Lifestyle Opinion

Ask Agony Uncle Eli

Elijah Michel
Written by Elijah Michel

Rainbow Counsellor Elijah Luke Michel is here to help with your problems.


Q  My girlfriend is obsessed with [a well-known celebrity], has almost every collectable item they’ve sold, and talks about her any chance she can. This was cute at first, but now I’m seriously worried about her. She not only copies her clothing and hairstyle, she’s started talking like her, accent and all. I have my own ‘celebrity crushes’ too, so I’m not jealous, just concerned it’s gone too far?

A It sounds like your girlfriend has more of an identity issue than a crush. If the celebrity is a good role-model that’s a positive, however you’re right in being wary now she has started talking like this person. What may have started as an admiration could become a bigger issue. How secure is she in her own identity? Try asking her what is she likes most about this person, what natural similarities she shares with them without having to copy them – and, thoughtfully, how the celebrity might respond if she knew.

Q  I met a guy a month ago I thought could be a potential partner, but as we’ve been talking I’m becoming disgusted at his views on the Transgender community. He says Transwomen are just gay guys who are too afraid to be themselves and want to adhere to the heterosexual norm. My cousin is a Transwoman – her attraction to men is part of her sexual orientation and nothing to do with her gender identity. How can someone be so derogatory towards fellow members of the GLBTI Community?

A  Unfortunately humans are humans and with that comes fear of those who are different, which in turn leads to ignorance. Bear in mind, however, that just because somebody is a member of a community it doesn’t mean they will naturally understand or support others in that community. Just as people have differing views on politics and religion, members of our community have also absorbed the messages society has thrown at us over the millennia and many find it hard to validate themselves let alone others. You seem well-educated about your cousin’s gender identity and sexuality – you can educate your new guy. If he’s unable or unwilling to see differently then he’s a potential goodbye.

If you have an issue you would like Elijah to address in express, email ask@gayexpress.co.nz.Questions are only viewed by Elijah and your identity will remain completely confidential at all times.

About the author

Elijah Michel

Elijah Michel

Elijah Michel is a faithless Chaplain and Counsellor for the Rainbow Community, working with both Rainbow Youth and OUTLine NZ as an independent consultant.