The Bottom Whisperer: Suck It Up
My little brother came out last year shortly before he left to start his freshman year of college. My mom cried, my dad said he’d love him no matter what. I had a sneaking suspicion for a while that he was questioning his sexuality. Overall, I think he had a good coming out experience and feels loved and supported.
He left in August and came home for our grandparents’ anniversary a few weeks ago. I noticed some pretty big changes in how he presented himself. He dresses a lot more… well, gay. As a matter of fact, much of his identity seems to be focused on his sexuality. He also seems to be much more open about his attraction for guys.
We had a few conversations about guys he has been… ‘seeing’ at school. He is my kid brother and I worry about him making good choices. I also want to make sure that he is being true to himself. How do I go about bringing this up with him without hurting his feelings or making him feel bad?
Struggling Inside Sibling
So baby brother has gone off to college and come back a raging queen? Did he make you hold his purse so he could give you a hug? Worry not SIS, your brother is fresh out of the closet and searching for his footing as a gay man.
I always like to make the analogy that coming out is like going through puberty all over again, no matter what age you do it. You kinda go back to square one in a lot of ways. You have to relearn the dynamics of your interpersonal (specifically sexual and dating) relationships. Your baby brother has been bottling up the fact that he is a big old homo for years now and the combination of coming out and starting life as a young adult on his own have opened the floodGAYtes and created a homo tsunami.
Don’t fret – accept! You might feel like he is changing or no longer the kid brother that you have always known. On the flip side, he probably feels like he doesn’t have to hide who he is any longer and is revealing himself to you unabashed, for the first time.
Now on to the real issue I picked up from your question: your brother appears to be going through his ‘gay whore phase,’ a phenomenon experienced by many gay men shortly after coming out. Again, I will point to my puberty comparison, except your brother has access to a bunch of equally horny young gay and bi-curious men with which he can learn the ropes.
SIS, I would suggest you take baby brother aside and let him know that you love and accept him and want him to make good life choices. This is a great opportunity to arm your kid bro with the information he needs to be a responsible sexually active person. Sexual health is a big responsibility, one that he has to take ownership of.
Considering most college freshmen only exposure to sexual health education is what they got in a 1 hour health class taught by one of the football coaches, and what they gained on television, it might be time to drop some knowledge on baby brother to make sure that swish in his walk is because he’s fierce, not because he’s itching and burning downstairs.
About 2 years ago I was secretly involved with a guy who had a boyfriend. This is totally over with and I no longer have feelings for him. Now that I am in a relationship of my own, I can’t help but worry that my boyfriend is running around behind my back. He’s never given me a reason to think that he is cheating on me and he is very affectionate, but I can’t shake the little voice in the back of my head because of the guilt from what I did. Do you have any suggestions on how I can deal with this so I don’t drive myself crazy and can go on with our loving relationship?
Simply Halt Arguing Duo Yesterday
Quick question for you – while you might have done something shitty, running around with a guy with a boyfriend, does this necessarily make you a shitty person? I’d like to think your answer is ‘no.’ Ok, great news! You can forgive yourself! You made a mistake, suck it up – unless that was the mistake we’re talking about here. Learn from it and move on. Don’t carry all that guilt around, and definitely stop projecting it onto your boyfriend. Shit happens, we make mistakes.
The other possibility he is that you might be a jealous boyfriend. The number one cause of jealousy is insecurity. If your boyfriend is doing something that made you feel insecure, which doesn’t seem to be the case, then you could go to him and bring it up in a constructive, non-attacking way.
So SHADY, my advice is to let it go. Just because you fucked up and were the ‘other woman’ in someone else’s relationship doesn’t mean your relationship is doomed to have the same fate. Don’t manifest it and worry about it all the time or you will never be able to trust your boyfriend and you’ll worry yourself sick.
Thanks for the great questions this week! Not that I need your validation, but you should ‘like’ me on Facebook! I’ll be back with another juicy column next hump day!