Dear Cousin Butchie,
I have completely forgotten that Father's Day is tomorrow. I don't think my dad will care if I send him a stupid card or not.
What should I do, now that it's not too late? As for present, what can I do? I am so stressed about this.
Dear Anonymous Brat,
It is almost 9:00PM on the night before Father's Day. Call one of your friends who can drive and beg for a speed run to one of the major pharmacies (most open until Midnight) and buy a damn card and a box of candy or something you know your faher will use. I would suggest condoms, but he needed those just a little more than nine months before you were born. Just kidding! And if you say you don't have the money-- ask your mother.
By the way, there are Father's Day cards which aren't disgustingly romantic....but try not to pick one of the ones that say "To whom it may concern" or "In case you are my father..." Get it?
Dear Cousin Butchie,
I have had a major real crush on this dude in my junior class. We have been to GSA dances and other events, and we talk all the time on the phone. I am very honest when I say that I had never seen the tatoos on his body or his total neglect of manscaping. Let's say that we were giving our frienship time to grow. It has grown, and I still love him very much...and he says he loves me.
One recent evening, his parents were away on vacation and he invited me to come to his house. I was excited that he initaiated this move, and I was very happy things were maybe going further. I went to his house which is a beautiful home that looks like a showplace. He took me to his room, and I almost barfed when I saw all of the soda cans and litter all over the room.There was also a smelly cat litter box for Max the cat. In addition, the bed was not made and he had piles of stuff all over the room. He also was wearing a wife-beater t-shirt and I saw many tatoos all over his shoulders and chest. I also have to say that he smelled as though he hadn't taken a shower in a year. I looked close enough to see that he hadn't done any mancsaping either. Things didn't go the way I had expected that night. I pushed for watching a dvd and going home early.
What am I going to do about this dude I love...when he is totally dressed and deodorized?
I want this guy forever, but I want some changes, and I want them now. We had plans to room together at college, but I would not be able to exist amidst the trash and refuse and garbage.
Dear What Now,
Your letter states exactly what you need in a significant other. Have you discussed any of this with your boyfriend? He might be so accustomed to living in his own "man cave" in this kind of disorder that he doesn't give it a second thought. Let him know your exact feelings.
As for the tattoos... It is a matter of taste, but Cousin Butchie doesn't find them very attractive either. Tell the boyfriend how much you love him and want your friendship to become a relationship BUT that you both need to make some compromises. I advise you to have a real heart to heart talk as soon as possible. Apparently, you can compare his room to the rest of his home...and you can start at that point. If he does't agree to some changes, don't bank on having this guy in your life for much longer. That's the way it goes, my friend!
Dear Cousin Butchie,
I have never been to a funeral home before, so I got all nervous when I went to see my friend's mother laid out for viewing. It's a stupid custom anyway, but that's not the reason for the letter. I always have a warped sense of humor, so when something is overwhelming, I make a joke about it. So I went up to the casket and was very surprised to see how beautiful Amy's mother looked. There were tons of flowers (and I am allergic to all of them) and lots of people standing in small groups talking and even laughing. So I saw that I was supposed to say something to Amy. There were three people ahead of me, and I started thinking of what to say. When I was right on the spot, I hugged Amy and said that if her mother had known how beautiful she looked she probably would have died sooner. She thanked me for coming and I went and sat down. My conscience was telling me I had said the wrong thing.
Two weeks later, I called Amy and we went to see a movie. In the car she gave me a tee-shirt which simply said "I AM STUPID.' We both laughed and I went to the ladies' room at the theater to put it on.
Do you think this was meant to be a payback or an insult for what I said two weeks earlier? I hope you will put my mind at ease.
FIRST OF ALL.... thank you for being the first lesbian I can ever recall sending me a question. You are a pioneer, Bette!
Your reaction at Amy's mother's wake was awkward, but I happen to believe that there needs to be some levity at times like this. However when you don't know what to say, it's probably best to give a hug and say "I'm sorry." It's a situation in which body language can be used when you can't find the right words. A very simple "I love you" also works.
You may not be aware of some of the things people say at times like this. Here are some examples, and my reaction to them:
"God needed her more than you do!"-Bullshitski
"Only the good die so young."-How stupid! Mom was 94 years old!
"She wanted to be with your father." OMG! They hardly spoke to each other except to fight.
"God never gives us more than we can handle." That is so ignorant. You know she was an atheist!
It was a good idea to invite Amy to the movies with you. Sometimes people tell the bereaved to call them if they can do anything... and it never happens. Better to make a specific invitation. You aced it on this one!
As for the tee-shirt... I think that Amy has a good sense of humor, and she wanted to bust your chops (chopettes). It would have been a good time to tell her how dumb you felt about what you said. I am almost totally certain she now finds it amusing and the tee-shirt was a way to break the ice for a discussion.
Hi Cousin Butchie!
Thanks for mentioning NJ Gay Pride. I went on Sunday and had a wonderfully fabulous time. I am 17 y.o. and it was totally unplanned but I met five dudes from my high school who will now be my BFF friends. I was attracted to one of them for the last two years. The other four were a totally pleasant surprise!
I did get a pretty bad sunburn on Sunday, so when I got home my mom asked me if I had been to the shore. Duh! It was apparent. I left my backpack for four minutes when I went to the bathroom to put Noxzema on my face, and my parents opened it and saw the whole load of LGBT literature.
When I came back in the living, mom and dad both told me that they love and that nothing would ever change that. I was a little uncomfortable, but dad broke the news that they had both known I was gay since I was seven years old. Holy crap! I didn't know I was gay back then....and if they suspected it why didn't they tell me? And why did they keep dragging me to a synagogue where the rabbi was way homophobic?
The only bummer was when they asked if I was sure... and when they asked if I had a boyfriend and who was the husband and who was the wife.
It's only Wednesday and I've been asked so many questions I feel like Google. I have promised to always be safe, to not take drugs (as if this is a gay thing) and to not tell the relatives until we are all ready.
I guess this is a success story....but I can't say that mom, dad and I are comfortable with it all.
Yes, this is a success story! Many LGBT people have come out and had dire consequences.
Be patient with your parents, suggest hat they attend PFLAG (Parents, Families & Friends of Lesbians and Gays) meetings, and try to take it a little slowly with them. They may have known when you were seven year old, but I suspect that the didn't really process it.
Time after time, we hear about parents telling a child that they knew years ago. You have a right to find this annoying, but give your parents a break. The love and acceptance of your parents equals about the best gift you will ever receive...
P.S. Anyone needing to speak to a gay-accepting priest, rabbi or minister can write back, tell me your general location, and I promise to find someone in a congregation/parish/whatever who is accepting. This would work well for you and for your parents. To contact me privately, please go to firstname.lastname@example.org.
First of all, I want to wish a special greeting of pride to all my readers on NJ Gay Pride Day...June 7th. I would be in Asbury Park celebrating with you but I was asked to be best man at a friend's wedding (a heterosexual wedding, OMG) and I agreed months before I realized that today is our special day.
Gay Pride is something we need to celebrate in some obvious and some subtle ways each and every day-- from the moment we look in the mirror to the time we go to sleep. For many, if not most, LGBT people the straight world doesn't immediately know we are gay. It has proven right for me to be extra nice to the elderly neighbor or the Pentecostals and Jehovah's Witnesses down the street. I let them see that I like them and will do favors for them (a ride to a doctor's appointment, shopping for groceries, etc.). WHY? Because sooner or later someone is going to tell them in our favorite kind of slang...that he is a fag! At first, they don't believe it. The they have to think about how this "morally disordered" person has been caring and friendly.
I wish each and every one of you a happy and festive Gay Pride Day. And I invite you to consider making each day one of pride.
P.S. Only my straight friend could have selected this black tuxedo. It may have been rented from the undertaker.
