Why he doesn’t want to be your ‘Gay Best Friend’
If you’re lucky enough to have a best friend like mine, realize they’re your best friend first and just happen to be gay
by Claire Letts
For as long as I can remember, media has portrayed friendships between straight women and gay men as something to desire. In 2013, there was even a movie in the US called G.B.F., and it shared the story of Tanner, “who finds himself cast as the hottest teen-girl accessory: The Gay Best Friend.”
This portrayal of straight women and their “Gay Best Friends” has become such a popular stereotype that a matchmaking site called Every Girl Needs a Gay promises to match straight women and gay besties everywhere.
This kind of relationship is described in society as something unique that can only be achieved between these two demographics.
Have you ever wondered why?
According to psychology, women are drawn to friendships with gay men because they can feel a certain level of comfort with a man who is not trying to make sexual advances. Gay men don’t mate with women, and they are not competing with women for partners, so there is a level of trust that allows the formation of a close friendship to happen quickly.
But according to popular culture, “GBF’s” or “Gay Best Friends” are depicted as the best “accessory” a girl can have. These friendships are portrayed as more valuable, so more women are in search of their “Gay Best Friend”. The problem with this is that most of the time he only has to have one quality to be considered: being gay.
These women want someone who will talk to them about boys, go shopping with them, and share the same interests as them. These women think gay men are waiting in line to be their “GBF”, and that these kinds of friends are entirely disposable.
This message is for those ladies who desire a “Gay Best Friend.”
I have been friends with Robert since we were both seven years old. We were best friends before he came out as gay – so I can tell you exactly what happened when he did, and what continues to happen when we go somewhere together.
Straight women meet Robert all the time, and they are usually very nice and polite to him. Nothing out of the ordinary. That is, until they find out he is gay. It’s as if something big has changed, when in reality nothing has changed at all.
“Oh my gosh! You’re going to be my new best friend, we are going to do everything together! Ahh!”
Some women will say things like this and act as if he has been waiting all night to hear it. As if they are a blessing in his life that he didn’t know he needed.
Ladies, I love that you love Robert. He is an amazing person and an amazing friend. But as his best friend, I am deeply offended when the only quality you like about him is that he is sexually attracted to males. Because there is so much more to him than that.
He is more than someone who will help pick out a cute outfit for date-night or someone to talk about boys with.
He is also a friend who will always be there for me, who will stay up all night on the phone with me on my birthday (or any day for that matter), he knows when I am upset before I speak, he laughs at my stupid jokes and makes me laugh uncontrollably at his.
“You’re not my friend because of my sexuality. You don’t solely talk about my sexuality or ask me questions that a stereotypical gay guy could answer like ‘how is this outfit’, ‘omg wanna come shopping with me’, or stuff like that. We care deeply for each other as people and look past the superficial stuff. Some girls definitely only want to be my friend because I’m gay,” Robert said to me.
The things that make him my best friend have to do with his personality, and not the fact that he is gay. He has so much more value than what some girls see, and he deserves friends who love him for who he is, not who he wants to sleep with.
In the future, get to know someone before you announce that they are going to be your new best friend. Don’t assume that because of their sexual orientation that you are destined to be friends, and that he must feel the same way.
And if you are lucky enough to have a best friend like mine, be thankful. Realize that they are your best friend first, and they just happen to also be gay.