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. “I had a crush on my friend but gave up on these feelings after learning they were aromantic asexual. Now we’re even closer as friends than we were before and I’m realizing those feelings are still there. This person’s identity has been shifting a lot, so my question is, should I ask if they still identify as an aromantic asexual or just ignore it?”
Charis: I think that it would be okay to bring up their sexuality in a casual manner as if you were inquiring about the sexuality itself, not them specifically. They may correct you and say they don’t identify as that currently; however, if that is still their identity, please respect that and don’t make them uncomfortable. It would probably hurt them a lot if you stopped being friends with them just because of your attraction; kindness and understanding are the most important things you can show to this friend because their sexuality is extremely valid.
S: I definitely think that reaching out to that friend and asking in an easy, casual is a great way to go. It doesn’t have to be anything more than a general, quick question, or you can try to create a little more (but not too much) planned situation that would perhaps make both of you feel more comfortable or relaxed about the situation. At the end of the day, I hope things go your way! If not, take comfort in knowing that you did reach out, and still maintain a very close friendship.
Two. Do you have a celebrity role model that helped you come out/realize you weren’t straight?
Jinny: Growing up I’ve always adored K Stew, but the real motivating force to my coming out has been Ellen Page! Ellen Page was the person that stood as validation to me that I was attracted to girls and it was no longer a maybe-possibly situation anymore. I was never attracted to anybody around me so it was hard for me to not invalidate myself for not “really” liking girls. Her heartfelt coming out was so emotional for me and especially endearing because she was such a big celebrity and 2014 (which was only two years ago) was definitely not as inclusive as we may have remembered it to be. To this day I’m still in love with Ellen and have dreams we’ll converse via hamburger phones.
Joy: Even though she isn’t super popular in mainstream media, Syd tha Kid really helped me to accept myself and my sexuality. Around a year ago I started listening to her band, the Internet. The fact that a sapphic girl was the lead singer made me super happy, and when their latest album was nominated for a Grammy I couldn’t believe that songs about women liking women were being put in the spotlight. I loved listening to her voice and all her songs about her girlfriend, and I felt that I could relate to some of the themes in her music. This almost forced me to think more deeply about my attraction. Over all, the band was a really big part in my coming out process and you should definitely give them a listen!
Sharon: Amandla Stenberg! Before Amandla came out as bisexual, I tried extremely hard to repress my feelings for girls and began manipulating myself into thinking that I was straight. When they came out on the Teen Vogue snapchat, I realised that I felt exactly the same, and seeing how happy they were made me realise that there is nothing wrong about embracing such a large part of my identity.
Three. I’m in a lesbian relationship. How do I respond to people that continually ask, “Who is the man in the relationship?”
Amelia: Because we grow up around lots of heteronormative imagery, it can be hard for people who haven’t been through all the deprogramming to overcome mindsets like that. Maybe the best approach would be to explain that it’s not how that works - that neither of you are the man and to suggest otherwise is degrading. However, don’t feel that you owe anyone an explanation! Your relationship is valid regardless of how other people view it and it can be tiring to correct people all the time. But, if you think they’ll listen, it’s worth a shot!
Mae: The truth is that we live in an embarrassingly heteronormative society, and the question ‘Who’s the Man?’ comes from a place of ignorance. This question is asked by people who don’t understand that the point is, neither of you are the man. There are a bunch of ways you can go about tackling this question, and none of them are wrong. You could try educating them - explaining the facts - though this can become a tiresome and repetitive process. Or you could just laugh at the remark! In all honesty, just go with what you feel is right. You don’t owe anyone any sort of response or educational blurb, just go with what makes you the most comfortable.