Truly Yours

Successful in life, not in love. Attraction to a co-worker. Mixed HIV status relationships?

Truly Yours by Lena Lett

Dear Lena,

I am a forty-something transgender living in D.C. I have a very good job, my own home, etc. I guess you can say that I really have everything I need in life except the relationship. Before you tell me how I should be grateful for what I have, let me say that I’ve worked very hard to make something out of myself, only to be lonely. Where are the men — the ones who will walk with you down the street, and contribute to the bills, and make a home? I don’t go out to Chaos, Ziegfeld’s, or other clubs, because I really don’t want to attract just any man. (You know what I mean.) Please help. Thanks.

– Where Is Mr. Right?

Often when we work hard to achieve the goals of success, we make little time to observe the people around us who can make us truly happy. Far too often, our passion to succeed becomes our only success, and we’re left lonely and unfulfilled. There is no simple answer to this question. The men are out there. The question is: Are you open to looking for them? Loneliness is perhaps the greatest problem plaguing the gay community. We, as a rule, are a group that over-achieves, and we’re told by society that we should be happy because we have so much. The cycle continues when we, for the sake of being loved, accept people who are wrong for us or just want to have what we’ve achieved.

In your search for Mr. Right, remember three things. First, love yourself and make peace with yourself so that you are ready to be loved. Second, in order to make room for the people and things that are important in your life, you must first remove the people and things that are not important. Third, do not try so hard. The love and relationship will come. When you press the issue, you set yourself up for failure. Good luck, honey!



Dear Lena,

I am a gay male and I’m attracted to my male co-worker. We are friends who hang out at the movies and talk on the phone. He talks about girls, so I assume he is straight — and he thinks I’m straight. (Then again, who knows what a person really thinks?) I have gotten a few vibes from him, even though I might be wrong. How can I find out what his sexuality is without being blunt or offensive? If I bring up the subject, I risk losing his friendship, and it’s difficult because we work together. But the attraction is so strong and he is such a cool person. What do I do, Lena?

– Tony28

Offer him a blowjob. Men love those, and even “straight” ones often don’t care who’s giving it to them! Only kidding, of course. Kind of. What you need to do is face the fact that you’re gay and you’re withholding an essential part of who you are from this person you consider a friend. Perhaps by being honest with him, it will allow him to come out to you if your “vibes” are right. Of course, you could be projecting your desire for him to be gay so much that it’s hard to get a clear signal anymore. If he’s as cool as you say he is, your sexuality needn’t be an obstacle in your friendship if he is indeed straight. Remember, Scarlett, sometimes you just cannot have Ashley!



Dear Lena,

About two weeks ago I felt something I haven’t felt in many years. I know it was love a first sight and he’s an amazing guy. Best part of it all, he feels the same way about me. I’ve never been so happy and I’ve waited for this — forever.  To make it perfect I wanted to get tested because it had

been over a year. My optimistic outlook is really a “positive” outlook on my new life. We talked and he still wants to continue. I was in a relationship for four years and stayed HIV-negative so I know “mixed” relationships last, but I have to be honest and say that something was missing. I don’t fall in love easily (it’s happened twice before) and I know I am in love now. My question is this: Do I push him away before it goes further or should I slow things down?

– Up in the Air

Come out of that K hole before you write the question! I believe what you’re asking is if you deserve to be happy even though you are positive and he’s negative. But even if it’s the other way around, being positive is a small part of who you are, and for anyone to deny himself happiness because of it is self-destructive. Life is too short for all of us not to be happy, so I say go for it full-speed if you’re in love with each other. Sure, there may be medical issues to address at times, but that’s not unique to relationships impacted by HIV. It’s all a gift — the good and the bad. Enjoy what you have.

Truly Yours,

Lena

Send your questions to lena@metroweekly.net. For more Truly Yours, visit www.metroweekly.com.

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Truly Yours

Lowly coffee shop manager, man in woman's body, and white after Labor Day

Truly Yours by Lena Lett

Dear Lena,

Love your column, but I have to disagree with your advice to the coffee shop manager who got dissed by the Capitol Hill lawyer who thought slinging latte was a lowly profession. Unlike you, I have to side with the lawyer. Does anyone really sit around when they’re a kid and say, “You know, one of these days, I’m going to be a great, important coffee shop manager!” I’m not saying Mr. Coffee may not be a perfectly nice guy, but there’s nothing wrong with looking at the career aspirations of a potential mate and recognizing right off the bat that someone who’s content in a coffee shop isn’t exactly living up to their potential. Sign meÂ…

Cream of the Crop

What’s this? A voice of dissent! Well…I…never — be gone, before someone drops a double-wide on you, too! Better yet, get your own damn advice column!

Okay, now that I have that off my chest. Thanks for your feedback — always glad to have it. No, really. Always glad. But I still back up our beleaguered Starbucks boy. You know, some people enjoy the vibrancy of a retail environment. Some people enjoy making your day a little nicer by preparing something to eat or drink, and serving you with a smile. For whatever reason, the coffee shop manager is happy with his life right now, and I think the lawyer blew a fine chance at getting to know a nice guy. And who says how your earn your living defines your life? Maybe you manage a coffee shop, but you also write beautiful poetry, and volunteer at a homeless shelter, and devote time to friends, or any number of fine pursuits. Is the world really better for having so many freakin’ lawyers running around? I rest my case.



Dear Lena,

Something really heavy is weighing on my mind. I believe I am a man trapped in a woman’s body. I know I’m not a lesbian (tried that, didn’t take) and I know I’m not “sick.” But I’m not sure what step to take next. I’m new to the D.C. area and if you could please point me in the direction of some organizations in the area that could help me out (for talking, counseling, etc.) I would be eternally grateful. Thank You, Lena.

– Susie Q.

Honey, you have a lot to sort through, and I commend you for being prepared to reach out for guidance. The sooner you get started, the happier you’ll be. You should get in touch with the Transgender Education Association (TGEA) at 301-942-3822, or you can visit them on the web at www.tgea.net. They will help you with all of your issues. Start there, and if you need more help, feel free to write again. I wish you well.



Dear Lena,

Why is it a sin to wear white after Labor Day, and when is it safe to wear the color again?

Color Blind

Traditionally, white is not worn between Labor Day and Memorial Day. However, exceptions are made (e.g., White Party, nurses, The Pope). I believe that if your outfit is stellar and you are happy wearing it, the color really shouldn’t matter. Do remember, though, that wearing white to a wedding is a big no-no. There should only be one girl in white that day, no matter how inappropriate (for different reasons entirely) it is for her. And another thing — if you do go out in this winter wonderland of ours wearing your virginal best, you’ll want to stay away from snow drifts. Otherwise, you might just blend right in and wind up getting plowed. On second thought, however, maybe you’re on to something….

Truly Yours,

Lena

Have a wonderful Valentine’s Day, my little individually wrapped truffles! And don’t let me hear anyone complain about having no one in their life who cares about them. Why? Because Lena loves you. Besides — (cue orchestra) — learning to love yourself, it is the greatest love of all. Now, breaking up with yourself when you become overbearing and inconsiderate — that’s a subject for another column entirely. Smooches! Write to lena@metroweekly.net, and visit www.metroweekly.com for more Truly Yours.

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