Learning How To Swim

It may be about the motion of the ocean, and we may be boys without boats, but we definitely know how to swim. :)

smilingbutches asked: Just a comment, really - I was JUST WATCHING that Buffy episode. Badass.

Buffy is always badass. 

Anonymous asked: It's a collective (Hi, Queer Elephant again) and the reason I know all of them is that I joined a youth group for girls. They keep asking me to come to stuff now that I'm on break, but I just can't face them right now. I am a mentor to a sweet little 11 year old. How am I going to tell her that I'm actually her big brother?

Alex says: 

It can be difficult to deal with a large group, especially an association, like a youth group. When I was in this situation, the first things I did (it was kinda at the same time) is I told my mentees and the adviser that I reported to. Your adviser (preferably trusted) will be able to help you deal with the group as a whole. In regards to your lovely little 11 year old: she already looks up to you,  respects you, etc. So the likely hood of out rightly changing her mind in length of a sentence is slim. Think of it as a mentor’s lesson.  

As we get older, we evolve and change as people. We realize things about our selves and how we feel. You have realized that you are and feel like a boy and you unlike most boys have the unique and fantastic insight on what its like growing up as a girl (this will come in handy if you ever have children). You have always been the person you are, the only thing that is different is the title, pronouns, etc. Its kinda like generic vs brand name. Different name, same stuff. 

I would recommend talking to your mentee about it, just as much as your adviser. This will give your mentee a chance to learn more about the different people they will meet in life. Your adviser might be able to help you work through things with your youth group. There will come a time, that you may no longer feel it appropriate for you to be involved with an organization the same way your are now. 

I’ll give you an example: I love sports. Specifically softball. I played varsity my entire high school career. I got college scholarship offers but I just didn’t feel comfortable being on a women’s athletic team. It became very disforic regardless of how much I love the sport. I will support people playing and now I coach my old high school’s team. So basically you just need to find where you can fit it with the things you love (if they are gendered), but do it on your own time and at your own comfort level. 

(hope that helps)

Anonymous asked: I need to come out to a large group of people who have known me since I was about 11, but how do I do it? I'm so afraid that they'll hate me, or I'll be that awkward queer elephant in the room for the rest of my life. The family disgrace. Help?

Ben says: Are you talking about coming out to a large group of people collectively or you just have a large number of people to come out to? Either way, here’s the thing. If you want to come out, come out. If they hate you or abandon you or treat you like an outcast, that’s their problem and you’ll know that you need to find people that shouldn’t care who you are. Friends and family are supposed to love you no matter what. 

Anonymous asked: Thanks for the advice (emotionally oblivious partner person). Thing is, I've laid the problem out for him before, multiple times. I've told him when he reacts to but doesn't address my feelings it makes me feel like he isn't listening or is being dismissive of how I feel, but when I do that, he gets angry/cries and tells me I'm invalidating his feelings. It's an exhausting cycle. I'm always the one who apologizes/compromises b/c if I don't, he finds a way to get back at me. How do I deal?

Alex says: You should never have to apologize for having feelings. When you are constantly apologizing and having things held over you, it is no longer a healthy relationship. You are allowed to have feelings just like he is, so stop apologizing for having feelings. 

Plus: he is being hypocritical. by invalidating your feelings, by saying that is all you are doing to him…  Making a disagreement all about himself is huge red flag for immaturity. 

Ben says: Alex is right about the immaturity, drop him like a hot pan straight out of the oven

Anonymous asked: My ex boyfriend and I are currently friends with benefits. This ex boyfriend has dumped me three times. Every time he wants to have sex he texts me and asks me to drive 3 hours to come see him. I have done it a few times, and I know he's just using me, and won't go out of his way to do anything for me, but I"m still scared to lose him and I don't know how to handle this situation!!!

Ben says: 

A.) He dumped you three times.

B.) He sends you out on a booty call 3-fucking-hours away.

C.) You know for a fact he is using you.

In short, you deserve someone that treats you right and you aren’t “losing” anyone, you’re getting rid of some garbage that should have been taken out long ago. 

Alex says: honey bunches of oats… aint no man worth a 3 hours of emotional bull shit drives him cumming and then you driving home. its not worth it. and if he wants to get off he needs to make better friends with their right hand. and if its you he wants, he can drive to you.

there’re plenty of good people who are great at sex and wont use you like a dick…

I know that you have feelings for the man but booboo… it just aint worth all that trouble…

Anonymous asked: I think my partner is emotionally manipulative. Whenever I tell him about how something he's done has made me feel upset, he turns the conversation so instead of talking about how what he did/said made ME feel, it's about how my reaction to what he did/said made HIM feel. Is this a BS move to make me feel guilty/keep him in a position of power over me, or am I not being empathetic enough? I feel crazy because I'm always second guessing my instinct but it's possible I'm just that bad at empathy?

Ben says: Sorry it took so long to get back. Finals suck. :| Anyway, long story short, your partner isn’t so much emotionally manipulative as he completely oblivious to anyone’s feelings but his own. 

Alex says: I would recommend a feelings session. Both of you write down how you feel and then trade. You could be more aware of what his feelings are and he can pay more attention to his actions and your feelings. 

Anonymous asked: I've just decided to end my 2-yr hiatus on all things relationship and sexual and I haven't the slightest idea what to tell myself as motivation to get out there. I'm an introvert and just finished working through a serious bout of depression and I can feel myself ready to meet people again, but...I don't know what the first step should be. It's not love I'm looking for or anything, just (and this sounds so creepy) an arrangement or something. Any ideas?

Ben and Alex agree on (surprisingly): Ok Cupid. :) 

PS: its okay to be an introvert but confidence is important.:) know you are awesome and don’t be afraid to let other people see that. :)

shaggy-rogers asked: Okay, so my best friend also happens to be the person I fell in love with. I know he likes me as more than a friend (we kind of have a friends with benefits relationship) and he has told me he loves me before. He is afraid of relationships because it has ruined a friendship of his before and says he doesn't think he could lose me. I don't know if I'm just buying into his bullshit, or if its true. I wish he would just ask me out, so I wouldn't be so confused about our relationship and what we are

Mother Queer says: You all need to have a big talk and you need to tell him honestly how you feel : that you are feeling insecure and that you don’t want pressure him but you feel that you need an “official” name on this relationship

Alex’s Husband says: well you’re in a pickle. Make him your boyfriend or be done.

Ben: Sounds a bit like commitment-phobe. He is very comfortable where he is and you aren’t giving him a reason to not be scared. IF you have a conversation with him and he flees or doesn’t flee: he will either realize what he wants or you will know that he isn’t in a good place to have a relationship. Don’t attach your self to someone who isn’t willing to participate in a committed relationship if that is what you want. 

Alex says: If he doesn’t want to loose you, he won’t. The clause of the relationship would need to be something along the lines of we are friends, if we decide a relationship isn’t for us, then we will be just friends. if it comes to yeah this just isn’t working… move on. Its like the anti commitment commitment clause. And if you decide a relationship is for you. Be happy. Just don’t forget to have good friend times in addition to romantic associate time. :) 

But if you are going to be just friends with benefits that needs to be mutually understood and stated. Because that is a whole different boat that she should have minimal emotions in regards to sex