What advice would you give your younger gay self? By Liam Murphy @liamwaterloo Dear young gay me... What if you could write a letter to your younger self? What advice would you give him? Would you tell him everything is going to be OK? Would you tell him that everyone gets their heart broken? Or would you tell him that writing a letter to your younger self is a horrible cliché? Or maybe you’d give advice like this (with gifs because we’re MODERN): 1. Don't 'do it anyway'. When you turn up at your internet hook-up’s house (or if you go on an actual date like some ‘fancy’ and ‘popular’ humans do) and he doesn’t quite look like any of the pictures he sent you, what should you do? So what if his pictures have had more touch-ups than an intern at a *insert political party* conference, and so what if the eight inches he promised is actually severely rounded up from six – you should just sleep with him anyway, right? NO. If he’s not your type, feel free to decline. It’s not a fancy dinner party where you have to honour your host by eating everything that’s put in front of you. Don’t feel obliged to eat anything. You don’t have to be a dick about it, but you can politely decline and walk away. 2. Remember the naked selfies you took? You looked bloody sexy didn’t you? You're so proud that you shared it with a bunch of strangers aren't you? Especially that one where you’re winking at the camera with your wang out, right? Well now you’re in your 30s and the ghost of your digital past is now spooking the internet hallways like a phallic spectre. Sending a dick pic to your entire contacts list may seem like a super fun idea at the time, but consider being a little bit more selective about who you send it to. Before you snap your younger, firmer self and then show it off to the world, take a moment to consider that once that jpeg leaves your phone, it’s out there forever. But still, you looked bloody sexy. Pro tip: cropping is your friend. 3. Respect your elders. Do you not know how time works? Do you not think you’ll succumb to the ravages of age like everyone else? Before you sneer at an older gay gentleman for ‘daring’ to socialise or having the ‘audacity’ to have a sex life, remember that you won’t stay a youthful obnoxious little prick forever. Maybe you can treat him like a real life humanoid with a soul. You’ll soon learn that the gay community can act like a surrogate family and those men that have ‘been there and done it’ can offer some sage advice. Also, they’re probably better in bed – they’ve had more practice.4. Come out, it’s probably fine. I know coming out feels like a big, apocalyptic, world-changing season finale, but it’s a lot easier than you think. Have some faith in your family and friends and trust that they’ll be happy whether you’re gay or straight. I know coming out is essentially just admitting to your mum who you enjoy having intercourse with (straight men never have to state, “Hey mum! I enjoy vaginas!”), which can be awkward, but it’s not as daunting as you think. It might not even be a surprise! Especially because you didn’t erase the internet history on the family computer. You dummy. 5. Testing is nothing to fear. Getting a HIV test and STI check-up isn’t as bad as you think. In fact, it’s not even unpleasant and the ensuing peace of mind is worth its weight in water-based lube. It doesn’t hurt, it’s not humiliating and the clinic staff don’t judge. It’s easy to bury your head in the sex sand and not get tested – you’re young, so you can’t get HIV, right? I’m older you, remember. I know you haven’t been a condom saint, so stop stressing and get to the GUM clinic. You’ll be fine, sane and you’ll get lots of lovely free condoms. 6. Don’t wear jeans with flip flops. Because, ew.