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Tiger Beatdown Tells You How To Live Your Life!

…may not end up being the title of this weekly advice column.

I am terrible at titles; I always want to do something high concept with too many disparate elements, and it hardly ever comes together. To wit! I wanted a name for TBTYHTLYL that would be equal parts silly kitsch and serious business (and whose acronym didn’t look like an inventory of unused announcements board letters.) So your mission, if you choose to accept it, is to suggest a new title for this advice column. You also get to help me answer these questions, give any advice you may have, and let me know if I’m just completely wrong! The position is unpaid; you start immediately.

DISCLAIMER: I only have as much information as you give me and no more. If you are leaving important things out hoping to get the advice you want, you will probably get it, follow it, and blame me for the resulting fallout. This advice column is for entertainment purposes only, should not be construed as actual advice, and Tiger Beatdown cannot be held responsible for your use of it. Cape does not enable user to fucking fly.

I am a white woman, happily married to a black man. My family has always been supportive, especially my parents, but my siblings can be a bit clueless. Next year my brother is going to marry a woman who comes from a hard-drinking family of N-word users. I’ve never met them, so they have not displayed this behavior to me or my husband personally but I feel it’s inevitable when the champagne starts to flow. Do I not go to my own brother’s wedding? Leave my husband at home, go alone, and just leave when the N-bombs start? Surely there is a more gracious way to handle this.

Talk to your husband. I’ve had almost a month to think about this question (oops) and I kept going around and around about what to tell you, and kept coming back to the same place: talk to your husband. By not making this decision with him, and trying to come up with a “gracious” way of handling this, you are infantilizing him. This isn’t going to be the last time that you both come up against ignorant bigots, and more important than knowing what to do about each individual situation that arises, you need to build lines of communication that allow you to discuss them. Especially since you’re probably going to run into these same people for the rest of your natural life.

As a 20-year-old who just realized she’s queer I’m really intimidated about dating girls! Not so much the being involved with ladies part, more the “so I previously have enjoyed/still very much enjoy the dudes, but would now like to also enjoy the ladies.” They seem pretty apprehensive about it, even though it’s clearly not just “experimentation.” HALP!

Welcome to the queer community! We have one month a year when we get up on floats together and dance, but sometimes we’re not all that nice to each other. Some of us forget that we were all once tender fawns, stepping gingerly into the sunlight of queer love, bits of heteronormative culture still adhering to us like afterbirth. Some people will balk at dating Bisexual folks, just flat out refuse to consider them as romantic partners. They do this for a variety of reasons, usually there is a story, but it all boils down to the fact that they are rejecting you for reasons that have nothing to do with you. Remember that you aren’t obliged to explain or defend your sexuality. You are going to be facing Biphobia for the rest of your life, there’s no reason to put up with it from people who should have a fucking clue.

Go to a queer bar. Join an online community. Try to meet other Bisexual ladies who are in the same place you are, as far as being new to the loving of ladies. From there you’ll meet ladies who are open to relationships with you, and emerge a beautiful doe. Or a swan. Or something.

And don’t ever, ever, ever, ever go home with anyone who refers to you as “fresh meat.” That never goes anywhere good, LET ME TELL YOU.

If you would like to have your question answered, drop a message in my ask box or Sady’s ask box or send an e-mail to garland@garlandgrey.com

37 Comments

  1. mulierosity wrote:

    What about cape AND tights?

    Can we make TBTYHTLYL a weekly thing?

    Monday, October 11, 2010 at 9:04 pm | Permalink
  2. mmr wrote:

    My title suggestions:
    - “Do As I Say, Not As I Do”
    - “Sady Sez”
    - “Are You There Tiger Beatdown It’s Me Margaret (AYTTBDIMM)”
    - “If You Can’t Stand The Heat Stay Out Of The Kitchen: Straight Talk For Straights, Gays, and Other, From A Straight Named Sady”
    - “The Straight Talk Express: This Time no Douchebags”
    - “Ann Landers”
    - “Sady Love” (Play on Savage Love!!!! GET IT? NOW DO YOU GET IT?)
    - “If A Frog Had Wings He Wouldn’t Bump His Ass A’hoppin’: The Straight- and Gay- and Other-Talk Express With Sady Doyle”

    I think the last one’s the keeper, frankly, but it’s up to you.

    Monday, October 11, 2010 at 9:51 pm | Permalink
  3. Sady wrote:

    @MMR: But this is going to be from Garland! We need a whole new series of potential titles, clearly. STAT!

    Monday, October 11, 2010 at 10:53 pm | Permalink
  4. A wrote:

    Welcome to the queer community!

    Haha, so true. I’m 22 and in basically the same boat, though I’ve now had a few years to get even more frustrated with the situation. Hooray?

    Monday, October 11, 2010 at 11:43 pm | Permalink
  5. Taybeh Chaser wrote:

    I dunno, but because I think Garland Grey is just about the most awesome name ever, the title definitely has to include the guy’s name. It’s late and that’s all this very occasional commentator can offer. Other than that, seems like great advice, concise and complete.

