "partner" I suggest you tell him that he must see a counselor or mediator with you. Have a friend (or anyone you know) to be with you when you have the initial discussion.
What you are experiencing is abuse, and you don't ever need your disability to define you. He may be counting on that, but you are fortunate to have the finances and the home sale to add to that.
R.D., think about this rationally and see if you are receiving any respect, help or love from this man.
If you fear abuse, you can contact the Division of Aged and Disabled Services in your county. A caseworker will take on this situation and look out for your best interests. You just need to be positive that you want to end this situation. In my opinion, I would throw him under the bus.
Dear Cousin Butchie,
I read your blog/column all the time, and it helps me sometimes to understand questions about living my life as a gay young man. Right now I need advice of a different kind, and I don't want to share this with my family or friends. Plus, it would take too long to write to "Dear Abby" and wait for an answer, this is driving me crazy right now. I am 14 years old and I hope you will help.
My grandmother has always lived with my family. Like with any member of a family, there are so very happy moments and some not so good or happy. Several days ago, she made some very nasty remarks about a tattoo I had just acquired. I chose it because I like it and I think it's tasteful and will always have meaning to me. Grandma thought otherwise. She told me that it made me look like a hoodlum and that she never realized how stupid I could be until she saw that I had "this damn thing on my arm." I was not expecting this reaction, and without thinking I told her that she was a miserable old lady and that she could drop dead for all I cared.
Long story short-- Grandma died two days later. I am obsessed with the belief that it was my words which caused her death. I cannot share this with anyone in my family because they will blame me and hate me.
Out of Control ...aka Feeling Very Sad and Guilty
Hi, Out of Control,
I am answering this question immediately because I realize that you are quite young, possibly even a "twink" and you are probably in need of some positive reinforcement quickly.
First of all, Cousin Butchie offers his condolences at the passing of your grandmother. Death is always a major trauma in any family. I think that everyone tends to look for answers about WHY a death occurs. When a seemingly reasonable answer comes to mind it's difficult to ignore that reason. In your case, Out of Control, I assure you that your kind of harsh words to your grandmother did not cause her to pass away.
While it's difficult to rationalize or explain a person's death, we do know that it's what happens to everyone ever born, and it will be at a time we most often don't expect it. Everyone from the various faith traditions (and those with no specific belief system) must realize that no one knows exactly what occurs following a death.
Based on Cousin Butchie's beliefs, your grandmother is with you in spirit and will meet you again. I can almost assure you that your grandmother forgives you for the entire "tattoo situation." You did not cause her death for several reasons... but the paramount reason is that you don't have the power to cause a person's death with words said in anger.
The issue here is learning a lesson from it. We should never say angry or mean words to anyone-- but most especially to members of our families. Everyone knows that there are things we say that siblings or other relatives find offensive. It's a good idea to follow the age old practice of never letting the sun set without reconciling any harsh words or disagreements with people we love. Not meaning to be ultra-dramatic but, you need to make sure that the last words a loved one hears from you are loving and caring. It could be the last thing they ever hear...and not making a truce will make YOU feel sad for a long while. Start now to never let harsh words remain at the end of the day.
Just another brief but important consideration... When thousands of people died at the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001... the last words shared by many of the victims and their families were "I love you." It is a beautiful way the survivors will remember their relatives.
Dear Cousin Butchie,
I have a question I need answered, but I think I know what your answer will be. Well, here goes.
I've been in a relationship of sorts for the past thirteen months. My b/f is handsome and hot and plays on the basketball team. He can also be a lot of fun when we're with other people. It's the alone time which bugs me totally. If we are going out for dinner, he tells me where we're going. Never has he asked where I might want to go. He always criticizes the clothing I buy. He criticized my last haircut and demands to go with me to his stylist next time. I know that all of this sounds like crap considering we're not out of high school yet, but I'm perplexed. Oh... I forgot to mention that when there is any kind of intimacy he is concerned with his pleasure and could really care less about mine. He also refers to me as "girl" and this happens in public. I must also admit that I have read some of his email messages and it appears quite clear that he's schmoozing with other guys.
What would you do?
Hey, Thrown Under:
I could answer your email with the two words "dump him," but I think you expect more.
So... Dump Him and don't look back. Your b/f is apparently a very self-centered, egeomaniac who has no feeligs for you except for the physical accommodation you might be at certain times.
I am glad you tracked down his emails (whether this is ethical or not doesn't enter my mind now). You found absolute proof that he is "schmoozing" with other guys. If "schmoozing" means what I assume it to mean, consider this a primary reason to dump him.
Following our heterosexual brothers example, it's very common that they act like your b/f does. The only difference, I believe, is that they brag more about their conquests and imaginary successes.
Thrown Under, don't waste any more time with this jerk. Realize that there are other considerate and caring dudes out there, and you will meet them once you give up trying to accept the horrendous treatment from your current b/f. And you might tell him that you read his emails, and don't apologize. This should easily and quickly break up a one-sided relationship that is not going anywhere for you.
Dear Cousin Butchie,
My problem is probably so different and unique that you won't have an answer, but here goes....