Dear Cousin Butchie,
I am totally freaked out and still in shock. I'll try to make this make sense.
I was diagnosed HIV Positive one week ago today. My family doctor gave me the news in a rather off-handed way and said that I'm lucky because HIV/AIDS is a very treatable disease and it is not a death sentence like it was in the past. I am 21 years old and have not told anyone about the diagnosis or how I'm feeling (like crap). My parents and family know I'm gay, and they always said that if I am happy, they are happy. BUT THEY BEGGED ME TO BE SAFE. Butchie, I thought I had done everything I needed to do to be safe.
I have a few close friends who are JUST friends and we have never had sexual contact. I talked the talk with them, and they returned the favor. I guess we acted like seventh graders talking about sex. I know there was lots joking and exaggerations...the whole nine yards.
I am okay for a little while, and I have read just about everything online about HIV. Always quicker than I expect, I become incredibly sad and scared.
Please say something life changing. I trust you, Butchie...and you might even know who I am. But we can look at that in the future. Now, I want no one to know.
Shocked and Scared
DEAR SHOCKED AND SCARED. YOU HAVE EVERY RIGHT TO FEEL LIKE YOU'VE BEEN HIT BY A GARBAGE TRUCK. THE DOCTOR WHO DID THE TEST AND GAVE YOU THE RESULTS SHOULD HAVE GIVEN YOU SOME DETAILS ABOUT GETTING THE SERVICES YOU NEED AND HELPING YOU DEAL WITH THE SHAME, THE TRAUMATIC WAY YOU FEEL....AND EVERYTHING ELSE NECESSARY.
PLEASE LET ME GIVE YOU SOME FACTS AND RESOURCES WHICH WILL EASE THE CONFUSION AND SHOCK AND SHAME. MIND YOU.... I AM NOT A DOCTOR OR A SHRINK, AND THE INFORMATION I HAVE IS ONLY BECAUSE I KNOW SEVERAL GUYS LIKE YOU WHO TOOK THE HIV TESTING OUT OF CURIOSITY AND WERE SURPRISED AND FRANTIC AT THE NEWS.
First of all, did your family doctor give you the name(s) of infectious disease doctors in your area? There is one practice, in particular, which has been at the forefront in dealing with this issue from the time it was a "death sentence" until today when things are thankfully not horrible or depressing or scary once you have the correct information and the medical and psychological treatment which are essential for anyone with this diagnosis. THE KEY THOUGHT, I AM TOLD, IS TO REMEMBER THAT HIV/AIDS DOES NOT DEFINE YOU!!!
IF YOUR DOCTOR DIDN'T RECOMMEND AN INFECTIOUS DISEASE DOCTOR, LET ME KNOW AND I'll GIVE YOU THE NAME OF THE GROUP AND ITS CLOSEST OFFICES. THEY ARE CONVENIENT TO VIRTUALLY ANYONE IN THE MIDDLESEX, SOMERSET, MONMOUTH AND MORRIS COUNTY AREAS. YOU MAY CONTACT ME AT KIPPYNJ@AOL.COM for a more private reply for your search.
YOU WILL NEED TO BE TESTED AGAIN BY A SPECIALIST AND THIS DOCTOR WILL PRESCRIBE THE APPROPRIATE MEDS, AND YOUR VRAL LOAD WILL BE DETERMINED. IN SHORT, GET HOOKED UP WITH A SPECIALIST AND FIND OUT HOW NJ PROVIDES MEDICAL COVERAGE FOR THE HIGHLY EXPENSIVE MEDS YOU WILL NEED.
FOR THE INFORMATION OF ALL OUR READERS, THERE IS NUMBER TO CALL FOR A GREAT DEAL OF INFORMATION. It's is a 24/7 SERVICE AT 1-800-624-2377. YOU CAN ALSO GO ON LINE AT WWW.NJHIVSTDLINE.ORG. AND COUSIN BUTCHIE CAN FIND YOU A COMPETENT SPECIALIST...JUST CONTACT HIM AT KIPPYNJ@AOLCOM.
MY FRIEND, YOU HAVE EVERY RIGHT TO MAKE SURE THAT YOU HAVE THE BEST CARE....AND JUST THANK YOUR HIGHER POWER THAT YOU ARE LIVING AT A TIME WHEN HIV/AIDS IN MOST CASES IS AS EASY TO MANAGE AS DIABETES OR A HEART PROBLEM.
And just a word of encouragement.... There are still members of our GLBT (mostly the "G" part) who can forget their brothers and sisters who are facing the challenges of this disease which used to kill about 95% of the people who were diagnosed. The days of "attitude" are over, and you can fnd support groups which will provide friendships and counseling for living the rest of your long, long life with this condition.
My best to you,
Dear Cousin Butchie,
I hope it's okay to write to you. I am a lesbian and your column seems to have been designed just for gay men.
Well, here goes...and I hope you answer me.
Regina and I have been in a hot and heavy relationship for the past year. Probably only gay men are supposed to describe a relationship that way, but it's the truth...I swear to God. Our only problem is Regina's mother. She has never liked me, never pretended to like me, and continues not to like me to this very moment.
When we go to dinner every night at Regina's parents' house, her mother always (AND I MEAN ALWAYS) serves Regina's father first, then Regina, then herself, and then her dog Ralphie. What's left she then slops on my plate. I am totally left out of any dinnertime conversation unless my sweetie Regina talks directly to me. She continues to treat me like an invisible person when I stay in the kitchen while she does the dishes.
I have tried everything to make Regina's mother like me. Her dad is cordial but only when her mother isn't watching. She has inferred that I have stolen Regina away from her. Mind you, Regina is one of nine children since birth control was unheard of in her family.
What can I possibly do to make her like me more?
Before I answer your question, please let me explain that I have not limited this column to gay men. Lesbians have always been welcome to write, but it just hasn't happened.
Cousin Butchie (me) has pondered what you have written, and it seems to me that the only way you could make Regina's mother like you more is to disappear from her dinner table every night! You could also invite Regina's parents to dinner at your place. It need not be elaborate because it will be the thought that counts. No matter how you rearrange the dinner situation, stop always sponging off Regina's mom and dad. Start eating dinner by yourselves and limit things to a weekly dinner at your place and the following weekly dinner at theirs. Also...offer to do the dishes when you eat at Regina's parents' house. It would be a nice gesture and would how some appreciation of the meal you have been served. Figure out how much it is costing these parents to feed the two of you every evening of the year!
If she doesn't warm up to you, get the recipe for Vichyssoise from "Nunsense" and serve her a large portion. Google it if this is foreign to you.
In all sincerity, why not cook for Regina and yourself and make dinners elsewhere something you do on specal occasions?
When you do invite them to your place (apartment, I guess) please remember to invite Ralphie the Pooch as well. He is an innocent victim in this family battle, and having him on your side couldn't hurt.
AND... please remember that this column is not limited to any specific group of people. Cousin Butchie welcomes letters from the LGBT community and to parents and siblings and friends of yours.
Letters can be sent online at: www.NJGayLife.com or to KippyNJ@aol.com. Personal responses will be made in this column...or if you prefer, I will respond directly to the pesonal email address.
Dear Cousin Butchie,
I assume it's okay for a straight woman to write to you. I read your columns all the time, and I feel comfortable asking for your opinion. In some ways you remind me of a very good friend of mine who has just come out of the closet to a few people. I'll admit that I had hoped that Bruce is straight. He listens to my problems and insecurities. Bruce acts like the protective older brother I've never had. Bruce is neat and compassionate and always makes time to give me advice (kind of like you... LOL). He is the ideal man, and I hope you can respond to my letter and also check to see if Bruce is really gay. Can you also tell me why many gay men are such wonderful friends to straight women?
