The ‘gay best friend’ has made an appearance in various chick flicks – Damian from Mean Girls and Christian from Clueless, heck there’s even a movie released in 2013 titled G.B.F. Although they stereotype the gay community as flamboyant gossip queens, we’re not here to shed light on the media’s lack of representation.
Most of us know that not all gay men are effeminate and sassy. In fact, having an openly homosexual friend doesn’t raise eyebrows anymore. It has even been proven that straight women find a greater sense of comfort and trust in their friendships with gay men than fellow gal pals.
It was my gay best friend’s birthday a few weeks back and I was about to post a photo of us on Instagram with a sappy caption until I realised how much we looked like a couple. I was sitting on his lap, both of us looking flushed from the drinks, all ready for ZoukOut.
Research shows that compared to men, women are touchier with people they are close to, so it’s normal for them to hug their close friends, exchange the occasional cheek kisses or hold hands while hanging out. I am no exception. Before my friend asked for advice on the huge fight she had with her long time lover about going overseas alone with her gay friend, I never had a reason to question my own behaviour with my gay best friend.
Turns out, all my friends have extremely differing views on whether the physical intimacy between gay men and straight women are an exception to the rules governing a monogamous relationship.
We can’t blame our boyfriends for being protective, but is this too much?
How It Looks
Back when we had more time for each other, my Instagram feed was filled with photos of my gay best friend and I, always with our hands wrapped around each other’s waist. Since I wasn’t attached and he wasn’t completely out of the closet, people assumed he was my new hot date.
As flamboyant and effeminate as they might be, a gay man doesn’t have defining ‘gay’ features. If pictures are enough to make my friend and I a couple, an intimate hug or interlocking fingers in public will definitely look bad on my beau.
I didn’t post the photo in the end because I didn’t want my relationship to be subjected to unnecessary judgement. It won’t be fair for my boyfriend to defend my reputation and our relationship against his close friends and family, too.
Born This Way
When I asked a few other guys to comment on the matter, “What if he changes his mind about being gay?” is the most common concern they have. Don’t be too quick to call them bigots, let’s not forget that YouTube star Gigi Gorgeous came out of the closet three times – first as gay, then as trans and after she broke up with her one-year boyfriend, she came out as lesbian.
Discovering gender and sexuality is a journey. We live in an era of non-binary gender identities and the freedom to love whoever we want. That makes, “Is he really gay?” a valid concern. Although I reassured my friends that a more likely possibility to worry about is the girlfriend developing a crush on her best friend instead. I cite the various forums and articles of girls fessing up on falling in love with a gay man as reference.
Same Same But Different
On these same forums, many talked about how boyfriends should think of gay friends as just another female. Is kissing your gay friend really the same as kissing one of your girlfriends though?
Let’s not strip a man of his masculinity just because he shares your preference for dicks – gender orientation and sexual orientation are different. Your gay friend deserves to be respected like the man he identifies to be, regardless of how “limp-wristed” he is.
If your boyfriend objects to the physical aspects of your friendship with a gay man, it also means he respects your best friend as a man sans his sexual preference. That’s why he may be upset to catch you sitting on someone else’s lap – as innocent as the intention was.
Then there’s the “but we’ve been friends for so long already,” and “it didn’t mean anything.”
While tongue wrestling with a platonic friend and having one night stands have no emotional sentiments, it definitely meant something. Physical intimacy is a big factor in a relationship and it becomes void of its exclusivity if you get too touchy with anyone else.
In the end, every relationship is defined only by the two people involved – where do you and your partner draw the line on skinship with other people?