I have been dating my boyfriend for almost a year. We are both freshmen in college, and the relationship has been good to excellent most of the time. We are both planning to major in psychology, we both act butch enough to fool the world and are fabulous basketball players who will be on the varsity team very soon. Dan's parents are extremely well to do. Their house looks like a mansion and they have two servants. Dan has often told me that they can be obnoxiously wealthy and brag a lot. I've always been treated well by them and have never had a problem. My parents are middle class and happy with our small home. They are also proud that they did save enough money so that I don't need to work while I'm going to school. When I can, I manage school and a job, like the usual kind of pizza delivery and supermarket work.
The problem is difficult to explain without me appearing to be a dope. Dan has surprised me on my birthday by telling me that he is taking me to Rome this summer and that it's all paid out of his kind of large allowance part of which he has saved over the past year and a half. We're talking about $10,000!! When he told me about this birthday present I was excited and thought it was great. Now, I'm having some second thoughts. I don't know what it will do to our relationship if I go along with the vacation trip. I don't want to feel indebted to Dan, and I don't feel comfortable letting him pay all this money when I pay nothing. Dan even told me that we would privately exchange wedding vows in Saint Peter's Basilica right in Vatican City.
What can I do to feel better about this gift? I guess I just feel that it makes us considerably less than equals. I do not have the money to pay for my half of the cost of this trip. How do I get out of this without causing hard feelings or even throwing a wet towel on what has been a a great relationship so far?
DEAR POOR BOY,
SOMETHING TELLS ME THAT I HAVE ANSWERED A VERY SIMILAR QUESTION IN THE PAST. I CAN'T SEEM TO LOCATE IT, BUT I'M SURE I WOULD HAVE ANSWERED IN THE SAME WAY.
I THINK YOU SHOULD HAVE A LONG TALK WITH DAN AND TELL HIM HOW YOU FEEL, BUT MAKE SURE YOU GIVE HIM THE CHANCE TO TELL YOU WHY HE DISAGREES. DAN WANTS TO GO TO ITALY, AND HIS IDEA ABOUT MAKING PRIVATE VOWS SOUNDS VERY ROMANTIC. I'D SAY THAT DAN IS A KEEPER WHO LOVES YOU VERY MUCH. IF YOU REFUSE TO ALLOW THIS VACATION TO HAPPEN BECAUSE YOU DON'T HAVE YOUR HALF OF THE COST, YOU ARE ACTUALLY BEING SELFISH AND KIND OF UNREASONABLE. THIS IS THE KIND OF DEAL BREAKER THAT COULD POSSIBLY MAKE DAN START LOOKING FOR ANOTHER BOYFRIEND. DAN WANTS TO GO, AND YOUR ATTITUDE COULD MAKE HIM BACK OUT OF IT BUT NOT WITHOUT SOME ANGER. HE MAY START TO CONCLUDE THAT YOUR ENTIRE FUTURE WILL BE THIS WAY AND HE COULD POSSIBLY HOOK UP WITH ONE OF THE HUNDREDS OF DUDES READING THIS COLUMN AND WISHING THEY COULD TRADE PLACES WITH YOU.
WHY NOT AGREE TO THIS ROMANTIC VACATION IF DAN ALLOWS YOU TO BUY COMMITMENT RINGS. THEY NEED NOT COST A FORTUNE BUT THEY WILL BE A VERY SOLID EXPRESSION OF YOUR LOVE FOR DAN. I TRULY THINK HE WILL BE OVERJOYED BY THIS GESTURE ON YOUR PART. MONEY IS ALMOST ALWAYS A PROBLEM FOR COUPLES STARTING OUT TOGETHER. DON'T RUIN YOUR FUTURE WITH DAN BY BEING TOO PROUD TO LET HIM PAMPER YOU IN THIS WAY. I WOULD HAVE TO VENTURE TO SAY THAT MANY GUYS WOULD BE OVERJOYED TO HAVE THIS KIND OF PROBLEM.
LET ME KNOW HOW THINGS TURN OUT. A POST CARD OR A HUGE HUNK OF CHEESE WOULD BE GREAT GIFTS... AND COUSIN BUTCHIE NEVER HAS A PROBLEM DATING SOMEONE AS GENEROUS AS DAN. HE'S SORT OF USED TO THE DUDES WHO GO OUT FOR DINNER AND THEN WHIP OUT A CALCULATOR TO FIGURE OUT THE EXACT AMOUNT EACH OWES. IT'S SO EMBARRASSING AT ARBY'S AND WENDY'S!!!!
HAPPY DECEMBER 25, 2015
GREETINGS TO ALL OF MY READERS HERE AT NJ GAY LIFE!
I AM WRITING THIS JUST BEFORE 4 P.M. ON CHRISTMAS DAY... AS WE ALL HAVE BEEN INFORMED BY THE MEDIA OR BY OUR OWN PERSPIRING BODIES, THIS IS THE HOTTEST CHRISTMAS SINCE WEATHER RECORDS WERE FIRST RECORDED. I KNOW... YOU HAVE JUST YAWNED! SO DID I, BUT SINCE I WAS TYPING THIS OUT I DIDN'T HAVE THE DEXTERITY OR THE MOTIVATION TO COVER MY "PIE HOLE"... a term I overhead one eight year-old little girl say to a friend of hers at Bridgewater Commons Mall.
