The Stranger Helps You Be a Gay Person

Malaika’s Team Pick:

If you’re anything like I am, half the time you have absolutely no idea what you’re doing. Yes, I’m in my twenties, but I still don’t have this adulthood thing figured out. Do you? You guys, I’m a child in disguise. But can you blame me? The demands of adulthood are tough. There are days when I envy my dogs who don’t have to worry about paying their bills, graduating from university, and answering emails. Let’s face it: this being a person thing is pretty challenging, and unfortunately being a gay person further complicates things. Thankfully, The Stranger is here to reach out from Youtube, give you a metaphoric hug, and teach you everything important about being a bi-ped, carbon-based, oxygen-breathing being. In Chapter 4.3 of Dan Savage and Lindy West’s How to Be a Person: The Stranger’s Guide to College, you’re taught how to feel less alone and even given coming out tips.

Do you sometimes find yourself alone in your kitchen with only some unwashed dishes and fruitflies to keep you company, wishing instead that you were at A-Camp surrounded by the queer community’s sexiest and most intelligent ladies? Well, don’t you dare resort to moping. Honey, you’ve got the gay community buzzing in your ears. As you’ll learn in the well-researched and highly scientific Episode 4.3, fruitflies are gay. The reason for this is that “if you’re only alive for one day, you might as well be gay.” Fruitflies may not have the same level of brains and hots as myself and the other Autostraddle team members, but hey, appreciate the gay you’ve got.

In addition to fruitflies, there are also gay killer whales, gay bees, gay bison, gay dolphins, and gay cats (duh) among other creatures all great and small. When you come out, know that you’re in good mammalian, reptilian, and arthropodian company. Speaking of coming out, The Stranger tell you how the best way to do it. In real life, coming out may be scary. It may not go smoothly. You may lose friends and even get kicked out of your house. Good thing you can escape into the perfect queer life of Chapter 4.3 in which everyone loves you and heck, even the mosquitoes are probably a part of the big rainbow family.

If even after watching this video and studioulsy reading Autostraddle’s articles telling you how to make food, how to get organized, and how to have sex, you still need help with this whole being a person concept, maybe you should buy the entire How to Be a Person book.

From one person to another, I wish you good luck. And remember – don’t hate on the fruitflies. They only get to be here and queer for a day.

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Malaika likes books, drinking tea, long conversations, dinner parties, making funny faces, bike rides, and dogs. Originally from Edmonton, she now lives in Montreal where she edits, runs, and writes about the Alberta Tar Sands for The Media Co-op. You can follow her on twitter @Malaika_Aleba.

Malaika has written 84 articles for us.


  1. From one person to another, I wish you good luck. And remember – don’t hate on the fruitflies. They only get to be here and queer for a day.

  2. This makes me happy bc a lot of gay men that I’ve hung round often in NYC have called me “fruit fly,” in a very endearing way and I really like it. Esp opposed to the other shall not be named name for a girl that hangs around a bunch of gay men often.

    That said I’m still kinda on the fence with Dan Savage. I like to think he means well but — I dunno. So many things he’s said have rubbed me the wrong way. I know that it’s impossible to be perfect and I don’t expect that, but something about how he presents things to be so black and white sometimes (with no grey area) irks me.

    However — I am down for anything positive and self affirming by anyone and always willing to give somethign a chance so I may look into that book for knowledge sake.

    TBH – Autostraddle > Dan Savage. Truth, not flattery. =D

    • Oh God this is hilarious! And full of good advice too (and a couple of problematic statements/things, but apparently this was written in the 90s so).
      I just want to print a bunch of them and hand it over to everyone I know and maybe slip it in a bunch of random mailboxes too.

  3. Lol, love the video… it just made me think… what if heteros have to come out to a gay world???

  4. Massive yes to coming out in the car. I don’t think I could have come out to my mum any other way.

  5. Omg, Malaika. I don’t have adulthood figured out yet either! When/if you find yourself in New York, we should have a slumber party and watch Mean Girls and also read this book and maybe figure out how to be adults. :0)

  6. That’s not true, though, is it? The last part about how people who are really worth your time won’t give a fuck about whether or not you’re gay. No one can tell you that your parents, who might be homophobic, aren’t worth your time. That’s bull.

    • yeah, that’s why I wrote this: “In real life, coming out may be scary. It may not go smoothly. You may lose friends and even get kicked out of your house.”

  7. In my high school, the one rule we always gave kids who were trying to come out of the closet was “never come out in the car.” Huh.

  8. Yeah, sorry, but I don’t think this video has anything particularly substantive to say about coming out, if their advice is “come out in a car,” and “don’t worry, everyone will accept you.” Have the filmmakers been to the real world lately?

  9. I don’t think it’s meant to be taken seriously though. It’s just a cute and funny little video. There are so many Big and Serious issues that we as queer people have to deal with, so it’s nice to see a video that makes light of something as nerve-racking as coming out.

  10. I would think coming out in the car is the worst timing, ever. So did my mom, who (unnecessarily) pressured me for a week to tell my dad except she forbade me from doing it in the car because he probably would’ve caused an accident.

  11. the car (while parked) worked for me, but then the whole “you don’t have to do anything else” is so untrue. i tried, and then it was awkward weeks before my mom or i mentioned anything about it again.

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