Formspring Friday Didn’t Know You Could Jump So High

Were you planning on watching Laguna Beach marathons all weekend? I hope not, because I’m gonna need you to put that on the back burner and take care of some fellow queerdos on the internet. Let me tell you something: most of the time I want to type ‘intranet,’ because I like to pronounce things differently on purpose, usually in a remarkably decent British accent, but I feel like you’ll think it’s just a typo or that I don’t know the difference between ‘intra’ and ‘inter,’ so I don’t. I just need you to know that in my head, I’m saying ‘intranet.’

this is an unrelated picture of a donkey that i took when i went to tennessee. i mean i took the picture, not the donkey.

So in case you’re just joining us, Formsprong Freeday is when we share some questions we’ve received in our Formspring inboxes and you get to give the advice! Sometimes things are complicated and uncomfortable, but this isn’t one of those things, now is it? There are some super thought-provoking questions this week and I anticipate lots of long-form answers. Incidentally, #15 makes me so so sad! Good luck, #15.

 

15 Formspring Questions For You To Answer 

1. How does one come out to a roommate as trans*, when you’re going to a women’s college? I find out my rooming assignment in a month and for the matching sheet I said I like lesbian/feminist folk music, but I’m still scared!

2. What do you do when you know deep down that your girlfriend will never commit fully to you because her parents don’t approve of her being with a girl? What do you do when your best friend in the world can’t do that for you?

3. I have a giant crush on my friend who might not be straight. Would it be better to talk to her about it or could I make a grand gesture and kiss her? I don’t want to lose her as a friend.

4. How do you tell a straight girl you want her to stop holding hands with you, touching and hugging you constantly, and generally making you want to kiss her, without offending or making her uncomfortable?

5. I came out to my mom as trans in February but she is acting like I never did, even after buying me a binder. What can I do to make her respect me, and my preffered name and pronouns?

6. Touching myself has never gotten me the slightest bit aroused, let alone an orgasm. Am I just broken? I like women, but I don’t know what’s going on with my lack of lady boners.

7. All my friends are really good looking/funny/cool and I feel like a lot of the time they outshine me, however I am also quite funny. I feel like a lot of people view me as “friend” material and them as “omg lets hump now” material. How do I fix this?

8. I’m starting to feel like I may be becoming “stone butch” because I don’t enjoy receiving sexy times like I used to. While I would be okay with that, I’m just a little confused as to what’s going on with me. Any advice?

9. What do you do if you’re with someone and she’s way more attached to you than you are to her? What if she adores you like you’re on a high pedestal, but you don’t feel any spark? How do you tell her?

10. Cliche. But how do I tell my mom I have a girlfriend? She’ll be fine with it. I just want her to be like okay. and then it’s just okay and no one cares. I guess what I’m asking is, how do I hint to my mom that I have a girlfriend so that she guesses?

11. Am I overreacting when I get ticked off to the point of not speaking to her because she said she doesn’t count me as someone she’s had sex with because she only counts sexual intercourse as sex?

12. My gf is thinner than me. I know it shouldnt matter. but it does matter, to me. I dont know what to do.

13. I got diagnosed with Bipolar II. How do I tell my girlfriend/family? I know they must have been worried about me for a long while, but I don’t want them to think I’m insane…or read up on it and know what I think about.

14. After a year abroad, in a month I’m returning home and I have mixed feelings about the whole thing. Do you have any advice on how to not have a meltdown?

15. My mom is so lonely and sad and I don’t know how to help her… I’m doing what I can but I’m only 21 and I’m in college and she’s just so bored and sad. Help?

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More writers’ Formsprings can be found on Autostraddle’s tumblr presence. Please keep your questions to around, at most, 100 words. Due to the high volume of questions and feelings, not every question or feeling will be answered or published on Autostraddle. We hope you know that we love you regardless.

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Laneia is the Executive Editor and founding member of Autostraddle, and she thinks you're fucking rad. She has two kids, two dogs, one Megan, some personal essays and a lot of emails in her inbox.

Laneia Nicole has written 330 articles for us.

67 Comments

  1. Thumb up 3

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    #6 Does anything get you aroused? Porn, contact with other ladies, sex toys? If not, perhaps you are asexual. And asexual certainly doesn’t mean broken. Check out AVEN (http://www.asexuality.org/home/) and see if it resonates.

    Bee tee dubs, my girlfriend is asexual, I’m not, and we still have a wonderful relationship. Good luck!

  2. Thumb up 6

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    #14:

    I’ve done this a few times and have both melted down and stayed sane through the transition. I think the key for me was staying in touch with the people from the place, both folks who live there or who live elsewhere or near you who were there at the same time. Most other people aren’t going to care as much about how awesome your time was, but these people, they totally get it. After a while you realize you have different lives and sort of lose touch, but my abroad friends are still people I reach for when i want amazing people to talk to and to inspire me. It’s also a good idea to try to be busy when you get back. This can be hard. Try to start a job or get involved with something rather than sitting around, gazing longingly at old photos and wishing you were in that moment. While reconnecting with old friends can be weird OR awesome, meeting more new people reminds you that you can still meet new cool people when you’re at home. Hopefully there are some cool people at home. After living abroad more people seemed more cool to me, but that might be different for everyone. Also, if you can hold on to something about that place- a language conversation group, some volunteer thing, or maybe a research project if you’re still in school, that is a good way to make a smooth transition. Best of luck!

    • Thumb up 2

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      I have also done this before. The last time I thought I was going to freak out, but it never happened. When I got home, there was a lot going on, but I have also come to feel like, life is life is life wherever you are. Day-to-day differences like what you eat and what toilet situations are like are not that significant in the grand scheme of things. No matter where you are you still have to eat, and you still have to wipe your butt. And for the love of all that is holy, wash your hands.

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      We need to become best friends because I am going through the EXACT same thing. I decided to face this transition like a Guatemalan would (since thats where Ive been living). There are a whole lot of challenges and changes life throws us, and to be honest, not all of them are fun. But we are gonna survive, so we might as well enjoy it. I’m going to try to view everything back “home” as if its awesome as things are abroad- cause really life everywhere can be beautiful, we can do this!

    • Thumb up 0

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      Agreed. I did a couple of things when I came back to Toronto from Germany last summer:

      1) Got back in touch with old friends.

      2) Kept in touch with new friends.

      3) Got out as much as possible (volunteered, worked, etc.)

      4) Met new people.

      It’ll feel bizarre at first but you’ll slowly ease back into it. I had a great year abroad and almost thought about staying there (and not coming back) but now that I’ve been back almost an entire year, I know that I made the right choice. Remember that exchange is like being on vacation in some fairy tale place – and I mean that in the best way possible, because a lot of people long to relive it (in an actual “I want to do it again [and not simply in a relive-it-in-my-mind sort of way]” , but they don’t realise that it was only that amazing for the most part because they knew it wouldn’t last forever.

      In short, let [the exchange experience] help you become a better person in the life you’re returning to.

  3. Thumb up 1

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    6. Touching myself has never gotten me the slightest bit aroused, let alone an orgasm. Am I just broken? I like women, but I don’t know what’s going on with my lack of lady boners.

    I’ll help you… Like, just come over. kidding. If you like women, then doesn’t that um, make you feel butterflies down there?

