Ah, ha, ha, ha, stayin’ alive

 

Did you miss National Cancer Survivors Day yesterday? Not to worry, so did I. I scored nary an invite to any of the festivities. I’m not even sure I am a cancer survivor; all I know is that my cancer hasn’t killed me yet.

Turns out I’ve got a good cancer, if there is such a thing, one that people can live with for many years. And since most of the time I’m in complete denial about my co-existing conditions (my impaired liver and my polycythemia–Happy 17th Polycythemaversary, by the way), I can pretend I too will be one of these people who will live a long life.

One of the main reasons I don’t feel like a true survivor is that I still take daily medications to keep my leukemia at bay. Oh, and my regular visits to the Cancer Centre. There’s nothing like hanging out amongst my cancerous peers to remind me I’ve still got the big C.

Unlike many other cancerous folk, I have very few leukemia cells now, according to most recent testing. So few that, in a CML patient booklet I just read, I am considered in remission. No one has used the R word with me before; in fact, when I was first diagnosed, I was told people with CML don’t go into remission. I was as surprised as you may be. If I’ve misled you, I did it unintentionally.

I also learned from that informative booklet that, with the advances in treatment of CML, many of us are living to a ripe old age. The focus of intervention has shifted from treatment to our quality of life. That part I get, now that I have reached Day 7 of The Wrath of the Gouty Finger. The leukemia isn’t so bad; it’s the symptoms and medication side effects that I find challenging.

So I’d like to suggest a new day of celebration more appropriate to those of us with CML. Let’s call it National Cancer-Symptoms Survivors Day. We’d be celebrating maintaining our quality of life while living with the threat of a potentially terminal illness hanging over our heads. We gatherers could compare notes on our various medication side effects and how we have survived them. We could share information about the interventions we’ve added on to manage those side effects.

I can think of many ways such a get together could benefit me. I’m sure there’s a CML survivor out there who would know how to manage yoga postures that require my lying on my belly. “Do you also have to rearrange the position of your football-sized spleen when you lie down?” I’d ask. Or how about our unrelenting fatigue? “Do you too fall asleep during matinees? How do you keep yourself from snoring?” Then there are the challenges of taking all those drugs. “How do you manage to time your medications to minimize all drug and food interactions?” The possibilities are endless!

We’ll plan our special day to coincide with the National Cancer Survivors Day. Then those of us who feel left out will have somewhere to go where we feel a sense of belonging. We all need to feel we belong somewhere.

Cut out figures holding hands

The dangers of dependence: a tale of two doctors

A tree that is unbending is easily broken

Did I happen to mention that my beloved Dr. Family will be heading off on maternity leave in August? The gall of that fantastic physician to place her family ahead of her patients, placing her family ahead of her patients. I was diagnosed with leukemia during her first maternity leave. Who knows what will happen this time she leaves?

I don’t talk about Dr. Family much because she is, in some ways, a peripheral member of my care team. By necessity, I spend more time with my specialists than with her. She has always diligently reviewed my file before I do visit, though. She is an astute diagnostician and has cared for me well over the years I have known her. She has arranged for excellent coverage during her two prior leaves.

Her upcoming departure for baby #3 happens to coincide with Dr. Blood’s leaving for her year-long sabbatical. That’s a lot of change at one time for a change-averse gal like me. Thus I considered becoming completely overwhelmed when I first saw Dr. Family’s baby bump, but I’d recently reached my fretting threshold over Dr. Blood.

That’s how I decided to approach to Dr. Family’s leave differently. I recalled my shutting my practice temporarily–unlike me, my clients had no opportunity to ready themselves for my departure–and how, unsurprisingly, my clients survived without me. I’d expect no less of them.

As a clinician, I am always walking a tightrope between assuring my clients they can rely on me when they are distressed and encouraging them not to become overly reliant on my support. From the outset, we discuss those supports available to clients outside the occasional hour that we meet. I’d never want a client to think he needed to talk to me and only me in a crisis because that would set him up to be overly dependent on my care.

I’ve always known I’m not the only psychologist in town. Other highly competent clinicians jumped in when I got sick because they had to. I redirected clients that asked; others muddled through in their own way. Some clients may have ditched therapy altogether to see how they’d do without a therapist’s support. I trust they managed well.

