By Jody Valley
Q: I’ve just got to tell someone and I am so embarrassed about this I don’t want to tell my friends. I know I shouldn’t be embarrassed, but I am and I don’t know what to do about it. This is the thing: my mother recently divorced my dad. They both said that it was because they just couldn’t work things out. They were both really vague, but I know my mom was really hurt by it. I think my dad might have cheated on her. So anyway, now about three months later, my mom came and told me she is a lesbian – just like me. I don’t believe she is one. I think she is just trying to get attention and I think she believes that with a female that the same thing would not have happened that happened with my dad.
Anyway, I just kind of blew her off, but today she came up to me and said she wanted to go out with me to a bar this weekend to meet someone and start getting to know people in the community. She started saying all the fun things we could do together. I don’t want to go out with my mother, even if she happens to be a lesbian. When I laughed and said, “I don’t think so,” she looked crushed. What do I do with her? I don’t want her to be a lesbian, and I don’t want to do things with her. How do I get her to see that this is just a phase she is going through, and that she shouldn’t expect me to show her the ropes?
A. Interesting that you should tell her this is just a phase. Many of us have been told the same thing. Perhaps you are having difficulty seeing your mother who is not the same person you thought she was. (That is the same issue that straight kids deal with when their gay parents come out later in life.) Also, throw in that you are dealing with parents who have broken up. All very hard stuff!
I don’t know what is going on with your mom, and you really don’t either. Nor is it yours to judge or define. She may not even know at this point. However, I do understand that you probably won’t want her hanging out with you at the bars, no matter what her orientation. Do you know some older lesbians – closer to your mom’s age – that would be willing to introduce her around? What about helping her find some activities in the community that she could get involved in, so she could meet people on her own? It would be a kindness on your part to get her as much information, if that’s what she’s needing, to get started in dealing with her new life, whatever that may turn out to be. Try supporting her instead of judging her. Isn’t that what you want in life?
Fixing the shorts
Q: I’ve been dating a guy for three months. I really love everything about him but his underwear, more specifically, his shorts. They do not turn me on. I know what I like and what makes me hot; his do not! Believe me, his shorts have not stopped me from being intimate with him, but I have to make sure the lights are out in order to deal with my sexual fantasies – I imagine that he is in “hot shorts!” Then I’m more than ready to go. The problem is that he wants to turn on the lights, or get things started when the lights are still on. I keep making up reasons why I don’t want that to happen. He’s getting more and more adamant about it. I don’t want to lose him because he is so cute and everything else about him is wonderful. How can I get him to change his shorts without seeming to be bossy, judgmental or just plain shallow?
New Shorts for Libido
A: It’s the holidays: gift-giving time. Get him some cool shorts for a gift! Let him know how hot you will find him when he wears them. I’d also get him something that doesn’t appear to be a gift for you – the shorts that turn you on, but something he’d particularly like. P.S. Take note of what he gets you!
Have a problem? Send your letters to: “Dear Jody,” C/O Between The Lines, 20793 Farmington Road, Suite 25, Farmington, MI 48336. Or, e-mail: DearJodyValley@hotmail.com (Jody Valley spent 12 years as a clinical social worker. She worked with the LGBT community both as a counselor and a workshop leader in the areas of coming out, self-esteem and relationship issues. The “Dear Jody” column appears weekly.)