Dear Dan —
I'm a 31-year-old genderqueer in Brooklyn with a large family on Long Island. My only sister got engaged 48 hours ago, and she's moving fast on planning the wedding. I have two questions.
Number one question: I texted my sister the only date I wasn't available in the next two years, which is Columbus Day weekend 2013. I have my 10-year college reunion, which I've been organizing. My sister texted me back that they picked this Columbus Day weekend for the wedding even though they have no idea if the places they want will be booked up. It quickly came out that they didn't check with anyone about potential conflicts. She wants me to be the maid of honor, and I'm not sure what to do. She's really upset with me. Columbus Day weekend is of no significance to them (it's not the anniversary of the date they met or anything), and I can't reschedule the reunion.
Number two question: I was born female but do not identify that way. I'm genderqueer and do not look like a girl. I have not worn a dress in 10 years and feel like I'm in drag in one. In the past, my sister said she would consider putting me in a pantsuit-ish kind of thing at her wedding, which would be great, but I am worried that now I'm rocking the boat too much with this Columbus Day thing and I don't know if I should just leave it alone. My girlfriend, who is very pretty and feminine, said if I had to wear a dress, she'd go in a suit and bow tie.
Dan, help! If for some reason my sister can't get her weekend, it will be because they're rushing and everything is booked, but I have already caused trouble! Is it worth it to fight for the pantsuit thing, or should I just leave it alone and do what she wants?
—Thank You So Much
Number one answer: If your sister didn't check with anyone—not members of her immediate family, not members of her bridal party—about potential conflicts, then your sister should've anticipated that some of the folks wouldn't be able to attend. Folks who aren't getting married have lives and commitments of their own, which means they can have conflicts, and your sister could've worked around those conflicts if she had cared to ask about them. But she didn't care to ask, because she seems to be one of those brides-to-be who think an engagement ring on her finger puts her ass at the center of the universe. Here's hoping your sister can't get the venue she wants and has to reschedule. If that doesn't happen, TYSM, tell your sister you'll be with her in spirit and send a gift.
Number two answer: The fact that your sister has been engaged for 48 hours and is already furious with her maid-of-honor-elect is a bad sign. You'll be doing yourself, both families, and your sister a service if you stand up to her now. A little pushback now will either prevent your sister from going Bridezilla or get you dropped from the wedding party. You literally can't lose. So tell your sister now that you're delighted to be her maid of honor, if scheduling allows, and that you look forward to shopping for a pantsuit that matches her dress and the dresses of her bridal party. If she tells you that you have to wear a dress to be her maid of honor, TYSM, then it's clear that the dress is more important to your sister than the person wearing it, and you should tell her to find someone else to model it at her wedding.
Dear Dan —
A gay friend of mine is getting married in Seattle, and we're hoping to throw him a most excellent bachelor party. However, as a straight dude, I'm fairly clueless about gay strip clubs in the Seattle area. Can you please recommend one or two good ones?
—Straight Best Man
There are no gay strip clubs in Seattle, SBM, I'm sorry to say. You can blame the Washington State Liquor Control Board for that sad fact. Adults in Seattle can look at naked people or they can have a drink, but they can't have a drink while looking at naked people. While there's enough demand for naked ladies in Seattle to make non-booze-servin' straight strip clubs economically viable, there isn't enough demand for naked boys to make gay strip clubs economically viable. (And people have tried.) There is, however, a great gay strip club in Portland, Oregon, called Silverado. If gay strippers are a must, plan a road trip as well as a bachelor party.
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