Those who transferred to someone new may have had to share their story from the beginning, which is certainly harder than returning to someone who knows them. Nonetheless, unexpected change like this can be good for clients. I may have missed something or focussed excessively on one domain when they could have used a different kind of support. I realize my former clients may have found a therapist who was better suited to care for them. Sometimes a client reaches an endpoint with a psychologist and a new perspective is beneficial.

If my clients can survive or even thrive without me, maybe I can do the same with my new physicians. I’d hate to become a needy patient, and I trust both my physicians will find solid interim replacements. Who knows? Maybe the change will give my flexibility muscle a good workout. I may even learn that there’s more than one doctor in the world who can keep me alive. That would be reassuring.

Two women walk into a home improvement store….

Picture of yellow and black drill

Sounds like the first line of a joke, doesn’t it? Well, it isn’t. Or maybe it is, if you’re thinking of klutzy me. J. is less injury prone and better with a drill. I am wisely relegated to a supporting role on home improvement tasks, e.g., “Honey, a beer/iced tea/lunch would be nice.”

We went to the store to buy planks for raised garden beds. According to J.’s careful calculations, we had room for two 12 x 3 foot beds. What we hadn’t considered was how we’d get those 12-foot planks home my little black car. Remember the car I said I’d never eat in and forever park at the far end of every parking lot to prevent door dents? I know, sounds a touch unrealistic.

The helpful and eager young employee–let’s call him McDreamer–believed we could somehow get those long planks home in my teeny car, so he and J. attempted to manoeuvre them while I watched in fascination. (I bruise easily, remember?) All was going well until McDreamer decided to move the planks a bit farther up the dashboard, at the expense of the windshield. Once he realized what had happened, McDreamer was so upset he bolted off in tears to seek help.

How would a normal person respond in this situation? J., ever the normal one, uttered the F-word several times. I am not normal, however, so my instantaneous response was to flash back through my many job disasters over the years and feel McDreamer’s pain.

I clearly recall the first time I really messed up at a so-called job. Early in my babysitting career, which was quite busy and lucrative, I somehow forgot a booking altogether. I remember feeling so ashamed by my error, and my shame was compounded by the parents’ rage. Needless to say, this family never asked me back.

Since then, I can think of critical moments with clients that I haven’t handled well and wished I could revisit. I addressed these mishaps with the client if I had the opportunity, but sometimes, because of circumstances, I did not. Unfinished business is unsettling.

In case you’re wondering, no, I did not immediately put on my psychologist hat and offer McDreamer my services. We’ve recently reviewed the prohibitions against ambulance chasing, and, in this case, I was the one in the ambulance. Rather, McDreamer appropriately sought help from an older and wiser employee, who explained that 12-foot planks could not safely be transported by a 6-foot-long vehicle. The store manager then magically appeared and offered to pay to replace the windshield. She was lovely and gracious, including with McDreamer, so everyone breathed a sigh of relief.

J. returned to the store the next day with a revised plan. If we built 6-foot rather than 12-foot boxes, the shorter planks would fit easily in our friend’s van. Since McDreamer had not been fired, he gladly helped us out. Even without my professional help, he seemed to have fully overcome the prior day’s trauma. The shorter planks were loaded in and nobody got hurt.

Even my car has learned an important lesson about knowing her limits. I doubt she’ll ever try that again. Or at least not under my watch.

Turns out being born Baptist precludes being born gay, in Alberta at least.

Girl in overalls and plaid shirt

Don’t judge a book by its coveralls.

Not long ago, our fair province had to introduce legislation mandating gay-straight alliances within all schools. If the students request it, schools will allow a safe LGTBQ space for anyone who seeks it. Sure, students shouldn’t have to ask, but at least something is in place if they do.

The Catholic school boards didn’t like the idea initially, but they have found a way to support the ruling within their schools, albeit with a nod to Catholic doctrine. The Baptists, on the other hand, have openly denied their students such a safe space.

To be fair to the Baptists (and I’m always fair, aren’t I?), none of their mostly-elementary-aged children are self-identified as LGTBQ. In this atmosphere of exclusion, even those children who identified as LGTBQ from a young age would shout it from the rooftops, don’t you think? If everyone around you told you that being gay was sinful, do you think you’d risk coming out if you were? Too many LGTBQ youth are homeless because they are kicked out after coming out.

