Billy Francesca: Advice From an Idiot
By Billy Francesca
What a whirlwind of a week! I owe a big giant thank you to all of the sweet and encouraging emails I received since the launch of this column. I feel so lucky and loved. LaLa land has been non-stop this week! We have the launch of my new club night Studio One, which takes its name from an amazing nightclub that was here (it started before there was a West Hollywood) from the ’70s through the ’90s. It was a truly inspirational place for people to be themselves, dress up and of course dance! Paying homage to that energee is truly a gift. One of my favorite things about any event that I create, is to make a haven for people to truly let go and live and be free. It’s a very important aspect to me, and was the inspiration for this week’s column.
I’m Justin, a trans guy, and I can’t stop thinking about getting a girlfriend, and just focus on myself. I just turned 20 and I’m about to be done at the vocational training facility I am currently attending. Also I cannot find any youth groups around me. I am in [Massachussets] but not really near Boston, and that is where most of the support groups are. One more thing, it upsets me when people use the wrong pronouns for me, but I don’t know what to do. I correct them but it still hurts. Any advice?
Dear Realboy101, thank you for writing in. I grew up outside of Boston myself, in a small town in Western Mass. It can truly be an isolating experience, so although you feel alone, you are not alone in feeling that way. I have a few advice suggestions, but you should know right out of gate, they aren’t easy suggestions. But I suspect you knew that. In many ways you are a pioneer. Combined with your remote location, you have your work cut out for you.
Support groups can be a wonderful and beautiful thing. There’s something for everyone online, so look there as well. Compass is one group in Massachusetts for transgender men. Go online and see if posts discuss meetings closer to your area. You may have to drive a bit. If there is truly nothing around, you could reach out to support groups in your town, even if they help people with a different situation. Seeing how they operate may make it possible for you to start your own support group in your area. Ask an organizer how the groups were formed, and how to reach out to people who might want to join. Blazing your own trail and putting yourself out there has always been the way I handle everything! Lonely sometimes, yes, but always rewarding.
You could also get political. MTPC is the Massachusetts Transgender Political Coalition. Sometimes, joining up to help someone others with a problem (like discrimination) makes our own problems easier to handle.
As for people using the wrong pronouns, that must be super frustrating, and there is no easy answer for that. I will tell you of a dear friend who had beat throat cancer, twice! But treatment left his voice very low and raspy, and people are always offering him cough drops, or telling him to drink tea, or not to smoke—which he never did. His husband can hardly sit still when this happens. As I’m sure you know, it’s frustrating when you want to scream the truth out loud! But as my friend with the sweet raspy voice says, “People don’t know,” and it’s true. Most people, if they get it wrong, aren’t doing it out of malice.
Often the quickest path to personal growth is to put our own feelings aside, just for minute, to guide and help, and explain things to others. It helps to disarm people and lets knowledge flourish. Of course this gets friggin’ exhausting, you are a pioneer, laying a foundation for others who will come after you. And you are helping to educate and open the eyes of many hearts!
My best wishes to you, Justin. You can do anything you put your heart into!
Sooooo, I love to go out dancing! And my group of friends is a bit conservative with what they wear out — jeans, tight shirts, baseball hats. And although I dress that way too, sometimes, every now and again I want to mix it up! Wear heels with cut-offs, a big old hoop earring and a tank dress, slap on some mascara and twerk! My friends don’t like it, and make fun and get a little mean. I play it off, like I don’t care, but I do. So what do I do, so that I’m not staying at home and dancing in my room, cuz I already do that!
Working & Twerking
Hey Boo! I got your script! Working & Twerking, never, and I mean never, let anyone get you feeling down on yourself and your expression. People will try do this all the time, and the reason is simple. They are scared. They are afraid of rejection, they are afraid of themselves, and they are afraid to be happy! Don’t you dare change what defines you to fit into anyone else’s agenda. I love it when people come out to my nights all done up! I would definitely have a heart-to-heart with each of these “friends” (yes I put that word into quotes, because I’m not sure we can truly call them that yet), and one-on-one, share with them how you feel. If they are really friends, they will apologize and stop. And if they don’t do that, get on an outfit and go out and find new friends, because I would bet my stiletto boots that you’re not shy. There is a fun group just waiting to meet you!
THIS IDIOT has seen it all and is here to help answer all of your life-in-the-big city woes. (And my club nights are fabulous—Sundays at Here, Rasputin on Saturdays, HOTROD and LipTickler at Micky's, and my newest Studio One at Ultra Suede) Are you struggling with some weird thing your man does? Is urban gay life eating you alive? Are you wondering how many piercings are too many? Are you seeing weird shit happen to your queer friends, something that you need a second opinion on MUCH LOVE KIDS! Keep those questions coming and I will try and answer all of you.
Be good to each other and always love yourself. Somebody has to make the first move. Ask me anything at email@example.com. XO BF