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"Is 'uhauling' a bad idea? I hooked up with someone I was casual friends with for the first time just over a week ago, and it was like something clicked. We've been hanging out and/or talking every day and it's just so easy and wonderful and makes me really happy. I really really like her and for the first time feel like I've found something that I really want to become serious and really want to last. But if one of my friends were doing this I'd tell her to cool it and take her time. Thoughts??"

-Question submitted by Anonymous

Kristin Says:

Ooooookay okay okay okay great news: you just answered YOUR OWN QUESTION. Let me help you find it. Ready:

“If one of my friends were doing this I’d tell her to cool it and take her time.” – you, just now, being very wise.

“I’d like to move in with a girl who I made out with for the first time one week ago.” – you, just now, being not-nearly-as-wise.

U-Hauling, so to speak, is a term oft used to describe lesbians who move in together quickly. Now, “quickly” is a relative term (as is “lesbians” wheee), so I can’t really place a judgement on the entire PRACTICE of U-Hauling (and like, let’s be clear, we could probably all have a nice sit-down chat about the roots and usage of the phrase and get a good rousing back and forth going on our related feelings, but for now ADVICE). What I can say to you, Anon, is that ONE WEEK IS TOO FAST FOR GOD’S SAKE. That might even be too fast to be called U-Hauling. Maybe that would be called Rocketshipping. Or something.

You are having a GREAT time. That is GREAT.

How. Ever. This is akin to you discovering you love jelly beans, and then going to the store to buy 100 bags of jellybeans, then painting your room with jelly beans, then buying a jelly bean costume, then composing a song about jelly beans, then renaming yourself jelly bean. Chances are, jelly bean, you’re gonna hate jellybeans reaaaaaallll quick after that spree.

If you love jelly beans so much, just get yourself some jelly beans and sit down on a comfy couch and be like *snacking noises* MMMMMMM I love jelly beans! Applying this to your current situation, you can just sit down on a comfy couch with girl-you-adore and be like *kissing noises* MMMMMM I love girl-you-adore! YOU CAN EVEN CALL HER JELLY BEAN!

My point (I have one!) is that you can enjoy a good thing without having to take all of the steps to commitment-land right this very instance. In fact, you moving in so quickly makes me feel like you’re panicked that it might slip away… and I can’t say this strongly enough: moving in together does not mean you are securing a forever. Hell, marrying someone and even having babies with them doesn’t secure a forever. Nothing secures a forever, which is why falling in love is so terrifying and wonderful all at the same damn time!!

I advise you to enjoy this person. I advise you to feel terrified every minute, and to feel glorious every minute, and to imagine your wonderful castle in the clouds that you will build out of cotton candy some day. I advise you to appreciate the tiny, wonderful parts of not living together now, because once you move in, those tiny, wonderful parts won’t be there anymore! Do you know how much I miss getting ready for a date and showing up and being like BADOW DON’T I LOOK FLY?!?! Now my wife watches me toss clothing all over all the rooms while I hunt for the perfect outfit, or she just gets to hang out with me in sweatpants bc why not?! You’ll get to sweatpant-land, too, don’t worry (and there are parts that are lovely), but enjoy the now while you are in it!!!!!

Breathe in. Breathe out. Unpack your bags. Kiss the girl you love.

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"Hi, I recently went to a Rainbow Youth Night in my local area and saw someone I knew from school. The thing is, they introduced themselves to my friend with a different name than the one they are know by at school(with pronouns they,them). I would love to approach this person and ask which name they'd prefer me using because I'd hate to be calling them something they're not comfortable with, I just don't know what exactly to say. Also I've been working up the courage to ask this person out so.."

-Question submitted by Anonymous

Kristin Says:

Oh this is great, this is just GREAT.

You see, because you have two lovely, totally awesome questions to ask! Here’s how it’s gonna go:

YOU: Hi, I have two important questions to ask you.

THEM: Cool, I love questions.

YOU: What name do you prefer I use for you?

THEM: Oh! Thanks for asking. I would love it if you called me Todd.

YOU: Awesome. So, Todd, would you like to go on a date with me?

THEM: Did Kristin of Everyone Is Gay tell you how to ask me out, because this is SO ROMANTIC. Yes, yes I would. *heart eyes*

BOTH OF YOU: *in love forever*

~ end scene ~

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"What should you do when you say a shitty thing to someone? I am generally careful about my words, but I made a joke that was actually not very nice to someone I care about. I have recognised what I did wrong, apologised to the person whose feelings I hurt, and respected their need to be distant from me for now. But now, all I want to do is fall into a spiral of self-hatred and never leave my house again for fear of doing something shitty again, which doesn't feel healthy or productive."

-Question submitted by Anonymous

Kristin Says:

I want to start by telling you that, given the context of this question, you have already done two incredibly wonderful things: First, you’ve recognized that your misstep affects two people – yourself, and the person you care about. Second, and most importantly, you’ve prioritized the needs of the person you care about by recognizing, apologizing, and respecting their space. The importance of those actions cannot be overstated. So, so many people who are in a similar position to you, Anonymous, get so wrapped up in that self-hatred part of the equation (and we are gonna get there, hang tight), that they do not prioritize the overarching respect that is so critically important to the person who has been hurt by their actions or words.