I AM FULLY AWARE THAT WISHING ANYONE GREETINGS FOR A PARTICULAR HOLYDAY/HOLIDAY IS NOT CONSIDERED POLITICALLY CORRECT. WHILE SOME OF MY FRIENDS ARE VERY SERIOUS ABOUT TRYING TO GUESS THE ETHNIC/RELIGIOUS BACKGROUND OF THE SALES ASSOCIATE (aka a cashier) AND BEING CAREFUL TO SAY SOMETHING APPROPRIATE. IN VIEW OF THIS GUESSING GAME, COUSIN BUTCHIE LETS A GENERIC HOLIDAY WISH WORK BEST FOR HIM. LIVING IN A VERY SCARY WORLD, I BELIEVE THAT THE SINCERE GOOD WISHES WE HAVE FOR EACH OTHER IS SO IMPORTANT IN THEMSELVES THAT WE NEED NOT FEEL EMBARRASSED FOR WISHING A JEWISH FRIEND A HAPPY/BLESSED CHRISTMAS... and we can add all of the variations of the HOPE AND PRAYER AND SAFETY THAT WE NEED... ABOVE ALL ELSE. AND THE GREETINGS OF A SINCERE ATHEIST OR AGNOSTIC IS ALSO AN AWESOMELY SINCERE GIFT.
FROM YOUR COUSIN BUTCHIE, THERE ARE MANY, MANY WISHES, GOOD THOUGHTS AND PRAYERS I EXTEND TO THOSE OF YOU WHO HAVE A CURRENT OR BROKEN ABILITY TO FIND COMFORT IN WHAT ANY PARTICULAR CHURCH DOES OR SAYS. AND TO THOSE CHERISHED READERS WHO HAVE 'JUMPED SHIP" OVER LGBT ISSUES OR THE VERY SACANDALOUSLY & OUTRAGEOUS WAYS THEY HAVE COMMITTED OR HAVE INVESTIGATED THE SINS OF CHILD ABUSE AND MISUSE OF POWER AND ASSETS... REST ASSURED THAT FINALLY, WITH MUCH PRESSURE FROM POPE FRANCIS, THERE IS NO WAY THAT THE GUILTY ARE NOT BROUGHT TO SOME TYPE AND DEFINITIVE PUNISHMENT. WHAT THE LAW CANNOT DO AFTER THE STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS HAS PASSED, THE CATHOLIC CHURCH NOW BRINGS THE CRIMINAL PEDOPHILES BEFORE CHURCH COURTS COMPOSED OF LAWYERS, DOCTORS, SOCIAL WORKERS, AND VICTIMS OF ABUSE. PLEASE READ THE FOOTNOTE (marked with ***) When Cousin Butchie runs out of steam. THERE IS A 'WHISTLE-BLOWER' POLICY WHICH ALLOWS PEOPLE TO ANONYMOUSLY ASK FOR THE INVESTIGATION OF A PRIEST OF ANYONE WORKING FOR THE CATHOLIC CHURCH!
COUSIN BUTCHIE is NEVER, EVER a bible-banger who will knock on your door and infer that I have all of the answers to questions for which you are stupid and have no spiritual validity or peace.
MY FIRM BELIEF, AS A GAY MAN WHO HAS NEVER ALLOWED ANY TOP ECHELON JACKASSES TO FORCE ME AWAY FROM MY IMPROVING... BUT NOT ANYWHERE NEAR PERFECT... RELIGION. I'M GLAD I HUNG AROUND AS MANY OF FRIENDS WERE LEAVING. TO THOSE FRIENDS, or anywhere else willing to take a fresh look at vibrant and dynamic and socially involved parishes... PLEASE ASK ME WHERE YOU CAN FIND A NEW EVOLVING PARISH. There are more than a few in the Central NJ area. Just send me a message at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I'll conclude this (yeah, I know...Thank God) with the titles of several songs which are now used in progressive Catholic parishes. Go to YouTube and their singing will possibly move you to take another look. The songs are 'ALL ARE WELCOME IN THIS PLACE" AND VARIOUS RENDITIONS OF "BE NOT AFRAID." If you sign on to Saint Matthias Church in Somerset there is a very moving rendition of 'ALL ARE WELCOME" and what they are singing is what they do very effectively--welcoming everyone, without qualifications or roadblocks--wherever they are on their journey.
So... Happy/Merry EVERYTHING..as together, we pray or yearn for peace.
The rumor that the pope is God's grandson who lives with God the father in Vatican City has been discredited by 1,830,133 at last count. (LOL)
Your Cousin Butchie
*** The footnote is merely to say that the child sex abuse outrage has been identified in the Catholic Church, a brief check online will tell you that no institution or church working with children is exempt. The financial culpability to the Jehovah's Witnesses is very significant. Equally, you will be able to read about the Mormons, et al.
Dear Cousin Butchie,
I just exited the closet about eight months ago, and I'm finding that there are some aspects about gay dating which are not cool at all. My past experience was with girls and I was 14 or 15 at that time. Like, we were friends and we dated, and we remained friends and dated again. The girls were pleased that I wasn't hitting on them for anything more than a dance. And their parents loved me because they didn't need to worry that I was manhandling their daughters or trying to force sex on them.
