Ask Alyssa: “My Sexuality is Not in My Shorts!”

 
 

Mistaken Identity

Hey it’s really cool you are willing to answer questions for people. I have an odd issue: I’m straight, been married five years, love my husband, been with him for 11 years. My husband works at night a lot so [he] tells me to go out with friends. I have a wide base of friends and I’m cool going to whatever bar the group I’m with that nights picks. “It” being a gay or a straight bar.

My problem is, I like cargo shorts, basketball shorts and Jordans. I get a lot of the “Oh, well you’re gay, you don’t know it yet” from a few of my gay friends. I get the “How do you know unless you try it?” and I say the same thing back to them and it starts a fight. I accept them for who they are why can’t they accept me? I don’t want to change the way I dress or stop being me but it’s getting old. — My sexually is not in my shorts, Lauren

Lauren, I loved this email, it’s so honest and simple. You are right, just because you dress in cargo shorts or sports gear does not mean you are a lesbian. On one hand, if you told me that you were constantly getting hit on by girls in a gay bar I’d tell you not to be surprised, but you’re getting razzed by friends who know who you are and that’s not cool.

I have a lot of gay friends who think that “everyone is a little bit gay” and I’m gonna say it. That’s horse shit. Not everyone is a little bit gay, and clothing does not define you. In fact that is absurd. Do they think my best friend Whitney is black because she rocks the dread locks? Do they think all men who pluck their eyebrows or wear the color pink are gay? Probably not. People should be able to wear what ever they feel the most comfortable in without being hassled about what it means to wear it.

I’m not sure why you and your gay friends are actually fighting about this, unless maybe its because one of them is wishing you were gay and since you’re not its striking a nerve. You know, the old bully on the playground kicking the girls he has crushes on. I guess try pulling them aside and having a conversation about it. “Use your words!” Tell them that you enjoy hanging out with them, but that you want to feel comfortable being yourself and wearing what you want without it always being an issue. Tell them you accept them for who they are, and ask them why you’re not getting the same respect and if they can’t be a grown up about it, byeeee! Good luck! — Alyssa

Little White Lies

Hey Alyssa! I think you were definitely born for an advice column, I read the first column you did and it was great. Legit, real world advice people can use, I think you’re awesome for doing this!

Right, so my situation isn’t life altering but it would be great if you could give me your spin on it! I’ve been with my girlfriend for three and a half years and we’re really good together and everything is peachy. I only just turned 20, but I’ve been comfortably out for five years. My girlfriend is not so much. She is really afraid of people judging her or treating her different if they know she’s gay. Her family knows about us as well as very close friends she has and everybody is totally cool with it, but in public we’re just friends and to any new person she meets, she’s straight and I’m her gay friend.

I’ve been trying hard to be patient with her, because she’s not totally comfortable with it and I understand that everyone moves at their own pace, even though it’s ridiculously frustrating for me. I’ve spoken to her about it a lot, and she knows how I feel about the whole situation but she still tells people at her work that she has a boyfriend, gives him a name and fabricates his entire persona so that they’re thrown off the trail. We’ve been living together for almost two years now and the fact that she’s going to great lengths to hide our relationship is hard to handle.

So this weekend she’s been invited to a work friend’s birthday, it’s a couple’s night out. She’s decided to invite one of her best friends along and say that she and her “boyfriend” broke up last week. I just wanted to know what you would do in this situation, how big of a deal would you make of this? I’m starting to feel less and less important in her life as this continues and was wondering if you had any experience with couples where one of them isn’t completely out? I don’t know how much I should push her to be honest with everyone/if I should push her at all. Anyway, if you can find the time to reply to this that would be awesome! — Jenna

Hi Jenna, Thanks for the compliments, I’m certainly trying and I hope my advice is helpful. Your email is very interesting, and there are a few points that I’d like to touch on before I give you my advice. Coming out is a very personal thing, and there is no proper timeline for doing so. People need to come out at their own pace and pushing someone to come out before they are indeed “ready’”could not only be dangerous for your relationship but also their mental health.

The other thing I would like to point out is that I think your girlfriend has already taken a really big step. In my opinion she has taken the scariest step, coming out to her family. You mentioned that she is out to her family and her close friends and to me that’s huge. The work place is a very different animal, one never knows how their colleagues are going to take something like this and in the event that they take it badly, the fear of loosing one’s job, or being ostracized and alienated on a daily basis at work, place they need to go, might just be too much to handle.

My advice to you would be to encourage her to stop telling those “little white lies” at work. She doesn’t need to come out to her colleagues, but at the same time she doesn’t have to make up a fictional boyfriend or life. She can just leave that part out, or say, I have someone special at home and leave it at that. You are young and there is no need to rush anything especially something like this.

When your girlfriend is ready she will come out to the rest of the world, but for now, be happy that her close friends and family know who she is and what you mean to her. I can’t stress this enough, coming out is the most personal thing and you cannot rush her or anyone else. I hope this helps. — Alyssa

If you have a question you would like me to answer email me at AskAlyssa@make-faces.com! Don’t forget to follow me on Twitter @AlyssaMorganLA xo-Alyssa

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