  4. Thumb up 4

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    #15 your question made me sad, because ive had depression and my kids are nearly your age and i would hate to think they worried about me like you are worried about your mum. maybe you could ask her to join an exercise class with you. that way she will meet new people, get exercise (which is great for depression) be less bored cos she’s getting out and about etc. after she’s foun her feet and some friends you could maybe ease away from going so shes doing it on her own? also…is she online? if theres something shes into then getting her online into forums can be a way of connecting with people in a gentle way. maybe through a musician she likes or a tv show. and finally..do you have a dog? if you live in a good area for walking dogs and she can afford it then having a dog can be a brilliant way of getting friendly with people. also the exercise thing, and company too. i hope she feels better soon…just remember you cant fix a depressed person. just be there when you can and be patient.

  5. Thumb up 1

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    3. I would say talk about it. If you make a grand gesture, that might not be wanted and could, at the very least, make things awkward. If you discuss it rationally, I think she would probably admire your openness either way. If she is interested, then awesome! If not, then if you just spoke to her about it, you can both probably move on from that point as friends. I mean, if you take sexual orientation out of the equation, it’s one friend asking another one out who may or may not be interested, and that happens all the time with them either dating or continuing to coexist as friends.

    Maybe you might want to put yourself in her shoes? What if a girl (pick a different girl) came up to you and did (whatever action you plan to pursue) because she liked you? Imagine you’re interested and then imagine you aren’t. What’s the right course of action in that case?

    Whatever you do, best of luck :)

    6. You’re definitely not broken! I’d say go explore dodsonandross.com, because Betty Dodson answers a lot of the same kind of questions. She gives a lot of tips and tricks and whatnot regarding masturbation, toys you could use, that type of thing.

    • Thumb up 0

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      3. I’d say talk about it too but don’t pass up a good opportunity either, these sorts of things happen by themselves sometimes. The real thing is not to push it or try to make it happen. There’s a delicate communication that happens between bodies and it’s very possible to feel out whether she’s interested in being kissed before actually doing it (in a hug, whatever) – however that takes some experience I suppose so talking is the better bet.

  6. Thumb up 2

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    #6
    I have had a lot of trouble with this too, you need to find something that turns you on (for me porn doesn’t work but erotica does) and then just relax. Practice a lot. My friends used to check up on me at the start (using a code word) by saying “Lucy, have you done your homework today?” “How many times have you done your homework this week?”
    You just need to get turned on then lose yourself in it…. I still haven’t made myself orgasm (6+ months on) but maybe someday.

    • Thumb up 1

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      #6
      I agree with Lucy on losing yourself in the feelings. It took me years after I started masturbating to have an orgasm. Don’t focus on that part as the goal either. Enjoy the process and getting to know your body. I also find that if I am really stressed or trying to make it happen even the usual things like women and erotica won’t turn me on. Don’t put too much pressure on yourself. Try things and learn what is right for you. Life is a journey that way.

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        Also, if you’re patient and take time to explore your desires, you may realize you have some kind of fetish or kink that gets you off. It’s nothing to be ashamed of if you do– you just might need to find a certain kind of porn or erotica that really “does” it for you.

  7. Thumb up 1

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    2) Every relationship is different, in ALL domains. I say this with much emphasis because relationships are made up of compromises and nothing is black and white. There are no quick fixes and you need to steer clear from, “if they could only do this one thing, things could be so much better” type of thinking. It’s unrealistic and immature because you can’t MAKE anyone do anything. Healthy relationships don’t stem from one person asking another to change/ make adjustments for them (regardless of the matter at hand). It comes from discussion and compromise and accepting the person you are with. I know having commitment from your girlfriend is a priority and it should stay important if it means that much to you. I also understand the difficulty of walking away from a relationship that you have worked so hard in keeping. You must discuss with your girlfriend how important this type of commitment is for you, tell her what it truly means to you and how it has hurt you. I don’t know your girlfriend or her reasonings for her decision but you need to understand them! So you can decide on a compromise or go with your gut.

    There’s nothing wrong with asking someone to change for you, or understand your point of view better to persuade them. It just doesn’t always work as well as it does in the movies. People need to do things for themselves, and only for themselves! If your girlfriend feels like she’s not ready to make that type of decision for herself, then you need to decide what’s best for you!

  8. Thumb up 4

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    #6 As Tessa said, does anything turn you on? e.g. Someone doing you, you doing someone else etc.? Some people like giving, some people like recieving, some people like both, and people who like any or all of those things may still not be keen on masturbation, because it just doesn’t turn them on. Some people need to have another person in the room to orgasm – others don’t. You do you!
    You may enjoy only giving, which would explain why you don’t enjoy masturbation. There are lots of people like this and it’s just preference, it’s not broken-ness at all. Some people call this ‘stone’ – but it’s just another label, try it on and see if it fits – if it does, rock it, and if it doesn’t, chuck it away.
    As well, if you don’t enjoy any sort of sexual contact, you may be asexual, or if you need an emotional connection with your partner to enjoy sex you may be demisexual. These are more labels that you can try on, and there are so many possibilities, but what’s most important is that you figure out what makes you happy and then go and do it! If it’s being tied down and f-cked till you’re blue in the face, so be it; if it’s playing your guitar and reading a book in the sun, ditto. You do you. =)

    #8 As I said above, try on some of these labels and see if they fit – do some research, see if anything resonates with you. Some people are ‘stone’ because they have had a bad sexual experience and it has a negative effect on them to be touched like that. Also, some people prefer to give than recieve because of gender preferences, e.g., if you are a man (or, indeed, someone outside the gender binary) with a vagina, being touched/having things done to you might not match up with your gender identity (then again it might – some men and otherwise gendered people rock their vaginas!) However, all that said, it may not be any of these things – there are other reasons people prefer to be stone, and sometimes there is no reason at all; it’s just that – a preference.
    Which brings me onto: there are so many studies saying that gender and sexuality are fluid! Sometimes people start to prefer things (sex, sex with men, sex with women, sex with both, sex with people who are both or neither, no sex at all, sex with multiple people, having sexual acts done to them, doing sexual acts to others) for no reason – sometimes they stop preferring things for no reason. It’s all part of the random ebb and flow of life and chaos of nature. So again: figure out what makes you happy, be ok with it, and do it.

    #9 Oh God, tell her how you feel. I have been in this situation and I just let it drag on which was a BIG mistake. I know that if you’re anything like me, you won’t want to tell her cos you think it’ll hurt her feelings. But it’s just hurting the both of your more to keep going on. Just start an open, honest dialogue with her, when neither of you are stressed/tired/pissed off at something else. Be friendly. Don’t say, “We need to talk.” That freaks people (well, me, anyway) the hell out. Say, “Hey, there’s something that’s been bothering me a little lately, do you think we could talk about it?” Or something. This doesn’t have to end in tears; she just needs to realise that your affections don’t match up. (On the other hand, if you WANT it to end, say so NOW). Good luck!