Now that I am out of the closet, the girls are still my friends. The problem is that the guys I date are very different from the girls. LOL, in the obvious ways, but also when it comes down to the physical part of a date. So often, the date goes well, we share some laughs, talk about every subject under the sun, etc. The "etc" is that often we violate Cousin Butchie's suggestion that we stay dressed and keep our hormones from taking over. And you have always said that a guy should have a condom or two with him just in case it's needed.
I can spare you the juicy details about how really hot it has been getting to know the other dude in a romanctic and erotic way. No, I never went this far with girls I dated because I wasn't attracted to them in the same way.
Here's the problem. Once I have slept with another dude chances are I never hear from him again OR I know he is going out of his way to avoid me at school and everywhere else. Several have given me fake phone numbers. It's not like anything horrible has happened, but it seems they want to move on to their next "crush" and add me to the list of dudes he has scored with. Am I exaggerating or just telling you what always happens?
Dear Forgotten About,
I would not accuse you of exaggerating this situation, and I admit that what you described is more common in dates with other dudes than it is with the dates of straight couples, and with the dating of two women.
I remember hearing a joke when I was still in the pre-school sandbox. It went like this:
What does a lesbian bring on the second date? A U-Haul truck.
What does a gay man bring on the second date? What second date???
Looking back a few years, Cousin Butchie remembers that other boys were always driven a lot by sex. Even if it was good, they wanted to go forward and try it with another boy. It was a typical pattern followed by some gay, bi, straight and experimenting boys. It is conduct which seems to illustrate both insecurity and lack of maturity. HOW MUCH MATURITY CAN BE EXPECTED FROM BOYS WHO PROBABLY DON'T EVEN SHAVE YET IS A REASONABLE QUESTION.
My advice for any young gay dudes (such as yourself and any gay men under the age of 80!) is to slow down a little and determine what kind of date you'll be having with the other dude. You will probably have heard rumors and boasts and bragging from the other dude or others who know him (in the biblical sense). If it's your honest intention to become intimate, make sure you have condoms. A very revealing fact about men who date just for sex is that he will only be concerned about the pleasure he has and he could care less about his partner.
Writing or speaking as I have in this response can be dangerous. Some parents and other older people assume that "true love waits" and that often their children will not sexually act out the way these parents did themselves.
Uncle Butchie did have sex on the first date. OMG! Strike that from the record! No one would believe that Cousin Butchie could have stooped to such depraved and pagan conduct! The truth is that it was not something I intended to do, but the hot and horny dictates of one hormone driven teenager with another dude who acted much the same... like a dog in heat took both of us by surprise... but it was an ever so happy a version of surprise. We were in Cousin Butchie's basement playing with some awesome model trains setups, so naturally we both felt the need to check to see if the other's jeans were zipped. Unfortunately they were zipped, so some direct action was needed. The rest of the evening is history. We awkwardly did the deed and actually kissed. Then we didn't see each other again for six months.
So, where has all of this "advice" brought us? If you are in the early years of adolescence and want to "mess around" with another dude, no one can really stop you. You will know where to make sure you have privacy. Quite possibly, you may not see the other dude again for a long time. OR you may have seemed to have found real love. Gradually you will know if he's right for you at this time in your life. AND if he disappears from your life, be thankful that it happened so early in your life. You will have learned a big lesson-- something which can only be learned through experience... or trial and error as it might be called.
So, Mr. Forgotten About... you have asked Cousin Butchie a question which suffers somewhat in the translation. I have tried to be as honest as possible, but the answer is not a "one size fits all" response.
Keep me in the loop as this situation unfolds for you. Once you write to Uncle Butchie it makes you part of the family so a progress report would be fabulous.
Dear Cousin Butchie,
I probably have the most unusual situation you have ever heard. I hope you can give me some good advice.
My boyfriend and I have been seeing each other for about six months. Usually, our dates are only on certain days because he says he must be at the Kingdom Hall (like a church for Jehovah's Witnesses) with his family. He is definitely gay. I will swear to that, but he says that his commitment to his religion is extremely important in these last days of the world as we know it.
I find him very depressing when he spouts the end of the world talk, and I don't understand how he can be gay and so involved in this religion.
My friend, I would have answered your question privately, but you are dealing with a problem which Cousin Butchie has experienced in his own family. For that reason, it is important for me to get the word out.
Your boyfriend is attempting to live a double life-- as a gay person and as a Jehovah's Witness. Were it a different religion I would not be so critical. From what I know, and what YOU can watch on YouTube, is that there is no such thing as a gay Jehovah's Witness. If the elders find out that he is gay, he will be shunned by the entire congregation. He can attend services but no one will speak to him. His parents will be pressured to cut him totally out of their lives. Jehovah's Witnesses should not be called a religion. Rather, it is a cult.
If your boyfriend continues to see you and claims to be a Jehovah's Witness, you need to ask him what will happen if he ever comes out. It will be a devastating treatment he receives. If he remains a Jehovah's Witness, sooner or later, people will figure out that he is gay. He will gradually understand that he cannot play on both sides of the fence.
In this cult, the following practices are demanded:
1. Not associating with anyone who will not be converted. Virtually divorcing all family members not in the cult.
2. Celebrating no birthdays or holidays, not even Thanksgiving.
3. The expectation is that the member not associate with anyone out of the local cult's Kingdom Hall.
4. Higher education is frowned upon because members should be preparing for Armageddon.
5. Taking THEIR translation of the Bible as the absolute word of Jehovah. The fact that they have re-written it to suit their beliefs is considered an inspiration from on high.
