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Monday, November 19 , 2018, 2:04 am | Fair 48º


Louise Palanker: Identifying Fellow Gays, Nervous Around Guys, Molested by Step-Dad

Question from Jason

OK, so I’m in a bit of a mix-up right now. I’m a 14-year-old guy, and I think I’m gay or maybe bi. I don’t really know because I’ve never had a proper relationship. I’ve never came out to anyone about this.

Anyway, there’s this boy in my year who I really like. We are really good mates but I can’t tell if he feels the same passion for me as I do for him. He’s a confident and funny guy who doesn’t really care what others think of him, so sometimes he flirts with me jokingly.

Could this be a way of him showing his true feelings? Hiding them behind a “joke”?

For example, when we were watching a movie together, he said, “The last time I watched this I cried, so if I do can you give me a hug?” I said yeah sure, half jokingly because I actually really wanted to hug him. LOL

He’s been asking me to send him pictures of he and I together, and he gave me a really nice gift for my birthday.

THE DOWN SIDES: He once said to me (possibly to cover his tracks, I dunno) “you know, I’m not against homosexuality but God made Adam and Eve not Adam and Adam.” This was a while ago, though, so he might have changed his attitude since then.

He’s also been flirting with girls to show his popularity, but so have I and I’m definitely not purely straight.

Thank you so much. I would really appreciate an answer to my crush problem!


To me it sounds as though he likes you as more than a friend. That’s my best guess based on what you are sharing with me.

But you are just 14 years old and so there is a lot of emotional confusion going on within both of you. Keep in mind that nothing romantic needs to happen this year or next year. Romance can wait.

However, if this guy is throwing people off the trail by making homophobic comments, then stop him. He is parroting what he has heard in an effort to protect himself. This is not what he believes and it’s really not OK. He will regret having said these things.

I understand that it is hard to feel and be different. The majority of the population is straight, and so finding yourself on an LGBTQ spectrum is scary because you just don’t know how it is all going to work out.

Everyone longs to fit in but nobody at your age fully grasps that only your true self will ever be truly accepted. Anything else is a lie.

Your friend does not get to assert his place in the community by making statements that may hurt others. In defense of LGBTQ people, you don’t have to make a grand speech or anything, you can just say, “Hey, my uncle is gay and so is at least 10 percent of the population. It’s as normal as being left-handed.” I will lend you my brother for this claim so that you don’t have to feel that you are lying in the event that you do not have a gay uncle. Although, if you look far enough up any family tree, you do!

Let this friendship take its course. From what you are telling me, you two have crushes on each other. The rest should unfold at its own speed.

(Austin Wallis video)

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Question from Asia

I want a boyfriend, but I can barely even talk to a guy I have a crush on. I always get nervous around a guy I like. I don’t know why, though, because I’'m one of the most outgoing girls in my grade. Also, guys always want the popular girls who have horrible personalities. How do I get a guy to notice me? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V6fBM_JDBGc


You build up your experience in the area of speaking to someone who makes you nervous. Your first goal is not to obtain a boyfriend, it is to learn how to have a conversation with someone you like romantically.

You don’t want to to go from zero to boyfriend in under 10 seconds because that will leave you with a boyfriend and no clue how to talk to him! You want to build up to boyfriend the hard and old-fashioned way. Develop a friendship. When guys and girls first start getting interested in each other the earliest daters tend to be “the populars.” That’s OK. It does not mean that someone is winning while you lose.

There are plenty of great guys in the world. You only need one at a time. Take your time. Talk with the boys who make you nervous. Keep talking until you can converse with less terror. Practice takes the edge off any fear. Also, talk to the guys with great personalities who may be hanging back just like you. Give everyone a chance just as you long to have one.

You describe yourself as being normally outgoing. Get to a point where you can be that outgoing person around a guy you like. It takes some effort but getting there is how you will know that you are ready to date. The guy will actually be dating the real you.

The right guy with a great personality who appreciates YOUR great personality will ultimately be attracted to you. I promise.

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Question from Amber

Hi, I am 17 and I really don’t know what to do with myself. I have many personal issues. My step-dad molested me from the ages of 8 to 15. My parents are now divorced. I used to have suicidal thoughts and I started cutting myself.

My step-dad wasted all of our money partying, and we had very little to eat. Even as I started to realize how wrong what was happening to me was, I would pretend that things were OK because I didn’t want to add issues with our family.

As I got older I because resistant and mean. One day, I finally told my mother what had happened and she took me to the sheriff’s office. I had a forensic interview and told the lady everything that happened.

In a few months I have to testify in court. I want to talk to someone who is wise and knows what I can do to help myself. I want to do counseling, but even if we could pay we still will have issues with transporting me. I really need some advice on what would be good practices to help me ...


I am so sorry that this has happened to you. You did not deserve any of it. None of this was your fault. You WILL NOT be defined by these events. You are very strong and brave. You show a tremendous amount of wisdom and resilience. You will overcome your circumstances and carve out a wonderful life for yourself.

In most states the victims of child abuse are offered counseling free of charge. The criminal justice system should also be able to arrange for your transportation. Is there a victim’s advocate in your District Attorneys’s Office?

Make sure that you ask for what you need. I’m not sure what the law provides for you in your state, but you have every right to request emotional help, therapy and support.

Please know that sexual abuse victims who testify against their abuser often do better in life. I know that it sounds terrifying, but it can be empowering and healing for you to use your voice in seeking justice and in ensuring that this man does not hurt any more children.

Click here to get started on your road to therapy and recovery through Teen Line. Talk to someone today. You are on the right path. You will be fine.

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Got a question for Weezy? Email her at [email protected] and it may be answered in a subsequent column.

Louise Palanker is a co-founder of Premiere Radio Networks, the author of a semi-autobiographical coming-of-age novel called Journals, a comedian, a filmmaker (click here to view her documentary, Family Band: The Cowsills Story), a teacher and a mentor. She has a teen social network/IOS app and weekly video podcast called Journals Network, built around a philosophy of cyber kindness. She also teaches a free stand-up comedy class for teens at the Jewish Federation of Greater Santa Barbara. Click here to read previous columns. The opinions expressed are her own.

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