The Everyone is Gay Advice Corner with Kristin + Dannielle: Hatin’ Straight People With Presents

At Everyone is Gay, Kristin (right) and Dannielle (left) are girls who like girls who give advice to those who are confused about sexuality, gender-identity, dating, falling in love, or even dressing up like Super Woman. Here on CherryGRRL, these two adorable and brilliant ladies are sharing some of that wonderfully witty advice with our readers, monthly, via this column: The Everyone is Gay Advice Corner with Kristin + Dannielle.

My girlfriend always pays when we go out and buys me presents and spoils me rotten. I’m unemployed right now so I can’t afford to do the same for her. What are some romantic and affordable ways to let her know I love and appreciate her?

- Question submitted by Anonymous

Dannielle Says: 

BEEEENNN THEEEERRRREEEE.

I once dated someone who was rolling in it and I was rolling in nothing, ever. BUT. I would send her letters / doodle pictures / write 10 second songs, etc. I just did a bunch of tiny cute stuff because while I WANTED to buy her pizzas and necklaces and the like, I couldn’t afford it.

Chances are, PUFFERFISH (your gf) doesn’t care that you aren’t loaded. She’s doing sweet things because she thinks you are the greatest thing and that’s that. PUFFERFISH is stoked on you as a human being and the way she shows you that she cares is via presents and dinners, etc. If you are showing her how much you appreciate her, you are doing great.

THERE ARE SO MANY WAYS TO SHOW PUFFERFISH YOU APPRECIATE HER. Honestly, just saying ‘thank you’ and ‘i appreciate you’ more often could be enough for her. Sure, you can appreciate her with drawings or notes or poems or your BODY or mix CDs or photoshopping your heads on celebrity couples or whatever, but sometimes words are enough.

Do something that is you, you know? She loves you for you, not for presents.

Kristin Says:

Abso-f*cking-lutely. Let me tell you something: when it comes to cute ways to tell someone you love them, having no budget generally makes for a WAY better plan. When you have money you are just like, “Oh I will buy them these nice new mittens and a ticket to see Annie,” and like that is TOTALLY sweet, but it sure isn’t creative and inventive. Here are some low/no-budget ideas to say you care:

- Pick her a bouquet of dandelions (free) or buy her a carnation with her favorite color of food coloring and make it change color together (cheap).

- Pack a peanut butter sandwich picnic (unless she is allergic to peanuts).

- Write “I care about you a lot” on your palm and invite her over to watch a movie (romantic comedies work best for this option). At a meaningful point in the movie, tap her on the shoulder and show her your palm.

- Get one of those black and white composition notebooks and on the first page write, “Things I Would Do For You If I Had A Million Dollars.” Then, go nuts and draw pictures of you giving her tiaras and building her castles and flying to the Eiffel tower and stuff, but end with a stick figure drawing of a hug. When she gets to the end, hug her.

I promise you, the best things that people have ever gotten me have been free — all that thought and care shows love in the most beautiful of ways.

Sometimes, I feel really angry at straight people? How can I learn to deal with these feelings and stop being so mad?

- Question submitted by Anonymous

Dannielle Says: 

Oh man, have I been there. I think this all depends on where that anger stems from, you know? For me, I was so upset that I just couldn’t just be a stereotypical perfect straight girl with earrings and dresses. It was all I wanted. My mom wouldn’t be upset, I wouldn’t feel weird at gas stations in small towns, I wouldn’t have trouble finding clothes i liked, I wouldn’t be called ‘sir,’ I wouldn’t feel uncomfortable talking about who I was dating, etc.

I guess I was never really angry, I was sad and jealous? Which is kind of a form of anger… YOU GUYS I DONT KNOW I’M NOT A THERAPIST. But whatever.

I think what you should do is take the word ‘straight’ out of the equation and recognize we are all people. Regardless of where we come from or how we grew up or who we’re boning, we are all people. We all experience life in a different way, we all struggle, we all get our hearts broken, we are all afraid we’re not good enough, we all feel sad / lonely / angry. We all work REALLY hard to feel accepted and a part of something.

You will meet people who don’t treat you like you’re an equal. This will happen to you based on an insurmountable number of qualities. Because your skin is too dark or not dark enough, you’re too skinny or not skinny enough, you don’t make enough money or you make too much, your faith isn’t what it should be, you’re too gay or not gay enough, your neighborhood is too far south or too far north, you work too hard or you don’t have to work, your abilities aren’t what they should be, you’ve made mistakes in the past, you have too many feelings or a lack thereof…I could go on for days.

Do me a favor and remember that we are people.  Treat everyone around you with love and respect. We aren’t “gay people” and they aren’t “straight people.” We are all just people.

Kristin Says:

I want to just talk for a second about this idea Dannielle put forth about us not just being “gay” or “trans” or “straight” or “WHATEVER” people… because I think that idea is what creates an environment for blind anger.

There are two main reasons that might be making you angry with “straight people.” One is the idea that the actions of some represent the actions of the larger whole. This is a dangerous (read: really fucking dangerous) mindset. When we generalize and group others together based on factors like skin color, religion, sexuality, gender, gender identity, etc… we open the doors wide for misrepresentation, racism, sexism, and a parade of other “isms.” Who we have sex with does not determine our actions. How we have sex with people does not determine our actions. Those are parts of a larger whole, and so – in this context – there is no such thing as a “straight” person. There are millions of people, some of whom like to have sex with other people who identify as the gender opposite them. Period.

The other possible reason that you are angry is because of a larger system that makes you feel less-than. Well, of fucking course you are, and those are valid, heavy feelings. You are mad because you see other “straight” couples holding hands in the park or kissing each other or getting married or doing whatever they want to do and not flinching for a moment, not gathering unwanted attention… and you want that. Of fucking COURSE you want that. I want that, too, and it makes me angry… it makes most of us angry. Right now, though, your anger is being directed at individuals who may or may not have anything to do with this larger system. What’s more, being gay or trans doesn’t mean that you aren’t also a part of this system of oppression… a lot of us are implicated in really complex and intricate ways. The best advice I can give when it comes to those feelings comes in three parts:

1. Remind yourself that the anger you feel is a result of the actions of millions over the course of history. No one person deserves the weight of that anger. Take a deep breath, think about what that person or those people ate for breakfast or what they named the stray cat they adopted from the deli or how when they were five their mom joked about their big ears and they still keep their hair long to hide them… make up particulars to remind yourself of their individual humanity.

2. Forgive yourself. It’s hard to walk around and see others get things that you might not be able to have. It is okay to feel hurt or angry or frustrated because of those limitations. I feel it. Dannielle feels it. We all feel it.

3. Channel it forward toward good. When anger makes us hateful or destructive, there is little progress that can be made. When we feel angry and we look at the larger reasons of why we are angry, and then think about ways we can begin to unravel those things… we make change. If all of us responded to these inequities with hard work and kindness, I think we would see unbelievable results.

 

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