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Sorry ... Sort Of 

Angry tone maybe not justified

I love your column, it's always a good read. But don't ya think your recent column ("Angry Advice," Aug. 30) was maybe a bit ... bitter? I think you should be allowed to get married, Dan. If a stand-up family guy like you isn't allowed to marry the man that he's been with for ... what, seven, eight years? ... then I don't know what this world is coming to. I get it -- irresponsible heteros like me and Britney Spears are allowed to make a mockery of marriage, while committed families like yours are denied the basic rights that come with marriage. OK, you're bitter. I get it. Everyone who has recently read your column gets it. But taking it out on your fans isn't going to win anyone over to your side.

Come on, Dan! The married, straight wannabe cocksuckers who wrote you those letters didn't make the laws! And I, for one, think that all married, straight wannabe cocksuckers should be encouraged! I'm one of those women who loves to see a man get busy with another man. But most straight men I know, even the kinky ones, are too busy protecting their fragile, homophobic male egos to experiment.

I can't be bothered with a fancy acronym, so I'm just going to sign off with my name.

--Jennifer

First, Jennifer, you're wrong about my relationship. I've been with my boyfriend for 11 years now, not seven or eight. We met sleazy when I was 23, and we've been inseparable ever since. If we celebrated anniversaries, we'd be celebrating our dirty dozen in January 2007.

But you're right about everything else, Jennifer -- I've been a horrible cow recently. Lots of folks wrote in to scold me about my appalling conduct -- how dare I take these personal attacks so, you know, personally and shit? -- and ordered me to get back to work. They don't want to hear about gay marriage or read my rants -- they want to read about kinky freaks and idiots who've fucked up their relationships. Giving advice is my job, one reader pointed out, so withholding it is most unprofessional.

OK, OK, I get it. So I'm back at work, sitting in a cozy bar, sifting through a gigabyte or two of e-mail, sipping fine tequila. Now before anyone lectures me about advising under the influence, please note that writing an advice column is a lot like bowling: Not only can you do it drunk, you're probably better at it drunk. My good friend Miss Manners won't even look at her keyboard until she's ripped to the tits. And Abigail Van Buren II? Her assistant has to leave a trail of shot glasses full of Grand Marnier from her bed to her desk in order to get that crazy bitch to bang out a column.

Anyway, to the mail!

I'm an 18-year-old girl, starting college this month, and I'm not sure how to identify myself to people I'm meeting for the very first time. I can't say I'm a lesbian because it's inaccurate, and I'm certainly not straight. I don't want to tell people I'm bisexual because 95 percent of the "bisexual" 18-year-old girls I've met were drunk straight chicks. So what do I say? "I'm a dyke, but I'll do boys, too"? "I'm bisexual, but not one of THOSE bisexuals"? Or should I just flirt with hot people and forget about labels?

--Not One Of THOSE Bisexuals

Lots of young gay men run around telling people -- particularly straight people -- that they're "not like other gay people." What they mean is, "I'm not a skeezy slut." Some young lesbians insist they're "not like other lesbians," meaning they're not man-hating, pit-hair-braiding, makeup-fearing bulldykes. These stereotypes are not without foundation, of course. There are lots of skeezy gay sluts out there and tons of man-hating bulldykes. But just as it's unfair for straights to believe that all gay men are skeezy sluts and that all dykes are man-haters, it's unwise for young queers to confirm heterosexual prejudices by implying that they've just had the pleasure of meeting the one and only gay man on earth who isn't a skeezy slut or the one and only lesbian who isn't a man-hater.

Don't play this idiotic game, NOOTB, unless you want to mark yourself as an immature, shallow young queer. You can tell people you're bisexual without adding the self-hating bi-phobic qualifier. And then, through your behavior, you can demonstrate that you -- like most bisexual girls -- aren't just some drunk straight chick.

In a recent column ("Life Sentence," Aug. 2), you used the term Official Discussion, or OD, to describe the conversation where a couple sits down and discusses their couplehood. I'm writing to tell you that a good term for that conversation already exists: DTR, which stands for "define the relationship." Usage: "I thought we were just going to hang out, but then she turned it into a DTR." It can be a verb, too: "I need to DTR him and find out what's what."

This term is widespread at -- are you ready for this? -- Brigham Young University. I was surprised when I moved away to discover that the term isn't widely used by everyone. It's quite handy, and surely it doesn't only apply to young heterosexual Mormons.

--Abbreviations Are Awesome

I agree, AAA: DTR is in every way superior to OD. Thanks for bringing it to my attention.

To ask Dan Savage a question, write to mail@savagelove.net.

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