    #12 Can you isolate why it’s bothering you? Is it because your girlfriend is pointing it out? If so, tell her. It might be just innocent throwaway comments that she doesn’t even realise are affecting you (in which case it’s easy enough to point out to her that she’s doing this and get her to stop). However, if it’s malicious in nature (comparing your body to hers, etc.), get a new girlfriend. This applies the same for anyone else who might be saying this – friends, family, etc. You can do without that kind of negativity in your life. Or is it just society? (This one is a bit harder to deal with – society’s not a concrete person standing in front of you that you can say “Go f-ck yourself!” to). If this is the case, try as much as possible to ignore society’s perceptions of body … cos, well, they’re a little messed up. If you catch yourself thinking negative things about your body, change the thought pattern. Surround yourself with positive people in real life, but also do things like, read Margaret Cho and queerfatfemme. Look at pictures of beautiful curvy girls. Deconstruct society’s perception of body. Stop watching television, especially reality television. Tell yourself that your body (be it fat, thin, short, tall, scarred, with missing bits or with bits added on) is beautiful. Own it! I’m bigger than my girlfriend and we still have roughly equal winnings in our wrestling matches. Though this may be cos we’re both black belts.

    I think I’ve written too much, but I said ‘You do you’ a lot so I feel this should make up for it ^_^

  9. Thumb up 3

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    #6

    This is so relevant. I have been thinking a lot about the shame I’ve felt for being a sexual human animal and how as a result of that, and as a way to protect myself, my body blocked off that kind of pleasure. And ever since I came out, it’s been a process of figuring myself out, what I like, what feels good etc. To ease my anxieties about wanting to spend time with myself like that, I said “fuck it I’m getting super indulgent.” I light incense, do yoga, play the Bon iver pandora station blah blah blah. Generally feel like the queen of my own hippie harum.

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      I really like the way you phrased it. Figuring yourself out, but more than that, freeing yourself to be yourself is necessary, in my opinion, before anyone can really be satisfied. As part of my coming out process, around the stage when I started feeling honestly comfortable with who I am and who I am attracted to, I started remembering my dreams. Not particularly sexy dreams, also the sort of weird random stuff that I’m sure pops into everyone’s head at some point, but which I’d never remembered before.

      I’m not sure if that helps you, #6, but concentrating on being yourself, free from restraint may be a bit of a solution if what is limiting you is some mental restraint you are still unconscious too.

  10. Thumb up 1

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    13.

    As someone who’s very mentally interesting (to take a phrase from crazymeds.us), I’ve found that one of the best ways to come out as such is to be honest. Say exactly what you said here –acknowledge that they’ve probably been worried, as have you, which is why you sought mental healthcare. Acknowledge that sharing your diagnosis is difficult, because you’re afraid of what they’ll think, but that you trust them and want them to know that having these words attached to your experience doesn’t change who you are, it just makes it easier for you to figure out how to get healthy and make life work for you. Say, as you did here, that you’re scared they’ll read up on it on their own, and it would help you (and them!) if the lines of communication were open, such that they asked you questions before asking the internet (or making assumptions based on outdated caricatures of the bipolar in movies/tv/&c). And the thing is, you don’t have to have all the answers for them! If they ask questions you don’t have answers to, that’s an opportunity for you and your gf/parent/&c to do some research together, thus staying on the same page.

    There are also a LOT of resources out there for both you, and those close to you. There are lots of internet forums and real-life support groups that specifically cater to people with bipolar, as well as resources for those close to someone who has bipolar (or other brands of mental health fun). You can google “bipolar support” and find a lot of options. It might help to investigate those on your own before you come out, so that you have some places to point everyone to, or it could be that it’d be easiest to have someone help you navigate such things. Or it could be that that’s not of any interest to you, which is also totally fine!

    The thing to remember is: these people love you and care about you. Your news might overwhelm them a little, but they aren’t going to run screaming from the crazy person, because it’s just you. Only now you have a name for what’s been going on (and presumably are on the path to helping/taking care of yourself). And by presenting the information you have, you’re opening up lines of communication and trust that are important for achieving and sustaining mental stability.

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      yes, yes! All of this. And I guess making sure they have tools to get support for themselves… when I had a breakdown last year and was then diagnosed with Bipolar 2 and PTSD it was almost as hard for my mom as it was for me for a variety of reasons (having to put up with my bad moods, thinking she messed up raising me, having to support me and help me get my psychiatric treatment) Anyways enough about me – if you have a therapist, I recommend a family session so they can ask questions about your diagnosis and treatment etc.

      Remember to ask for help! Recovery is SO much easier when you are not alone :)

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        Yes to both of these. My sister has Bipolar II, and none of us thought she was crazy. It explained her struggles, and we worked with her to help her get to where she wanted to be. Now, my family and yours may be entirely different, but a supportive family will likely stay supportive. Friends, too. If they flip out about something like that, are they really people you want around?

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    3. I have a giant crush on my friend who might not be straight. Would it be better to talk to her about it or could I make a grand gesture and kiss her? I don’t want to lose her as a friend.

    Well I would say you might want to think about a few things.

    1. She might be straight. I sudden grand overture of feelings may not be reciprocated.
    2. She might be gay and not know. Again, a sudden grand gesture may not be reciprocated, but she may like you and/or be gay.
    3. I am sure that you value this friendship. I have been in your shoes. However, when one person develops a crush, the friendship changes. The meaning of the relationship changes and if it isn’t mutual, one person gets hurt. Pinning for your friend is torturous. Once you realize you have a crush, you must act, because you have come to a decision point. Like it not.

    So I say, start flirting. Does she flirt back. Let her know that you are into ladies. But basically flirt with her. She’ll flirt back or she won’t. If she does flirt back, you can try the grand gesture.

    4. How do you tell a straight girl you want her to stop holding hands with you, touching and hugging you constantly, and generally making you want to kiss her, without offending or making her uncomfortable?

    Does straight girl know that you’re not straight? That is step one. Step two. Ask her straight up when she crosses the line, you know I’m into girls/a lesbian/queer/not into dudes, right? Then if she says something about how this doesn’t count say, you wouldn’t do this to a straight guy.

    7. All my friends are really good looking/funny/cool and I feel like a lot of the time they outshine me, however I am also quite funny. I feel like a lot of people view me as “friend” material and them as “omg lets hump now” material. How do I fix this?

    Here’s an interesting psychological tidbit. We tend to have friend groups with the same attractiveness level, also similar financial backgrounds and other similarities. However, the similar levels of attractiveness is what it important here. You are equally hot. I’m sure funny too, but you don’t fair as well with the ladyfolk. From what I hear in your question, your self-esteem may be lower than it needs to be. Ladies love to laugh. I find that if you can make them laugh, that’s a good start, but you have to be a little assertive. Not like knock them over the head and drag them back to your cave, but put yourself out there. Flirt. You’ll find a girl that likes you and you like her. It takes some time, but I believe in you!

    10. Cliche. But how do I tell my mom I have a girlfriend? She’ll be fine with it. I just want her to be like okay. and then it’s just okay and no one cares. I guess what I’m asking is, how do I hint to my mom that I have a girlfriend so that she guesses?

    People take their cues from you. If you make it an issue it will be an issue. If you say hey mom, no big deal, but I have a girlfriend. She will most likely say, oh ok. (I also suggest not doing this in a confined space so then you can move on to something else, physically and conversationally)

    12. My gf is thinner than me. I know it shouldnt matter. but it does matter, to me. I dont know what to do.

    I am not skinny, but maybe more lanky. I have been “skinnier” than all my my girlfriends, but I like curvy girls. I have been with them because I was attracted to them. I liked how they looked naked. I’m sure your girlfriend is attracted to you too. I know that you may have your body issues, even we skinnier girls have them. However, if your gf knows that you would like her to compliment you or say that you look good she just might oblige. Also, I am a person who shows love through gestures and thinking of my girlfriend. Some of my girlfriends have needed me to touch them or tell them that I love them instead of the meals I cook or things I do to show I care. This may be an issue too. (of course I am reading wwwwaaaayyyyy into what you wrote)

    13. I got diagnosed with Bipolar II. How do I tell my girlfriend/family? I know they must have been worried about me for a long while, but I don’t want them to think I’m insane…or read up on it and know what I think about.

