Community + Activism / Finding Community

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

“My girlfriend and I moved across the country two years ago. Now we’re breaking up, and I’m starting to realize that–because we were together when we moved across the country–I never really made my own friends here. How does a twenty-something baby adult make friends, AND get over their first heartbreak at the same time?”

- Question submitted by Anonymous

Dannielle Says:

Do stuff.

That’s it, that’s the answer to all people who are trying to meet people. No matter your age, interest, amount of heartbreak, DO STUFF.

I don’t care what it is, really. Take an improv class, do computer work at a cafe instead of from home, check out the local LGBTQ community center events, volunteer for something you give a shit about, do free yoga and talk to the teachers after.

Oh, and after you do stuff. REACH OUT.

So many times we meet people and switch phone numbers and we’re like “they’re so dope, i’ll wait to see if they text me because if they don’t text me then they obviously don’t want to be hanging out with me” … guess who else is doing that? THE PERSON YOU JUST SWITCHED NUMBERS WITH, THEY ARE LITERALLY SITTING AT HOME SAYING THE SAME THING. SO NO ONE IS TEXTING NO ONE AND IT’S ALL FOR NO REASON.

Put it TF out there.

Seriously. When I first moved to LA I was lonely AF and my friend (who I barely knew at the time) was like “WANNA COME TO MY BDAY AND MEET SOME PEOPLE” and I said okay…mind you, I was dreading every second. I showed up, met some people, and one girl gave me her e-mail address. SHE GAVE ME HER EMAIL ADDRESS. So I was like “cool she doesn’t care about being friends,” but I reached out anyway because worst-case scenario she doesn’t email me back and who cares we weren’t friends in the first place. Welp, she did email me back, we planned a brunch, spent four hours talking about LITERALLY EVERYTHING and now she’s a good friend of mine.

Fucking put yourself out there, everyone! IT WORKS.

Hi! Our advice is always free for all to read & watch. Help us keep this gay ship chuggin’ by donating as little as $1/month over here on Patreon. xo


, , , , , , , , , , , , ,

“I’m 17 years old and I move around a lot because my parents are in the military. I’m semi-“out” as gay but I have trouble finding supportive people in my life because I’m always moving to another city. How do I form a sustainable support system under these circumstances?”

- Question submitted by Anonymous and answered by Shane Billings as part of Everyone Is Gay: Second Opinions

Shane Says:

Sustainable support systems, in general, are challenging. But don’t fret! Seriously, leave those frets at the door. Because, as it turns out, [*adjusts spectacles*] by writing in with your question, you already sort of answered it… like you incepted yourself… like Joseph Gordon Levitt is dance-fighting through a rotating hallway inside your brain.

What I mean is: online LGBTQ support communities, like Everyone is Gay, can be some excellent starting points in looking for sustainable support. The panelists and I may not know you personally, but we’re here to support you!

You can also take a peek at Everyone Is Gay’s Resource Page this list of LGBTQ Resources from Lambda Legal, organized by state. A lot of the groups listed have online components, ideal for gay tumbleweeds like yourself.

Your family can also be a useful starting point. I know you’re not completely out, so you don’t have to like, cartwheel into the kitchen with your Oklahoma!Original Broadway Cast Recording. Take your time, and be safe.

Try generating small conversations with your parents about your situation, even if it’s just to say “Hey, I have a tough time keeping friends because we move so much.” If anything, it can help lay the groundwork for learning to talk about your personal issues in general. Like your CRUSHES [*starts to sweat*] or even KISSING [*shatters into a thousand pieces from feelings*]

[*sweeps up pieces because they made a mess*]

Okay, and also, can I just say…  No matter where you are, or how many fabulous supportive people you know, the most important person in your support system is YO’ SELF… ahem… yourself.

Learn to create a dialogue with yourself (not in a weird Gollum vs. Smeagel way, but in a cute Hey, Self. I think you’re dope. Keep it up! kind of way).

Do you a keep a journal? I highly recommend it. It’s like having an imaginary pen pal (a.k.a. support system), who always reads your letters because your thoughts, reflections, and feelings are valid. More than anything, it’s great to have a safe and boundless space where you can articulate yourself.

But if journals aren’t your thang… Some people use prayer, some people do affirmations in the mirror. However you choose to do it, learning to be your own support system is an extremely valuable skill, especially when you’re the “forever new kid in town” (potential garage band name???).