Let me be the one to break the bad news to you, dear Baptists. Let’s say that 1 in 10 or so children fall on the LGTBQ spectrum. (My quick internet research revealed wide variations of this estimate, due partly to people’s reluctance to come out even when asked on anonymous questionnaires.) With 85 kids in their faith-based schools, let’s estimate 8.5 of them fall within a sexual or gender minority. Maybe the extra half indicates a bisexual child (yes, I’m joking; no offence intended, bisexuals).

There’s more bad news, Baptists. Whether or not children self-identify as LGTBQ (and I’m sure you’ve polled all 85 children in your schools, including those in kindergarten), whatever their sexual- or gender difference, they were born with it. Some of your precious little babies came out gay or transgender or whatever, whether or not they (or you) knew it. You may not have wanted them to be, but they were, and they are, and no amount of counselling or censure or denial will change that.

Some children realize from a very young age that they are different, whether or not they can label that difference. I was not aware I was gay from a very young age, although in my favourite picture as a toddler, I was wearing overalls. That would be a sure sign, especially were I wearing a matching plaid shirt, wouldn’t it?

Here’s another piece of enlightening information for the Baptists: one can be well aware of one’s LGTBQness without acting upon it, just as one can be well aware of one’s heterosexuality without having sexual relations with someone of the opposite gender. What is an unrequited high-school crush if not an awareness of one’s sexual proclivities? Are you genuinely worried your Grade 3 gay student will act on his awareness with another boy?

The Alberta government isn’t very happy with the Baptist school board right now for defying their legislation. Meanwhile, the Baptists insist they’re following the law because, since none of their students are gay, they don’t need gay-straight alliances. Wake up and spot the gay students, Baptists. Those students deserve a safe space to gather, especially in your atmosphere of exclusion.

Amen.

The Validator saves the day!

Boy at table in striped shirt writing with pencilCan you believe I started my blog three years today? As a writer, I decide which stories to highlight and how I’m going to tell them.These decisions are often completely arbitrary. Speaking of which, I ended Friday’s tale prematurely because I felt I’d dragged you down enough for one day. That and Joy doesn’t like it when Sadness steals the limelight.

Now that you’ve had the weekend to recover, I’ll finish what I started. After my chance encounter with Mr. Shuffle at the Cancer Centre, I headed back to the car. J. could tell immediately that my mood had shifted. I was glum and quiet, so she asked, “Whassup?”

I described my encounter, and how bad I felt for this man, who was unwell and appeared to be alone. (His family could have been waiting for him, for all I know; I just didn’t see anyone with him.) I’d made many potentially erroneous assumptions about his life. Then I added, “My cancer journey is so much easier than everyone else’s, I’m so lucky to have a good leukemia–a good leukemia? I said that?–and an easy chemo, blah blah blah.” You get the idea.

Enter the Validator, J.’s other superhero persona. (You’ve already been introduced to the Anti-Procrastinator, who completes tasks before anyone realizes they need to be done.) She said, and I paraphrase here, “Remember when you almost died? Remember when you were so weak that you couldn’t tie your shoes without tipping over? People stared at you because you looked so sick. Remember how many months it took for you to regain your strength and to complete a 5-star Sudoku again [excuse the humble brag]? You’re not working in the profession you love and you’re tired all the time and your cancer has been no piece of cake.”

You may recognize this old theme in my blog: the incessant need to convince myself that my cancer is lame, and that my suffering is small potatoes compared to everyone else’s. Heck, I’m 4-1/2 years in, and I’m not even dead yet. I’m a cancer failure.

All these things are true. I’m still alive, but cancer still courses through my veins. At one point, my leukemia made me as weak or maybe even weaker than Mr. Shuffle, not that cancer is a competition. You know this already; I’m just trying to convince myself that I don’t have to minimize my experience. I’m reminding myself yet again of the dangers of social comparison, which sometimes makes me feel better about my situation, but more often makes me feel worse.

So Mr. Shuffle, I’d love to nurse you through your illness, but I’m hoping you have your own community of support since I don’t have the energy. Believe it or not, I’ve got cancer too. I may look perky now, but my road has had its share of bumps. I hope you’re able to regain your strength and that you’re feeling better soon. Fight the good fight and know my heart is with you.

Then the Validator wisely reminded me that feeling crummy is often one stop on a cancer patient’s way to healing. Wise woman, that Validator. I hope she’s right, for Mr. Shuffle’s sake.

