I’m writing to you because I’m 18, gay and live in a small town. There’s not a lot for me to do. It seems that if you’re not drinking age or live in a big city, you’re considered a gay outcast. Sometimes, I think there’s no place for me! Help!
Under Age, Medford, MA
Hello Under Age,
I haven’t been underage in ages. However, I can tell you what I (legally) did when I was your age to meet people. Especially today, you can a) get on the internet, b) throw parties and invite other gay people, c) get a job at a place where gay people frequent, d) find a gay youth group in your community or even better, e) call a gay youth hotline. Doing some of these things will definitely help you. Pumpkin, being young and gay has great value! Now get to work!
My best girlfriend just started dating this great girl whom I am falling in love with. I dream about her all the time. How do I stop myself?
Best Friend Troubles, San Diego, CA
Dearest Best Friend Troubles,
Danger! Danger! You can’t go there! You’ll lose your best girlfriend and possibly your self-respect. But, you can’t shut out your feelings either. So, what you can do is dream, but no obsessing. For now, you must keep yourself busy by meeting other women and acting very cool around this new couple. These two may not date forever and at that point, honey, you can start shooting cupid’s arrow quietly. But, please let a month or two pass first! (Saying no is sure hard to do, but sometimes it’s the best option. Check out my cartoon for some advice from the garden.)
Hi Miss Trinity,
I loved seeing you sing on stage. You inspire me! I’d love to sing too, but I’m dreadfully afraid of being on stage. Do you have any advice to help me get on stage?
Introverted Singer, Roanoke, VA
Hi Introverted Singer,
Many performers, including Streisand and Garland, had an awful time being on stage. I myself used to have that problem. But, one night, 15 years ago, I was hired to do a show for a hundred people in a hall in New Hope, Penn. When I arrived wearing a dress fit for the Grammy’s, it ended up being at a private house party for an audience of 11 stoned, naked hippies. Needless to say, I was outraged, livid and fit to be tied! But, the show had to go on. I was so upset that I sang, totally forgetting that I was afraid to sing. And, I’ve been singing ever since. Anyway, darling, keep singing in front of people until it hurts and eventually the pain will get numb.
Finally, I’m thinking of coming out as a gay man to my family, whom I live with in a very homophobic town. Before I do, have you got any supportive words of wisdom?
Coming Out, Lancaster, PA
Dear Coming Out,
Walk towards the light Carol Ann. Congratulations! Coming out usually is a shocker at first, but years later they always say, “I never had a problem with it. You’re crazy!” So, prepare with:
Trinity’s Graceful Tips For Coming Out To Someone
1. Set up a support system for yourself before you say the holy words!
2. First, tell them you have cancer. Then say, “Just kidding! I’m only gay!”
3. Get them to visit gay places, events or gay groups like PFLAG.
4. Feel pride in knowing that it only gets better, after it gets worse!
5. Make sure no one is standing near a cliff when you tell them.
6. Leave a few hints prior to the big surprise. Like this article!
7. Get them to watch “Will and Grace” reruns.
8. Leave yourself a little financial independence before you tell them, just in case.
9. Be understanding toward their new situation! Time heals everything.
10. And, lastly, hold your ground!
— With a Masters of Divinity, Reverend Trinity was host of “Spiritually Speaking,” a weekly radio drama, and now performs globally.
www.telltrinity.com . Trinity@telltrinity.com
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800-637-8696 . www.ptown.org