12 Things A 36 Year-Old Gay Man Would Tell His 16 Year-Old Self

  • Go ahead and start phasing out those Hanes boxer briefs. Same for the pleated khakis. On the bright side, your instincts are right about pocket squares.
  • You know how bent out of shape you are about never getting laid? Well, that’s going to change. Big time.
  • I know you’re struggling with whether or not your parents are progressive enough to accept that they have a gay son. Spoiler alert: your dad will vote for Bill Clinton (the second time) and your mom (in the 90s) will be the first person you ever hear say that Hillary is really smart and gets a bad rap.
  • Remember your crush on Justine Bateman’s brother—the one from Teen Wolf 2 and The Hogan Family? Well, he’s not gay, but he ages well and it turns out you have good taste in celebrity crushes.
  • Turns out Ellen is gay. So is Doogie Howser. Same for Lance Bass, Richard Chamberlain, Chad Allen, Victor Garber, George Takei and Gillian Anderson (translation: Scully from the X-Files is bi). And Ricky Martin (obviously).
  • You will see Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal kiss. I know you don’t know who they are yet, but google their names. Actually, google “Google.” … Nevermind. Just wait for it.
  • I know this is a lot to take in, but one day a black president will publicly support the right for members of the same sex to marry each other. No joke. And he still gets re-elected. It’ll take a little while to get there, but it happens. For real.
  • You will have a boyfriend (or ten) one day. Some are good experiences, some notsomuch. Just go with it. It all turns out ok.
  • Remember that anyone who likes you more or less because of the clothes you wear, the car you dive, the job you have, how much money you make or what kind of vodka you drink is a total piece of shit.
  • Minimize the amount of time you spend manscaping. Life is short and body hair is sometimes in and sometimes out. The kind of guys you like typically don’t care nearly as much as you think they might.
  • You’re going to spend a lot of money on cute clothes and personal grooming products. The irony is, at least once or twice, you’ll actually meet someone worthwhile unexpectedly, like in, say, the middle of the day on a weekday, wearing the t-shirt you slept in the night before, having not showered or even brushed your hair. So when that happens, remember that your personality is your best weapon and good people like you best when you’re being yourself.
  • Make a list of all the things that you’re worried about. Put the list in a box and bury it. In 20 years, you won’t remember the list or anything on it. And even if you found it, you wouldn’t give a fuck. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

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