• The Radar

Queeries: Year 2, Vol. 1

Hey there guys, gals, and nonbinary pals! As promised, here’s the first edition of this year’s Queeries. Hope you like it!

(For those of you who don’t know us yet)

C: Crystal

H: Hanako

B: Bek

G: Gabriel

Before we get started, we just wanted to remind everyone that gender is a spectrum! It’s not binary, and it is pretty complex. It can be kind of hard to talk about because it means something different for every person. However, being intentional with our language helps to uplift everyone!

How do I know that I actually have a crush on someone and I’m not just desperate? 

C: I think if you really enjoy spending time with that person and find yourself thinking about them constantly over a pretty long stretch of time, you probably have a crush. Ask yourself if you like that person for who they are, and answer truthfully. I recommend you enter or pursue a relationship because you truly like that person and not because you feel the need to be with someone. It’s okay to not be with someone. That being said, if you think you’re interested in someone, don’t be afraid to explore that!

I think I have a crush on my friend help what do i dooo 

H: Having been on the other side of this too many times, don’t lose them as a friend, no matter what. If they like you back, that’s fantastic! If not, I promise they don’t want to lose you as a friend. Good luck 🙂

B: Logical me says tell them. If you both value each other’s friendship, it’s going to be ok. Actual me says “meep” and runs to hide in a corner.

G: I definitely agree with what Bek said (yes, including the “meep” part). Having a crush on your friend can be really hard, especially if you’re like me and not willing to ever do anything about it. I think that it’s best to just tell the person. The best-case scenario is that they say that they like you back. Yay! The worst-case scenario is that they don’t like you back, and you just stay friends.

I know that I am attracted to both guys and girls, but I hate the idea of coming out, but I also want people to know that I like both genders. Also, I’m worried that if people do know, guys won’t want to date me because I’m bi. 

Anyone who doesn’t respect and fully accept you and your sexuality doesn’t deserve to date you. Don’t worry about trying to make sure others like or accept you—you will find people who won’t judge you for something that you have no control over, and those are the people you should be spending time with. Don’t feel pressured to come out if you don’t want to. Also, coming out to individual people that you really care about, instead of everyone, is another option. Whatever you do, do it because you want to, and not because you’re worried about what other people will think.  

How can I figure out someone’s sexuality (so I know if it’s reasonable to have a crush on them) without being disrespectful? 

G: Just straight-up (haha) ask them. If you’re worried about being disrespectful, you might not want to take this route unless you’re good friends. Then again, people have just asked me “Are you gay?” before and I’ve been totally fine with it (albeit, a little caught off-guard). 

H: Personally, I would ask one of their friends. That’s definitely a more non-confrontational way to find out, which would be easier if you think you have a crush on them.

How do you come out as bi or pan to a straight significant other? 

H: I’ve never come out to a straight significant other while I was dating them, but I have come out to two different guys I “dated” in middle school after the fact. They were both really chill about it—I don’t even remember what the first one said. When I told the second, he said, “Whoa plot twist. Good for you 🙂 Thats awesome.” My only advice I think would be don’t expect them to not be surprised, and probably reaffirm that you like them—out of all the people you could have chosen, you chose to date them. 

My friend recently came out to me as either bi or lesbian (she doesn’t really know yet). I completely support her regardless of sexual orientation. She has told a couple of other friends. However, two of our other friends aren’t supportive of the LGBTQ+ community. She hasn’t told them yet and isn’t sure if she will… I don’t have much experience with the LGBTQ+ community and was hoping for some advice on her behalf?

For the question asker: Make sure your friend knows how much you support her. Allies like you are super important to helping people in the LGBTQ+ community feel safe and supported, especially when other people they care about turn away from them. 

For your friend: If you do decide to come out to these friends, maybe this is a chance for them to see the LGBTQ+ experience from another perspective—it might take time, but even if they aren’t supportive when you tell them, your friendship can help them understand and accept how you and other people feel. Unfortunately, things don’t always work out this nicely. If they don’t accept your identity and are not open to discussing it (or if you don’t want to discuss it), it is still possible to remain friends with these people, just ignoring the topic of your sexuality when you are with them. Holding a separation from your identity can be SUPER painful, so the solution might be simply to spend less time with them—that is ultimately up to how you feel in these friendships. Not coming out to them can feel equally painful to their confirmed unacceptance. Again, this is all about how you feel. Know that whatever you choose to do, you have some incredibly amazing, supportive friends out there who want to make sure you are happy and comfortable with who you are. 

When did you realize you were LGBTQ+? How did you realize? 

G: I realized a little more than halfway into eighth grade. For me, there wasn’t one “ah-ha!” moment; it was more a long process of learning to accept myself and realizing that not being straight was actually okay. Basically, I realized that I’d date a guy but not a girl, and I was like, “Huh, that sounds pretty gay.”

H: I’m about as observant as a brick wall, so it took me a long time to figure it out. 

C: I never really identified super strongly with “she” and had always felt like my identity had never been centered around my gender. My oldest sibling came out as bi (and later pan) when I was really young and later started using gender-neutral pronouns, so I grew up pretty open-minded about my identity and sexuality. Around seventh grade, I had been thinking critically about the labels I felt comfortable identifying with, and I just told my older sister one day in our living room, “I think I want to use ‘they’,” and she said, “Cool.” And that was it. Even when I figured out I liked using they/them pronouns, I switched from being agender to gender non-conforming to agender once again. My identity is fluid, changing as I’ve grown, and it will continue to change, just like everyone else. Don’t ever feel the need to stick with a label if you’re unhappy with it or if it doesn’t fully reflect you, or think you need a big “realization” moment. You can choose to identify with no labels, and that’s totally cool too. 