6. He will be expected to go knocking on doors to recruit new members on a regular basis.
So.... You may very well lose your boyfriend, but it is a question of WHEN and not IF he has been brainwashed to the extent that he views you as a temptation put in his way.
I know that it will be difficult, but go online as I suggested and hear the experiences of other LGBT people who have come out while they were members.
Talk to your boyfriend. Let him watch the first person experiences on You Tube. Ask him whether he is going to choose between the cult and you. In all probability, he will break up with you. If he tries to tell you that he can be both gay and a Jehovah's Witness, kick him to the curb and get on with your life. It just ain't going to happen!!!
P.S. If anyone reading this wishes to affirm or correct anything I have written, please feel free to do so.
Dear Cousin Butchie,
I am out of school now and I'm having a rough time finding dates or even friends using one of the free services (Craigslist) and a few others. I have answered some ads and received really stupid replies. I know that this kind of thing works for some guys, but it's driving me bonkers. What do you suggest?
The free online dating sites can work, but you must keep some of thee pointers in mind so you don't have a problem (or two or three) with your online quest.
First of all, be honest in the ad you place or answer. BUT DON'T BE SO HONEST THAT YOU GIVE YOUR NAME AND ADDRESS OR ANY INFORMATION ABOUT WHERE YOU GO TO SCHOOL OR WORK OR HANG OUT.
Secondly, be sure that you get as much information as possible from the person who wrote the ad you're answering. He may say he doesn't want more than a few emails, but tell him that you need this to know what's right about meeting him. AND IF YOU MEET HIM AND HE IS NOTHING LIKE THE DESCRIPTION OR PHOTO HE SENT, GRACEFULLY SUGGEST THAT YOU THINK YOU WANT TO LIMIT THIS TO A FRIENDSHIP. If he gets aggravated, so what!
Third, be honest about yourself... but don't go into identifying yourself in a way that the dude can know your full name or address, etc. I'm stating this twice because it can be a real horrendous situation that you create.
Fourth, if you do mutually agree to meet-- make sure it's in a public place, like Starbuck's or Burger-King or a restaurant/diner. MAKE SURE THAT YOU TELL SOMEONE ELSE WHERE YOU ARE GOING. Arrange for your friend to phone you at a certain time. In this way you can let your friend know you're okay and not feeling in danger OR you can react as if you're being told about an emergency and must leave immediately.
Fifth, Don't agree to meet at one of the adult bookstores or in some desertred or out of the way place. Red flags all over on this point!
Sixth, most of the time, a dude who places or answers an ad is looking for some sexual encounter. Make sure you know a lot about the dude and also explain what you're looking for. Demand safe sex if it comes to that.
Seventh, there is usually a place with online sites listed as "strictly platonic." That's a good way to form friendships which may or may not blossom into relationships.
Cousin Butchie wants to be sure you protect yourself-- physically and emotionally. Often these platonic postings lead to a good friendship which might develop into more in time. Just read those platonic ads carefully. I was shown a few, and the writers obviously had no idea what "platonic" means.
Take your time and Mr. Right will probably show up and surprise you. The answer is never that you should lower your standards, unless you have impossibly attainable standards. Like- there was this one friend of mine who said he will only settle for Matt Damon or Prince Harry. Well, it ain't gonna happen.
Dear Cousin Butchie,
I am dating a Catholic dude. My parents aren't delighted that I am gay, and they are actually less delighted that my main crush is Catholic. We have had some discussions about religion, and our future plan would be to adopt a child (maybe two) and form a stable family unit. We haven't discussed what faith we would choose for them. I am always called my sweetheart a "Non-Catholic" by my sweetheart, so I began to call him a "Non-Protestant" to show him how demeaning he was being.
I think you have let on that you are a Catholic, so I would like your opinion on this question... and I would appreciate your take on Pope Francis and his visit to the United States. I will admit that he seems loving and humble and caring, but will he change the Catholic Church for good and show some acceptance of LGBT people?
Also, do you think it matters how we raise our adopted children?
Dear Henry IX,
I think you are rather mature in discussing the religion of the children you will adopt when you are married to your Catholic boyfriend. My real opinion, from what I have seen in my few years of gayhood, is that when two men or two women marry and adopt they will both gravitate to the religion of one partner, or they will become part of the number of "nones" who identify with no faith/religion at all.
Time will tell, and I would guess that you have much more time ahead of you before this question arises.
As for Pope Francis, I am extremely impressed by this man's way of running the Roman Catholic Church. He has kindly but firmly attacked many "sacred cows" in the church. He has emphasized the primary need to become a church with a priority to care for the poor, the oppressed and the marginalized. In the spirit of Saint Pope John XXIII he speaks often of closer ties with other faiths.
Just recently, I read that Pope Francis has been quoted as saying that he would be "delighted to meet with gay and lesbian people in the United States." That one desire, along with his "Who am I to judge" statement enkindle a hope for change in the church. I can say that from all I have read, Pope Francis may not succeed in making all the changes we need, but the issues will all be out on the table and no one will be able to ignore them or made idiotic assertions again. WE ARE NO LONGER "INTRINSICALLY DISORDERED."
