I'm a gay male and have been seeing a terrific guy for a couple of months. Two years ago, during an uncharacteristically wild few months in my life, I had a threesome with a couple, and as it turns out, my boyfriend is very good friends with them. We see them socially and have even all had dinner together. Nothing has been mentioned by anyone, and I've never told my BF. I feel guilty — not because I slept with his friends, but rather because a threesome is inconsistent with his perception of me. I don't view threesomes as morally wrong, but I'm worried he does. Should I tell him? — Threesome Complications
Yes, TC, you should tell him.
He's going to find out eventually — this isn't the kind of secret that keeps — and the revelation will be much more damaging if he finds out about it from the couple or from a malicious third (fourth?) party. And while a threesome may be inconsistent with his current impression of you, TC, that's something he might be able to get over. He's much less likely to get over the realization that you were keeping this secret from him or that you're so stupid as to think that this kind of secret can be kept.
And why are you so sure he would have a problem with it? Right now he's operating under the assumption that his boyfriend isn't the sort of guy who has threesomes. And you're operating under the assumption that your boyfriend thinks threesomes are morally wrong. We know that his assumptions about you are wrong — you are the sort of person who has threesomes — so it stands to reason that your assumptions about him could be wrong. He may not have any problem with threesomes. Or foursomes.
At a certain point in a new relationship, we have to bring our new partner's perceptions of who we are in line with who we actually are. You're the kind of person who can have a threesome and remain on good terms with the couple involved, TC, and that's a selling point, something in your favor, and nothing you should be ashamed of. If your boyfriend regards these facts about you — can have a threesome, can remain on good terms — as negatives, well, then you need to DTMFA.
The time has come for you to use your influence to pick a day between now and the November election, and declare it Masturbate to Christine O'Donnell Day in either the state of Delaware or the entire United States of America. This needs to happen, and you're the only guy who can do it. — Hiding At The Elusive Fuzz Under Christine's Knockers
For Savage Love readers who don't read anything else: Christine O'Donnell is the Tea Party wacko who won the Republican nomination for a U.S. Senate seat in Delaware. She is famous for three things: getting her loony ass endorsed by Sarah Palin, viciously gay-baiting her straight primary opponent, and opposing masturbation because it makes the baby Jesus cry.
I'm all for masturbating to Christine O'Donnell, HATEFUCK, but why limit it to one day? So I hereby declare every day between now and November 2 — when O'Donnell's nomination costs the GOP a Senate seat — to be Masturbate to Christine O'Donnell Day. Rub one out for freedom, people!
I just read about a gay teenager in Indiana — Billy Lucas — who killed himself after being taunted by his classmates. Now his Facebook memorial page is being defaced by people posting homophobic comments. It's just heartbreaking and sickening. What the hell can we do? — Gay Bullying Victim Who Survived
Another gay teenager in another small town has killed himself — hope you're pleased with yourselves, Tony Perkins and all the other "Christians" out there who oppose anti-bullying programs (and give actual Christians a bad name).
Billy Lucas was just fifteen when he hanged himself in a barn on his grandmother's property. He reportedly endured intense bullying at the hands of his classmates — classmates who called him a fag and told him to kill himself. His mother found his body.
Nine out of ten gay teenagers experience bullying and harassment at school, and gay teens are four times likelier to attempt suicide. Many LGBT kids who do kill themselves live in rural areas, exurbs, and suburban areas, places with no gay organizations or services for queer kids.
"My heart breaks for the pain and torment you went through, Billy Lucas," a reader wrote after I posted about Billy Lucas to my blog. "I wish I could have told you that things get better."
I had the same reaction: I wish I could have talked to this kid for five minutes. I wish I could have told Billy that it gets better. I wish I could have told him that, however bad things were, however isolated and alone he was, it gets better.
But gay adults aren't allowed to talk to these kids. Schools and churches don't bring us in to talk to teenagers who are being bullied. Many of these kids have homophobic parents who believe that they can prevent their gay children from growing up to be gay — or from ever coming out — by depriving them of information, resources, and positive role models.
Why are we waiting for permission to talk to these kids? We have the ability to talk directly to them right now. We don't have to wait for permission to let them know that it gets better. We can reach these kids.
So here's what you can do, GBVWS: Make a video. Tell them it gets better.
I've launched a channel on YouTube — www.youtube.com/itgetsbetterproject — to host these videos. My normally camera-shy husband and I already posted one. We both went to Christian schools and we were both bullied — he had it a lot worse than I did — and we are living proof that it gets better. We don't dwell too much on the past. Instead, we talk mostly about all the meaningful things in our lives now — our families, our friends (gay and straight), the places we've gone and things we've experienced — that we would've missed out on if we'd killed ourselves then.
"You gotta give 'em hope," Harvey Milk said.
Today we have the power to give these kids hope. We have the tools to reach out to them and tell our stories and let them know that it does get better. Online support groups are great, GLSEN does amazing work, the Trevor Project is invaluable. But many LGBT youth can't picture what their lives might be like as openly gay adults. They can't imagine a future for themselves. So let's show them what our lives are like, let's show them what the future may hold in store for them.
The video my husband and I made is up now — all by itself. I'd like to add submissions from other gay and lesbian adults — singles and couples, with kids or without, established in careers or just starting out, urban and rural, of all races and religious backgrounds. (Go to www.youtube.com/itgetsbetterproject to find instructions for submitting your video.) If you're gay or lesbian or bi or trans and you've ever read about a kid like Billy Lucas and thought, "Fuck, I wish I could've told him that it gets better," this is your chance. We can't help Billy, but there are lots of other Billys out there — other despairing LGBT kids who are being bullied and harassed, kids who don't think they have a future — and we can help them.
They need to know that it gets better. Submit a video. Give them hope.
Find the Savage Lovecast (my weekly podcast) at thestranger.com/savage.