B: I kind of think my friend told me I was bi and I figured they were right. I guess I hadn’t really considered it as a possibility before then, but once it was brought to my attention, I realized that it seemed to fit pretty well. 

How can you tell the difference between platonic and romantic attraction? 

G: I usually have a very hard time with this. For me, it’s probably due to the fact that platonic attraction/affection between men is frowned upon by society almost as much as romantic attraction/affection. I’ve started to realize that the little things are often the most telling. If you’re romantically interested in the person, you’ll want to spend all or almost all of your time with them, and you’ll get that weird fluttery stomach feeling (that nobody likes) when you’re around them. That being said, it’s different for everyone, and I’m notoriously bad at telling the difference. 

C: I think sometimes those two things intersect, and that’s not a bad thing. Give yourself time to figure it out, and see if you start to find yourself yearning something different than a friendship. Sometimes, I like a friend as a person so much that the line between platonic and romantic attraction blurs, and after a while, I usually realize that I just really like hanging out with them. However, I am always open to going either way, but if you feel deep down or lean more one way than another, don’t be afraid to explore that avenue. As a side note, I think you should feel like your significant other is also your friend, so it’s totally fine to feel both. 

H: It’s all very confusing. For me, romantic attraction feels (1) feels higher risk, (2) more directed, and (3) way more terrifying. By higher risk, I mean that, even though an interaction with whomever I like might feel terrifying, I come out of it either grinning like an idiot or thinking, “Wow, I’m really, really dumb,” (and often both). I say more directed because when I like someone romantically, the way I feel about them and interact with them is very different from the way I feel about other people in that moment. I think terrifying speaks for itself.

B: For me, the biggest difference is with romantic attraction, I constantly find myself flipping back through a conversation with the person to make sure I did everything right. But some people might do that for both, so…

Hi! I’m currently questioning/queer, but I’m a little afraid to come out to my friends cause I’m not sure of my identity yet. Any advice? 

H: Honestly, I didn’t come out to most people until I was fairly sure about my identity (I came out first as bisexual), and even then I realized asexual fit a lot better and did the whole thing over again. My advice would be to do whatever makes you feel comfortable. If you want to tell your friends, go for it! Most people know what questioning means (I hope they’ll at least know the word “question”), so they’ll understand if you find a different label that fits or whatever you want to do. 

G: As with Hanako, I didn’t come out to anybody until I was totally sure (and even then, I waited a bit), but I did almost come out as questioning once. The main thing that tripped me up was that, because I wasn’t totally sure about my identity, I didn’t want to tell other people and have to take it back. (Looking back, I see that it was just internalized homophobia, but that’s another issue.) Of course, there’s nothing wrong with assigning a label to yourself and then changing it later. That’s kinda what life’s about, especially as a queer person. As for coming out as queer, it might be harder to explain, because not a lot of people are familiar with the term and some people might want more specific labels. Just do what you’re most comfortable with.

B: I also didn’t come out until I was pretty sure, and my identity has since changed. The biggest thing was realizing that sexuality and gender are both fluid spectrums and likely to change a least a little bit from what you originally thought them to be. There’s no shame in identifying with one thing and modifying your identity later on. It won’t invalidate what you felt before or how you feel now. It’s also totally okay to tell people that you know you’re not straight, but are still trying to figure it out.

If I identify as gay but have had feelings for nonbinary people, can I still identify as gay? I feel really comfortable in the label (more so than bi) but do I count as long as I don’t have feelings for the opposite gender? 

Absolutely! If you still want to use the label, that’s totally okay. Labels are meant to make you feel part of a community and feel comfortable in your own identity. Use labels that feel right for you, and don’t worry about others telling you what you should identify with. You get to decide how you identify yourself, so honestly, avoid the haters. Of course, don’t hold yourself back from exploring new labels if you think gay doesn’t properly define you and your entire identity. There are so many more labels out there than gay, bi, etc. Also, this is totally up to you, but having a conversation with whoever you date (if and when you do) about your label, especially if they are nonbinary, could be beneficial. You really hold the power in deciding your label, but just be mindful that labels for sexuality also can define and reflect the identity of your significant other. 

I don’t have a question but I’m here to send out supportive vibes! YAY 

Aww, thank you!!!! Sending supportive vibes back at you 😀

What’s the difference between bi, bi+, and pan? 

There’s a lot of overlap between the three, and it certainly depends on who you ask! Bisexuality is usually defined as an attraction to more than one gender, or attraction to different genders in different ways. Pansexuality is usually defined as attraction regardless of gender. There’s a lot of overlap between those two, and it definitely depends on who you ask—each label means different things to people. Bi+ is usually an umbrella term to describe anyone who is attracted to multiple genders (bi, pan, queer, fluid, etc.).

I’m trans, how should I come out to my cisgender male friends, especially since they’re very edgy and joke about two genders and trans people

First of all, making jokes about two genders and trans people is NOT “edgy.” Whether it’s due to ignorance or hatred, it’s transphobic and unacceptable. 

We wanted to make sure you got advice from someone who has had similar experiences. Here’s what Simon, one of last year’s amazing leaders, says: 

“It seems like these friends have some idea of what being trans means, they just don’t realize the impact of their attempts at humor because they are operating under the assumption that everyone listening is cis. These are the sort of jokes that usually come from a place of ignorance rather than bad intentions. I would suggest that you explain to your friends why it’s not okay, (in a hypothetical sense, without outing yourself) and make sure they understand your concerns before coming out. It’s also very possible that these jokes will stop entirely as soon as they learn that there’s a trans person listening in. And remember, no one is forcing you to be friends with people who don’t respect you or make you feel unsafe.”

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