    Ugh. Stigma sucks. You don’t owe them anything, and telling them may be hard. However, it’s important that they know this. They can be supportive and help you stay healthy. Maybe this would be good to discuss with your doctor. Seems like something a therapist would have a lot of experience with.

  12. Thumb up 5

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    11. If you’re in a sexual relationship and she doesn’t ‘count you’ as someone she’s had sex with because she has some magical criteria you don’t meet (what is her definition of ‘sexual intercourse’ if it doesn’t include what you’ve been doing?) I would be dumping her roughly now. So if you want your feelings validated, yes, your anger/annoyance is very valid. You do what you want about it but that shit is dismissive and erases an entire (presumably important!) aspect of your relationship. It is way out of line.

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    3. I have a giant crush on my friend who might not be straight. Would it be better to talk to her about it or could I make a grand gesture and kiss her? I don’t want to lose her as a friend.
    Talk first! But do it soon. You don’t want to end up liking her for ages then if you eventually get together, its going to be like you were in the relationship much longer than she was and thats going to make life awkward.

    4. How do you tell a straight girl you want her to stop holding hands with you, touching and hugging you constantly, and generally making you want to kiss her, without offending or making her uncomfortable?
    If she keeps doing it, you’re obviously reciprocating in some way. You need to start being really standoffish physically, then she’ll ask you if somethings wrong and then you can just explain that what she’s doing is basically flirting and you don’t know what to do.

    5. I came out to my mom as trans in February but she is acting like I never did, even after buying me a binder. What can I do to make her respect me, and my preffered name and pronouns?
    Just wait. Seriously, 4 months is not very long and you need to give her time. She is obviously not against you if she bought you a binder. Nudge her towards the right pronouns, but don’t make it into a hostile issue right at this moment

    I just made a queer style blog because I can’t find any that talk about petite people. Come read it!
    http://petitequeer.blogspot.ie/

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      I’m #5, how do I nudge her into the right pronouns? And to expand on the situation, since I told her I was trans many times she has mentioned when I came out the first time as gay. So she recognizes I like girls but not that I’m not one. She also says really misgendered things about other trans people. She also really supports LGB issues but for some reason not T.

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        Constantly talk about a trans friend or celebrity (make one up if you have to) using the right pronouns. Correct her when she’s talking about anyone else and hopefully she’ll catch your drift. If that doesn’t work after a while, then go for correcting her about yourself.

        It took my parents 2 years to recognize I’m gay. It was slow progress, but progress none the less!

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        Maybe try explaining (or re-explaining) to her how it’s hurtful to misgender and use the wrong pronouns? And connect it to an example that would make sense for her, like if someone called HER by male pronouns or something. Unfortunately you also have to give her time…

        You may wanna check out the Art of Transliness tumblr, they’ve answered similar questions before and tend to give good advice…

        PS. Congrats on coming out, even if your mom isn’t fully supportive! I haven’t made it that far yet myself :)

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        You could try to correct her when she misgenders people. Don’t necessarily try telling her that it’s personally hurtful, if that hasn’t worked so far; try talking to her like she made a mistake about anything else and is embarrassing herself. This worked with someone in my family. They dismissed other things I said as oversensitivity, but they didn’t like looking dumb by making the same mistake about pronouns over and over.

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        Maybe consider referring her to some resources like TNET, that are designed for allies (that one’s specific to family, to boot). Sometimes it’s hard for parents to go through the messiness of learning about something new in front of their kids, and she might be able to learn more that way.

        And, as difficult as it will be, try bringing it up to her in a super-neutral way (‘Hey Mom, it’s Jake now, not Jess’). You absolutely shouldn’t have to squelch your frustration about this, but I know that when my folks were dealing with the newness of the queer thing, I got results more quickly when I held back on the emotional side of things. When I came at it in the midst of anger, the fights tended to be, well, fights, and weren’t all that productive. That said, coming out as queer is v. v. different from coming out as trans, not in the least becase pronouns are EVERYWHERE.

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    #10. I totally came out to my mom by walking into the living room and saying, “Mom, I’m dating [Redacted].” I was 96.5% sure things she was going to be fine with things and she was. Later she told me that she was actually very proud and happy that I’d told her that way.

    So, I know it’s tempting to hint about things and hope she figures it out herself, but standing up and being direct will show her that you are not ashamed, that you are being mature about this, and that you value your mom enough to be honest and direct with her about important things.

    That being said, I totally chickened out with my dad and had my mom tell him.

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    1. I really have no idea, but I would think you should get it out of the way as soon as possible. maybe just be like “hey, my name is ___, im majoring in ___, and I’m also trans*, just to get that out of the way”
    hopefully your roommate will be totally cool and not care, but no matter what, at least it won’t be weighing on you anymore.

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    Oh god, #14 is me right now, except I’ve only been gone a semester and I go home tomorrow. I feel like I’ve been crying constantly for the past 3 weeks. I miss the people I met so badly, and I have no idea how I’m going to adjust to being back home. For one thing, I came out for the first time while I was abroad (also kissed a girl for the first time and realized that I have a tendency to appease religious guilt with alcohol–good times) and I’m going from being out and happy back to being closeted, and it sucks. I’m actually sitting in a hostel right now hoping no one else in the room notices that I’m currently crying. This is pathetic.

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      Hey, it’s not pathetic, we all go our own ways!

      Personally, I was overseas for a couple of years (in awesome, awesome Montreal) and gained confidence there that I was OK. So when I came “home” (btw, what does “home” mean really?), I felt fine with being who I am and just went ahead and came out to a bunch of people. Nobody had an issue! Happy ending :)

      I don’t know your specific situation, but if those people elsewhere didn’t have a problem, probably most people at home won’t either. The similarities between people are much larger than the differences, really!

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      You are most definitely not pathetic and not alone! I came out during my past year abroad which is coming to an end too. I have already come out to most of my close friends via skype and have gotten nothing but complete acceptance! Chances are, if this “new” you is happy and out, people will accept that because they want you to be happy.
      And I just started crying when talking to my parents last week about buying my ticket…in front of my boss’s boyfriend. I kept hoping he didn’t notice either, but sometimes you just gotta let them tears flow!

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    3.

    Does she seem like she has feelings for you too? If it’s important to you not to risk your friendship with her, I’d recommend caution and getting more information first. If you just boldly go in for the kiss, she might not like it and it could make your friendship awkward. Best to respect her possible desire not to be kissed unless you have good reason to suspect she might want you to kiss her.

    5.

    Disclaimer, I am not trans (I don’t think), but I wonder if it might help if you get your friends (if there are friends who know you’re trans and are supportive of that) to talk about you with your mom, not like, “Hey, [Your Mom], we want to discuss the fact that you are misgendering your child,” but just like anything they might say to her if you were cis, but using your preferred name and pronouns, like, “Oh hi, [Your Mom], [Your Preferred Name] was telling me that [your preferred pronoun] did such-and-such…” Like just implicitly modeling by example, and then hopefully social psychology will work in your favor and your mom will be irresistibly bent to conform to the prevailing usage of your preferred name and pronouns.