And finally, my advice for any person looking for self-support is: find a full-length mirror, throw on your most bodacious I-can-do-bad-all-by-myself music, and leave it ALL on the DANCE FLOOR. Think Kevin Kline from In & Out doing “I Will Survive.” Hell, throw on some high heels and a kimono if you’re feeling it (and trust me, you’re feeling it). Go to it, Tumbleweed! I really believe that once you become the first member of your own support network, others will pick up on it and arrive on their own. And whatever you do, leave those flippin’ frets at the door!

Forever and ever and evarrr,



Love Shane’s work? He is a volunteer contributor! Support him on PayPal!

Click through to read more about Shane and our other Second Opinions Panelists!


, , , , , , , , , , ,

“I am a lesbian living in a small town. I’m kind of "out” on a need-to-know basis, but I also fear that being out to the whole town will change how they treat me. I love my town for a million reasons, but I often wonder what living in a big city with a larger LGBTQ community would be like for me. I don’t want to leave my town, but are there better things out there for me? What should I do?"

- Question submitted by Anonymous and answered by Cassidy Hill as part of Everyone Is Gay: Second Opinions.

Cassidy Says:

I feel like there are two distinct parts to this question. You are a) interested inbecoming part of a community where you can be your authentic, gay self, and b) comfortable living in a small town and worry about big city life.

I can’t and definitely don’t want to make this decision for you. Judging from your question, though, I’m assuming that you’re already really considering life in the big city, but you’re nervous about what that might mean for you, a girl with some small town roots.

I would like to point out that, while big cities do often have pockets of really accepting people, they’re not necessarily exclusively “better” than small towns. Everyone’s story is different, and a great emigration of LGBTQ people out of small towns and into cities isn’t necessarily a “solution” to homophobia. Society as a whole is constantly growing and becoming more queer friendly, but small towns will be left in the dust if everyone leaves, thinking that they’ll only find sanctuary in the city. Both homophobia and sanctuary can be found wherever you are.

I didn’t grow up in a small town, but I definitely spent a good chunk of my life living in one. When I was in high school, I moved from the Baltimore suburbs to a verrry small town in Central Florida. Maybe it was because I didn’t grow up in that world, but small town life did not suit me; I didn’t come out until ages after I left. It also didn’t help that the only two (out) queer people in town weren’t treated super well. It wasn’t a dangerous/miserable existence for them or anything, but they were definitely subjected to your typical small town malarkey—gossip, speculation, unsavory jokes, etc. I’m guessing these are the types of things you worry might happen to you.

I will absolutely say that living somewhere with a large LGBTQ community has amazing benefits—benefits that I can’t imagine living without. When I first started coming out, I had already been living in Orlando for a year. Once I felt comfortable enough, I joined a social group at the local LGBTQ center. I had a lovely group of queer people (queerple?) help me navigate all those tricky stops along the coming out path. When I came out to my parents, my queerple were there to celebrate with me. I went to Pride for the first time. Never had I seen so many rainbow-sporting queer and trans people at once. The aptly named parade had done its job: for the first time ever, I felt proud. Actually proud.

If you’re super duper nervous about uprooting yourself for the city life, I recommend trying to find an LGBTQ center in the closest “big” city nearby. (Hopefully you’re not more than an hour or two away from one). Find out when they’re having a meeting or event, grab a friend, and make a mini-road trip night out of it. If you like it, keep going! (Well…as much as you can, obviously). Ask the locals about nightlife, places to live, what have you. You can build a social niche for yourself for if/when you ever decide to take big city leap.

You might decide not take that leap, and that’s okay! I hope you still manage to branch out and find that LGBTQ group. In all honesty, being a part of a queer group was what helped me through that tough coming out period—not necessarily a big city in general. You might try out the city life and decide that it’s not for you, and that’s okay too! The great thing is: you’ll most likely find yourself equipped with a new sense of confidence. My parents still live in that same town, and I feel less and less closeted each time I go back to visit them. Being around a group of accepting people really does help bring out the “I’m here, I’m queer” in all of us.

I totally get loving your town. Small towns are cozy, friendly, traffic-free, and definitely less stressful than the big city. Plus, you’re surrounded by friends and family members who know you better than anyone. Of course you’d want to preserve that familiarity. The great thing is that nothing is set in stone. You don’t have an obligation to leave; you don’t have an obligation to stay. Just remember: wherever you are, you get to be you—which is awesome. There’s nothing but new experience ahead of you, and that’s pretty exciting.

