J.P. Brammer

Contributor, the Cut

J.P. Brammer writes the Hola Papi newsletter that is syndicated on the Cut. He’s also an illustrator and the author of the essay collection Hola Papi: How to Come Out in a Walmart Parking Lot and Other Life Lessons.

  1. ¡hola papi!
    ‘Was What I Had With My Ex Special?’It’s up to you to decide if you’re hurting and if something isn’t right.
  2. ¡hola papi!
    ‘I’m 30 and I’ve Never Had a Boyfriend’I can assure you that you’re not alone.
  3. ¡hola papi!
    ‘How Do I Ask Him Out?’Express interest. Avoid desperation. That’s about it.
  4. ¡hola papi!
    ‘Am I a Helicopter Parent?’Sometimes, loving someone means letting them make their own mistakes.
  5. ¡hola papi!
    ‘I’m the Weekend Boyfriend, But I Want More’Sit him down and tell him what you want. If you’re not on the same page, see if there’s a way to get there.
  6. ¡hola papi!
    ‘Is It Ever Okay to Ask Someone Where They’re From?’People who are frequently othered in our culture will definitely know when you’re just trying to sniff out their ethnicity.
  7. ¡hola papi!
    ‘Should We Move to Scotland and Buy a Castle?’This is what happens when you spend too much time on Zillow.
  8. ¡hola papi!
    ‘My Friend Thinks I’m in a Cult’I think this situation falls under the “if you have to ask” category.
  9. ¡hola papi!
    ‘Should I Get Back Together With My Ex?’Take what you liked from the relationship and take this time to work on yourself.
  10. ¡hola papi!
    ‘How Do I Tell My Friends I Don’t Have Time for Them?’Some of my favorite people are “I’ll see you when I see you” people, and that’s okay.
  11. ¡hola papi!
    ‘I’m Sick of Being the Bad Guy in Relationships’The reality is, in life, you will be both victim and villain.
  12. ¡hola papi!
    ‘I’m Jealous and Regretful’Any second of your life spent wanting to be someone else is a second wasted.
  13. ¡hola papi!
    ‘I Hate My Writing Group’Ask yourself, Is this better than writing alone in my house?
  14. ¡hola papi!
    ‘Should I Blow Up My Boring, Stable Life?’It’s good to remember chaos is neither inherently good nor bad, and it doesn’t have to be an “all or nothing” kind of deal.
  15. ¡hola papi!
    ‘I Feel Abandoned by My Friend’Hopefully the two of you can have a productive conversation that leaves you both in a healthier place.
  16. ¡hola papi!
    ‘I’m Ashamed of Being Unemployed’The path is long, crooked, embarrassing, and deeply silly. Having friends and passions will make it tolerable.
  17. ¡hola papi!
    ‘I Was Dumped, and Now I Feel Disposable’You will meet other people, and when you do, you’ll be able to better identify what you want.
  18. ¡hola papi!
    ‘Can Your Partner Ever Really Know You?’You will never be fully known by another person. You will not even fully know yourself.
  19. ¡hola papi!
    ‘I Transitioned, But I Still Feel Like a Phony’It’s good when we don’t have to struggle like we used to, so long as those struggles inspire solidarity with those who aren’t in the same place.
  20. ¡hola papi!
    ‘I Want to Be Casual, But I Have a Huge Crush’No strings can be fun, but there’s nothing wrong with adding some when it makes sense for both of you.
  21. ¡hola papi!
    ‘Why Do I Always Have to Be the One to Initiate Plans?’Most people are waiting for someone else to break through the quiet.
  22. ¡hola papi!
    ‘I Lost My Creative Spark’Don’t think about the book you haven’t written or the drawing you haven’t sketched out. Think about what role you want art to play in your daily life.
  23. ¡hola papi!
    ‘I’m Embarrassed by Where I Come From’It points to a certain deficiency in your sense of self. You think you’re not enough.
  24. ¡hola papi!
    ‘It’s Been Two Years Since My Breakup, and I’m Still Not Over It’No one can tell you there’s a right or wrong way to grieve, but there is a point when we have to accept things as they are.
  25. ¡hola papi!
    ‘Is It Worth Taking a Chance on a Relationship With an Expiration Date?’Something can be both ill-advised and entirely worth it.
