Telling Them I'm Gay.
I find myself in a post-holiday sex slump. Got any ideas?
Signed, Sex Slump
Dear Sex Slump,
Still reeling from the holidays, it's normal for our minds to be elsewhere. We may have other priorities on our plate like family and other relationship issues, personal problems, and clearing out that mountain of debt from shopping. This can create stress. And a bunch of stress can lead to a bit of depression. Neither stress or depression are good for our libidos. Further, weight gain from all the holiday fare, lower temperatures outside, and shorter days can lead to us having less energy for sex. It's no wonder certain tribes held special ceremonies to scare away the cold, dark winter. How? They danced, working themselves into a trance â a wild frenzy!
Which brings me to a solution â move your body âswift and sassy! That's right. Being physically fit decreases stress while increasing sex drive and mood. So exercise. As they sing in Madagascar â "I Like To Move It, move it. You'll like to â move it."
Another solution is community. That's why the whole village gathered together for a winter ritual. While withdrawing may be the urge, resist it and stay social.
Also, get plenty of light. Perhaps getting outside, taking a vacation to a sunny spot, or a visit to the tanning salon will do the trick. And lastly, try just having sex, whether you feel like it or not. Usually, once you have it, you'll want more.
Oh, there is one more thing â it doesn't hurt to check with your medical doctor and therapist.
All The Best, Angelo.
I need help coming out to my parents. I have come out to my siblings already and they're cool with it, but my parents are not Americans, or know English, so they are not OK around gays. My mother has asked me if I'm gay but I lied through my teeth. She expressed how extremely happy she was that I wasn't gay. Now it's so hard on me. I can't be myself around her. I know that it would kill her if I told her I'm gay. Angelo, I desperately need your advice or opinion on this matter.
Signed, Generation Gap
Dear Generation Gap,
You canât afford to hide away from your parents any longer. Unless your life is in danger, I encourage you not to hide, or tone down the signals that you're a gay man anymore. Take your attention off all the fear and put it on being your true self instead. You hurt no one else by revealing your authentic nature. We are born gay. It's not a choice. It's self-acceptance. Realize that there is nothing shameful about being a gay man. Snap a rubber band on your wrist every time you forget that reality. Yes, others you love may get upset, but you rob no one else by being yourself. Others will have their thoughts and feelings about you, but that has nothing to do with you. It's just their belief, their opinion, their expectation of how men "should" be based upon what they learned. Let them own that. Don't take it on. In fact in an act of self-love, you can change their minds by coming out and educating them â just like you bravely did with your siblings. So you've already proven you're strong enough to do it. You can also arm yourself with the fact that the number one thing that ends a person's homophobia is knowing someone gay. Until youâre fully you, you keep yourself and everyone else living a lie. You stifle all that your life and the world can be â including full of acceptance, belonging, and love.
I treated a man whose mother told him when he was a boy that she'd rather have a dead son than a gay son. Severely rejecting statements like these, as "innocent" or well-intentioned as they may be, are seriously damaging â even traumatic â to gay boys. It can set up profound shame, a sense of being unlovable, a corroded self-esteem, and self-destructive behavior for life as an adult. Parents may say these things because they "know" we're gay and perhaps they're trying to scare us into "changing" to protect us. But sexual orientation is innate and immutable. The best thing parents can do is support and love their children for exactly who and what they are.
For more in depth solutions on this topic, order my new book Straight Acting - Gay Men, Masculinity, and Finding True Love at amazon.com or askangelo.com. Also visit Parents, Families, and Friends of Lesbians and Gays at www.pflag.org.
All The Best, Angelo.
The Gay Man's Therapist
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