I'm a 39-year-old gay man living in Chicago. Recently a good friend of mine got engaged to a wonderful man from Gambia in West Africa. She's planning a ceremony there next summer and has invited me to attend. After doing a little research I found out that being LGBT is a crime in that country and the punishment is execution. Should I go to the wedding and stay in the closet the whole time? In general, what do you think about gays traveling to countries that murder our LGBT brothers and sisters?
—Intensely Nervous Venturing Into This Event
I wouldn't go, INVITE, and if I were a straight girl, I wouldn't expect my gay friends to risk their lives in order to attend my wedding. While a quick search didn't bring up news about any gay westerners being executed in Gambia in recent history, gay tourists have been arrested, imprisoned and fined. So instead of attending your friend's wedding next summer—which may not even happen, due to the pandemic—make a donation in her name to Initiative Sankofa D'Afrique de l'Ouest (www.ISDAO.org), an organization working to improve the lives and legal position of LGBT people in Gambia and other West African nations.
I've been dating someone long distance for seven months. I've been transparent about my need for an open relationship. Recently, this gentleman asked me to tell him if I slept with someone else. I agreed because I'm not sleeping with anyone at the moment due to Covid-19. But since March, I've been having phone sex with a long-term booty call who lives across the country. Neither knows about the other and neither one knows I'm bisexual. No big deal, right? How much of a jerk am I for not disclosing what I don't need to?
—Not Banging (Other) Dudes
You're being a jerk—to yourself. Hiding your bisexuality from the men you're dating increases your odds of winding up in a relationship with someone who judges, shames, or hates you for being bisexual, NBOD, and why on earth would you want to do that to yourself? Disclosing your bisexuality ups yours odds of attracting a guy who fetishizes your bisexuality, of course, but it's easier to weed those guys out early than it is to leave (or divorce) some guy who reveals himself to be biphobic after you've made a huge emotional investment in him.