The Real End

A moment in (cancer) time

hand pushing elevator down button

I usually try to end my blogging week with an upbeat post. Something funny or light to make you laugh. Who wants to hear from Debbie Downer right before the weekend? But Sadness nixed my planned frivolity this week, and I always listen to Saddy. Everyone should listen to Saddy.

Yesterday J. drove me up to the Cancer Centre to pick up my chemotherapy refill. (I’ve given up on having my drugs mailed to my home since that unfortunate Canada Post fiasco last year.) J. waited in the car while I popped in to the pharmacy.

Things went as planned. I made my way through the hoards of patients–cancer stops for no one–hopped onto the elevator, and headed to the pharmacy. I showed the kind pharmacist my red card (also known as the PROOF YOU HAVE CANCER card), and she gave me my little brown paper bag, as if I were hiding condoms or something (not that I’d know about that).

I returned to the elevators, which at that moment were overflowing with patients going up. I needed to go down. After the uppers were gone, I pushed the down button while I watched an older gentleman shuffling toward me very slowly. I asked him where he was headed, and he said he too was going down. “Great. I’ll have company,” I said, perhaps a bit too jovially given the environs.

When our elevator arrived, I let Mr. Shuffle enter first. I followed him in and pushed the button for us. He leaned against the elevator wall as if it were holding him up. After the doors shut, he said, so quietly I almost didn’t hear, “I am so weak.” I looked at him sympathetically but did not know how to respond, so he added, “The chemotherapy.” I touched him on the arm and said, “Cancer is hard.”

I struggled to know how to respond, and I still wonder if I said the right thing. Is there ever a right thing to say? It wasn’t the time or the place to get into the nitty gritty of his treatment; we had only one floor to travel. I didn’t want to minimize his experience with a “Things will look up!” because I didn’t know if this would be true for him. I could have given him a hug, but strangers don’t often hug, and I might have tipped him over. It’s more than that. Since he seemed to be alone, I wanted to bring him home and take care of him, but my boundaries stepped in.

Cancer is hard in different ways for different people. I’m hoping this man sensed that I could see that he was struggling. Maybe I provided comfort, however fleeting. And I’ll hope there comes a time when he doesn’t feel so weak. But right now, I feel sad that anyone has to endure the worst of cancer. I know it’s not easy.

I still feel sad when I think about this man, but I have to let that go today. Joy is joining Jelly and me at the university, where we’ll be cheering up some stressed-out students. Volunteering, my purely selfish endeavour.

Let’s talk

Two cartoon drawn people sitting at a table facing one another

Wednesday, while I was writing about silly things like extended health benefits, Responsible Psychologist Annie should have been drawing your attention to the national mental health day initiated by a Canadian telecommunications company. The goal was to get people talking about their emotional struggles, thereby lessening the stigma of mental illness. Great idea, don’t you think?

That day, the company generously threw in 5 cents for every text, call, and tweet (and a bunch of other stuff that only younger people know how to do). That’s all it took to raise $6.5 million, which will be distributed across the country to a variety of underfunded mental health programs. Unfortunately, since I don’t pay for this company’s service, my many vacuous texts on Wednesday didn’t count toward this total. I hope that highlighting the issue here instead will count for something.

A lot of people shared a lot about themselves on Twitter, Facebook, and other venues over the course of the day. The initiative did indeed get people talking about signifiant mental health challenges, such as anxiety and depression, as well as eating disorders, postpartum depression, relationship challenges, and the aftermath of sexual abuse and physical violence. So many people, even famous people, talked openly and publicly. People feel much too much shame around mental illness. It’s time for that to end.

Why do people struggle to speak openly about their mental health challenges? They often feel like they are the only ones with those feelings because no one talks about them. And often those listening have trouble knowing how to respond; they forget that just being there to listen is often enough. If the person you’re talking to can’t offer the type of support you need, find someone else to listen.

Are you one of those people who doesn’t talk about such things at all? Well, give that up already and start talking. Let me be your role model. I’ve written about my anxiety and, less often, my depression (remember my Sadness doll?). I don’t share everything with you because I don’t think that would be appropriate in this forum, but I’ve shared a lot. Hopefully from my openness you’ve learned that feelings, even bad ones, are normal. (Either that or you’ve determined that I’m a deeply disturbed clinician.) If my disclosures have helped even one person to feel less alone, I’m happy.