Well, I believe that the reasons gay men and straight women can be good friends are many, but to name a few: We do your hair, critique your clothes, listen to your problems thereby sharing your joys and crises and your dating problems. In addition, often a very close friendship occurs when you realize that you are being treated in a fabulous manner and there is not the tension which is always present with a straight man because you know that the gay man is not trying to become your boyfriend or husband.
Another important factor which binds this kind of friendship is the fact that we share many of the same interests. In particular, we are both attracted to men who fit in the stud-muffin category. Just to name a few, there's Matt Damon, Jimmy Fallon, Anderson Cooper, Ben Affleck, Ricky Martin for starters. In general, you also can have the confidence that Bruce will have some real interest in making sure you are happy with one of your boyfriends. It's just a unwritten bond between you and the gay friend. Remember that Bruce will tell you exactly what he thinks of the men who enter your life.... and you're safe. Cousin Butchie or Bruce might find a straight man attractive (okay, we do feel that way a lot sometimes), but we would never want to marry one of these straight men.
I hope that answers your question, and I think you should be grateful that you have Bruce in your life. In all honesty, he probably feels the same about you. If he's still closeted at work or with his family, he mght rely on you to accompany him at a family wedding, etc.
I don't know Bruce personally, but I will look him up in the NJ Gay Directory under new members.
Dear Cousin Butchie,
How long can a healthy, athletic, gay male who is 19 years old go without having sex? It seems that my boyfriend and I have been in a great relationship for the past two years, but we had a very nasty fight a few days ago and have not spoken, much less been intimate, in over 47 hours. I know we were both wrong and said things which were pretty much exaggeratons. We have only seen each other at school when we change classes. He gives me half a smile and I return the gesture. I want this to be over because I really don't remember what caused the fight anyway. And I still love this guy.
Time is ticking away, and I feel that I just might explode physically and mentally if he keeps me cut off, if you understand what I'm saying.
What can I do? What will make him come to his senses? (H E L P),
Cousin Butchie realizes that time is ticking away and you are becoming increasingly more frustrated by the moment. My first reaction is to suggest that your answer rests in your own hand(s). This practice will no longer give you warts or blindness or sap your strength. You might recall what I'm talking about if you recall how you handled things before you met your boyfriend.
One of my few straight friends tells me that his wife "cuts him off" whenever they have a major skirmish, but he says that he really doesn't want to have sex with her anyway... at least not for the time being before they reconcile.
I would venture to say that you can survive this crisis for a few more days if necessary. In a falling out of this kind, someone has to step up to the plate and apologize. It must be done seriously and honestly. Tell him how much you love him. Also, tell him the reasons you have been happily partnered for the past two years and that you want it to last for fifty more years. Hopefully, he will respond with some sort of apology of his own. DO NOT say that you've being going crazy not having bodily contact (or sex...I'm sure you'll phrase it correctly).
Cousin Butchie believes that if you make this kind of sincere apology, the boyfriend will react with forgiveness, and possibly an apology of his own. Swallow your pride and make the first move toward reconciliation.
I've heard from a number of bragging friends (males and females) that make-up carnal knowledge (sex) after an argument subsides is often hotter than hell. Give yourself a chance to find out.
Write me again to tell me that everything is back to normal. AND at this time and forever, let your boyfriend know that the love you have for him transcends sex. You certainly are not considering your relationship to be ONLY the result of frequent hot actions behind closed doors.
Good luck... and I refrained from writing it up to this point, but I do have to ask you why you have presented this with so much drama. You'll be happier and have fewer problems if you are not so much of a diva.
I walked into my older brother's (18) room and found him with his head on the keyboard. I checked for a pulse, and I could tell he had just fallen into a deep sleep.
When I got my brother in bed, I sat down to see what he was reading. OMG...he was reading your boring column.
I thought you would want to know.
I am sorry your brother fell asleep readng that column. I have read it over and admit it could have been shortened and edited a little..bu it would still be lengthy. I am thinking of marketing this column as a drugless Ambien for those needing rest.
Thank you for being my little ray of sunshine for today.
Dear Cousin Butchie,
First of all, I want you to know that I read your blog type advice column whenever I see that it runs. You have made me laugh at times. You have also made me really think about your replies.
I would like to know how you feel about certain issues that face us all the time in today's world. My peeps won't know I said they are too dumb to discuss much with, or that I said they only talk about celebrities and other people behind their backs, etc.
The subjects are below, and I really would value your opinions. I know you are a Catholic (which I find kind of strange for a gay man to be) so I'm guessing you will not say much that's opposed to what they teach.
Totally Anonymous Forever.
Dear Totally Anonymous Forever,
Your letter gave me a chuckle when I first read it. I want to respond, but I must clarify some points first.
I am not a theologian or a shrink, and my opinions as a Catholic are about as liberal as you will find anywhere. I read that when the late John F. Kennedy was running for election as the first Roman Catholic president, he made it clear that the church does not and will not dictate his programs and actions in office. As a gay Catholic, Cousin Butchie can say pretty much the same thing.
The subjects on which Totally Anonymous Forever asked me to give my opinion:
Assisted Suicide: I believe that this is the kind of policy which needs to be qualified. While, I can agree that all human life is sacred, I do not believe that someone suffering pain and emotional distress (and doesn't have much more time to live) should have the freedom to decide when he/she wants to put an end to the misery. My qualifications would be that this decision not be made by someone who is suffering from a condition such as major depression. I also do not believe that anyone besides the dying patient should make this decision, and it should be verified by more than one medical doctor and by a psychiatrist. At no time should it be the decision of the government or the insurance companies. While palliative care may be effective for some, no religion should be able to dictate the policy for all Americans.
Gay Marriage: This must have been a trick question! Of course, I am in favor of the right of two people of the same sex to make the choice to marry. At the same time, I don't think that marriage is a mandatory step for all LGBT people. Somehow, we are often guilty of looking down just a little at LGBT people who have no desire to commit to a marriage.
Religion: The basic question is whether I believe in God. Since I have admitted to being a gay Roman Catholic, I think some readers may assume what my answer will be. So, the quick answer is that on some days I do, and on some days I doubt. It's more a question of deciding whether my life experiences point to a validation of some religion. Faith is only called "faith" because the acceptance of the teachings must be essentially a decision to believe. If every situation one encounters is completely answered by his/her religion, I wish them well, but I don't ascribe to the notion that one must leave one's mind at the door when entered a church, temple, mosque. In many instances, it's a case of taking what makes sense and gives meaning to the person...and leaving the rest.
Part B.... Why stay in the Catholic Church? Very simply, I don't believe the church will ever change if all the LGBT Catholics depart. For some in high places this would be the answer to their prayers. Aside from that, being the gay boy that I am...I really like the ceremony and the incense and the bells.... and I simply go crazy when I see a suppoedly conservative (anti-gay) priest at a gay bar. I also believe that Pope Francis is a remarkable man who has already surprised many in the church. He will continue his simple and loving teachings. There is no doubt that he has opened a dialogue about LGBT Catholics, and even if he doesn't succeed in bringing about the acceptance and change we need, he has begun a dialogue which will continue. It doesn't fall into the category when John Paul II said that the ordination of women and married men were issues never to be debated again. Fancis put a big "x" through that kind of domination.
Safe Sex: Cousin Butchie agrees with all the straight men in the world who complain about condoms not feeling great, yada yada yada. Be that as it may, AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases have not disappeared. It is better to be safe than sorry, and it would be totally stupid to trust that another attractive (aka hot) dude is HIV negative. They may not have been tested and assume they are negative, or they may be lying to you. And even if you are crushing with another dude, don't assume that he is negative until you have both been tested and you commit to monogamy.
