Queeries is an LGBTQ+ advice column catering to any individual across the gender and sexuality spectrum. Throughout this series, we will be answering questions or “inqueeries” that readers may have, and hopefully provide some closure and/or useful advice that can be used in everyday life. All questions are anonymous and will be answered to the very best of our abilities. Inqueeries can be sent to our Instagram’s DM @risenmags, email address: firstname.lastname@example.org, or Tumblr page: risenmags.tumblr.com
One. If you’re male and dating a transgender male, does that make you gay?
Victoria: Sexuality is very complex and just because both you and your significant other are male, it does not necessarily mean you’re gay. People who are attracted to men can be gay, yes, but they can also be bisexual, pansexual, polysexual, etc. All being male and dating a trans male means is that you are attracted to men! Identifying as gay means that you are solely attracted to men and no other gender. Some people find comfort in adopting a label that fits them best, but if you’re not ready for that don’t worry about it and just enjoy your time with your significant other!
Two. How do I come out to my homophobic family?
Liv: My advice would be to not come out to your homophobic family. Of course, this is easier said than done - because it essentially means “don’t be yourself” - but I think your safety and wellbeing is much more important than coming out in a toxic environment. It is better not to subject yourself to possible hostility if it can be helped. As long as you have some sort of support group (friends, teachers, the online community, even the Risen fam) that accepts you for who you are, then hopefully it will make you feel less lonesome. With that being said, I hope, with every fibre of my being that with time your family will come around, and you can be yourself.
Jinny: I still have issues concerning my coming out process with the rest of my family minus my mom and sister, but I think timing is key. If you’re concerned about the living environment, and if you are able to live with them at all, I would say to wait. I know it’s hard to just sit around and wait, and even pretend to be someone you aren’t, but if there is a concern for your safety and wellbeing, wait it out. Another thing to keep in mind is that they are your family and do love you- no matter what they say! Like Liv said, it helps if you can find a community that will support you no matter what. Something you could try is to have someone be there for you as a mediator and ally. Best of luck, I wish you the safest coming out!
Joy: The most important element of this process is your safety. If you fear that you’ll be in danger (mentally or physically) when you decide to come out, it might be a better idea to wait. Like Jinny and Liv said, support groups or allies, such as other family members, friends, or even a club like GSA could help you get through this situation. I know it isn’t easy to deal with parents who don’t value the same things as you do, but I hope everything goes well!
Three. If you’re gay can you still find the opposite sex attractive?
Alexis: Yes, of course! Aesthetic attraction really doesn't affect your true attraction to someone. For example, I think plenty of people are good looking but I'm not attracted to them. Finding people attractive doesn't mean you're any less gay, or any less anything. It just means you see someone who has features you like. Everyone finds different things attractive! Some people prefer different eye colors or face shapes. Finding different people attractive is something almost everyone experiences every day, so (if you are concerned) don't worry about being any less gay than someone else, because, hey, people are cute! You're cute! I'm cute! Finding people cute is a normal thing!
A: Absolutely! Though, I feel like (for me at least, as a gay girl) there’s something that makes me almost panic when I think of a guy as cute because I feel like I’m invalidating my own identity in a way. However, I’ve come to realize that, as Alexis said, you can totally think of someone as attractive without being attracted to them. Though it is definitely hard to rid yourself of that mindset. Your sexuality is still valid even if you find members of the opposite gender as attractive.
S: I definitely think this is true. Even if you’re not sexually attracted to the opposite sex, it’s absolutely possible to see someone in passing and admire how they look or how they dress. Humans are almost trained to pick out the different details in different people from first contact and finding individuals attractive is just one part of that. Whether it’s a nice highlight, or an interesting hairstyle, I think we’re all bound to pick up on that and think “Wow” in our heads.
Four. How do I flirt with a girl?
S: Honestly, and I’m speaking from experience here, it’s not that hard! I know it sounds corny, but be yourself and be nice. Give her plenty of compliments, smile a lot, or touch her arm casually in conversation. It’s always great to compliment her personality as well as her looks because it tends to seem more sincere. Keep in mind that flirting should be a fun way to show that you’re interested in someone and not something that stresses you out. Good luck!
Wishing you all a happy and safe Bisexual Awareness Week!