I may be a psychologist by training, but, first and foremost, I’m a person with feelings, and those feelings occasionally aren’t happy. I am lucky to have some tools at my disposal to help me through my rough patches, but knowing what to do and doing it are two different things. Sometimes all the tools in my arsenal aren’t enough. I’ve openly shared that I visit a therapist because I want to encourage you to seek help if you’re feeling like you can’t move through your funk on your own. There is no stigma in that. If anyone derides you for needing help (including you, Tom Cruise), give that person my number and I’ll gladly tell him off educate him.

Wednesday is over, but please don’t stop talking. For all you know, you may inspire someone else to open up. Trust me, it feels great knowing you’ve helped someone share the hard stuff.

 

 

The unanticipated responsibilities of the cancer patient

 

Quote: If a tree falls in the forest and no one is around to see it, do the other trees make fun of it?You may think that having cancer is no big deal for me now. I’m stable, I’m active, and yes, I’m tired, but that’s the life of the leukemic. There are, however, some added responsibilities (burdens?) with this disease that no one warned me about.

Let’s take Sunday yoga, for example. I have been going to the same Sunday class for years, since long before I had cancer. This class was also the first I returned to after my leukemia diagnosis, when I was weak and frail and could barely stand let alone hold tree pose. (In case you were wondering, if a tree falls in yoga class, it takes other trees down with it.) J. attended my first few classes post leukemia to stop my tipping over.

Every single Sunday, I ignore the voice telling me I should stay in bed, however loud it is, and I head to yoga. The class starts and I often wonder how I’m possibly going to stay awake. But I’m there and I do my best and I usually feel better by the end.

Over time, I see many of the same people, and we gravitate toward our spots in the room. If a regular doesn’t show up, her (or occasionally his) spot often remains empty, assuming some unsuspecting newbie doesn’t fill it. Yesterday I was tardy to yoga. I arrived as class started, but not early enough to lay out my mat and settle in. Yes, I was one of those annoying yoga disrupters.

Lately I’ve been walking to the gym with my friend, C., who’s graciously assumed the task of ensuring I do not stray in front of moving vehicles. But C. did not have time to walk yesterday so I headed out late, walking solo. Let’s just say that when I arrive early to yoga, it’s because I’m with C; without her, I fall apart. By the time I arrived yesterday, I was so harried that I needed the calming class, thereby defeating my own purpose. Despite the full class, my spot was empty.

Before I had time to unroll my mat, I learned I had caused an uproar amongst my yogi peers. Despite our texts the day prior, C. feared I was still waiting for her to pick me up. Other friends chimed in. “We were worried about you!” “Thank God you made it!” “Here’s your equipment!” A friend who’s usually tardier than me (but never an annoying latecomer) had even texted to ask where I was. No matter that I was disrupting the whole class of fellow yogis, who were sitting calmly on their mats, ready to go.

Woman on yoga mat in half-moon poseThroughout the class, I thought about the upheaval I’d caused–no wonder I kept falling out of half-moon pose. (I often fall out of half-moon pose. It’s hard.) Talk about the kindness of friends. At the end of class, I again reassured everyone. “I’d never miss Sunday yoga.” I assume my buddies were actually worried I had mysteriously dropped dead. All the more motivation to arrive early to yoga in the future.

I live and breathe anxiety; the last thing I want to do is to add to others’ stress. Or lose my prime spot in class.

Things my dog has taught me this week

Senior woman smiling at yellow lab sitting at her feet

I hope this post will be the perfect anti-dote to the U.S. presidential inauguration. You’re welcome.

First, in case you’d forgotten, Canada’s national radio still has a sense of humour. I’m referring to a recent story on #DoesItFart, the database of animals that pass gas recently developed by biologists. (The whole rip-roaring interview is here.) Turns out chimpanzees’ farts help biologists locate them in the forest, birds have the anatomy necessary for farting but don’t, snakes fart, and millipedes let out noxious gas but whether they’re considered farts remains unclear. Oh, yes, and dogs are on the list too, as I can attest. Lucky visitors may hear my dog’s humanoid toots while she’s sleeping. I could tell you more about this topic, but I try to focus on more serious matters in my blog, as you know.

