Q: When I was in the ninth and 10th grades I had no friends and I felt alone. When I entered the 11th grade I started to hang with cool kids. Before school let out last summer, some of my friends came over to my house for a party. My uncle and his boyfriend showed up and my so-called friends started to rag on them about being gay. My uncle is not one to let things go, so he put my friends in their place. Some of my friends decided to tell their parents that my uncle came on to them and was trying to do other stuff. Their parents came to my house and talked to my parents about what had supposedly happened. My father asked me what happened. I lied and sided with my friends. My father did not believe that his brother would do something like that, but my mother believed me. Things are now out of control. The other kids’ parents went to the police and an investigation was done. Now they want my uncle up on those Web sites that list pedophiles. My mother is not talking to my father because he sided with his brother instead of with her and me and my friends. What do I do now? If I tell the truth, my friends will make things bad for me at school this year and my parents will never trust me again. And how do I make it up to my uncle? —Distraught Nephew
A: The short version: Tell your mother, your father and the police the truth. The long version: Telling the truth is going to cost you some “friends,” and you’ll probably have a bad year at school. But there are lots of kids at your school having bad years for much less important reasons or for no reason at all. Your bad year will at least have some purpose: You’ll be suffering so that your uncle won’t be punished for a crime he didn’t commit. That’s honorable, don’t you think?
If you don’t tell the truth, DN, you’re going to suffer worse things than a bad social life senior year. Keeping your mouth shut while your uncle is forced to register as a sex offender (for the rest of his life!) so that you can stay on the good side of a bunch of malicious little shits — excuse me, a bunch of “cool kids” — that you won’t ever see again after you graduate isn’t a recipe for lasting peace of mind. Popularity in the 12th grade is not worth betraying a family member. Living with the knowledge that you ruined someone else’s life will ruin your own life. You’ve heard of guilt, haven’t you? As for your parents, you can win back their trust; I suspect that even your uncle will eventually forgive you. You’re not the first kid your age who did something stupid/despicable to get in good with the “cool kids” in high school. If you come clean and then refrain in the future from falsely accusing other family members of crimes they didn’t commit, then they will forgive you.
Q: My best friend is being trapped by his lame girlfriend. They have been together three months, and a couple of days ago he tells me that she’s pregnant and that they are keeping the baby! My friend (call him “Terry”) is a great guy: intelligent, talented, funny and good-looking. His girlfriend, who we will call “Maisy,” is a complete drag. She’s going absolutely nowhere in life and has no aspirations. She’s not very bright or attractive and has all the personality of a wet rock. So here’s the deal: Terry is planning to drop out of school once the baby is born. Terry is book-smart, but lacks common sense, and that is usually where I come in. When he explained the situation to me there were a couple of things that didn’t add up. Maisy waited until she missed two periods before she even took a pregnancy test. And even though they were having sex on a regular basis, she refused to go on the pill. To me, the signs point to a trap, but I’m afraid that Terry can’t see this. We have been close friends for a long time and even though all of the evidence is there, I am very reluctant to bring it to his attention. I’m afraid that he will refuse to see the obvious and resent me for being the bearer of bad news. My boyfriend says that I should just let this one go and let him learn from his own bad decisions, but I have always been honest with him when I feel he is making a bad choice — and this one is for life. How do you tell your best friend that his girlfriend is trying to drag him down? —Friend Of A Victim
A: Your best friend is an idiot — someone needs to tell him that. His wet rock of a girlfriend may have intended to “trap” him by getting pregnant, FOAV, but your best friend fucked the wet rock without protection. Pregnancy, as your college-educated friend must have known, is a potential consequence of heterosexual intercourse. He fucked her anyway, so now he’s fucked. She may have intended to trap him but, at the end of the day, he trapped himself. I’m with your boyfriend, FOAV: Keep your mouth shut. If the wet rock intends to keep the baby, then your friend is thoroughly screwed and nothing you can say will change anything. Convincing your best friend that he walked into a trap won’t get him out of making child support payments or make this kid any less his responsibility.
Q: I’m a 21-year-old woman. My boyfriend likes to dress up in women’s lingerie. At first, I went along with it because it didn’t seem like a big deal. Then he got more and more into it and the more he seemed to like it, the more it creeped me out. I got less receptive and he stopped bringing it up. Well, I just found pictures on the digital camera we share that he took of himself in some nasty lingerie that I wouldn’t wear. I’m troubled, Dan. We’ve been together for several years and have talked marriage. I really wouldn’t want one of my future kids to stumble upon what I saw today. It doesn’t seem like he’s willing to give this stuff up. I’ve suggested to him before that we should leave this whole lingerie thing in the “things we tried” category, but that doesn’t appear to have worked. Any advice would be appreciated since I can’t tell anyone I know about this. —Enough’s Enough Woman
A: For a fetishist, EEW, enough is never enough. A man who’s turned on by cross-dressing will always be turned on by cross-dressing. Fetishes can’t be wished away and they can’t be filed under “things we tried.” Don’t you get it? Your boyfriend’s fetish makes his dick hard — and a hard dick is an almost irresistible incentive. When it comes to a harmless fetish such as cross-dressing, there’s no good reason why your boyfriend should deny himself this pleasure. You don’t like it? Tough. He’s not asking you to do it anymore. If you can’t stand the idea of being with someone who has this fetish, EEW, even if it’s something he does on his own time, then you need to do the nice, responsible, grown-up thing and break up with him already.Contact Dan Savage at firstname.lastname@example.org