Transgender People: Sometimes we forget two parts of our LGBT title. (I know that some people add other letters, but that's a story for another day). A person who is transgender knows that he/she is living within a foreign body. They do not feel or identify with or want to be identified by the gender they are born. We have all experienced feeling "strange and misunderstood" because we were in the closet and not admitting our true sexuality to anyone else. It was uncomfortable and we were not so happy being pretend straight people. I believe it is best to be welcoming and friendly toward transgender people. Tell them that you are attempting to understand and that you are truly interested in them because they are part of the "family" of the LGBT community-- a fact we often forget about each other no matter how we identify. If you are a transgender person and need information and friendship with people who know all the elements factoring into your life, the Jersey Shore chapter of P-FLAG (Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays) has one special meeting each month dealing only with transgender issues. You are welcome to ask for more information by emailing Cousin Butchie at KippyNJ@aol.com or checking the organizations listings right here on NJGayLife.com.
Hillary Clinton: I have always lliked her, and would have voted for her before voting for Obama.
Abortion: I am pro-choice with some qualifications. I believe that a woman has the right to do what she feels she needs to do when she finds she is pregnant. Some women decide early to terminate the pregnancy. Sometimes the pregnant woman is only a child herself...incapable of caring for a baby when it arrives. There are also the cases of rape which are often best handled by termination. It is a grave situation for a child to give birth to a child.
As I am answering as a gay Catholic male, I will also go out on a limb and say that the decision for a woman to have an abortion cannot be legislated by supposedly celibate priests, nor by men in general, nor by gay men. It's a woman's body and the decision is hers before a God who is undeniably more loving and compassionate than people who lead our religions. In the Catholic situation, if birth control were approved and encouraged, the need to consider an abortion would be elimianted 99% of the time. As one woman put it...referring to her teenage daughter's pregnancy.... "In Rome, they don't play the game so they don't make the rules." The other classic comes from a bumper-sticker "Pro-Choice before Conception, Pro-Life afterwards."
I hope I have answered to some degree the questions posed.
If not, I value your opinions sent on-line....and I welcome more questions.
Dear Cousin Butchie,
I am now 17 years old so that means I have been gay for 17 years. In all that time I have had a few encounters with other guys, but never a real romantic date. One of my snarky friends asked me if I hve ever had sex with my shoes off. I laughed, but I hate him for making such a remark.
I am at my wit's end and I have seen dating services online. I am tempted to join one of these dating services where you have the chance to tell all about yourself and read everything about the other guy before you arrange a date.
What's your experience with this kind of dating?
Let me start by saying that I have no real experience with online dating. Oh, I filled out their questionnaires a few times, but I never joined. What was obvious to me immediately was the fact that a majority of the prospects were not close to N.J. Having said that... I have friends in Ohio who met online and are now married with an adopted baby boy. Other friends have told me horror stories. The one that stands out in my mind is the friend who "chatted" online with someone who seemed to be the ideal life partner. The friend put up his picture and so did the other member. They corresponded for a few weeks and really thought this was orchestrated by the gay matchmaker. When the date was set for dinner at a fairly expensive restaurant, my pal thought it as the beginning of a wonderful life.
THEN THEY MET. The prospective husband recognized Joey and sat down at the table where he was waiting. He recognized Joey because he had sent real pictures. Joey didn't know who the hell he was at first because he had either sent me someone else's picture or one of himself when he was 20 years younger. Joey tried to handle it right, but he was turned off by everything about his date. Joey was not especially proud of himself, but he excused himself to go to the men's room hoping there would be a window he could open and use as an escape. It didn't happen. There was a back door to the parking lot, and Joey hopped in his car and drove around for awhile after he turned his cell phone on vibrate.
So, my advice would be to be totally honest. I realize you were, but you cannot count on some men to return the courtesy. Let the other guy know that you're not expecting a Matt Damon or Channing Tatum. Tell a friend or a trusted sibling (or your parents if you have reached this level with them) where you are going. It would also be a good idea to ask them to phone you at a certain time. When you answer you can say that things are okay or you can dramatically become upset at being told that your dad was just rushed to the hospital.
There is a custom out there online of "catfishing" which is something else you need to be aware of. It's usually with somebody from another state and they seem to be hitting it off with you very well. But they are sending phony pictures and telling you outright lies about their job or school or their family....everything is fabricated. In many cases they will gain your trust and tell you a sad story and ask for money. From what I've read, there are many people out there who will send the money.
Wait!!! You are 17! I may be wrong, but I don't think you are legally old enough to use one of these online services.
Spend more time trying to connect with other dudes from your school or part-time job, whatever.
Whatever you do, be careful... and don't be so anxious to remove your shoes!
Hi Cousin Butchie,
I am a straight (as in heterosexual) high school junior. I belong to a Gay-Straight Alliance at my school, and some of the members introduced me to your column. I think it's cool the way you anwer questions, so I am asking one now. I am not gay and I hope that is understood from the start. I am a member of a gay-friendly religion and I have more than a few friends who have some out of the closet to me. I felt honored by their trust. I will be honest and admit that I had suspected two of them but the others were a total surprise to me.
When I heard that my high school has a G.S.A., I joined to support a very close friend of mine. He didn't believe that I accepted him and all GLBT people, so I joined this group to show him my sincerity. My life is getting screwed up by this one action on my part; joining the group. My good friend now has almost come out and told me that he is in love with me and many of my straight friends cannot believe that I joined a G.S.A. if I am truly not gay. I am not a bad looking guy. My mom has told me that I look like a much younger version of Matt Damon. Of course, she also thinks my sister looks like a younger version of Meryl Streep (and she is spot on with that comparison). My dad has given me the "no matter what you're still my son and I love you" speech so I'm sure he thinks I'm gay. That's not a remark a father usually makes to a son who is an arsonist. I am so sorry I got inolved with this group. I do enjoy the meetings and I answer as many questions about straight dudes as they ask about GLBT people.
I am feeling very uncomfortable in my own skin these days. I play on the basketball and baseball teams, and I've been voted the most valuable player twice.
Please help me solve this problem.
STRAIGHT & ANONYMOUS
DEAR STRAIGHT & ANONYMOUS,
(before I go any further with this, you say you look like a younger version of Matt Damon. Be still my heart! If you might ever want to go some place for coffee or anything at all, remember I'm around...... JUST KIDDING, but even the mention of Matt Damon's name gives me all kinds of lustful thoughts.)
I am sorry that your involvement with the G.S.A. at your school has turned out this way for you. I am sure that your very close friend has often wished in the past that you were gay and seeing you at a meeting only fanned the flames of his desires. It may not be easy, but you need to sit down and have a long talk with him. If you have a girlfriend (which you haven't mentioned so far), tell your gay friend about her. More importantly, explain that you were not born gay any more than he was born straight.
I would also take this problem to the faculty moderater of the group and ask for a meeting at which all of the heterosexual members can express themselves.
The problem with your straight friends can be eased by being very careful to be the most macho dude imaginable. I am not happy giving that last answer, but I'm not sure there's any other possible way to control them. ALSO, if it means that you need to see your close gay friend less often or not at all, I think it's a move you'll need to make.
To close by addressing everyone involved in this situation, I will merely use the words of lesbian icon Ellen Generous:
B E K I N D T O E A C H O T H E R
Dear Cousin Butchie,
All of my gay friends have guys they are crushing on, but I don't. I don't know if it's strange to have five really good guy friends and not to have had any sexual interest going on, but that's how it is. So in a fit of desparation, I had a really huge disappointment this week, after a few weeks of detective work. There is an office building near my house, and I spotted a car in their parking lot with a Human Rights Campaign sticker and a rainbow decal. I spent many hours staking out that building. I made notes of what time I would see th car in the morning and the time I would see an empty space in the afternoon. I thought my search for a boyfriend was going to be a sure thing. The idea that he had those decals made me sure I was going to find an "out" gay dude. I would simply wait to see him go to his car and say that I also belong to the Human Rights Campaign too. I don't, but it's only because I don't have the money to send them. Well, I waited and waited as I said. Then it happened, I saw someone walking toward the car. I was watching from a distance but I went faster than normal. My ship had come in, I thought. I was probably twenty feet away when I could not help but notice that the owner of the car was a lesbian. I was pretty damn close when I saw this, so I told her I liked the decals and I asked if she had a brother. She was very pleasant but she wasn't going to discuss her family. I was more than disappointed...