    10.

    Is it necessary to hint, or could you just say it? Like, whatever you would say if you had a boyfriend, except with the words “girlfriend”/”she”/”[your girlfriend's name]” as needed. “I’m dating someone and her name is [Your Girlfriend's Name],” or “Mom, this is [Your Girlfriend's Name], my girlfriend. [Your Girlfriend's Name], this is my mom,” etc. Although I guess if only drop the word “girlfriend” and leave it at that, your mom might not be clear on whether you mean girlfriend girlfriend or just female friend.

    11.

    I generally don’t like to define other people’s sexual experiences for them, but in this case it sounds like this girl considers f/f relationships to be less real and important and valid than m/f relationships, and that is a very bad sign. So I don’t think you’re overreacting.

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    #11:
    If you feel that your sexual relationship with this person is/was very significant for you, then I think it is understandable that you are upset; what the person said sounds pretty invalidating. However, I think after giving yourself some time you probably do need to come down off the mountain and talk to them again, because in the end, they are the person who gets to define what “sex” is for themselves, just as you do for yourself. “You do you” goes both ways, yeah?

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    10. My preferred method is to talk about her constantly (which I do reflexively) and exhibit extreme date like behaviour before she picks you up. Like changing your outfit three times, being excited about the evening to the point of telling everyone your plans, twice, and sitting by the door so you hear the bell … This is how my Dad found out I was seeing a girl.

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    1. It might be helpful to go to the head of residential life/housing/student life at your school and ask if they can help you with talking to your roommate. They can also probably connect you with resources for trans* students at your school, or even older students at the school who have been through a similar experience to you, and could probably give you more advice on how to come out to a roommate in a way that you’re comfortable with. I don’t know about your school, but at my school there is a strong community of trans* people who make a huge effort to reach out and support new trans* students. No matter what, you have the right to be comfortable in your living situation, so if your roommate is NOT ok with your identity, you can get help to find an alternative living situation.

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      word to all of this. also, I’d say be up front with your roomie and tell her…I was worried about coming out to my former first-year roommate but she turned out to be totally cool and one of the strongest cis/straight allies & supporters I know.

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    15. My mom is so lonely and sad and I don’t know how to help her… I’m doing what I can but I’m only 21 and I’m in college and she’s just so bored and sad. Help?

    You could encourage her to join a walking group, or do a short course, learn an instrument, take a language class, Argentinian cooking classes/tango, take up gardening, volunteer — all great ways of meeting people and alleviating boredom!

    If it is depression, as the above poster suggests, then she may not have the motivation, energy or drive to do the above things. If you think this might be the case, educate yourself about it, so you can better understand what she is going through and how you can support her. Perhaps get her to read about it herself so she can learn some self care techniques. When you are feeling down, doing the simple things like having a regular sleep routine, eating regular healthy meals, getting outdoors, exposure to sunshine, and exercising can make a big difference.

    I’m sure you are doing as much as you can for her, but also make sure you are looking after yourself. The important things are making her aware that she is supported and not alone (because she has you) and then slowly try to build up the support networks around her.

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    3. I have a giant crush on my friend who might not be straight. Would it be better to talk to her about it or could I make a grand gesture and kiss her? I don’t want to lose her as a friend.

    In the words of Judy Blume’s Forever…, you can’t go back to just holding hands. Even if you made a grand gesture (don’t, it could end badly in so many ways) and she liked it, wouldn’t you want to have enjoyed every torturous moment of pretending to yawn while sneaking an arm across her shoulders?

    ***

    4. How do you tell a straight girl you want her to stop holding hands with you, touching and hugging you constantly, and generally making you want to kiss her, without offending or making her uncomfortable?

    If you find out, let me know. This doesn’t happen to me that often but when it does it’s so awkward. I’m in a relationship so I guess if it happens again I could say something like “that’s reserved for my boifriend,” but that seems so cowardly.

    ***

    8. I’m starting to feel like I may be becoming “stone butch” because I don’t enjoy receiving sexy times like I used to. While I would be okay with that, I’m just a little confused as to what’s going on with me. Any advice?

    I go through stone periods, too (although I am a femme). Sometimes those periods have lasted years, other times months or hours. Various reasons I have/have gone through stone times include: dealing with abuse issues and not wanting to stop being sexual; going through a big life transition and knowing that being touched would make me weep and preferring to have happy sex rather than weepy sex; really feeling like touching but not feeling like being touched. I would engage in some ongoing self-inquiry so you know where you’re at emotionally, keep in touch with your feelings, deal with anything major that comes along, and enjoy the total amazingness of being entrusted with another’s pleasure.

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    6. Just wanted to say you are definitely not alone in this. It can be incredibly frustrating and upsetting. The biggest thing for me has just been accepting that maybe masturbation is not the thing for me, and that’s okay. But if you *do* want to masturbate, then according to my friends, it takes practice, practice, practice.

    9. I’ve been in this situation, and I made the mistake of making excuses (I don’t want a relationship right now, etc.) instead of straight-up telling her that I just wasn’t feeling the chemistry, because I really didn’t want to hurt her feelings. It ended up being dragged on, and it was really awkward for me and probably painful for her. My advice is to just kindly be honest with her about how you feel.

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    #13 I got diagnosed with Bipolar II. How do I tell my girlfriend/family? I know they must have been worried about me for a long while, but I don’t want them to think I’m insane…or read up on it and know what I think about.

    Bipolar disorder is very commonly stigmatized, but it is way more common than people think. I cannot say it’s easy to tell people, as since my diagnosis I don’t really advertise it, even when it gets severe. Unfortunately a lot of people assume it just means crazy and look at media representations of it (which are often inaccurate). As far as the idea of them reading up on it/becoming informed, I can see how that would be frightening (that’s the impression I got from the question) as it would provide a level of insight as to what is actually going on in your head that you probably haven’t experienced with others before, and if you have recently been diagnosed, then it’s all probably really new to you, too.

    I agree that support groups can be beneficial, if that’s a thing you have available in your area/would be open to. At one point I was working very closely with a therapist and I actually had a couple of people close to me come in with me to my therapist (and one awkward conference call) and it provided a way to share what was going on with the people I cared for, as well as someone who could answer their questions with a background they were sure to respect. It helped me because there was a level of trust with my therapist that allowed us to discuss exactly what was (and wasn’t) off limits for the conversation, as well as things I thought they may do best hearing sort of from someone else.

    At first, depending on their personal experiences, they could have a lot of different reactions and it’s hard to predict what those may be. Being prepared is important, but the fact is, if these people love you, and they have seen your turmoil, they will (perhaps at the least) be (in a way) relieved to know there at least is a reason all of this has been going on, and also a good idea of how to handle it.

    The most important thing is that you feel supported by those around you, and ideally you can get to a place where you can ask for help, or just let them know sometimes, “I’m kind of low today,” and that just be okay. One thing I read a while ago that I really enjoyed (and it may just be me because the specific perspective was very much like my own) was An Unquiet Mind by Kay Jamison. It is a really interesting read, and while not a guide to living/handling bipolar disorder really, it is a really powerful book. Best of luck.

