Truly Yours

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

by Lena Lett
Published on February 27, 2003, 12:00am | Comments

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,


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