How to overcome busybody queers who stir the pot

Vaguebooking for attention, inserting yourself into other people’s situations and talking behind people's backs are not good looks. Meet two attention-seeking queers you definitely don't want to be. 

Q:

If I know something someone is saying is a lie, do I say something or sit back and wait for an explosion?

Dear Vague:

Your question is like cotton candy. Full of the idea of intrigue but with no real substance. Let's assume you're attempting to shield yourself or the possible offender from being identified through details, rather than Vaguebooking for attention. The trouble is you’ve left so much to the imagination that it’ll be hard to help.

One answer could offer something to benefit us all, though, so let’s seize the opportunity. It lies in whether the situation has anything to do with you. i.e. is this person’s lie or its consequences any of your business? Can your interjection make a positive difference for everyone involved?

If this lie directly affects you or your personal concerns, or the effect can seriously and irreparably hurt someone close to you, stop reading this and speak up. Why wait for an explosion when you and/or yours are in the splash zone? Do something about it before it escalates.

But that’s probably not the case since you had the time to ask a magazine for advice and are questioning it yourself. If this is none of your business, step off or at least step lightly. If for example the potential fallout is between a couple, you could be remembered as the problem when they work it out.

Maybe more LGBTQ folks can learn to stop gossiping, and stop glorifying our role in other people’s concerns for self entertainment. Too many of us insert ourselves into other people’s lives by stirring an already boiling pot, and it’s not cute. 

Q:

I’ll never forget my ex’s alcoholic spite, cheating and backstabbing as long as I live. It was bad. Like, Cops bad. Hair-pulling, throwing things bad. I’m glad to be away from her.

That was years ago, but a friend of mine who wasn’t around back then is dating her now. I felt I owed it to the friend to warn her about this toxic P.O.S., so I did. Now she’s mad at me.

I was just trying to protect the friend from sure trouble, but somehow I’m the bad guy. I don’t give two shits about the ex, but how can I move forward with the friend?

Dear Petty:

Even if you’re right, you’re wrong. Injecting your experiences on someone else’s private life, much less unsolicited, is not your place. Their relationship is not about you.

Your dire predictions may be perfectly accurate, but there’s also a chance that you could be wrong. Just because the ex was a nightmare with you doesn’t mean she hasn't changed, sobered up, matured or learned her lessons – or that your friend will make the same mistakes you did.

You’re the exact wrong person to offer these people any input. To you, she’s the asshole who wreaked havoc. To your friend, she’s the romantic interest she’s trying to grow. No matter how you slice it, you’re the odd woman out.

Your friend’s defensiveness was predictable, even probable, and you poked at a sensitive spot with a stick anyway. You can try to rebuild trust by admitting to yourself what you did wrong and apologizing sincerely.

Assuming you’re able to repair the damage, stop judging – even and especially if you’re right about your ex. Be prepared to take “I told you so” to the grave.

The Q is for entertainment purposes and not professional counseling. Send your burning Qs to [email protected]

Illustration by Brad Gibson

This column originally appeared in Q magazine. Read the latest issue, enjoy all of the past editions of The Q advice column, and look for a new issue of Q magazine each week online and around town.