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    3. It seems like the first order of business is to figure out whether she actually isn’t straight. If she’s a good enough friend that you feel like you’d really be losing something if you stopped being friends, this should be pretty easy to do, right? Like, you know, “Have you ever thought about dating girls?” Not that that should be your segue into some grand gesture, but might be a good step in a gradual process of figuring out if you could be a couple.

    That said . . . I’ve certainly had intense crushes on various friends of mine. And they all went away on their own, sometimes after weeks, sometimes after a year or two, and we’re still friends and now I have a great girlfriend. So even if you do try to slowly — slowly! — suss out whether your friend is into you, I’d advise you to also keep your eyes open for other definitely-queer girls you might be interested in dating.

    4. Is it actually on the record that this girl is straight? Because if you’re just assuming that she is (based on a history of her dating dudes, etc), it seems totally possible she is interested in some kind of romantic contact with you. But if she’s made it super clear that she’s straight, I have two courses of action in mind, both possibly ending in your not being friends anymore. First is just cool it off with her because that shit seems attention-seeking and annoying. Second is go for that kiss, which ought to settle things one way or the other.

    6. Some women find that vibrators are the only way they can really get off — try out one of those, perhaps, if you haven’t yet?

    7. Try doing stuff apart from your friend group every so often, whether that’s taking a class or volunteering or going out to a bar. I feel like when you’re with a bunch of really big personalities it’s easy to just hang back and let the warmth of the group wash over you — a new context may be called for.

    9. You do have to end this right away, you know. Think how awful you’d feel if you were the unsuspecting, adoring girlfriend. There is no good way to be dumped. Do it quickly and probably in person. The one time I was dumped this is how it went (circa age 15): “Hey, so I still want to be friends, but I feel like this whole us dating thing isn’t really working. I still want to go to the beach on Thursday, though!” And I was miserable for a couple of days but then it was fine. Minus the going to the beach later thing, that level of brevity is just fine. Don’t go into details — the only relevant thing is that you’re not interested in dating her.

    10. Oh, don’t hint, that’ll just be more embarrassing for you both. Just say this or something like it: “Hey, so I’m going on a date with Ladyfriend tonight.” Done! Then it’s all in her hands. If you think she will just be, like, “okay,” you are probably right.

    11. How often does this conversation occur?!? Are you dating or just constantly rehashing the one time you maybe had sex? Either way, it seems really obnoxious of her to keep forcing this point, possibly stop having this or any other conversation with her forever.

    12. Look, there are almost no relationships where the participants are going to be exactly “as thin” as each other (how would that even be measured? no clue), people come in tons of different sizes. I’m not totally sure what you’re worried about, but here’s a story: my girlfriend’s heavier than me and I think it’s wonderful and she’s hot, and in fact in general I kind of tend to go for these tall, curvy Amazon types, it’s something I’m actively attracted to. Thin people (which I’m not especially, btw), aren’t necessarily into other thin people.

    13. Oof, I feel this one. As for the family, I’m assuming that since they don’t know you’re no longer living at home? That might make it easier to create some distance if they become overbearing about it. This is so hard (I say as a person who, having come clean about her mental illness in high school, spent the next several years being the worst psychiatric patient ever because the whole thing felt so invasive). One thing to maybe keep in mind is that a psychiatric diagnosis is really just a label for a collection of symptoms — which it sounds like the people close to you have already seen in action to some extent. If that’s the case, this isn’t entirely new information — you’ve just got a name for it now and, hopefully, some idea of what to do about it. I might present it that way, and lightly. Something along the lines of, “So, my doctor/therapist thinks they’ve figured out why I [insert observed behavior here].”

    And go ahead and let them know what you want them to do with this information. If anyone’s weird about it, correct them. Good luck!

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    4. Get over the idea of not making her uncomfortable or offending her, because you can’t control other people’s emotions. Tell her like it is. You can also come out to her, because maybe secretly she wants to kiss you, too.

    15. She needs a whiskey kitten.

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    4. I’d say try to explain to her in the best way you can- if you make it clear and rational-sounding she shouldn’t get offended, and then hopefullly neither of you will have to feel uncomfortable… Also, I know I don’t know anything specific about your situation, but a year or so ago I was the “straight” girl who wouldn’t stop holding hands with, touching and hugging my “best friend”- who had TOLD me the she LIKE liked me- because we were just friends, that’s what friends do, right? Anyway, she’s now my girlfriend… This might not be relevant to you at all, but maybe something to consider?

    Sorry if this doensn’t help much, good luck anyway :)

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      Hello love :) I felt sure you wre going to answer question six instead of four but heres my responses to most things in conjunction with yours.

      3. Come out to her and talk to her, It takes most of us a while to come to terms with feelings propperly, so i’m not sure suprise tactics are the best idea, however nice the suprise might be in retrospect.

      4. Um I tottally didn’t want to stop holding her hand, which I know could have ended nastily… I can only advise you to tell her you like her (which is really difficult) or come out to her and some how turn that into an excuse with out specifying that you like her specifically? Best of luck x

      6. No you are not broken. Not sure what your sexual experiences with other people are but for some people sex without a partner doesn’t really cut it. Even if you’re not interested in recieving sex then that doesn’t neccessarily mean you’re not going to be into giving it, and if you aren’t then as I think has been mentioned you’re not in anny way insufficient as a girlfriend/human being.
      Also if the experience simply was uncomfortable but you wanted to try again and improve a few things then, as mentioned in other posts, erotica etc can help to keep your mind in the zone as it were. Also, and this I can vouch for from experience, LUBRICANT is pretty game changing if you’re not naturally like really wet. So try some of that, or convinient handcream or something. But don’t stress, I know people who have like never touched themselves so I don’t think that your experiences are as unique as you seem to think.

      8. Can kind of empathise with this, whilst I enjoy both sides, I’ve always felt the most comfortable about “giving”. Most of the time I enjoy both but I only really enoy recieving when I feel like I myself am attractive, has that changed recently for you?

      12. I’m skinnier than my girlfriend, but she’s more socially capable, intelligent, prettier, smells less and is better dressed. She still chose me out of all the other girls out there and most insecurities I have or have had are reflected in her too. It can be difficult not to compare with someone you’re so close to and you’re in some way bound to worry about something unless you’re uber confident about your self, so talk to her about it and you might find that she thinks her vagina is less pretty or something, seriously. And if or when she says she likes something about you that you thought was weird or unnapealing, don’t assume it can’t be true because whats sexy to you might be very different to what is to her x

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    How do you tell a straight girl you want her to stop holding hands with you, touching and hugging you constantly, and generally making you want to kiss her, without offending or making her uncomfortable?

    Just straight up tell her. Something like “Hey, I like hugs and everything, but it’s kind of too much for me to handle. Can we tone it down?” except less condescending because I kind of suck at this type of conversation too.

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    1. Do you feel like you have to come out to her? It really is okay not to. If that’s not logistically feasible, or if you just want to come out to her (which is also a totally valid choice, obvs), treating it as about as big a deal as your major or hometown or any other fact about you is probably the best way. Be prepared for potentially awkward questions, and do consider making sure that you have a way out of the conversation if it becomes emotionally (or physically) unsafe. But probably, everything will go fine, she’ll be cool with it, and she may even become a strong ally. Good luck!

    2. What degree of commitment are we talking about? Is she explicit in saying that she would rather be in a relationship which her parents approve of, and that your relationship is just a holding pattern until that comes along? Or is it more hat she can’t connect emotionally because of her parents’ ddisapproval? Get clear on that, and talk to her about what work she’s willing to do to divorce her intimate space from her parents wishes for her. That’ll take work, from her and you (and any other partners she might have). Figure out what that process will look like, and then decide if that’s a relationship you can be in.

