A lot has been happening in my life recently. So far this week, I have had to explain why "ANGELA BASSETT DID THE THING" was trending on Twitter, and then another day I had to explain to a dear friend what the words "boytoy" and "himbo" meant. He's straight. It's a learning experience. Within all this comedic uncertainty and gay chaos, we have consistency in the fact that I am still writing the Agony Aunt column for the University Observer.

For anyone who's not up to speed here, my name is Joanne Joanne - UCD drag legend, unlikely Philosophy graduate, Azealia Banks historian. This is my third (third!) year writing this column for the paper because I signed a lifetime contract in 2020 without realising what that meant - because I am completely illiterate. I've been using a speech-to-text app to write these articles the entire time. Gotcha.

This column is all about the questions and problems I am sent through my anonymous Tipbox account - throughout the year I'll be taking submissions and telling the good people of University College Dublin how to navigate their lives as college students. Maybe they'll take my advice! Maybe they won't! It's really not my problem what happens after the article is published. I'm a 22-year-old drag queen with a Philosophy and Social Justice degree. The degree is finished - I no longer have to worry about the "consequences'' of my "actions".

Hi Aunty Jo,
10 metres. That's in the room. Grindr has informed me there's a very handsome man that gets the same train as me on occasion- I don't think he works in the city but he visits often. I've even been in the same carriage as him, but there are two main issues. Firstly, his profile does not show his age and I cannot tell how old he is. Secondly, I neither want to approach him and say "hi I saw you on Grindr" nor text him saying "I see you are on the [REDACTED] train, I would like to suck your cock", because I am not a serial killer.
Any help appreciated Joanne, my thrussy is counting on you!
XX a repressed commuter


It's times like these that I think about how this is the same newspaper that has been staffed by accomplished, celebrated people like Gavan Reilly, Richard Chambers and Dara O'Briain - and now I'm answering a question with the word thrussy in it. I've never actually used Grindr myself - cue shock and horror from the audience - but if my knowledge of dating apps in general is correct, the location doesn't have to be the most important part of someone's profile. 

Realistically, he's going to know that you're on the same train as him no matter what your opening message is - if you can see his location, he can also see yours. It's not exactly like ye're passing through a field in the middle of nowhere and the only homosexual in a fifteen-kilometre radius is tending to some cows near the train tracks. I think you should absolutely text him and get a conversation going, but there is no real need to open with I AM ALSO HORNY AND ON THE TRAIN RIGHT NOW - this is also good opportunity to ask about his age however feels appropriate. Ye're in the same place at the same time - maybe something interesting's happening on the train! There's never any harm in trying! Make something up if you have to!


Hi Joanne,
So, I was going through a really rough break up last year and to cut a long story short, I started regularly hooking up with this guy I met on a dating app. He ghosted me about a month or so in but I wasn't too cut up about it, like, it was purely physical. My issue is that my (relatively estranged) half sister recently introduced him to the family as her fiancĂ©.  The timeline adds up with when he started ghosting me. My nudes might still be on his phone for all I know. I feel like I should tell her but maybe it's better if she never knows. Help.

Grateful to find myself writing for the telenovela section of the Observer this issue. This is either the plot of a Netflix drama or you live a deeply fascinating and wholly unrelatable life. In any case, I feel like I'm not necessarily qualified to answer this question. Because the stakes are so low on my end, I'm fully ready to suggest you keep it under wraps for now, try your best to rebuild your relationship with your sister, get to a point where you get to make a speech at the wedding, and then air all your dirty laundry in front of everyone she's ever loved. That's just me though.

If it was purely physical and you're not emotionally invested and you're happy to keep this guy in your life in an in-laws capacity, I can understand wanting to avoid conflict. However, him still having your nudes is a serious concern and it might be worth having a talk with him about it. If it goes nowhere or he's rude to you, choose violence. Wreck him. Print out screenshots of your old, raunchy conversations and put them in your Christmas cards this year. Shave an asymmetrical line down his head as he sleeps. I should stop before I get carried away.


That's all for this issue! Throughout the year I'll be taking submissions through my Tipbox, which you can find in either my Linktree (@joannesquared on Instagram x) or in the Observer's Linktree. There is no story too juicy and nothing I can't make myself needlessly invested in, so please keep the submissions coming!