July: Ask Agony Uncle Eli


Rainbow Counsellor Elijah Luke Michel is here to help with your problems.


I am concerned about my brother. We are both gay, but he is meeting up with many different guys and having unprotected sex with them. He is only 17 so he is just being impulsive and not thinking things through. How can I convince him to make wiser decisions?


You’re a fantastic big brother to be caring and calling him up on staying safe. You’re right in that his brain hasn’t finished developing fully so he is less likely to foresee the consequences of his actions. It’s normal and okay for him to be exploring his sexuality at his age and there is no rush for him to settle down. Meeting up with guys for sex is fine… so long as he is loving his condom in the process. If you’re in Auckland the New Zealand Aids Foundation offer free condoms and free testing for HIV and STI’s, as does Body Positive. Encourage him to pop in, or go along with him, and support him in being responsible for his own health as well as the health of others. For more information or to book a test, call NZAF on 09 3095560 or Body Positive on 0800 HIV LINE.


My girlfriend and I have been together for 2 years now and we’re looking at settling down. We have ongoing tension, however, around who will be the “breadwinner” and who will stay home with our month-old adopted son. We both have careers we love and yet we’d both like to enjoy our boy while he is still a baby. How do we progress through this dilemma?

Gay and lesbian relationships can be tricky to navigate in the hetero-normative world we live in. Gender roles and stereotypes leave us thinking we need to comply to the “norm” even within same-sex relationships. We can’t. Lesbian couples don’t require one butch partner and one “lipstick lezzy”; one who will be the provider and the other the nurturer. Men and women are fully capable of both. How about tag-teaming in this regard? You can both enjoy your jobs and spending time at home with your son. Operate as a team and make the most of both worlds.


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 ask@gayexpress.co.nz.