  26. ¡hola papi!
    ‘I’m Terrified of Dating But Unhappy Being Single’Dating shouldn’t be a desperate attempt to find someone who will make you feel better about yourself.
  27. ¡hola papi!
    ‘I Feel Like I’ve Been Sleepwalking Through My 20s’In our late 20s and early 30s, there is ample opportunity to pause, take stock of our lives, and think, Is this really all there is?
  28. ¡hola papi!
    ‘How Do You Know If You’re With the Right Person?’People enter our lives for a time, and there are ways they are “right” and ways they are not.
  29. ¡hola papi!
    Hola Papi: ‘Nothing Is Going Right For Me’“In living a life, there are bound to be many, many mistakes. Maybe mistakes isn’t even the right word for our trials and errors. They are steps.”
  30. ¡hola papi!
    ‘How Can I Learn to Be More Present?’When we accept that there are things beyond our control, it’s easier to live in the moment.
  31. ¡hola papi!
    ‘Am I Undatable?’You contain things worth sharing and appreciating. The trick is to believe that even when you’re driving solo.
  32. ¡hola papi!
    ‘My Average Life Is Smothering Me’You don’t need to blow the whole thing up. You just need a pressure valve.
  33. ¡hola papi!
    ‘I’m Afraid to Fully Embrace My Identity As Nonbinary’Unlike caterpillars who are destined to be butterflies, humans don’t intrinsically know who we’re supposed to become.
  34. ¡hola papi!
    ‘I Wish I Could Start Over With My Ex’There is no reset. There is only deciding: Let’s try something new.
  35. ¡hola papi!
    ‘I’m Yearning for Awe and Ritual’Awe, glamour, and magic are all around us. Look for wonder, and you will find it. And sometimes, as you well know, it finds you.
  36. ¡hola papi!
    ‘I’m Terrified at the State of the World’Fear is inevitable. The more useful exercise is figuring out how to live with it, how to react to it and manage it.
  37. ¡hola papi!
    ‘I Worry I’m Not ‘Gay Enough’’I think you should worry less about that and more about doing gay stuff you enjoy.
  38. ¡hola papi!
    ‘Should I Tell First Dates I’m Rich?’It’s a bad idea to bribe people for their affections.
  39. ¡hola papi!
    ‘Daddy Kinks Make Me Uncomfortable. Am I Missing Something?’If it’s not something you’re into, and it’s between two consenting adults, then I don’t see why it’s your business.
  40. ¡hola papi!
    ‘Do I Really Need to Be on Social Media?’At its best, social media is a tool. You ought not let it define you or creep into your self-concept.
  41. ¡hola papi!
    ‘I Don’t Know How to Grieve My Friend’s Suicide’Rarely are we ever ready to say good-bye to a loved one.
  42. ¡hola papi!
    ‘Am I Using My Mental Illness As a Cop-out?’Life’s not a matter of symptoms and diagnoses.
  43. ¡hola papi!
    ‘Who Am I Without My Anxiety?’It’s going to take time for you to find a new source of fuel for your creative engine.
  44. ¡hola papi!
    ‘I Want More Whimsy and Adventure in My Life’You should practice being present, or as the motivational posters would call it, “living in the moment.”
  45. ¡hola papi!
    ‘I Can’t Handle Being Vulnerable’It’s not that you lack softness. You’re just afraid to show it.
  46. ¡hola papi!
    ‘Is Space Gay?’It’s refreshing to get to use my scientific expertise for once.
  47. ¡hola papi!
    ‘I’m So Angry All the Time’To pay even the slightest bit of attention right now is to be angry.
  48. ¡hola papi!
    ‘I Feel Like a Failure As an Artist’It’s time to rethink your relationship to your art and mix up your influences.
  49. ¡hola papi!
    ‘I’m Happily Engaged, But I Can’t Stop Fantasizing About My Ex’The human mind wanders. It asks questions, conjures fantasies, digs secret tunnels as a means of escape. That’s good.
  50. ¡hola papi!
    ‘I’m So Lonely. What’s Wrong With Me?’I like the idea of accepting loneliness as fundamental to the human condition. It takes the sense of personal failure out of the equation.
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