"Behind every straight Girl, there is a fabulous Gay guy!"
By: Jessica T.
Some call me a “fag hag” because I have several close gay guy friends in my life. Many straight people assume that being female and having gay guy friends is the same as having girl friends. They are correct in a shallow understanding, but my personal dynamic with my dearest gay friends is more profound than their theory.
It is important to not generalize when viewing gay people. It is incorrect to think that I only talk about make-up and J-Crew’s fall fashion line with my gay friends. Though I do have gay guy friends who are brilliant in music theatre on Broadway and who are successful artists in the field of cosmetology, I also have gay guy friends who are deep into politics, are star athletes, and who pride themselves on being manly by riding horses, burping, not having style, and not being ‘obviously gay’. Gay men are dispersed on the same spectrum of personality and interests as the rest of us human beings.
When I think about why I value my gay friends, I realized that in men, I seek protection and male attention. It was hard to write that sentence, being a feminist of the twenty-first century. I do not mean that I need a man to protect me on some of the scary streets of Amman and that I beg for men to notice me. Rather, if I am walking with a male, gay or not, I will receive less negative attention and hassle from men in passing cars, sitting at coffee shops, and walking on the street looking to talk to any girl they see. When I am with a gay guy, other men will not think of me as a target because I already look “taken”. I don’t want “cat calls” and men hollering at me, but I naturally appreciate the positive attention from males in general.
My relationship with gay guys lacks the competition that accompanies having girl friends, and lacks the sexual confusion that accompanies having straight guy friends. Girl friends normally struggle with competing for similar goals and men. Attempting a friendship with a straight man usually involves awkward moments, such as when his leg accidentally brushes yours. In both situations, a straight girl must constantly be on her guard to not say an inappropriate thing to pi*s off her girlfriend or flirt with her guy friend. With a gay guy friend I do not worry about competing for the same boyfriend: the potential boy will either be interested in men, in which case I will be the one to assist in date outfits, or the boy will be interested in women, in which case my gay friend will be helping me with flirting techniques. With a gay guy I can act silly and hold his arm without wondering if I am sending the wrong signs.
My gay friends do not substitute as girlfriends, nor are they the same as having straight guy friends. The fabulous gay men I call my dear friends introduce me to struggles being gay brings to them; they teach me to not generalize any group of people; they open my eyes to other perspectives and ways of seeing this diverse world; and they each enrich my life as only they, as special individuals can. I am blessed and fortunate to have fabulous friends, who just happen to be “gay”.