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Savage Love


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My problem isn't very amusing, but I hope you'll print it anyway. My seven-year relationship has come to a messy end. My girlfriend and I are both deeply closeted and utterly codependent. Although we've had some fantastic times, she has also had a couple of flings with other women. I didn't want an open relationship, but I was too afraid of losing her and so I caved.

Right now she's decided to "make" herself heterosexual. She argues that it would be much simpler to do the marriage/kids/Volvo thing (which she desperately wants) with a guy. The catch is that I've isolated myself so much over the course of this relationship that I have no one to turn to. My girlfriend has been my best friend and lover for seven years. To make things worse, she insists that we remain best friends and tells me every gory detail of her new "relationship" with a male colleague. It kills me to watch her get tarted up for dates with this guy.

We're still living together. We also work together in a male-dominated, deeply homophobic, ultraconservative environment. What the hell should I do? --A Sorry Mess

Your ex-girlfriend is a sadistic whore and you're a goddamn fool. If you can't see that this wasn't a relationship you were in but a prison, well then, you're past help. Maybe you've been in prison so long that, like a lot of old-timers, you just can't handle life on the outside anymore. If that's the case--if you find familiar misery more comforting than unfamiliar happiness--by all means remain friendly with your ex, stay in the closet, and keep working in that male-dominated, deeply homophobic, ultraconservative environment.

But if happiness is what you want, come out, quit your job, and move. I don't want to hear any bullshit about how pathetic and codependent you are, or how isolated you are and how you've got no one to turn to. Boo fucking hoo. Your isolation isn't something that's being done to you, ASM, it's something you're doing to yourself. And you can end it anytime you like simply by coming out to your friends, family, and coworkers and asking for their support. When you do come out, don't worry about protecting your ex-girlfriend's privacy. Closet cases can't expect the closet cases they sleep with to remain closet cases forever. Lady closet cases who wanna stay that way shouldn't have sex with women.

I am a 22-year-old straight female, but I also sleep with women. I don't consider myself a lesbian or bisexual because after I have an orgasm with a woman I feel disgusted with myself. When I have sex with my boyfriend, I don't get that feeling. And about the only time I feel horny for a woman is after I smoke a joint. Am I a lesbian who doesn't know it? Or is the weed causing these feelings? --Doped or Dyked?

My friend Dave smokes a Dumpster full of dope every other day and it hasn't turned him into a lesbian, so it's probably not the weed. Maybe it's your diet. Have you tried cutting out dairy?

I am a lesbian and broke up a year ago with my girlfriend of four years. I moved 1,500 miles away and yet find myself unable to start another relationship. It's not for lack of dates. There are plenty of hot young women in Texas. It's just that I'm not interested. What's happening to me?

--Puzzled in Texas

Your breakup was only a year ago, which means you're probably not over her yet. Time heals all wounds, as they say, and there isn't much besides beer that can hurry the healing process along. Cheap sex can help pass the time, but don't forget to pick up a six-pack on the way home from those tawdry one-night stands. To calculate the precise amount of time it will take to get over this girl, divide the number of years you were together in half, subtract one month for every year you are over 30, and have another beer.

Speaking of beer and lesbians and Texas--it turns out that one of Republican vice presidential nominee Dick Cheney's two daughters is a lesbian. Thirty-one-year-old Mary Cheney worked until recently for Coors Brewing Company, where she managed the beer giant's sometimes rocky relationship with the beer-swilling gay and lesbian community. As President George Bush's Secretary of Defense, Mary Cheney's dad defended the military's ban on gays and lesbians. As a member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Wyoming, Mary Cheney's dad voted against the Hate Crimes Statistics Act. As Texas governor George W. Bush's running mate, Mary Cheney's dad will no doubt have to toe W's rather chaotic line on gays and lesbians, i.e., become a better person by meeting with homos but refuse to employ any of 'em. Should make for some interesting father-daughter chats.

Mary Cheney was exposed as carpet-munching sodomite by reporter/barbarian Matt Drudge, but some of us knew she was a lesbian before we read Matt's scooplet. When I saw a picture of Mary in the New York Times, well, let's just say that I didn't need to find one of Ellen DeGeneres's pubic hairs in the corner of Mary's mouth to conclude she was a dyke. Not all dykes look like dykes, of course, but the picture in the New York Times gave Mary away. Cheney is one of those looks-like-a-dyke/quacks-like-a-dyke triple threats: she has the lesbian hairdo (high and tight), the lesbian polo shirt (boxy and loose), and tasteful lesbian makeup (just a little something on the lips). By contrast, Mary's straight older sister looks a Mary Kay cosmetics saleswoman with an unfortunate perm.

So how is the news that Dick's daughter's a dyke playing in the male-dominated, deeply homophobic, ultraconservative environment that is Bush HQ? According to "a top Bush source" quoted by Drudge, Governor Bush "believes Mr. Cheney has a wonderful family. Being gay or lesbian is not a liability in this campaign. The governor embraces both of Mr. Cheney's daughters and will invite them to campaign with him."

So despite having promised Pat Robertson that he won't knowingly appoint a gay or lesbian person in his administration, George W. Bush is welcoming Mary Cheney into his campaign with open arms--provided, we have to assume, that Mary doesn't want to marry her girlfriend (which Bush opposes), pass hate crimes legislation (which Bush opposes), adopt a child (which Bush opposes), receive domestic partner benefits (which Bush opposes), or join the marines (which both Bush and her daddy oppose).

At the conclusion of the 1992 Republican National Convention (in the beautiful Nuremberg convention center, remember?), Republicans danced around the hall while the band played "The Best of Times." That's a song from the Broadway musical La Cage aux Folles, which is about a drag queen, his male partner, and their son's impending marriage to the daughter of a conservative politician. Watching George Bush Sr. dance with Pat Buchanan and Dan Quayle while Republican delegates waved "Family Values Forever! Gay Rights Never!" signs was odd, to say the least. It was equally odd in 2000 to watch gay-bashing Bushies insist that Mary Cheney is welcome on W's campaign bus. Has anyone told Mary that she's expected to sit all the way in the back?

Send questions to Savage Love, Chicago Reader, 11 E. Illinois, Chicago 60611 or to

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