    11. No, you’re understandably upset at your sexuality being marginalized and erased. Obviously, she can conceptualize “sex” however she wants, but it’s totally reasonable to feel hurt and angry that she’s writing her her heterosexist definition onto your experiences.

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    #15

    My mom has been suffering from depression since my dad left her when I was 3 – after having gone through a subsequent abusive relationship and having now been out of work for 10 years, she lives alone. I moved 4,000 miles away 5 years ago to go to school and I often have been concerned about her and have felt guilty for leaving. She’s doing somewhat better now – her progress has been slow but I can see the difference.

    I think the first thing that I would suggest would be to keep in contact with her. If you’re close enough, visit her/take her out to meals or to events you know she would enjoy. If you’re too far away for that, call her often to chat (like multiple times a week), send her notes in the mail, if she uses the internet, get her into facebook or another social network where she can feel connected to other people. I gave my mom my old laptop when I was buying a new one and she has loved being able to be connected – it’s empowering and I think it combats some of the feelings of isolation.

    Find common interests you have – read books together and discuss them (I got my mom into Rachel Maddow so now we can talk about the silly Republicans together), subscribe her to a magazine that she’s interested in, keep an eye on events going on in her town and suggest things for her to go do, suggest volunteer positions she might be interested in (great way to meet people!), encourage her to go out at least once a day, even if she just spends an hour at a local cafe with a book, ask for her opinions/advice, tell her that you love her, share your triumphs with her and thank her for giving you the tools to have those triumphs, listen to her (sort of boring) stories about her cats, encourage her to garden or take walks in the sunshine or join a yoga class or get involved in a political campaign or go to a book club. Based on her situation, pets can be great since they give companionship and responsibility.

    More than anything, listen to her – sometimes my mom just needs to know that someone wants to listen to her and respects what she has to say and won’t dismiss her.

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    #9
    Having been both people in this scenario, tell her sooner rather than later. It will be a crappy day but don’t string her on. Don’t make up dumb excuses as to why you can’t be with her because she will see through them and being lied to will make her sadder than she probably will already be. There’s nothing wrong with not feeling romantically-inclined towards someone. That doesn’t mean you find them unattractive or unpleasant or that you don’t want to be around them…she may or may not understand this but the best you can do is tell her kindly and honestly and respectfully and then be there for her afterwards (or leave her alone if that’s what she prefers).

    #11
    It was mentioned earlier but everyone decides what sex is for themselves and as annoying as it is, if she doesn’t think of what you two did/are doing as sex, that’s not something you get to change for her…luckily for you, this also works the other way around…so if you feel like it was sex…then it was sex. Congratulations on the sex, I hope it was awesome.

    #12
    I am curvy and have certainly been with ladies skinnier than me and at one time felt really self-conscious about myself in comparison to them…but here’s the thing…they wouldn’t have been with me if they didn’t find me attractive. I have also been with bigger ladies…and I was totally into them too. Ladies are kind of inherently good-looking.

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    #15
    I live in California, and my mom lives back home in Kentucky. She has a lot of mobility problems. We also disagree on almost everything. I’m fairly liberal, and she’s very religious and conservative. I also work two jobs (one of them is at night.], which means I am impossible to reach at any given time).
    But my brother and I are both gamers, and we’ve taught my mom how to play a few games. One of them was Age of Empires, and the other was Diablo. I tell her about the games I play, and we have a ton of inside jokes. (One of them involves a little pig-toy her Newfoundland puppy has that goes huehuehue.) I’m not suggesting gaming as a substitute, but find some cheap multiplayer games (or free ones! Kongregate.com has a few, and chatrooms on the side, to boot! It’s fairly well moderated, too. [I say this as a site-moderator, and I make damn sure my space is safe for women and queers]). My brother and I spend all sort of odd hours on skype playing together, and offer drag her into calls (sometimes against her will, at the beginning), but it’s a way we show we love her and want to do things with her. Sometimes we go the other way and play spades with her in her online community.
    I guess this is a long-winded way of saying something you already know: find something you both like. There are communities for everything on the internet, and if you have distance or weird hours, it can be a wonderful place to find friends.

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    13. I got diagnosed with Bipolar II. How do I tell my girlfriend/family? I know they must have been worried about me for a long while, but I don’t want them to think I’m insane…or read up on it and know what I think about.

    I have bipolar II, and angsted a lot about telling my immediate family, friends and the guy I was dating at the time. Stigma was definitely the biggest problem. Eventually I had to be admitted to a mental clinic for a few weeks, which kind of forced me to tell my parents. Dropping the double bomb of “I have bipolar and I am currently in a mental hospital” is not the best way to do it!

    It was scary, but in this kind of situation, knowledge really is power – for everyone. Sit your loved ones down calmly and tell them that you’ve been diagnosed with bipolar II, explaining what that actually means. Emphasise that it’s a mood disorder, which means that you’re not really “going crazy”… it’s just that the spectrum of your moods is waaaay wider than most other people’s. Then tell them that you’re getting treatment for it (I assume you are), and you might be a bit out of sorts for a while as a result. You don’t have to go into great detail about what depressive, manic and hypomanic episodes are actually like. Usually that is enough for people to digest.

    I know you said you don’t want them to read up on it and have them “know what you’re thinking”, but I’m sure they’d want to know as much about bipolar as possible so they can be helpful and supportive. My psychiatrist gave me a list of websites to give to my parents, so they could read up on how best to SUPPORT me… not necessarily reading up on how my brain works!

    Bottom line, I’m your girlfriend and parents love you and want you to be ok. It’s scary to say your diagnosis out loud and admit it to yourself, but it’s the best thing to do.

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    Among the 15 questions I so want to share my views to, I chose number 7 and I hope I made sense.

    7. All my friends are really good looking/funny/cool and I feel like a lot of the time they outshine me, however I am also quite funny. I feel like a lot of people view me as “friend” material and them as “omg lets hump now” material. How do I fix this?

    DO NOT FIX IT.

    Be the “OMG She’s The One I Want To Grow Old With” one.
    My friends? They outshine me not only in physical beauty, but also monetary assets and clothes and gadgets, but I don’t mind. Because my girlfriend? She loves that I am different, funny and smart (according to her). Otherwise, how can I be myself, a separate entity, when I am so like the rest of the gang? Be who you are and somebody out there will see you and love you as who you really are and I tell you, it’ll be amazing. I am not trying to cut you off of all the fun in the world. Go ahead and dye your hair, change your clothes, by all means ‘hump’, but at the young age of 23, I can say that it is better to go for the long haul rather than the ‘easy come easy go’.

    ***You laugh at me because I am different. I laugh at you because you are all the same.***

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    #15

    Two factors you don’t mention are how long this has this been going on and whether there was some sort of precipitating event (death, divorce, etc.).

    If it is recent and garden variety blues, you’ve already gotten some great recommendations. I’d add encouraging her to get unbored. If she has a network of friends you can discretely talk to one or two of them about your concerns and get their input. That will give you insight specific to your Mom and let them know that there is an opportunity to step up for their friend. If your Mom doesn’t have a network of friends, you can encourage her to start building her own community by volunteering, taking classes, or getting involved in ongoing meetups – you can help her get started finding opportunities from anywhere.

