Each week in Ask Weezy, Louise “Weezy” Palanker will answer questions from readers about coming to terms with themselves, living, and growing. Hopefully, we will all learn a lot together on our collective journey forward through life. All with a little help from our good friend, Weezy.
I think I’m gay but I’ve had an on and off girlfriend. I play sports like football and lacrosse and I’m popular amongst the boys at my school. I’m going in to high school but I don’t know what to do. Showers for sports are on my mind. I don’t want to kiss a girl because I will feel bad please help.
You are in the middle of growing up and finding yourself. Don’t feel in too much of a rush to give yourself a label or to kiss anyone. Roll things around your mind. Entertain the possibility that you may be gay. That’s fine. Who do you get crushes on? Who makes you feel giddy and excited? Who do you long to be around? Who can you picture yourself kissing?
A kiss is a very intimate encounter and so if you can imagine your face right up next to someone else’s face and your lips on top of that person’s lips and that person is a girl well then there is every possibility that you are gay.
But just as I would advise a straight kid, you do not need to haul off and kiss someone just to prove that you are this, that or the other. You are YOU and so there are many, many aspects to your personality that make you uniquely unique.
You like certain colors, music, foods, activities, entertainment, clothes. You are guided by certain philosophies and principles and values. You have thoughts and ideas and strengths and weaknesses and instincts and characteristics and you are even slightly different in different settings. We all are.
Who you will love is just a piece of all that encompasses your personality and your sense of yourself. Let it unfold naturally and do not let any of your innate tendencies allow you to feel bad about yourself. We are all different and some girls love girls. That is just the way it is.
Hi. I just turned 18 years old. I’ve been dating this boy since I was 16. I am currently just entering my senior year and my boyfriend has been graduated for almost two years.
He’s 19. My dad has always been super weird about my boyfriend. He constantly has been controlling about him but this summer he let me slide. My curfew in the summer has always been 11 and during school, it was usually 9:30. Now that I’m 18 but still going to school he wants me to focus on my school so he made a strict curfew and told me to be home by 8 and only see my boyfriend 2 times a week.
Everyone except the people in my house thinks that my dad is being too extreme with me at my age. I personally feel like bad being treated like I’m in the 7th grade. I understand that he is my parent and he is doing his job but he has been extremely mean about this and I’ve never met any 18 years old with a curfew 8-9:30 pm. What should I do?
I agree with you about the curfew. That is pretty severe. So, here is what may be going on. You are legally an adult but you have one more year of high school left and you are dating an older boy. Your dad is very close to the finish line with you and starting to freak out.
I think you should have an honest conversation with your parents about why your curfew has been moved up rather than held steady or moved back. How are your grades? Do you have a plan for after you graduate? Are you and your boyfriend sexually active? Have you visited a gynecologist to talk about your safety and birth control options?
You can discuss the more personal questions alone with your mom but bare in mind that your parents’ number one concern is for your safety. Of course, as you continue through your adult life they will always be worried about where you are, who you are with, what you are doing and why haven’t you answered their text but they will not be as responsible for your whereabouts.
They are feeling like they have one more year to get this right! You are such a great kid and they do not want to blow this in the home stretch so they are tightening things up. My view is that unless you have somehow lost their trust they? need to be giving you more rope so that you can practice the art of self-governance.
You need to learn how to manage your time, your responsibilities and the complexities of a romantic relationship. That is all part of being an adult. So, talk to them. Don’t put them on the defensive. Say, “Help me understand…” “I want to make you proud and earn your trust…” “You have raised me so well. I understand how to protect and respect myself…” Have a conversation. This is the beginning of your adult relationship with your parents. Teach each other how to treat each other.
In the future I want to be a police detective and when I told my parents what I wanted to be they told me that I couldn’t do that because it was too dangerous. Any advice on how to convince them to let me do it? Please help.
I can totally understand your parents’ instinct to resist that goal but your parents don’t choose your career. You do. Until you get older, keep them on a need to know basis regarding this plan. Bear in mind that it may change and there is no need for arguments with your folks regarding this. You won’t convince them.
You will just be engaging in non-productive conflict. Don’t say any more until they really need to hear what you are planning to do career-wise. It’s too bad that you can’t discuss that part of your path with your folks but once you get to be 18, you can be whatever you aspire to be. If your career choice is going to make your parents feel scared and worried then learning to accept it and adjust will become part of their journey.
From what I know about police work, once you make detective your job will be less dangerous. But give this conversation topic a rest. Do some research online. If you meet a cop ask him or her some questions about the police academy and what it takes to become a police officer. If your goals hold steady as you approach your adult life then remind your parents that this is your dream and then go about making it come true.
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, a teacher and a mentor. She also hosts a weekly video podcast called “Things I Found Online”, and teaches a free stand-up comedy class for teens at the Jewish Federation of Greater Santa Barbara. The opinions expressed are her own.