My question might sound stupid, but I have seen other cars around the area with the bumper stickers and decals and they have all been driven by women. Why are gay men not giving the same kind of signals. It just isn't fair.
As the eminent governor of NJ, Chris Christie, would say "I feel your pain." I can recall seeing cars with the "signals" you mention. It was a 50/50 chance the car would belong to a gay man. I think part of the problem now is that new cars don't really have bumpers. If you bump them, they crash into pieces requiring a fortune to replace them. If a dude loves his car, he often won't put a sticker or decal on it.
Women are often feel the same way, but we do see that they take a chance and use their vehicles to advertise their fvorite causes.
Now, Muggsy... Why are you stalking people in cars? Why not ask your friends to help you find a date. If they are your friends they will not hassle you. As for the fact that you've never had intimate contact with these friends, I think it's not unusual. Cousin Butchie has a number of friends he would never dream of hitting on. The friendships mirror the concept that two guys can make much better friends than lovers.
Cheer up, Muggsy. At a time when you least expect it, Mr. Right is going to come along. You might want to speed the process along by using your given name instead of Muggsy. Honest-- I know a dude named Clarence and he never found a good date until he started calling himself JACK.
Dear Cousin Butchie,
I have had a miserable weekend and I have no reason why all of this crap has descended upon me. I'm so aggravated that I may take a sick day from school.
On Friday, my father asked me to take out the recycling cans on Saturday morning. Okay, I made sure I was awake in time to do my dad's job (mind you, this is what my mom expects HIM to do.) Sure enough, I broke a nail on one of those damn lids. My last manicure (mannycure?) was earlier in the week, and my hands looked fabulous. Well, not any more.
Then I got an email from my BFF telling me that he wanted to be friends and nothing more. He never even bothered to tell me face to face. I was stunned by this announcement because we have been really tight for the last six weeks. I helped this slob pick out clothes and tried to make hm look more presentable. The dude he has hooked up with is another pig and they both should oink at people who greet them.
On Saturday afternoon, I needed to call information to get the number of a new P.L.U. (Person Like Us) in school who has set my gaydar off many times when I was only concentrating on the BFF. Well, I went to dial 4-1-1 and I accidentally tapped in 9-1-1. I exlained what had happened but the police still came to the house to check things out just in case there was a problem. They knocked on the door and my mother started crying and telling me that they were here for me and that she could only imagine what I had done. When the police left, I just screamed "WRONG' about ten times in my mother's face. She never apologized.
On Sunday morning, I made an effort to please my parents and went to church with them. The jackass of a clergypersn preached about the sacredness of marriage and he bellowed "BETWEEN ONE MAN AND ONE WOMAN" six or seven times. Most of the other people were asleep, as were my parents, but this clergyperson probably figured the preaching was for me anyway.
I spent the afternoon working on a school project I was supposed to be doing with the ex-BFF. I don't know how to get him to finish it with me as planned.
Why has all of this happened to me at one time? I am a good person. I have never tried to steal dad's car, and I never tried to trip grandma and I tried to do dad's job with the recyclables.
What do you think of all this?
Hey Trevor, everyone has a bad day or two once in awhile. I will say that no one has ever written to me with so many awful problems. Only kidding!
I think that you have had some annoying problems, but let's look at this realistically. You did your dad a "favor" by taking out the recyclables. Maybe you would have prevented the tragic nail breakage if you had been experienced enough not to break a nail. You could do this chore weekly.
You had a split with your BFF whom you call a "slob." That kind of doesn't sound too loving.
As for the church sermon/homily... I feel your pain. In some churches and temples this can happen unexpectedly. I suggest you bring ear plugs next time you encounter this clergyperson.
Trevor, I can tell you very honestly (and with love) that I have never received an email or letter from anyone who has been as much of a drama queen as you appear to be. From what I see, decent gay guys don't rush to date dudes with your kind of issues. You may get more mature as you get older, but you need to work on your "problems" by recognizing them as basically egocentric events. Pay attention to your "crises" and work on trying to make yourself much less of a victim.
By the way... Were the police who responded to your house hot? Cousin Butchie knows more than one who makes him tongue-tied when he tries to talk with them.
Hi Cousin Butchie,
I am a junior is high school. My grades are good and I have friends (gay and straight) who know I'm gay and treat me just like they treat each other. I guess I should feel lucky. The problem is that my father and I have always been very close. I actually enjoyed camping trips and fishing with him, and there is no doubt that Dad knew I was gay before I realized it myself. He was fine with it and so was my mom.
I just had the world come crumbling down on my wonderful gay world. My dad bought me a great used car. I put a rainbow bumper sticker on it and one for the Human Rights Campaign. When my dad saw the stickers he went apeshit. He told me to remove them from the car or he would take it back AND he would no longer support my to quote: "diabolical and filthy lifestyle." I don't want to lose the car, and I know my father well enough to be sure that he is reacting to some mindless propaganda from the haters in the area. These are the people who "love the sinner, but hate the sin" or some such bull. If I do follow dad's demands I wonder what the next issue will be.
I'm not sure what to do. My mom gets a weepy look whenever this subject comes up.
ALIEN in MY HOME
You are facing a difficult situation with your father, and I have a strong feeling that they have encountered people of the "Cure the Gays" type religious groups. In the Catholic world they are called COURAGE. Jewish ignorant and irrational people exist in a group called JONAH. In the Protestant denominations there are also similar groups.
My advice to you, at this point in your life, is to remove the bumper stickers. See how your dad reacts. Possibly he will recant from any negative stereotyping if you grant this one request, if he continues, ask him what changed his views of GLBT people. Try to steer him to the PFLAG group in your area. In every group there are parents of various religions. They can find someone to relate to your dad (and mother it seems) and share stories. The outcomes are always good over a period of time.
Cousin Butchie just had another idea. You only have a little more than a year to deal with any parental problems. Keep things cordial and "loving" so that they don't deny helping with college tuition. Once you are at a decent college there will be a supportive gay community.
Be positive believing that this will all pass, but if it doesn't you can manage to live a double life for a year...knowing that freedom ad pride and love await you in what will seem like the blink of an eye....when you think about it at age 39!! Good luck, Alien!
P.S. If you tell me where you live, I am fairly sure that I can reach clergypersons of all faiths who can help in dealing with your parents.
To my readers:
Every so often your Cousin Butchie gets bummed out by something in his own life. There is a certain degree of grief which surrounds this posting, and I have learned that the best way to handle grief is to share it. Since I also think there is a lesson here for everyone, I am taking this opportunity to share with you, my ever so silent readers.
Several weeks ago, I received a voice mail message from my brother telling me that his daughter had been murdered by her boyfriend. This occurred in Florida. I spoke to him shortly after hearing the message. My niece had been stabbed in the chest by her "boyfriend" in Florida.
As is so common today, there was a long estrangement of my brother and his wife and daughter. Later in the week, I drove my brother to see his estranged wife in order to get her permission notarized that she wanted Jessica cremated. My brother agreed with this completely.
Many details are still sketchy, but I would like to share some random thoughts and observations I have had in the past several weeks. I have no problem if any of you wish to challenge anything I am going to share. I consider all of you as part of my extended family. Who else would have put up with me for the past three plus years?