    If the depression and boredom have been ongoing for awhile or had a precipitating event, I’d recommend focusing your efforts into getting her to find professional help. It can be from a doctor (to eliminate a physical health problem or to start anti-depressants), therapy, or support groups.

    It sounds like you really love your Mom, which makes you both incredibly fortunate! Still, no matter how hard you try or how much she leans on you, your mother-daughter bond can’t replace peer friends and professional support. Love her, help her find resources, but try not to take this on as a problem for you to fix because I don’t think you can; the only real solution probably has to come from your Mom herself.

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    I’m no expert, but here’s some of my answers:

    3: I think it would be best for you to play it safe and talk to her about it first. Sure, a grand gesture is very romantic and like-the-movies, but things don’t always work out perfectly, and it could get awkward if you were reading her wrong. :/ Talking about it can be embarrassing, but good relationships can be built on a willingness to talk things through. Oh, and good luck!

    6: It doesn’t mean you’re broken if you can’t get aroused. -hugs- Not everyone needs/wants/can have an orgasm, which is okay. Have you tried doing things differently? Maybe going really slowly, stroking your thighs and stomach for a while before getting to the actual masturbating? Or have you tried reading erotica or watching porn beforehand?

    11: NOW I’M MAD FOR YOU. Uggh no you are not overreacting. That’s just sad-making. :(

    12: -hugs tight- ugh girl I totally know what you mean. My ex-gf was about 45 pounds thinner than me. I actually refused to get on top of her because I was so self-conscious and she never could understand that. But ANYWAY, this sounds corny or cliche or whatever but you have to LOVE YOURSELF. No matter what, if your girlfriend is more or less accepting or anything, it doesn’t make a difference if you can’t accept yourself. Everyone’s bodies are different, and anyone can be beautiful. My gf always told me how she thought I was so beautiful, etc, but I never believed her. What you have to do is get to that state where not only do you believe you are beautiful no matter your weight, but also you believe YOURSELF and not just when others tell you.

    lalala I’m just gonna leave this here (my second ever comment here HELLLLP)

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    #3: Talk to her! You can make a grand verbal gesture, or set up a romantic gift or setting, but I have really never been in favor if kissing someone without first making them aware that you’d like to kiss them. Personal space invaaasion.

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    #14: I went through this exactly one year ago … and honestly, I’d say let the meltdown happen. It’s going to be hard, and you’ll feel like no one understands you for awhile. Did you go abroad with some kind of group/organization that you stayed in contact with?? It will help immensely if you can all complain together about how lame your home country seems now … basically the only thing you can do is ride it out, explain to people that you’re adjusting, and let yourself be re-introduced to your own culture.

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    1. How does one come out to a roommate as trans*, when you’re going to a women’s college? I find out my rooming assignment in a month and for the matching sheet I said I like lesbian/feminist folk music, but I’m still scared!

    As an attendee of an all-women’s college, I can say that people there are probably going to be a lot more understanding than people at a co-ed school, as we’re usually more open-minded in general. I know several people who are either transitioning or have already transitioned in college, and although I can’t speak to the experience personally, people at my school are really receptive and supportive, and I hope you have a similar experience. As for your roommate, it depends on how much you feel comfortable sharing. I didn’t even become friends with my first year roommates! It’s nothing to worry about hiding to her, though. If she’s bothered that’s her problem, not yours, and you might end up with a much better roommate! Reach out to a LGBTQ group on campus for support and advice. All the best.

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    #2: Do you have some kind of proof that she never will (such as, she told you she’d never be able to because of that) or does it seem like such a hopeless situation, that you’re beginning to think she simply never will? It seems to me, based on what information I have, that maybe you’re just becoming frustrated, which is totally understandable, but I’m guessing your parents were more accepting than hers are. I understand you’re suffering with this situation, but try to be understanding of her situation. Eventually, she’ll probably come around, because this is a part of who she is and she can’t just ignore it because her parents don’t want her to be that way.

    #4: I’ve had this type of problem before, but first, I need to know, does she know that you’re gay? I have noticed that sometimes straight girls find out you’re a gay girl, and they start to flirt with you. Frankly, I think is an ego boost for them somehow. It seems that they assume you will be attracted to them because you like girls and THEY are girls, so naturally, you probably really like them, amiright?! No. I take it from what you said, that YOU find her attractive. Does she know this? Because if she knows (or if it’s obvious), and she is definitely straight, I again, think it is just a bit of an ego boost for them. They probably don’t have any interest in actually being with you. Also, one last question (I know this is not really answering YOUR question, but some things need clarification), does she tend to do these things in front of guys? Either way, NOW I will attempt to answer your question as best I can: I think the best thing to do is to not reciprocate. When she hugs you/hold your hand, just stop. Don’t hug her back. Don’t hold her hand back. Essentially, go limp, lol. Don’t seem interested. If these things don’t work, I would suggest talking to her (try to be nice about it though, or she might get defensive), or maybe you could go so far as to get a girlfriend and say, “Hey, you can’t be doing that stuff. I have a girlfriend.” She may not initially see how what she is doing could be wrong, because to her, it isn’t “real” because you’re a girl, but make her understand that she wouldn’t do that (presumably) to some other girl’s BOYFRIEND. She’d probably catch hell for it if she did.

    #8: I understand this. I’ve always been kind of this way. I always preferred to do things to my partner, to get my partner off. I’m almost always perfectly contented just by getting her off so well, and seeing her reaction. Sometimes, I do like to receive, and with my current partner, I’ve become more interested in receiving, because my current girlfriend can actually get me off (previous girls were a lot of fun, but they could never get me to come). What I’m saying is, does this recent stone development have anything to do with the quality of sex you have with your girlfriend or are there other factors such as high stress levels, thrown-off sleeping schedules, or something else that may be decreasing your libido, or is your libido the same, but you just don’t want to be touched? Ultimately, if you are okay with it, and your partner is okay with it, then I think it should be fine. Perhaps later on, since you weren’t stone before, you’ll fall back into your previous way of having “sexy times.” :) I wish you the best.

    #11: Okay, wait. Is this girl straight or bi-curious or perhaps bisexual but leaning more toward men? That sounds like the argument of a male-oriented female to me, just sayin’. Also, what does she mean by sexual intercourse? I’m assuming that she means penal-vaginal sex (or perhaps some kind of phallus [i.e. strap-on] penetrating the vagina?). I don’t think you’re overreacting at all. I can’t help but think that sounds like a straight argument that she’s throwing at you there. Not just women throw this argument at gay women, but also, I’ve heard this from a lot of straight men too, which is even MORE infuriating. People’s (even straight people’s) definitions of what counts as sex, varies from person to person, and even by culture, time period, location, age, race, ability, and other intersectionalities as well. I would suggest explaining this to her (calmly though) and trying to get her to understand your perspective. If ultimately, she still won’t agree that you had sex together, then you can just leave it at, ‘Well, you believe we didn’t have sex, so you go ahead and believe that we didn’t, but I truly believe we did, so I’m going to go on saying we did.’ I wish you the best. :)

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    #14. Oh God reverse culture shock succcccccccks. Have the meltdown. Connect with your abroad friends if you can (my partner went for a year abroad too and their network are still close 7 years on; mine are a bit more dissipated). Maybe find other friends that have gone on big trips too to commisserate with.

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