March: Ask Agony Uncle Eli


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

I am devastated. My girlfriend of seven months has been cheating on me… with my ex! I had heard a rumour through a mutual friend but thought it couldn’t be possible as it was my ex who introduced me to my current girlfriend. Apparently my ex (we were together for three years) wanted to leave me for this girl but didn’t know how to, so she introduced us in the hope we would become friends. We ended up in a relationship, but the whole time my girlfriend had been seeing my ex behind my back. Why the hell would they do this? Why the need to involve me at all?

I am sorry to hear of your recent discovery. Being cheated on sucks on a good day, let alone when it is with someone we once knew. The fact that your ex-girlfriend introduced you to your current, who then chose to see both of you, baffles me. Was your ex aware she was seeing you both? At what stage did you and your ex separate? I would have more insight if I had more information, but at the end of the day you are left hurt and confused. Your ex obviously didn’t know how to break up with you to pursue this other girl, but bringing you into the loop is downright selfish on her part. And for your current girlfriend to be seeing her on the side is a double-whammy in betrayal. I know it’s easier said than done, but let them go – they deserve each other and you deserve better.


I am a naturally effeminate biological male, I’m 21, and for the past few years I believed I was gay. I knew I was different, and that I liked men, but I have recently discovered I am transgender. I guess all the signs were there, but I figured I was just a really femme guy. After meeting some new friends I learnt about being transgender and things started falling into place. However when I came out to my gay friends they have been dissing me, saying I am only wanting to be a woman so people didn’t think I’m gay! How do I tell them that I should have been born a woman, and that even though I’m now straight, I’ve never been anti-gay and we can still be friends?

Unfortunately your gay friendsassumption is a deep-seated one based, I believe, on the hetero-normative society we live in and the shame in being both gay and trans. Your friends simply need educating about the difference in sexual orientation and gender identity. Your sexual orientaion hasn’t changed – you are still attracted to males. However, your gender identity has been discovered and you now identify female. This doesn’t mean that effeminate guys are trans women, nor butch women trans guys. It simply means you have discovered where you sit along the spectrum. We are all vulnerable in the Rainbow community – I hope your friends learn to accept and affirm the new you, as they expect others to accept and affirm them. Stay you.

Elijah Luke Michel works with the LGBT+ community as a chaplain and face-to-face counsellor at OUTLineNZ. If you have an issue you would like Elijah to talk about in express, email