Good luck in your gayventures! I hope everything works out and that you get the chance to feel out and comfortable no matter where you are.


Love Cassidy’s work? She is a volunteer contributor! Support her on PayPal!

Click through to read more about Cassidy and our other Second Opinions Panelists!


, , , , , , , , , , ,

"It seems to me that alcohol is incredibly popular amongst gay people, it's like 99% of them love drinking... except for me. Nobody particularly forces me to drink, but the peer-pressure to drink is quite intense. I have drunk in the past and know it can be fun, but I took a personal decision to never drink again (gotta keep those neurons healthy) How should I manage that pressure so it doesn't ruin my fun at parties?"

- Question submitted by Anonymous

Dannielle Says:

OH. I don’t drink, just FYI. I, too, have before but just don’t care enough. My reasons: my mom is an alcoholic, it tastes like nail polish remover, it’s a waste of money, it doesn’t actually make me feel more fun / exited / relaxed. So like.. WHAT IS THE ACTUAL POINT?! For me, it doesn’t make sense to spend money on something that I don’t even like the taste of, which will not necessarily make my night any more fun, and then I’ll have to think about my mom, you know? There is legit no point.

Usually when people are like “just try it, it doesn’t taste like alcohol,” I’ll be like “I can already smell it though” and then they’re over it. OR I will taste it and my throat will feel on fire and it will be as disgusting as I’d imagined (or more) in the first place… again, then my friends are over it. PLUS my reasons are pretty valid, so no one feels the need to pressure. AND I’ve been in a situation where I’ve just said, “hey, FYI, I’m not drinking because I don’t want to, so no matter how many times you say something I’m not going to drink bc it’s not a thing that I want even a little bit” and people will be like “oh good point” and it’ll be over.

Another hot tip: I drink sparkling water with lime, people see a drink in your hand and don’t even bother to ask. ORRRRR you can be the loudly proclaimed designated driver. OORRRR you can yell, “I’M ALREADY FUN THOUGH” and dance super hard. ORRRRR you can just politely decline and say “nah, i’m cool!” and keep the conversation going. I think they less you focus on it, the less others will focus on it. AND if they keep harping, do the thing I said before. BYEEEE

Kristin Says:

F*ck yeah.

I don’t know why I just censored myself.


What I mean to say is, all of the things Dannielle just listed are super accurate, spot on, and totally badass. I do drink alcohol when I go out, and I enjoy having a glass or two of wine or a fancy cocktail. That said, Dannielle is one of my best friends on the planet Earth, and I have a goddamn blast with her sober ass each and every time we are out together.

You want to know the truth? Sober people are a good time.
One or two-glass-of-wine Kristin is a good time.
Drunk people (Kristin included) are not such a good time.

They are loud, they don’t understand spatial reasoning, they say things they wish they hadn’t, and they generally feel like a pile of poo and have to eat greasy food and whine about shit for 12 to 48 hours after said drinking is complete. (12 hours is for young people and 48 is what happens when you are an old bag like me).

SO WHAT DO YOU DO, ANON? Well, like I mentioned, Dannielle really nailed it up there, so the only things I would like to add are thus:

1. Stay strong and be vocal: Humans who’ve looked at me when I ask them why they are not drinking and have said, “I am having a blast, and I don’t enjoy drinking,” have made me realize that I, too, probably do not need to have five drinks in a night to have fun. It is a great lesson for all.

2. Leave when you’re over it: Most times, when you stay sober at a party where people are drinking, it is an absolute blast unless/until people start getting wastey. Wastey people, as aforementioned, are a pain in the ass. You will not miss any memories that you will care about if you stay for the fun part and leave when everyone starts looking cross-eyed. What’s even more fun is that this is when people’s memories get foggy, so tomorrow you can legit look at all of them and be like OMG REMEMBER THE ELEPHANT THOUGH?! and they will be so, so confused.

3. I respect you: So should everyone else. Don’t take shit from people and know that you and your neurons are badass.

To the rest of you: be safe this holiday season, please. Drink in moderation and if you get a little more festive than you planned, make sure you have someone to take you home OR USE AN UBER OR SLEEP ON A COUCH. Don’t piss me off. Capeesh?


Hi! Our advice is always free for all to read & watch. Help us keep this gay ship chuggin’ by donating as little as $1/month over here on Patreon. xo