- No matter how savvy or cool you may think you are, don't get involved with cocaine or the people who use it. When the cravings and addiction starts for these street drugs, all common sense goes out the window and lives are ruined.. My niece had a bright future ahead of her She had been a model for Victoria's Secret and had been on the cover page of several magazines.
- Estrangement in a family may seem appropriate when it begins, but family is family-- and we should realize that no one has a guarantee on how long the future will last. It is very sad, in my opinion, that my brother had not seen his daughter for many years. Revealing my reaction to all this, I also "missed the boat" with this young lady. As for my brother, he did get to see his daughter one last time in a special cremation coffin. He watched as the underetaker closed the lid and placed the body in the crematory to burn to ashes. I would have opted out. (Meow-Meow).
- So, what I am emphasizing is that we often need to keep close to family members who seem to have forsaken the rest of the family. I believe that every family has a member or two whom they make a decision to shun. (It happens to some people who are LGBT more than most...so accepting an "olive branch" can often be the first step toward making a family whole again.
- Before my brother and an A.A. buddy left for the drive to Florida, I got to see these people from A.A. reach out quickly and with sincerity. Few who have seen the friendships and love in A.A. would challenge the statement that these groups usually operate in the way that churches and synogogues should follow.
- On the lighter side (which Cousin Butchie always seems to find)... My brother and I went to Wendy's for lunch the day after he returned to NJ. Very casually, he said that the car was freeezing cold and he asked me to take the blanket from the floor near the back seat and put it over Jessica because she must be cold. Dark humor..yes, but we both laughed at my surprise that he came home with her ashes.
Very often, people who mean well say things which are well-intentioned but are idiotic when we think about them later. Others have already walked the walk of experiencing another's violent death...and their words resonate for a long time because they are so completely loving and ring true with your situation at that very moment and long after.
One Roman Catholic priest whom I love and respect without question told me of a situation in his own life and answered a question I had not asked, but it was running around in my thoughts. When some violent and senseless things happen we may be surprised when we look to God for comfort and we see that it makes God cry.
When we are confronted with the enormity of a murder or other horrendous action in our lives, we can keep recalling that God shares our pain and hopes we realize that our friend or loved one is in peace and away from all danger and harm. If we wish to pray, it is TO THEM and NOT for them.
Cousin Butchie has learned another lesson about some undertakers, but I will save that for for another day. It's far too miserable to ponder it here and now.
Thanks for "listening" and thank you for letting me be you listener when you are faced with a crisis or problem of your own.
Dear Cousin Butchie,
My husband and I have been among the first couples to marry in NJ. It was a liberating experience and everyone(almost) in both our families were supportively accepting and made ours a wedding to remember.
The honeymoon is now over and my husband was discussing the possibility of mutually agreeing to hook up with other men without causing a collapse of our marriage. I'm not talking about threesomes, but each of us having the right to have one night stands with another man.
My husband says that we should do this because we don't need to mimic the way heterosexual couples live out their marriages. He also pointed out the fact that about 50% of their marriages end in divorce-- so following their lead isn't a proven recipe for success.
Butchie, I feel threatened by this entire idea. Even if you disagree with me, I would appreciate your opinion.
This is not the first time I have heard this question asked. I fully realize that I am going to aggravate somone with my answer, but that will happen no matter how I respond.
My primary feeling is that no couple enters a marriage relationship without making definite vows and promises to each other. If a dude cares enough for another dude to enter a marriage commitment with him, I believe it is a sacred trust. The notion that we are copying how heterosexuals do things is almost amusing. We have crusaded for many, many years to have the right to marry and the legal benefits entailed.
If the two of you decided prior to the marriage that it would be an open affair, I guess I would feel more comfortable with it, but this is also a case of following the heterosexual example. The Kardashians and the late Elizabeth Taylor certainly have made a statement about the sanctity of marriage! If your husband insists on playing around you need to either accept or reject that conduct. If you love him enough to allow it, God bless you! You will forever be buying condoms and worrying about safe sex. I also believe you will have some resentment, and the marriage will not be the same. I think that the trust will have left your relationship. Even if he tells you he will be monogamous, you have no reason to believe him.
I invite readers to please write in on this subject. We all have different beliefs and opinions, and I welcome anyone who wishes to give Mark(and me) the benefit of theirs.
JUST IN CASE NO ONE HAS TAKEN THE TIME OR THE LOVE TO WISH YOU A HAPPY GROUNDHOG'S DAY, I SEND THIS WISH YOUR WAY.
THE GROUNDHOG DID SEE HIS SHADOW, SO WE HAVE SIX MORE WEEKS OF WINTER!
Dear Cousin Butchie,
I'm writing to you before the horrendous snowstorm hits us here in New Jersey. I will not have school tomorrow, and I am also not feeling well.It's probably the flu.Physically feeling lousy doesn't make me look forward to what I know is going to happen tomorrow. I have an aunt who is a "born again" someting or other and she is absolutely, totally, 100% out to save the world-- especially me, her gay nephew. Whenever she is able to get me alone, she gives me a ration of shit about my choice to be gay, my forthcoming eternal damnation.... you get the idea. My parents have been fully accepting of me as their gay son, but they don't run any interference when they know that my aunt is around and may attack. Mom says that my aunt will change her prejudice as she continues to see what a good person I am. Dad doesn't like my aunt at all, and they haven't spoken in years.
I know that my aunt will phone tomorrow. She will have nothing better to do, so she will call on my cell phone and grasp the chance to "save" me again. I can't think of a way to handle her. Should I hang up on her?
I can understand what you are dealing with, and I am surprised that your accepting parents don't tell your aunt to put a lid on it and stop bugging you. Since they are useless in this situaton, I suggest that you answer her call and exchange pleasantries if that's how she usually begins. Once she starts to attack your sexual orientation DO NOT HANG UP. Instead, merely put the phone under your pillow or in the hamper and walk away. She will stop fairly soon. You don't need to be her victim or the person she feels a special obligation to "save".
Whenever it's convenient, talk to your parents about your aunt. Even if you've told them before, tell them again. You have no obligation to be your aunt's victim.
It's a few weeks before Valentine's Day...why not buy a very sweet and thoughtful card for your aunt. Get one of the cards that will make her read that she is the most wonderful person on earth. She may become totally confused by this gesture. What you're trying to do is make her speechless and this might accomplish that-- thanks to Hallmark.
Dear Cousin Butchie,
I know that my gay brother reads your column and talks about it with his friends. I'm hoping you will hear me out and offer some sensible advice or consolation. I have never had a problem when my brother came out of the closet when he was 14 years old. He actually came out to me first at 12 and didn't tell our parents until he was 14. I am just two years older, and I do love my little brother. I can also confess that I am very attracted to some of his gay friends, but they are not attracted to me. I mean, they are cool with me, but they treat me like just a sister.
Our parents are the real problem. Since little bro came out to them, they have jumped completely into the gay scene. They attend meetings of PFLAG(Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays) and attend pride marches. It seems that every other sentence concerns LGBT people, their parents or their latest advocacy project. Well, here I am, their daughter Eloise, and I don't feel that they show any interest in me at all. I do well in school and have some good friends, but I never believe that my parents want to pay any attention to anything I'm involved with. If it means writing a check, they'll do it, if it means attending one of my plays or recitals, they often go, but their body language shows that they are really just doing me a big favor.
I have tried to discuss all of this with my brother, and he thinks I am jealous and acting stupid. He then said something that ticked me off so much that I decided to write for your opinion. Little bro said that if I craved attention so much, I should come out as a lesbian! Is he screwed up or what?
