June: Ask Agony Uncle Eli

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

I’m finding things tough at the moment. I am 18 years old and have just come out as lesbian to my parents. My dad doesn’t seem too worried, but my mum has retreated into her room and I often hear her crying. I don’t understand why she is so upset when dad seems fine with it? My mother is prone to depression so I’m scared she may not come out of this. How can I live my life and keep my mother happy?

It’s a tricky one, isn’t it, living authentically? Well done for braving coming out. I’m sorry to hear your mother hasn’t taken the news well – she will need time to grieve. It’s natural for parents to have dreams for their children, and she may have had hopes of you marrying and providing grandchildren. We both know both those things are achievable in a same-sex relationship, but for her this has come as a surprise. Go gently with her, but remain firm in who you are. Perhaps you could have a chat with your dad about how best to do this?

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I feel like a teenager again. I’m in my 30’s but I have a huge crush on a guy at work! I don’t even know if he is gay or straight, or even if he’s single. Every time I see him my heart skips a beat and I start to sweat if he stops to talk to me. Do I bite the bullet and ask him out? Or do I just let a crush be a crush and look elsewhere for love?

You said yourself you don’t know if he is gay or even single. Asking him out without knowing this information has a high chance of rejection and other negative consequences. I’d find out if he was gay or bisexual first, then if he is single before braving such a move. Well done for recognising it as a crush – we can find ourselves attracted to someone without knowing a thing about them, and as you said, this is never really love. Remind yourself of this at work, get to know him as a person, and then decide (if he is available) if he is someone you’d like to ask out.

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.

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