I have a funny advice column called "Ask Da Orcs" (It is like "Dear Abby", but... er... with Orcs.)
A short time ago I got an email from a 16 year old kid who thinks he might be gay. He seems rather upset about it and I want him to get some good advice for a change. I'm at a loss as to what to say to this poor kid. Here is the email he wrote:
"Dear Orcs, I'm a 16 year old human male and I'm scared. I am scared because I'm afraid that I might be gay. I like some of my friends who are boys and that bothers me a LOT. I WANT to like girls. But I have feelings for some of my friends who are boys and not for any of my friends that are girls. (Like that deep feeling in our stomach kind of feeling.) I find myself being sad a lot... Not just because I'm scared that I like boys, but also that I can't be with any of them. I'm sure it sounds weird but I'm scared and it makes me cry. I don't know what to do about these feelings. I don't wanna sound wimpy, because I'm not, but this is the only thing that's ever made me this upset. There is one friend in particular that I like and I don't know if I should talk to him or get to know him better because I've only known him a short while. Should I tell him how I feel? If so, how? Thank you and sorry if I was rambling."
Can anyone here think of some good advice the "Ask Da Orcs" panel could give to this kid? The 6 Orcs on the A.D.O. panel are a diverse group, so any material will "fit" one or more of the characters. I'd be particularly interested in anyone with advice that might be helpful to this guy, but I'd also like to hear any funny, gross, intellectual or silly responses you might have too. (As I said, it is a diverse panel of Orcs.)
You never know what you're going to find in the forums...
Personally, I think this is what parents are for and my advice is to put it to them. Parents know their children and have a lot more background information and details that will help them respond appropriately. If parents are part of the conflict then school counselors, church counselors, and friend's parents are also good sources for advice.
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They say being open and honest is the healthiest thing to do in circumstances such as these. However, I'm doubtful that it's necessarily the best thing to be done, at least in regards to the friend he likes. If he has no reason to believe his friend might be homosexual/bisexual, opening up to the guy is probably a fast way to lose a friend, and maybe even let the world know about his sexuality before he's ready to open up properly.
He definitely needs to talk to someone, though. If he knows any gay people, they might be among the best people to go to for advice. School Advisors are another obvious choice, issues like this are why they're on the payroll.
Without knowing more about his home situation and the leanings of his parents recommending talking to them might not be the best idea. Advice from a neutral party might actually be the best thing. I'm sure he could find support groups and helplines online, you can find everything else you look for these days.
It might be that he won't be able to resolve his issues with his sexuality in the near future, for whatever reasons. It might be worthwhile advising outlets to occupy him and keep him from dwelling on issues that are at present unresolvable.
commodore wrote:Being gay is in the genes. You can't fight with it actually.
That has not been proven by any reputable science. To present such a thing as fact is irresponsible, especially in a case like this where it could do irreparable harm to a young person who may be gay, or may merely be confused.
That said, I agree with an earlier poster who said that the kid needs to talk to someone -- and his friends are probably bad risks. Parents might not be much better, though, especially if they're right-wing fundamentalists. A professional counselor is a better bet. That's what schools have counselors for, and patient-therapist confidentiality still applies. He does need to talk to his parents eventually, but they may not be the people to talk to first. It depends on how he thinks they'll take it, and he's a much better judge of that than we are.
I've got a friend who must once have been in a similar situation, and is a gamer to boot, so I'll ask him if there's anything specific he can advise.
Really though, you just can't question the value of Gamer Society as a supportive community. Knowing that someone has enough trust to ask complete strangers for help with something as important as this makes me proud to be a part of the community. And seeing everyone who responds trying so hard to help, in their own ways, if super-good too.
But then... what would Orcs know? They're a fungus, aren't they - no sex at all? Might be a nice way to tell the humie to bog off and go talk to someone else, ain'tcho got people loik dat in your skoolz or summint? We iz too advanced, fizzy logic speakin'.
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