I can feel your pain and angst. I think that your parents are wonderful in their acceptance of your brother's sexual orientation. Even today, in some homes, this is not the way things go. I don't think they are intentionally showing you less attention, but since they want to make your brother feel certain of their understanding and support, they have jumped into the "accepting parents of a gay child" mode. I think you might be a little jealous or unhappy because your brother's life seems more important than yours which is not the case. They have not abandoned you, and they do attend your shows and recitals. I'm not sure how their body language gives you the feeling that they are just doing you a favor. How does body language show that?
Since you asked for my opinion, I suggest you immediately find a time when you can talk to both of your parents. Do it when your brother is at the mall, on a date, or cruising for one. Tell your parents how you feel. I think it's a good bet that they will realize some degree of validity in what you are saying. This will clear the air and you'll be able to mention whenever you are feeling ignored. I might also add that your challenges and problems as children were not equal. You were probably the ideal child who never presented your parents with much concern. Your gay brother on the other hand, probably presented some problems and worried your parents. When a gay person realizes he or she is LGBT, it takes a lot of anguish and fear to come out. Even with the best families, there is usually some history of the LGBT child exhibiting conduct problems or isolating from friends and family. The child cannot easily be convinced that the parents will be accepting and supportive.
Eloise, I also think your brother had a great deal of love and trust in you or he would not have told you before he told your parents. In some families, the sibling doesn't act nearly as well as you did. I suggest that you have that conversation with your parents soon. They will probably deny it at first, but they will realize the truth in what you are feeling. And....Eloise, it will get better! Oh yeah, and don't do anything dumb like claiming to be a lesbian...unless you are. Once anyone comes out(even in your joking way), no one forgets.
P.S.-Cousin Butchie wasn't going to mention this but... he once had a cat named Eloise, and she was a wonderful feline. She was the first one Uncle Butchie came out to. How strange is that!?
Dear Cousin Butchie,
My brother and I are ten years apart in age. I am the younger brother who has come out to my family. My older brother didn't react at all when I told him I was gay fifteen years ago. In fact, he joined initially in the harrassment I was getting from my family. Yesterday, Christmas was uneventful beyond the usual gifts and food, but my brother started telling us about two girls he is seriosuly dating. He then asked me if I had "grown up" and stopped being a homosexual. Amidst total silence at the dinner table, I changed the subject.
Here's the problem with the entire situation. I signed on to a gay web site which features live guys on cam going as far as the viewer can pay enough to see. Several weeks ago, to my surprise, there was my big brother online, almost naked, and inviting viewers to pay to see him perform.
I have told a few of my friends, but I seriously want to confront (in front of my family) exactly what the supposedly heterosexual son is doing online.
I didn't do it on Christmas because I got so distracted by listening to him talk about his girlfriends.
Should I tell my family and let them see their older son in action? It would sure take some of the crap off of me.
Oh, and happy holidays!
I realize the very tempting and aggravating situation you are in. Before I would expose your brother to the entire family, why not have a talk with him and tell him that the jig is up. He will protest at first, but let him know that if you keep quiet and he comes out to the family your relationship can become more solid as brothers. I know it's very tempting to stop him from his charade, but make sure you give him the chance to redeem hmself. If he refuses, call the police for protection and out him to your family.
Dear Cousin Butchie,
I hope you had a great Thanksgiving because I did not. I have been with my boyfriend for six months so he decided to ask his parents if I could join them for the holiday. They are uber-accepting parents, so it looked like the visit would be good.
My boyfriend and I have a wild sense of humor, but he used his supposed humor to belittle me in front of his entire family. He was the center of attention at dinner(he was more than a little toasted at the time and drinks a great deal of the time). He went into a few jokes about how stupid I am and then told them that I asked him why he closes his eyes when we kiss. They were in stitches when he told them that the answer was simple--he closes his eyes because I am so ugly.
I sat there while he told totally prevaricated(made up) stories about how I can't cook, don't wear the right kind of underwear, and how lucky I am to have him in my life.
What will ever mend the fences of his ugliness on Thursday?
In my opinion, your boyfriend is not showing much love or respect for you. His excuse might be that he was buzzed at dinner and didn't mean to say anything offensive, but you need to look at your entire relationship and decide if it's just the alcohol that makes him rude and abusive. Trying to live a sane life with an active alcoholic is a no win situation. If this is the case, you need to move on. You don't need to put up with this kind of treatment. A relationship of six months isn't much time to invest in that commitment. You have been shown clear signals that this is probably not the right dude for you.
If you talk to him and he decides to go to Alcoholics Anonymous, you might give him another chance.
Today we are celebrating WORLD A.I.D.S. DAY. In most respects, this has not attracted much attention in the media, and it's almost a good thing. A.I.D.S. was a "legacy" that our older LGBT were afraid that they were passing down to us. In about 1995-1996, there was a new discovery of anti-viral meds of various types which meant that most of those living with A.I.D.S. were no longer facing a death sentence. For the first time I am told that gay newspapers, such as The San Francisco Reporter, slowly but surely reached a time when there were no A.I.D.S./H.I.V. related obituaries in print.
There is a general perception that A.I.D.S. is so treatable that it no longer poses a problem. This is wishful thinking. All of the medications have side effects, and we are just now learning how the virus will be tolerated by older GLBT people who have reached the golden years. People did not grow as old in the early days of the plague. In addition, the cost of the meds is astronomical.
Doctors also tell us that unsafe sex is still extremely dangerous. Pornographers feature "bareback" dvds which totally ignore the reality of this pandemic. The best advice is to practice safe sex AND have an H.I.V. test every three months or so. We don't need to develop another disease called "AFRAIDS," which makes guys paranoid about any and all sexual contact.
When you read this, say a prayer or observe a moment of silence for all the many people who are memorialized on the NAMES PROJECT A.I.D.S. MEMORIAL QUILT, which was shown in its entirety in Washington, D.C., on the Mall from the Lincoln Memorial to the Capitol. Many have gone before us, and forgetting them would be totally uncaring.
To view the enormity of the QUILT, Google it and see the horrible reality of the pandemic. Remember that many people died and no one made a Quilt in their memory.
Love yourself and others by practicing safe(r) sex until you know you are in a monogamous relationship. Even then, we have heard of many couples who had one cheating partner. The result has been seroconversion.
One final comment, there are probably some guys you know who are H.I.V. Positive. Don't look down upon them or infer that they have been stupid. No one, aside from some mentally disturbed people, ever plans to become infected.
Written by Cousin Butchie because YOU ARE WORTH IT!
Dear Cousin Butchie,
I am writing to you because I am 15+ years old and need the advice of someone like you who is gay and close to my age.
My parents know that I am gay, but we've never had a big discussion about it. It's kind of like the elephant in the living room. My twin sister is a really good sister, but she's allowed to do something which I am forbidden to do. She is allowed to invite four or five girls to have a sleep over at our house. I have no problem with that, and there was one time when they dared me to let them give me a cosmetic makeup session. I'll admit that I was surprised at how fabulous I looked. Pictures were taken, but everyone is sworn not to tell anyone about this. BUT the problem really is that I have asked to have a few of my gay friends have a sleep over, and my parents refused to say anything aside from "no way." What do you think of this situation. Be brutally honest because I can take it.
Very truly yours,
I can feel your pain! It does seem very unfair on your parents' part, but let's really look at the characters in this drama. Your sister is allowed to have her friends sleep over so they can play games, eat snacks, do their makeup and nails, etc, Scott, what would be likely to happen if you slept in the same room with some of your gay friends? Let's be honest here... There would be some joking around and dishing (the foreplay) but sooner than later, you guys would be having some kind of intimate contact, if you get my drift! I could be wrong, but I doubt that I am.
In essence, I think that your parents might be subtly making a decision not to encourage sexual relations under their roof. Many parents feel this way when it's a pairing of a boy and a girl.