    Monday, October 11, 2010 at 11:48 pm | Permalink
  6. Emily Emily Emily wrote:

    “Garland Grey’s Unoriginally Named Advice Column”?

    Tuesday, October 12, 2010 at 12:11 am | Permalink
  7. Maud wrote:

    Grey’s Gay Garland of Advice for All?

    OK, it may fail to scintillate. And trying to pronounce the nucleotidy acronym (GGGAA)does sound a bit like coughing up a hairball. But it has the advantage of meeting Taybeh Chaser’s conditions.

    Tuesday, October 12, 2010 at 12:23 am | Permalink
  8. Rich wrote:

    How about

    Grey Areas: Garland Makes ‘em Black and White for Ya!

    Tuesday, October 12, 2010 at 1:15 am | Permalink
  9. Heather wrote:

    Grey Area! Instant classic.

    Tuesday, October 12, 2010 at 1:41 am | Permalink
  10. Taybeh Chaser wrote:

    Grey Matter? Garland of Grey Matter? Ok, time for bed.

    Tuesday, October 12, 2010 at 2:20 am | Permalink
  11. tree wrote:

    okay, i cannot tell a lie, when i read that last sentence — “drop a message in my ask box or Sady’s ask box” — i thought it said ASS BOX. SADY’S ASS BOX. and i thought the beatdown was moving in a whole new direction! but no. it was only my cognitive fail.

    Tuesday, October 12, 2010 at 5:28 am | Permalink
  12. rowmyboat wrote:

    I support something with ‘Grey Area’ in it.

    Tuesday, October 12, 2010 at 6:48 am | Permalink
  13. k not K wrote:

    “Grey Area” is excellent.

    Now, to the Non-Profit Supplementary Advice Provision portion of this post.

    #1: Hey, your life, it may or may not to turn out to resemble my future! I’m dating a black man. Recently I decided to kick off an extremely frank conversation about My Extended Family and Teh Racisms. Granted they are not frequent n-word users, but many are tea-party type sorts who… ya know. It was very uncomfortable but I think we both came out of the conversation feeling better, and stronger in our relationship. I’ll try to tell you some of what worked for us, maybe it will help you figure out what might work for you? I don’t know though, all human beings are pretty different!

    I know all about the temptation to keep this kind of info to yourself and parcel it out to your husband on a need-to-know basis, but like Garland says, it is not the best of ideas. Please keep in mind that you are not in charge of your ignorant in-laws’ behavior. That’s what my bf told me when I mentioned that hey, I don’t really know what racist views some parts of my family might hold. He knows I’m not them. I’m sure your husband also knows you aren’t the kind of person who busts out racial slurs after a couple glasses of bubbly.

    Garland is right, you have to speak frankly to your husband about this. You can’t manage or plan out the situation from the private echo chamber of your own brain. Don’t feel that you have to apologize for these people or their views. Just let him know that hey, you heard from ______ that the new in-laws say some racist shit, and you have been worried about the whole wedding issue because of that. The two of you need to come up with a way to handle this together. I have to admit that in my situation, I’d probably come up with some kind of a signal he could give me to let me know that we have to leave, NOW. It seems silly but I’d want him to be as in control of the situation as possible.

    Also, have you spoken to your brother about this? I know that is probably the awkwardest prospect ever, but you might have to do it. Most people want to avoid a scene at their weddings, and perhaps he is also privately agonizing over how to handle the whole situation without things getting ugly. If there’s any way to reach out to him, do. I have the feeling you aren’t the only one going “ohgodohgodohgod what do I do???” without actually speaking to anyone directly involved in this potential issue.

    Good luck and I hope it all works out as best as possible!

    Tuesday, October 12, 2010 at 8:02 am | Permalink
  14. Catherine wrote:

    My suggestion for a title is “Just Beat It,” even though I can’t myself decide whether it’s clever or stupid.

    Tuesday, October 12, 2010 at 10:02 am | Permalink
  15. KittyWrangler wrote:

    I second “The Straight Talk Express: This Time no Douchebags” and fourth or fifth “Grey Area.” And suggest “Garland Gracious Living”

    Tuesday, October 12, 2010 at 10:04 am | Permalink
  16. Em wrote:

    Grey Eye for Advice Guy

    Tuesday, October 12, 2010 at 10:30 am | Permalink
  17. Sooz wrote:

    I like Tiger Beatdown Tells You etc.

    Possibly it could be Garland Grey Tells You How to Live Your Life.

    The abbreviation could just be HTLYL, which, while not really pronounceable, is shorter than a full abbreviation!

    Tuesday, October 12, 2010 at 10:34 am | Permalink
  18. speedbudget wrote:

    I have no good ideas for the name :(

    I was just going to suggest to the person in the first letter, if it’s not too late, after she talks to her husband, what is the problem with going to the wedding, heading to the reception, and if things get shitty after the alcohol flows, say your goodbyes and go home. Most people won’t notice you leave if you don’t make an issue of it.

    Tuesday, October 12, 2010 at 11:41 am | Permalink
  19. mmr wrote:

    additional supplemental advice: make a drunken sister-of-the-groom speech in which you tearfully thank the family for not using the n-word more than a couple of times.