So I thought I might share some recent insights from my seniors’ visits with Jelly. My initial worries that Jelly wasn’t connecting well with the seniors because she was too busy cleaning the floor gave way to this week’s observation that every dog is a food-on-the-floor opportunist. Consider it instinct, right up there with chasing squirrels and begging for dinner. Who can fight instinct?

I was also worried that when she’d finished cleaning the floor, Jelly wasn’t properly attending to the seniors wanting to visit with her. Maybe she’s not always looking up adoringly but Jelly stands patiently while she’s being petted and wags her tail in response. Even those who can’t reach her enjoy looking at her and learning about her. This week, Jelly brought joy to a woman in the hospice wing, a former dog owner, who was too high up to pet the animals from her hospital bed.

Some of these residents may not get many, or any, visitors. They look forward to the dogs, who break up their long and sometimes lonely days. Also, the dogs bring joy to those who do visit and to the staff too. A woman planned a special visit the week after her husband died, planning it around the PALS visit. She needed the connection, and I’m glad we were there to greet her.

We visited a man who had had a stroke and did not have full use of the right side of his body. His eyes lit up as Jelly stood under his right hand, which he could barely move. He petted her as best he could, touching her soft little head. For the few minutes we stayed with him, he seemed content to maintain contact.

Then my colleague and I visited the rehabilitation unit with our pooches, where we spied two women in wheelchairs at opposite ends of parallel bars. The dogs visited with the women briefly, following which the frailer of the two, likely in her 80s, arose from her wheelchair and, with the physiotherapist following her for reassurance, walked the full length of those bars. When she arrived at the other end, she stood for a few minutes while I clapped and Jelly, sensing the excitement, gave a whole-body wag. Maybe we’re both getting the hang of this assignment.

Thanks to Jelly, I’ve come to realize that sometimes it’s enough just to be there. That we certainly can do.

One of these gays is not like the other

Picture of female mechanic working on carI thought this blog was supposed to be about my travails with illness, but I’ve learned that other topics may drive up my readership. This past week, I have two new unsuspecting readers, which brings me to 250 followers. And I recently realized that people could follow the blog anonymously, so I’ll assume there are some of those, not to mention the occasional visitors. Thankfully, I have no idea how many people actually read my posts, so I’ll assume it’s every single one of you.

I know these past few posts have been so gay, but they’ve garnered a surge of interest, thankfully all supportive. No homophobes have weighed in, perhaps realizing that their comments will go directly into the trash. In the interest of my still being gay, I have one more post on this topic. Then I’ll move on.

Being gay is such a teensy part of my identity that I don’t think about it much anymore. Rather, every morning I wake up and, without fail, I remember that I have leukemia. I wake up and remember that I’m a psychologist, and I feel sad that I’m barely working. Then I trip as I get out of bed and remember that I’m still clumsy. Upon awakening, I rarely think, “I’m still gay!” Who cares?

I can count my close gay friends on one hand. Most of my, and our, friends are of the heterosexual persuasion. Sometimes I get sick of their pushing their straightness on us by, you know, holding hands as they walk down the street or smooching in public. “Get a room,” I say, or “That’s heterosexual privilege for you.” But mostly I’m okay with their straightness. I know they were born that way and even if they wanted to be gay, even if they really really tried, they wouldn’t make the team. We gays are a highly exclusive group.

I’ve also learned that, although I share a sexual orientation with other gays, that’s doesn’t make us buddies. Turns out gay people come in all shapes and sizes and colours. Not all gay gals are mechanics nor all gay men ballet dancers (except for Billy Elliott, of course). We’re everywhere doing everything that you straighties do.

So when friends approach me and say, “Hey, Annie, I have this really nice gay friend and I’d like to introduce you two,” I’m unsure how to respond. I consider asking, “Do we have anything else in common other than our gayitude?” I wonder, “Could I introduce you to my straight friend Breeder, since I’m sure you’d have a lot in common, being straight and all?” But my inside voice says, “I know you mean well, but do I have to?”

Many years ago, friends kindly invited J. and me over to meet a gay couple they knew. Our friends decided the four lesbos would get along famously, but J. and I determined within the first few minutes that we had absolutely nothing in common. I imagine the other lesbos felt similarly. Unsurprisingly, we four did not fall in homosexual friendship.

So if you don’t mind, I’ll keep hanging out with my straight friends. We have more in common; that’s why we’re friends after all. And you can hang around with your friends, gay or straight. I won’t judge.