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Ep. 3 - lesbian, gay, bi, transgenDer, queer, nonbinary

Maxwell Anders, Charlie Gold, and Sommer Bailey explore what we have in common with all sexual identities, and what we can learn from each other in our dating lives. Our very own Maxwell is this week's guest.

Catching up on the last week's dating encounters...

Max has been sending Charlie hilarious book recommendations for her to read such as “Are You There, God? It’s Me Margaret and I am Back on My Bullshit, “and “Spinsters Are People Too.” Asher from the last episode sent those to Max for Charlie and Sommer. Maxwell’s doctor recommended, “How to Live with a Huge Penis – Advice, Meditation, and Wisdom for Men Who Have Too Much.”

Barbecue Boy, The Ongoing Saga: Touching on to last episode's topic D!cks, Charlie ended up talking to a dick. Barbecue Boy is back. Charlie got a text from him and responded. She figured he lost interest and thus she hung back a little but was glad he reached out. After some texting back and forth for a couple of days, Charlie asked him out. The plan was to go to Local Traveler on Gaston Ave in Dallas on Saturday.

Charlie had a marathon she was running that Saturday morning. Ten minutes before the race, Barbecue Boy texted Charlie to let her know that he was dating someone seriously now, and he did not think the idea of a date was such a good idea after all. Needless to Charlie was disappointed and feels she was burned for trying. Maxwell reminds Charlie of the quote Brené Brown uses in her book "Daring Greatly" called the "Man in the Arena" by Theodor Roosevelt.

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows, in the end, the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”

Body Image: Sommer brought up with the guy she is dating the concept of bodies and body image. He shared that men also have problems with body image and self-esteem and that men also struggle with eating disorders. Sommer appreciated the fact he shared with her because it reminded her that almost everyone struggles with body image and it normalizes it.

Safe Sharing: Max took the opportunity to share with one of his best guy friends name Daniel about his past sexual experiences and was more receptive to hear about his friend’s past experiences and preferences. This is an area Max has had difficulty with in the past for fear of shame and judgment from others.

Max participated in the Shatterproof Dallas 5K last week to help end the stigma of addiction. Max was surprised to find his friend Colleen also participating in the 5K. Max thus took the opportunity to open up and share with Colleen about his dating and sexual past as well.

This week’s topic: lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and nonbinary.

Are dating norms and mores cross-cultural and do they transcend sexual orientation and identity? Who asks who out? Does it matter? What stands out when we see dates or relationships play out outside of our sexual orientation?

Maxwell asks if Charlie and Sommer ever notice those differences when they are out there at a coffee shop, at a bar, or at work? Charlie shares that she does not go there immediately. As a straight person, she naturally assumes everyone is straight. When she sees two guys together, she does not assume they are a date. This is a natural bias that most of us seem to have.

Max does not naturally assume that someone is either gay, lesbian, straight, etc. It may be because he knew he was gay at a young age; it was hard to figure out who is and who is not. It was kind of like an open-ended question for him all the time, and that's how it is now. When he sees a cute guy, he does not naturally think he is gay, but he does not think he is straight either. He goes with the flow and picks up cues from the guy to figure out if he is into guys as well.

Charlie and Sommer agree that they are students of personalities. They love to observe couples interact when it is obvious, they are on a date. Charlie is a big fan of the story. She loves to see the chemistry between two individuals and find out the story about how they met. This is one of the reasons she is not a big fan of dating apps.

Max enjoys seeing candid photos of couples in love. On the candid pictures, you will see one kissing the other one and the other one kind of gazing away. You see the one is close to the other, one is looking away or they are both really engaged in each other. Which one is talking and who is responding? Some couples are very much engaged with each other in terms of their body language and how they interact. It is something they are not aware of. There are others who are so comfortable with each other that they will go back and forth and smile. The eyes are always so bright.

Guest: Our guest this episode is our very own Maxwell Anders. Max shares early experiences with what he thought a gay man should be and should not be versus what he felt were cultural biases of manliness. As Max has aged over time, he has been able to overcome his feelings of internalized homophobia. Over time, he has become more open to a variety of men of different ages, cultures, and backgrounds not necessarily dictated by his upbringing. Max dismisses the misconceptions of “gaydar”, but it is more about picking up social cues and body language. Max tends to be more outgoing and extroverted and does not mind asking a guy out. If the guy turns out to be straight, he excuses himself and brushes it off. Max does admit that he tends to fumble when he flirts and can be awkward at time but as long as he picks himself back up and dusts himself off then he is no worse off than when he started. Dating Quiz: The dating quiz for this episode is “Icebreaker: Gay and Lesbian Trivia” from the University of Southern California Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Resource Center.

Dating Book/Article Review: Max introduces the article, “A Guide to Non-Binary Pronouns and Why they Matter” by Sassafras Lowery, from the HuffPost.

Call to action: gay, lesbian, bi, transgenDer, queer, binary and straight. We are wired to tell stories and we are wired to fill in the blanks where we lack information. Observations, and asking questions are the key to understanding and appreciation. The rest is up to you.

Episode Quote: “If I could have chosen to be gay or straight, I think I would have simply chosen to be happy.” – Unknown

Shout Out: This week’s shout out goes to Jonathan Boswell. Jonathan Boswell has been friends with Max for almost a decade. Now living in Los Angeles, his life is nothing short of amazing. He is a single dad with a beautiful daughter and their story will astound you!

We also want to send a quick shout out to one of our favorite couples for the excellent reference material and incessant questions. You know who you two are and we are so happy to know you!! Thank you for recommending “The Body is Not an Apology” by Sonia Renee Taylor.

Music featured on this episode:

Graph-Vic Design by MC Jack in the Box (c) copyright 2007 Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution (3.0) license. Ft: MC Jack in the Box

Ophelia's Song by Equivallentium (c) copyright 2006 Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution license.

ChoqueTT, Espoir NOKturne, Beni - On Vient De Loin _ Djiz RMX by BillCarson (c) copyright 2006 Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution license.

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