¡Hola Papi!

What started as a joke (What if ‘Dear Abby’ were a gay Mexican man on Grindr?) has since become an invaluable resource for tens of thousands of readers of this preeminent LGBTQ+ advice column by John Paul Brammer. He is 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. Brammer began his career writing for The Guardian, NBC News, and Teen Vogue. He also writes and illustrates for outlets such as the Washington Post, Guernica, Catapult, and many more.


‘How Do I Go On Without My Loved Ones?’

The most important thing your ancestors have given you is a heartbeat. Use it well.

More From ‘¡Hola Papi!’

  1. ‘What If No One Wants Me After I Transition?’Being wanted feels great, but when it comes at the expense of your own needs, when it demands that you deny your true self, it stops being worth it.
  2. ‘Do I Even Deserve to Be in a Relationship?’Try to remember that guilt and self-flagellation don’t accomplish much.
  3. ‘He’s Pushing Me Away. Should I Take the Hint?’Sticking around might seem noble, but you also might just be enabling him. He needs to understand that his words and actions have consequences.
  4. ‘How Do I Make a Move Without Coming Off As Creepy?’Even I live in fear of saying something on a dating app that ends up in a viral Twitter screenshot.
  5. ‘My Friend Is Always Pointing Out Hot Guys, and It Makes Me Insecure’Comparison is a thief. It wants nothing but your time and happiness.
  6. ‘Why Am I Dreaming About Sex With a Man When I’m a Lesbian?’The something at the root of a dream is very rarely the most literal interpretation of what happens in it. It’s your dating anxiety talking.
  7. ‘My Boyfriend Dumped Me Out of the Blue’Whether you like it or not, time will dull the ache. People can and do come out the other side of this situation all the time.
  8. ‘What if My Partner Judges Me for Writing Smut?’He doesn’t have to read it or get super into the genre, but he does have to respect it, and respect you.
  9. ‘Can I Break Up With Him If There’s Nothing Really Wrong?’There’s little else for you to do but rip the Band-Aid off.
  10. ‘I’m Only Into Guys Who Are Already in Relationships’I’m glad you were able to identify this problem before attempting a home-wrecking.
  11. ‘I Hooked Up With My Ex. Now What?’I don’t think you need a particularly wise advice columnist to tell you that sleeping with your ex is a bad idea, right?
  12. ‘Two Years Later, I’m Not Over My Friend Breakup’If you can forgive them, do so. That doesn’t mean reaching out and trying to patch things up. It means finding peace with the way things are.
  13. ‘I Have a Big Crush, But She Has a Girlfriend’It’s easy to romanticize trysts and chance encounters, but those do not a sturdy relationship make.
  14. ‘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.
  15. ‘I’m 30 and I’ve Never Had a Boyfriend’I can assure you that you’re not alone.
  16. ‘How Do I Ask Him Out?’Express interest. Avoid desperation. That’s about it.
  17. ‘Am I a Helicopter Parent?’Sometimes, loving someone means letting them make their own mistakes.
  18. ‘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.
  19. ‘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.
  20. ‘Should We Move to Scotland and Buy a Castle?’This is what happens when you spend too much time on Zillow.
  21. ‘My Friend Thinks I’m in a Cult’I think this situation falls under the “if you have to ask” category.
  22. ‘Should I Get Back Together With My Ex?’Take what you liked from the relationship and take this time to work on yourself.
  23. ‘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.
  24. ‘I’m Sick of Being the Bad Guy in Relationships’The reality is, in life, you will be both victim and villain.
  25. ‘I’m Jealous and Regretful’Any second of your life spent wanting to be someone else is a second wasted.
  26. ‘I Hate My Writing Group’Ask yourself, Is this better than writing alone in my house?
  27. ‘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.
  28. ‘I Feel Abandoned by My Friend’Hopefully the two of you can have a productive conversation that leaves you both in a healthier place.
  29. ‘I’m Ashamed of Being Unemployed’The path is long, crooked, embarrassing, and deeply silly. Having friends and passions will make it tolerable.
  30. ‘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.
  31. ‘Can Your Partner Ever Really Know You?’You will never be fully known by another person. You will not even fully know yourself.
  32. ‘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.
  33. ‘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.
  34. ‘Why Do I Always Have to Be the One to Initiate Plans?’Most people are waiting for someone else to break through the quiet.
  35. ‘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.
  36. ‘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.
  37. ‘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.
  38. ‘Is It Worth Taking a Chance on a Relationship With an Expiration Date?’Something can be both ill-advised and entirely worth it.
  39. ‘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.
  40. ‘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?
  41. ‘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.
  42. 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.”
  43. ‘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.
  44. ‘Am I Undatable?’You contain things worth sharing and appreciating. The trick is to believe that even when you’re driving solo.
  45. ‘My Average Life Is Smothering Me’You don’t need to blow the whole thing up. You just need a pressure valve.
  46. ‘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.
  47. ‘I Wish I Could Start Over With My Ex’There is no reset. There is only deciding: Let’s try something new.
  48. ‘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.
  49. ‘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.
  50. ‘I Worry I’m Not ‘Gay Enough’’I think you should worry less about that and more about doing gay stuff you enjoy.
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