By Jody Valley
I love getting responses to letters that appear in this column. Your ideas and experiences are so helpful, as we look at and discuss our lives. Here are some responses to recent letters that have appeared in this column:
Gay vs. ‘Too Gay’ in the workplace
Q: I’m writing this because of a letter you had in the BTL on September 11th, 2003, from Queen In Jeopardy. I’m kind of in the same situation except I’m not very effeminate. I do have my left ear pierced twice in which I wear two small hoops. I feel my company is discriminating against me because of the fact that it is OK for a woman to have an earring in her ears, but a man cannot since, they say, it might get pulled in a confrontation with someone. And besides, there are other men in the company that have earrings in their ears, and they are not told to take theirs out. One guy that I know of has more earrings than I do, on both ears. Also, the other thing is that I have a small goatee and I’m being told to shave it, but other men in the company have beards, even in the office. I think that if they want me to follow the rules that it should be applied to all men and women in the company. I feel like I am being singled out. Furthermore, it’s OK to hear other’s talk about their life style, but I can’t. If I do, I get a write up, even though it doesn’t says not to talk about “Private Life” in the company handbook.
Ordered To Be Silent
A: It sounds like you truly are being singled out and discriminated against. Have you brought these inconsistencies in policy to anyone’s attention? Do you have a union to go to in order to get some help? The discrimination is all so blatant. Unfortunately, the gay community has no legal civil rights recourse. And as I told Queen in Jeopardy, to take action can sometimes cause more problems than it solves. I guess, as it is now, your choices are to keep the silence, try and talk to someone in authority whom you perceive to be sympathetic, or find another job environment that is more enlightened. Thanks for writing about your experience!
Advice to satisfy
Q: Oh, Jody! Please tell the young woman who could only achieve orgasm through masturbation that I understand her ordeal. I still admit with great guilt that, for years, I faked my climax with my longtime partner. It was highly frustrating and upsetting that this wonderful person I loved could not (for whatever reason) make me finish like I could by myself. Eventually, I suggested we try it a little differently and it worked BOO-TI-FULLY!! (I had her stimulate me intimately with her hand until it got to be too much, then I had her insert her fingers in me while I masturbated. Wonderfully, colors exploded I didn’t know existed!) I realize this letter is a little too explicit for your column, but I just thought I would pass on the suggestion she tell her lover what she likes ASAP!
A: Thanks for your letter. It helps others to understand that they are not alone or something is wrong with them. You are proof that good communications, creativity, and willingness to be open (Sorry!) can result in a climax at the end of the rainbow.
Love or punishment?
Q: Jody, I’m writing to you because of the guy who called himself, “Tormented,” in a recent column. He talked about how his family was so loving and caring as they tried to change him, so that he wouldn’t be gay. You said that you didn’t think his family’s behavior was so loving. I agree with you. My family was a lot like Tormented’s. I couldn’t do much about things when I was young, but when I got older and went through some therapy, I was able to face my family. First though, I had to separate myself from them for quite a while in order to get some self-esteem and strength. Then, I was able to stand up to them and demand they stop. They did, but it took time and some patience on my part. I know it could have turned out differently, but it worked for me and I was ready to lose them if they weren’t willing to change.
A: Thanks for your success story! You were right to face your family after you had obtained good self-esteem, strength, and a willingness to accept the worst possible scenarioÑtheir rejection of you.