Please don't think that your Cousin Butchie is centered only on Pope Francis. The Protestant leaders like Episcopal Bishop John Shelby Spong and Pastor Tony Campaolo and Brennan Manning (just to name a few) are also great examples of forward thinking in their faith traditions. It's just that Pope Francis, driving in a Ford Echo, putting showers (and barbers) for the poor in St. Peter's Square, cooking his own meals, living in a small apartment, and challenging some of the "big shots" in the Catholic Church is more visible. In fact, I know a rabbi who once said that Francis is the kind of man he wished would join his "tribe."
Please look for the good in each other's religions, and really talk it all out (without any influence from your parents or his).
P.S. If you ever need a Godfather or witness, Cousin Butchie is available with about four hours notice.
Dear Cousin Butchie,
It feels strange writing to you, but I want an answer from someone who doesn't know me or my family.
My brother is 15 and his birthday is coming up in two weeks. We usually exchange gag type gifts and crazy birthday cards so when he told me that he wanted something special for his birthday I was surprised. He asked me for lubricated condoms. He blushed when he asked for them, and I was just taken a little off guard. Believe it or not, I don't know if my brother is gay or bi or straight. He has dated girls, but I now recall that he hangs around with a few very good looking guys-- one of whom is rumored to be gay. I don't know if it's true or not.
I asked my friend "Cynthia" what she would do, and she told me to tell our parents. That's an option, but I feel I would be betraying my brother.
Would you please give me your opinion? If I'm wrong tell me.
Dear Big Bro,
I would first of all have to say that your brother must trust you a lot to ask for this present. I would say that he trusts you not to tell your parents about his request.
Cousin Butchie would buy him the condoms. After his birthday find a time to talk to him about the present you gave him. Ask him if he has any questions and tell him about any experiences you have had. Start by talking about any problems you had buying condoms first. Open the door to the discussion and you may establish more of a bond that will last all your life. Another intro for this conversation is discussing where to put them so your parents don't find them.
I seriously don't think you need to tell your parents about this.
Your brother is choosing to act responsibly, and I believe he has a fear that most dudes have-- embarrassment buying condoms. Unless there is an older woman at the cash register, no one looks twice when these. Tell him that when he buys them for himself, he should go to a chain drug store where family planning products are on clear display. He can then take them to the hottest looking cashier and he may wink at your brother when he puts them on the counter (along with the three other unnecessary items he is purchasing to take the attention off the latex).
Dear Cousin Butchie,
Hi! I am 16 years old and I've been reading your blogs for more than a few years. That's why I want to ask you a question which is bothering me because I may have missed a great opportunity to come out to my dad.
Last month, my mom was visiting relatives and my dad was alone with me and my sister. One night after my sister went to bed, my dad decided to give me the "Big Talk" about sex. My friends have all told me how this happened with them and some of the stories are hilarious.
My dad is a cool man, and I would have to say that he's a hunk. I know that he gets lots of attention from women, and I just have a hunch that he may have been unfaithful more than a few times...but that's another story. Dad told me about the birds and the bees in a way that almost made me laugh. He made it all seem so technical and used medical terms which were creepy. Like he said "The man's semen goes from his penis to the woman's vagina". He assumed that I knew a lot about masturbation, and he was correct on that topic. So he rambled on for awhile and gave me a hug and said that he knew I would always be careful and respectful about sex. He then gave me a huge box of assorted condoms, and he opened one and showed me how to roll it onto a banana. Inside, I was laughing my ass off. Dad was very pleased with himself for how he broke all of this "news" to me, and he asked me if I wanted a beer. Go figure!
I am kicking myself because I think I missed exactly the right time to tell him that I am gay. My mom is a terrific lady but I don't want to tell her first. I think she might get emotional or hysterical.
Missed the Boat
Hi, Missed the Boat,
First of all, thank you for being a faithful reader over the past few years. Very few people will admit to something like that!
Coming out is not a precise science. It all depends on the family dynamics and the way the gay person feels about his/her sexuality. I believe that you may have missed a great opportunity when beer entered the equation. Being a little bit buzzed can make a discussion of this kind easier for both the parent and the teenage son.
Why not ask your dad if you can talk to him again and that it has to be just between the two of you. Tell him that you love him and that secrets are hard to keep. Then tell him. Make sure you have the phone number of the nearest P-FLAG chapter. I also suggest that you start by asking your dad if he ever remembers looking at another guy in the locker room or at the beach. Most straight men will admit to this and then qualify it very quickly by saying it was not very often. Explain that while you have female friends, you are only attracted to other dudes and that there's no way you want to deny it or hide it any longer.
If you want, tell your dad he can write to me.
Readers are invited to share their thoughts and questions/problems on the blog page of NJGayLife.com or may be directed to KippyNJ@aol.com.
Dear Cousin Butchie,
My brother and I are both gay. I am 17 and he just came out at 15. Strangely, it surprised me. I never suspected it. Our parents have been cool about it and they actually said that it was my place to keep my brother out of trouble. Sometimes parents say stupid things.