    “Grey Areas: Garland And Not Sady’s Advice Column: This Time No Douchebags (From Before)”

    Tuesday, October 12, 2010 at 11:47 am | Permalink
  20. Bella_D wrote:

    “Grey’s Opinions”

    Tuesday, October 12, 2010 at 12:36 pm | Permalink
  21. Siobhan wrote:

    I cannot believe not one person has suggested “Grey’s Anatomy”

    Tuesday, October 12, 2010 at 12:42 pm | Permalink
  22. Gnatalby wrote:

    @Siobhan: Well what would the joke be?

    I really like Grey Area. That’s the area where the advice questions are generally to be found.

    To caller 2 I would point out that it’s ok if you don’t date women immediately following your big announcement. There’s nothing wrong with being single and feeling your way into a community socially as a friend first.

    Tuesday, October 12, 2010 at 1:20 pm | Permalink
  23. JfC wrote:

    If you want to play off Grey’s Anatomy, you might want to use a word that sounds similar. Grey’s Analysis maybe?

    Tuesday, October 12, 2010 at 2:53 pm | Permalink
  24. tenthmoon wrote:

    Grey’s Matters?

    Tuesday, October 12, 2010 at 2:56 pm | Permalink
  25. alicia-marie wrote:

    #lovely advice. I’ll be reading every week.

    Tuesday, October 12, 2010 at 4:17 pm | Permalink
  26. JfC wrote:

    Be told what to think…by someone living!

    Tuesday, October 12, 2010 at 5:34 pm | Permalink
  27. Aaron wrote:

    How about “Garland Grey Knows Better”?

    Tuesday, October 12, 2010 at 5:40 pm | Permalink
  28. Monique wrote:

    Beating It with Garland Grey?

    Sorry, I kinda love it.

    Tuesday, October 12, 2010 at 6:56 pm | Permalink
  29. mmr wrote:

    “Because I Said So: With Garland “Grey Area” Grey”

    Tuesday, October 12, 2010 at 8:36 pm | Permalink
  30. Frank wrote:

    A Garland Of Grey

    AGOG ftw!

    Wednesday, October 13, 2010 at 12:38 am | Permalink
  31. Casie wrote:

    Although I haven’t come out to everyone in my family as queer, they have known since high school that I feel strongly about gay rights and am not okay with people throwing around words like “faggot”. However, one Christmas we were hanging out when I heard them drop the f bomb. I was surprised but let it slide because it had literally been almost a decade since I’d heard them say it in front of me. But they said it a second, and a third time. I began to get angry but didn’t want it to be the Christmas I yelled at everyone and stormed off. Then the word came a fifth and a sixth time. I was furious and my mind was reeling. I thought, I’m going to fucking scream my head off at all of them. Surely they wouldn’t say it again. But they did, a seventh and then and eighth. I suddenly calmed down and chimed in sweetly, “Hey! I’ve got an idea! I say we break out grandpa’s Crown Royal and every time someone says the word “faggot”, I’ll take a shot!” then I cackled with glee…alone. Everyone acted like I hadn’t said anything but they never said the word in front of me again. I got my point across without causing a scene, they shut the fuck up, and I got a good laugh out of it.

    Wednesday, October 13, 2010 at 3:28 am | Permalink
  32. Erin Leigh wrote:

    I really, really like “Are you there, Tiger Beatdown? It’s me, Margaret” but that could just be the nostalgia talking.

    Re: the 20-year old bi girl:

    Firstly: if you’re just hooking up with someone, the only conversation y’all really need to be having is about negotiating sex – they really don’t need to know your entire sexual identity story. Just sayin’. Obviously this will be a bit different if you’re dating and getting relationshippy.

    Secondly: http://biresource.net/

    Also? I kinda liked being fresh meat, especially when I had just moved to the Gay Area (aka San Francisco). There is NOTHING like being a slutty piece of queer fresh meat. Ahem. Ahem.

    Wednesday, October 13, 2010 at 3:46 am | Permalink
  33. HGFC wrote:

    Is “Navigating with Greydar” too tortured?

    Wednesday, October 13, 2010 at 5:42 am | Permalink
  34. Farore wrote:

    “Advice For Tiny Ladybrains”?

    I kinda like the sound of ‘AFTL’… ahf-til. Hee. Also Lady+noun always makes me giggle.

    “Dear Garland Grey” makes DGG, also fun to try to pronounce aloud.

    “The Grey Report” (or “Review”) makes TGR. TGRbeatdown, hee hee hee.

    okay, i like acronyms too much.

    Wednesday, October 13, 2010 at 12:58 pm | Permalink
  35. assassin wrote:

    “are you there garland, it’s me margaret?”

    but “grey area” is probably the best. i look forward to this column.

    Wednesday, October 13, 2010 at 2:55 pm | Permalink
  36. kristinc wrote:

    I like Grey Area. Or Grey Areas. Short, snappy, distinctive.

    Wednesday, October 13, 2010 at 9:26 pm | Permalink
  37. Katherine wrote:

    Ask Earl Grey.

    Thursday, October 14, 2010 at 6:04 pm | Permalink