I want you to begin by acknowledging the respect you are giving to the person who you’ve hurt. That is a productive, positive action that you have taken and are continuing to take.

Now listen to me: you are not defined by one moment, one action, one utterance. What defines any person is the way that they respond, learn, and adjust after they do something that has hurt another person (or a group of people). Yes, of course, it would be just lovely if no one ever said words that hurt others, never took actions that caused harm… but that just isn’t possible. We do not live in a utopia, we live on a planet that is riddled with misinformation, complicated and troubling messages, and a whole butt-ton of inter-personal feelings. The truest path on this little planet to a place of healing and growth is found by learning from the moments where we all, inevitably, misspeak or misstep.

Once, at a speaking event that I did years ago in Tennessee, a student expressed concern, and hurt, during the Q&A. With the room full of hundreds of students, she said to me, “during your talk you said that people were either LGBTQ or straight. I am a trans woman and I identify as straight, and that really made me feel erased.” My eyes likely got as big as dinner plates as I realized what I had done – I had used my words in a way that not only caused this person to feel erased, but that had potentially misguided a room full of people! I felt horrible, but I also immediately realized that this person speaking to me deserved an immediate apology, recognition, and a promise for change. And, that is what happened. I apologized. We had a long, incredible conversation about gender, sexuality, and erasure while the audience listened, and I changed that part of the event forevermore so that I wouldn’t ever misinform anyone else on that false dichotomy.

Now, that doesn’t mean I never misspoke again, Anonymous. It does mean, though, that I never misspoke in that way again, and that I became even more vigilant about choosing my language and constantly, consistently educating myself. You will leave the house again (you must! you’ll at least need some gummy bears from time to time), and it is completely, 100% possible (and even likely!) that when you do you might hurt another person through your words or your actions. You are not a perfect person. You do not know all the things about all the people or even all the things about your own language!! No one is, and no one does. What I can promise you, though, is that you have learned something from this experience, and you can use that knowledge to help you make better choices and choose better words in the future!!

So. When you feel that pang of “what the fuck did I do,” turn it on its head and make it productive. That’s how you escape from a self-hate that will always, only be unproductive! In the morning, when the moment flashes through your brain and you wince and start to spiral, find a quiet spot and meditate. Clear your brain. Help your emotions to find a place of balance, because that balance will better guide you and your words next time. In the afternoon, when you think “what the hell is WRONG with me, how could I have done that,” find a book, an article, a video, a podcast that has informative, balanced content so that you can be better informed and educated. That education will help you to understand the world around you in even more complicated and nuanced ways, and that will also help to guide you next time. In the evening when you start to sink into a deep, desperate longing that it had never happened… remember that it did happen, and that you are learning from it, and that is the way that the world changes. Keep working on yourself, continue to respect the needs of those around you, and please, please leave your house. That courage, Anonymous, is what will help change things for yourself, and for a whole lot of others.

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“I’ve been fooling around with my straight best friend for 6 months. Surprisingly, he made the first ‘moves’ and we progressed from there, but we agreed to keep it as ‘friends with benefits.’ But we act like a couple – we do everything together, and we both even say I love you several times a day. The only thing he won’t do is admit we’re ‘together,’ even though our close friends even say we’re a good couple. I call him Mickey (from Shameless) because he won’t admit he’s gay. Do I just wait?”

-Question submitted by Anonymous

Shane Billings Says:

In times like this I find great comfort in the electropop yodeling of Gwen Stefani, whose first solo album demanded that we ask ourselves: What you waiting for? 

Not-so-totally long ago, I fell for a guy who kept small Warhol prints hanging on the wall of his bathroom, each with a different quotation. One, in particular, read: “The idea of waiting for something makes it more exciting.” So I’d be visiting this guy, and I’d be in his bathroom, checking for boogers or stray hairs before smoochy time. And I would see this particular print and wonder… Does waiting actually make it more exciting?

Like, waiting at the DMV never made my registration tags sparkle or shimmer. Two hours in line at Space Mountain maketh not a spacier thrill. Waiting, in and of itself, does not promise meaning or value to the futures we’re hoping for.

So to answer your question: no, you shouldn’t JUST wait. Take your Gwen Stefani moment, and find out what exactly it is you’re waiting for. Waiting for Mickey to admit he is gay could be frustrating and insensitive to the reality that he may be searching for a different way to define his own sexuality.

Instead, pair the waiting with a variety of other things, like a behavioral platter of fruits and soft cheeses. Tell Mickey how you’re feeling about the dynamic in your relationship, and that you love him. Then wait a little.

Enjoy the current status of your relationship, and take pleasure in the fact that you’re able to do everything together. Expand your definition of “everything.” Wait a little more.

Watch a few Nora Ephron movies. Read a few Nora Ephron books. Then wait a little.

In a relationship, waiting can be a courageous act, so long as the waiting doesn’t make you inactive or resentful. Be generous and be kind. Give Mickey time and space to define his sexuality on his own terms. Appreciate your role in his discovery.

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