The problem is that I've been uncomfortable about my brother for about six months, and I wonder if his coming out was a bigger deal than anyone has realized. Going back to before February, he has acted withdrawn. At times, when we were in our beds, he would say that he didn't think his life has much promise. He has also told me that sometimes life isn't worth living. One night he was asking me questions about Tyler Clementi's suicide. My brother said that it must have taken a lot of courage for Tyler to jump to his death. My brother has also told me that there are boys at school who bully him. He also asked me questions about dating girls. I was quick to tell him that I am attracted to boys so I couldn't answer his questions with any authority. Sometimes he would ask if it was okay to sleep in my bed. I told him that I'd be his teddy bear if he needed me to be. In addition, he has little or no interest in the family dog who has always been his best buddy.
I'm very concerned that my brother is suicidal. He's not the typical gay boy with lots of drama, but I think he needs help.
Dear Big Brother,
The relationship between brothers is difficult to explain, but it appears that you two are well connected and have bonded well. The fact that you are both gay is a primary factor, but there is more to it.
Cousin Butchie is not a shrink, but he knows enough about signs of depression and the red flags which warn that help is needed. There is a difference between feeling sad and making some plan to end it all. It cannot be second guessed!
First, go to your parents or to the parent you feel will be most understanding. Explain your concerns and ask if they can arrage for your brother to see a therapist. You (or your parents or both) need to speak to the school guidance counselor. Bullying cannot be allowed any longer.
Also... make sure that you tell your brother that you will always be available to talk with him and help him BUT also give him the 24 hour a day suicide prevention helpline... 1-855-645-6735. Any problems can be discussed at this number, but help with depression is one of the hallmarks of this totally confidential number.
Big brother... Don't fail to act on my suggestions. You owe your brother as much help as you can possibly provide. Better to act with some alarm and concern than to ignore cries for help.
Some of you have asked questions about my Uncle RJ. In fact, one kind soul suggested that he's been answering the questions in my blog/column. I have decided to interview my Uncle RJ and ask him for brief responses to the questions which have been posed.
BUTCHIE: Uncle RJ, how do you feel about the visit of Pope Francis and what it may do to influence the hierarchy of the Catholic Church?
UNCLE RJ: have a very cautiously hopeful opinion of Pope Francis. I already know that he is the best man to be pope in my hundred years of life. There are many problems facing the Catholic Church and the world in general. It is my sincere hope that Francis will shake up the church enough to create meaningful change on LGBT issues, divorce issues, the ongoing child abuse scandal, the end to celibacy and sexism as requirements for ordination to the priesthood. The list goes on. How can we not trust in a man who is kind enough to put toilets and showers in St. Peter's Square for the homeless?
BUTCHIE: But how do you feel about the silent or negative responses of some of the upper echelon members of the hierarchy?
UNCLE RJ: I do not think that some of the conservative and high-living members of the hierarchy are going to support a pope who shows by his witness that he is nothing like them -- and that he will change their lifestyles very soon. We have not heard anything more about the uber expensive retirement home built by the Archbishop of Newark (along with hundreds of thousands of dollars in additions). Pope Francis did send an assistant archbishop to reign in John J. Myers and to be his successor, but this man was then sent to straighten out another mess in another archdiocese in the U.S.
BUTCHIE: Does anyone where you live know you are gay?
UNCLE RJ: I have told a few people I trust implicitly, and I have discovered that any woman living here who isn't invited out to dinner by me is assuming I am gay. I have heard the rumors and no longer care. There have been several lonely women who seemed to be getting too close in my space, and I decided NOT to tell them they were barking up the wrong tree. I have just kept things at a distance.
BUTCHIE: If you were a Republican for whom would you be campaigning right now?
UNCLE RJ: Butchie, your parents sent you to some very good schools, and I would think that you have more smarts than to ask a question like that. First of all, I was never a Republican. If I were, I would not support any of them. As it is, I'm having a hard enough time figuring out whom I support on the Democratic side of the forthcoming race.
BUTCHIE: You know that I date a lot but haven't found Mr. Right yet. Do you think it's wrong for me to allow some of these guys to give me donations toward tuition and money for gas, etc.? Of course, they also want to become intimate.
UNCLE RJ: My dear nephew, I believe that you are acting like a hustler or prostitute or whateverever we are now calling people who are paid for intimacy. I also don't think it does much for your self-esteem to have your hand out every time you drop your pants. Do you understand what I am saying?
BUTCHIE: I worry a lot about abortion. Do you think it's right or wrong?
UNCLE RJ: You really need not worry because I am certain that it is still impossible for you to get pregnant. If I were to state an answer for others, I don't believe that any man has the right to tell a woman what she can do with her body. My stance is that I'd like to see people pro-choice before conception (with pills and condoms and even abstinence) and then pro-life after conception, BUT I still don't believe that there is a rule that fits all.
BUTCHIE: Since you are my uncle, I feel I can ask you this. Sometimes dudes are asked what they are attracted to first in someone they are crushing on. I come right out and say that it's a combination of their personality and their junk. What do you think?
UNCLE RJ: I tend to agree to some degree. The guys who say they are attracted to another man's ear lobes or his car are fairly shallow and stupid.
BUTCHIE: Are you in favor of gun control and/or rigid laws about who should be allowed to own a weapon?
UNCLE RJ: Yes, and I believe that much of what we see happening today is caused by the lack of adequate gun control.
BUTCHIE: What is your opinion of Governor Christie running for president?