I regret having to agree with your parents, but this time I believe they have a right to call the shots.
If you don't hate me by now, I also would like to suggest that you try to discuss the large gay part of your life with your parents. The mere fact that they know and don't speak about it will be more of a problem as time goes by. Spare them the crap, but try to explain what Scott's world is all about. Maybe even pick up a book from the library.
If nothing else, Cousin Butchie can say that he has never met a dude named Scott whom he didn't like. You're another one, I hope!
Dear Cousin Butchie,
I need your advice. I am 16 years old and in a very serious relationship. I know for sure that I will be together with my boyfriend forever. He and I were discussing a future wedding, and he told me that we shouldn't have a wedding announcement in the NY Times because all of the couples' announcements indicate that the guys (or women) are highly successful and usually come from pedigree families-all of which is written in the marriage notice.
I spent $5 last week and bought the newspaper on Sunday. My boyfriend is right. It's all very high shelf gay men pictured there.
Do you agree?
Never call yourself "average" because everyone has some distinct qualities. As for the wedding announcement, remember that you are young, and you may have something very impressive to list in your bio and your boyfriend's. HOWEVER, I just read today's issue over, and I agree with you that it does seem to be a high society register.
The reason(s) other marrying couples aren't listed on these pages can be financial (the cost of an announcement in this newspaper costs a good deal. My suggestion is to wait until you are ready to marry, and then put your announcement in a local newspaper or two. I would be very surprised if more than a few of your friends' parents buy the SUNDAY TIMES.
Oh, and even though you didn't ask, Cousin Butchie will consider coming to your wedding if everything goes well for you two guys, and I hope it does!
Dear Cousin Butchie,
Since this is our Jewish celebration of the new year, I decided to tell you something which I am sure many other Jewish gay guys have experienced. I assume that anyway.
After coming out to my kind of secular Jewish parents, I started to hang around with other gay dudes. I met most them in our school's GSA. (That's Gay/Straight Alliance). I would sometimes go to their homes, and I would invite them to mine for video games (for starters
( lol). I began having a major crush on a guy named Anthony. It soon became obvious that he also felt the same about me. We dated, and I brought him home to meet my mom and dad. After he left, my mom got me aside and said that she really liked Anthony but she didn't think he was Jewish. I told her that he wasn't. The silent treatment started and went on for two days. When she did bring up Anthony's name, she said that it was certainly enough that they were accepting of their gay son, but that my "fascination" with a Catholic boy was pushing things too far. We argued. Dad tried to stay neutral, but he was on mom's side.
Well, Cousin Butchie... that was fifteen years ago, and Anthony has been totally accepted as part of the family. We are planning a wedding in the near future.
That is a wonderful story, and I'm glad you shared it with us. Congratulations on your forthcoming marriage ceremony.
One important thing was not included in your story. What was the reaction of Anthony's parents?
Dear Cousin Butchie,
I am in deep trouble, and I want to ask you how to go about making things better. I have no one else I can trust with the details of this problem.
I am a gay teenager. I knew I was gay for sure when I was 12, I acted on it when I was 14 and came out to my parents. They took a little while to adjust, but they didn't go catatonic on me. I was still their son and they wanted what is best for me. I have had a girl friend (two words) since kindergarten, and she's been very cool about my gayness and she sometimes accompanies me to family functions so people think I'm dating her.
The problem arose three weeks ago. She is pregnant, and I am the father. I don't know how it happened and I remember nothing. I can't believe that I was able to impregnate any girl. Now, I don't know what to do. She's not showing yet, but her parents must be told and mine must be told. If she has my child and lives in the area, things will even get crazier. What in God's name can we do? You must be wondering what subconsciously led me to have sex with her, and I can only think what a buddy of mine said "I didn't want to die wondering."
Congratulations! Without any memory of the event, you had sex with your "girl friend" and now she's pregant with your baby. Somehow, I would have expected that a gay dude would think about condoms in all situations. I won't even speculate on the condition you were in when you had sex with her, but obviously it was nothing that stood in your way of completing the act.
Go to your parents and her parents and tell them everything. A possibility is putting the child up for adoption through Catholic Charities or Planned Parenthood or Jewish Family Service. Any of them can help you or direct you to the right services. If you are comfortable with abortion, that is another option. It is something the girl must believe will be something she can do without remorse, now or later. You are both kids yourselves and you are not capable of raising a child and going to college, etc. Often, in cases like this, one set of grandparents raises the child. For many, many reasons this is not a great plan.
By the way, your buddy's remark about how this happened is stupid. For me, slap him upside the head kind of hard.
Comments from readers are more than welcome, but identities cannot be given.
Dear Cousin Butchie,
I have a question about pornography. Let me start at the beginning. A few friends of mine (and I) enjoy watching gay porn sometimes.
Well, I don't know how it happened, but somebody left some of the dvds around and my mom found them and went ballistic. I just want another gay dude to give an opinion on this topic. It's safer to ask you online than to try to reason with mom myself.
Since you are asking for my honest opinion, I believe that there is some gay porn which is excellent. By that I mean that it's exciting, interesting and the actors all seem to be enjoying themselves. Yes, Cousin Butchie has watched his share. After all, it's good to go along with the safest sex possible.
My advice to you and your friends is to show some discretion. Don't leave anything around for the parents to find.
Also, I have to add that everything is usually good in moderation. With some dudes porn becomes their entire lives. They isolate and dwell on what they had watched (over and over and over). Don't let it become something which consumes your life AND REALIZE THAT IT IS OFTEN A VERY IDEALIZED VIEW OF SEX-- AND NOTHING IN YOUR OWN REALITY IS GOING TO MEASURE UP TO IT. So... if you're going to buy it, remember to consider it entertainment and not a guide to how the vast majority of gay men act in real life.
Dear Cousin Butchie,
I am not GLBT but my brother is and I want to let him know that it's not a problem for me. I honestly sort of snooped into his computer so that he might read this. I hope it works. I do know he reads this NJGayLife.Com website.
I know that you've been having a lot of problems in school and that other dudes bully you. Bro, I've seen it myself and didn't know whether to step into it. I just want you to know that if they ever were really going to try to hurt you, I have your back
I know we have never talked much about sex at all. Our family is kind of repressed, and I'm sure you have wondered as often as I have how we got here. Did our parents actually acquire us in the traditional way...after nine months to prepare? LOL
I want you to know that I love you, Bro. I also want you to know that I want us to talk about any problems (or joys) you have. If you need help telling the parents I'll be by your side if you need me for support.
Dear Big Brother,
The world would be a much better place if there were more brothers and sisters out there who are as supportive of their gay sibling(s). You always have PFLAG as a support. Even if you just want to talk to our gay helpline moderator, it's there for you as well as for parents. Oh yeah, that stands for PARENTS, FAMILIES AND FRIENDS OF LESBIANS OF GAYS. North Jersey number is 1-908-4227. You'll be speaking to a gay person who can listen and advise you if ytou want any advice, like online here but they don't seem to use the helpline too often.
Just because it's so timely, bro, this weekend Sacred Heart Roman Catholic Church is having the "I'm an Upstander" addition to their services this weekend. Petitions against bullying will be given out at the 5 pm Mass on Saturday night and on Sunday at 9 and 11:30.
Sacred Heart Church on Plainfield Avenue in South Plainfield is a gay-friendly parish.
If you were to attend and take home a copy of the petition you signed and then showed it to your brother, it would be a great way to let him know much of what you said in this letter.
Thanks for being you!
++ The petition campaign is aligned with the Tyler Clementi Foundation. Tyler lived in fear of being "found out" and took his own life when other Rutgers students bullyed him by recording an intimate encounter Tyler had with another man. Tyler killed himself, and his family wants to try to prevent another GLBT person (of any age) from such despair that life is not worth living.