Your Other Dad says consider all your options before pulling the trigger on loans

Photo by Timothy Works for Pexels

Dear Other Dad —

My son really wants to go to college but I’m not sure we can afford it. Should I let my son take student loans? I’m still paying off mine. I don’t know what’s worse — no college or debt till he’s my age.

— Nervous

This is a question for which is there is no easy, universal answer. The variables are so great — from field of study to kind of school to region of the country to what you mean by “not sure we can afford it.” …


It’s no secret why the war on voter “fraud” targets people like Hervis Rogers.

Photo of Hervis Rogers: ACLU of Texas

When the police arrested Hervis Rogers for voter fraud, he thought it was a mistake.

He had completed a prison sentence for burglary in 2004 and has since settled into a stable new life with a family and a job. He’s kept his nose clean for 16 years. When he waited in line for 6 hours, one of the final people to vote in the 2020 presidential primary in Texas, he says he considered giving up, but told reporters, “I wanted to get my vote in, voice my opinion. I wasn’t going to let anything stop me.”

For more than…


Your Other Dad says you and your kids define patriotism differently.

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Dear Other Dad —

Fourth of July was a disaster. My kids didn’t want flags up and they gave me a hard time about wearing red, white, and blue. I let them put up their pride flags in June, so why can’t they do this for me? When did loving my country become a bad thing?

— 4thBlues

You are not alone in seeing a generational shift away from embracing the American flag. Gen Z has the lowest rates of self-identified patriotism among all demographics, a title once held by their predecessors, Millennials. These statistics raise questions. What do symbols…


Your Other Dad says start online, then look for the blue bubbles

Photo: Kamji Ojin for Pexels

Dear Other Dad —

Where is it a good idea to go drag queening? I live in a red state.

— Tobi12

When I first read your question, I wasn’t sure if you were serious. “Drag queening” (which makes it sound like a sparkly cousin to dry cleaning) isn’t really the common term for what you’re talking about — doing drag — and I wondered if it might be a joke question, of which I get a fair number. …


Your Other Dad says you can’t carry the weight of another life alone

Photo: Brett Sayles for Pexels

Dear Other Dad —

My friend is suicidal and I’m trying to be there for him. I’m up till 4 or 5 in the morning every day talking to him to make sure he’s good. But it’s killing me. I can’t keep up with work or school. But he’s one of my closest friends and I can’t lose him.

— Exhausted

This is an incredibly stressful situation to be in and simply talking about it with others is a good start, because you need a release value for the pressure that is building up inside you. …


Your Other Dad says take a page from the playbook of other minorities.

Dear Other Dad —

I’m a conservative Christian. My school is almost all liberals and they’re accepting of everything except me. I didn’t do anything to them but they talk about my religion like it makes me stupid. How do I get through this?

— Believer

Being the outsider to the majority is always hard — no matter what the majority is. Your specific situation is really common in the Northeast, where there are so many liberal bubbles. …


Your Other Dad says that labels can get in the way of your love life.

Photo: Sharon McCutcheon for Pexels

Dear Other Dad,

When I came out of the closet, it was a huge deal. My parents weren’t excited about it (esp. my dad) and they didn’t want me to tell other people at first. Eventually they came around and met my boyfriend (who I really loved at the time). They let me hang up pride stuff and my Mom went to Pride (which was a LOT for her). My problem is that lately I’m not sure I am gay. I’ve been seeing this girl I really like and I feel more attracted to her than any guy. I feel…


Vanna White, Pumpkin Pie, and the Moment I Stopped Lying about My Life

It is November 1992. George H. W. Bush is President, but not for much longer. The biggest song in America is “I Will Always Love You” and Whitney nails it, but you liked it just fine when it was still just your hero, Dolly Parton, and her guitar. Hee Haw has ended and Absolutely Fabulous has begun but you will not hear of it for a few more years, when you see the VHS tape in the library and become obsessed. Malcolm X is sharing movie theaters with Mighty Ducks; they are never a double bill. …


Your Other Dad says you can’t threaten “fairness” that doesn’t exist.

Photo: Associated Press

Dear Other Dad —

My daughter does rock climbing and is really good at it, but there is a trans girl who keeps taking the top spot. My daughter gets disappointed sometimes but also claims she doesn’t mind because she says this trans girl should be able to climb. I’m proud of her for being so generous but I’m frustrated that all the other girls don’t get a fair shot to win. If they don’t win local meets they can’t go to nationals and some of them hope to get sponsors. …


Your Other Dad says men are making women fight over what’s “appropriate.”

This topic is like a minefield: there are loaded opinions on all sides. The language that gets thrown around (“slutty” and “trashy” vs “shaming” and “oppressive”) positions the recipient in a bad light and puts the speaker on a moral high ground — in both directions. The discussion often pits women against each other — mothers and daughters, girls and their friends. Yet it’s worth acknowledging upfront that the issue only arises because of the imagined needs of (straight) men.

Who would care what a girl wants to wear if it they didn’t have to factor in the male gaze…

David Valdes

David Valdes is a Cuban-American playwright and author. He’s written about family, race, and LGBTQ issues for the New York Times, Boston Globe, and HuffPo.

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