Rainbow Counsellor Elijah Luke Michel is here to help with your problems.
I broke up with my ex over a year ago but we’ve remained good friends. I’ve just started dating a lovely guy who I’d like to pursue a long-term relationship with. My ex is happy for me, but this guy does not want me being friends with my ex. He says that once the relationship is over, it should be completely over. I’m torn now between keeping a solid friendship and appeasing a guy I really like. What should I do?
I like the way you used the word ‘appease’ meaning to placate or pacify another’s demands. This shows you are aware that by giving in to the request you are not being true to your own desire. I think you know the answer to this question already. Take some time to write bullet points on how you can tell your new boyfriend. I’d also ask why he feels you should not maintain this friendship. Is he jealous? Insecure? Possessive? Perhaps he has only had unhealthy relationships that required a complete closure after break-up. Whatever his reasoning, you can reassure him you have a functional friendship with your ex but you are only interested in a relationship with your new partner. You can by all means have both.
I’m struggling to find where I fit. I was born intersex, with a congenital condition called Androgen Insensitivity Syndrome. This means I was born with a mix of male and female sex chromosomes. I am not transgender. Where can I reach out for support?
You are not alone, but you are rare. Approximately 1.7% of births are intersex. You are right about it being different from being transgender in that there are physical attributes present as opposed to just brain chemicals/hormones. You are similar, however, in that you are inter (between) genders, as are those in transition. Your first port-of-call should be ITANZ (Intersex Trust of Aotearoa New Zealand), but know you are also welcome at all Genderbridge (Auckland) meetings and T35+ (also Auckland) meetings if you are over the age of 35. Elijah Luke Michel is a Chaplain and Counsellor for the GLBT Community, working with both Rainbow Youth and OUTLine as an independent consultant and also on the board of OUTLine. If you have an issue you would like Elijah to talk about in express, email firstname.lastname@example.org.