UNCLE RJ: That's pretty much of a no brainer. I find him to be arrogant, rude, deceitful and a bully. There were two times during Hurricane Sandy that I liked the man. The first was when he was in Sea Bright and screamed to some NJ residents to "get the hell off the beach". Soon after that, he embraced President Obama for coming to witness the damage and offer help to the state's residents. Of course, some of his Republican pals across the nation denounced him for that.
BUTCHIE: In your elderly opinion, who are the hottest celebrities in the country today?
UNCLE RJ: Well... Matt Damon, Ben Affleck, Jack Gylhen(whatever the rest of his name is), Anderson Cooper, Ricky Martin, Ellen Degeneres, Rachel Maddow, Sarah Palin (Only busting on you), Judge Judy. There are many more. Maybe the readers will tell you their picks.
BUTCHIE: Thank you for taking the time to answer me here at Starbuck's. I hope you will write your own blog soon. I'm sure you have a great deal more to say.
UNCLE RJ: Are you going to get me another moccachino or just leave me here alone and still thirsty?
Your questions for either of us can be sent to NJGayLife.com---- or KippyNJ@aol.com
P/S-The opinions expressed in this column are not necessarily those of anyone else in the entire world.
Dear Cousin Butchie,
"Horace" and I have been best friends since grade school. In the past few years, we've become even better friends. It has progressed to a consensual sexual (off and on) friendship. Horace is really the one person in this world who knows everything about me-- my feelings, my goals, my family, my disappointments, my past boyfriends/tricks. In short, I believe we have shared enough with each other to write autobiographies for each other. That was until last weekend.
Horace asked me if I wanted to go to the mall. It was a good idea because we needed to buy a birthday present for a close straight friend, Louise. On the way there, we discussed how much we could afford to spend, etc. Horace led the way through the mall and we wound up in Victoria's Secret. That was cool since we were looking for a present for Louise. BUT... After about ten minutes, Horace kept asking my opinion of intimate wear and asking how I thought HE would look in them. I had a brain-fart for a minute or two because I wasn't zeroing in on the fact hat he wasn't picking out something for Louise. Horace bought a lot of lingerie. He never consulted me about the cost. Back in the mall, I asked him how much my half of the cost of the gifts for Louise was. He told me that we hadn't bought anything for her yet. OMG! I tried to act nonchalant, but I was getting knots in my stomach.
We walked to Macy's and found some jewelry we knew Louise would love. My half of the purchase was $35.
Driving back home, I asked Horace what he was planning to do with the ladies' undies. He laughed and said I would find out. End of discussion because he started chattering about everything else.
How would you handle something like this if your boyfriend was planning to wear something like this when you were alone? I am not doing a happy dance!
I can understand what is going on with Horace. In my humble opinion, I've always considered this the same as a guy going drag. I'm sure others may disagree, but if two guys want to do this kind of acting out in private, that's their decision. But I do think that Horace should have talked to you about it. We forever say that same-sex attraction is not just based on sexual appeal, and this is true; but sexual attraction is a significant part of a relationship. Talk to Horace and tell him how you feel. Do this now, before he gets a chance to put the threads on. If this is someting Horace feels he must do, maybe you need to re-evaluate the relationship.
You may quote Cousin Butchie as saying that if he wanted a female companion he would have chosen a woman (and would more than likely be a closet heterosexual).
You need to decide if the chemistry between you and Horace can survive this new diversion. Give Horace his freedom, and maintain your own. Hopefully you will arrive at a compromise... or it may end the relationship. Be prepared for either outcome.
By the way... Happy Birthday to Louise!
Dear Cousin Butchie,
I am writing to you but I don't know what you or anyone else can do to help.
I have been in the closet during my fist two years in high school. No one really seemed to suspect, and I don't think I fit anyof the stereotypes that are going around. In fact, my best friend and I were really tight, but I decided not to tell him because there never seemed to be a reason. Well, when the right to marry became legal a few weeks ago, I was out skate boarding with my friend, and I heard him say something kind of ignorant about the subject. Then, I all of a sudden, had the impluse to tell him that I am gay. I cannot lie. I was hoping that we would hook up at least a few times this summer. He told me that it didn't matter, that we were still friends, and that he would not tell anyone.
I'm really glad school is out for the summer. More than a few of my friends told me that they heard I am gay. No one was mean about it, but they did act "different" towards me. I am so angry with my best friend that I would like to show him how unstereotypical I am and punch him in the nose a few hundred times. What should I do about this betrayal?
Dear Gay Boy,
Congratulations on coming out to your best friend. You must have thought about it for awhile and decided it would be good.
First of all, I would call your friend on it. Ask him why he broke his promise to you. Also let him know how you feel. In all probability, you surprised him with this revelation and he felt he needed to tell the world.
You have the summer for the news to travel around and I suggest that you draw near to the students who are okay with it. You'll need a support system. If your school has a gay-straight alliance, obviously you should join it. You might also find a guidance counselor you can confide in. Bullying is not allowed in our schools, so make sure you report any incidents.
On a more positive note, I think you will be fine. Many students today are more enlightened and don't really care about this issue. When I think about it, the straight boys must feel somewhat relieved that they won't lose their girlfriends to some very attractive gay dudes!
Write me again if there is a problem in September.