Yesterday was National Coming Out Day, yes we here at The Urban Dater are a day late. Sorry kids! But we wanted to acknowledge the day with a post for the GLBT community. Also please check out It Gets Better: Operation Post It. Nando is doing great things over there.
I wanted to take some time to write about the straight women/ gay male friendship. I have several gay male friends all of which I do not refer to as “my gay”. Why? Because gay men are not accessories. They are actually real honest individuals who have their own lives. They are not there to merely be your stand in boyfriend sans the sex.
Too often I meet women who fetishize gay men and their sexuality rather than treat them as an actual person. Gay men are not a trend. Anyone of a different sexual orientation is still a human being and deserves to be treated like one. Media promotes the image of every woman needing a gay man by her side to fix her hair, solve her fashion dilemmas & sort out her love life.
My gay male friends could care less about fixing my love life, they usually just give me the same advice as my female or straight male friends. Only one of my gay friends is even into fashion but he doesn't need to pick out my outfits. He already knows I can take care of myself. Thirdly a gay man is not your personal assistant. They are not there to make you look good or feel better. I love my gay friends just as much as I love my straight friends. I do not differentiate between the two.
I know that Bravo would have us all believe that men such as Brad from Rachel Zoe or Trace from Flipping Out are the way all gay men behave. Not the case. How many men do you see running around in bow-ties and short shorts? Very few. Not all gay men are shopaholics or fashion obsessed. Yes some are sassy, some like Judy Garland and some will fit the stereotype to a T. Some are even willing to help you find the perfect ensemble for a date or pick out the tile for your new back splash but assuming that all gay men are alike is unfair. That is a stereotype which is bolstered by media. Do not subject your gay friend to shopping for you unless you are willing to return the favor.
A gay male friend is not your boyfriend. They are your friend, they are not dating you. Therefore treat the friendship as such. Don't be possessive or needy. Nobody likes the desperate single girl who immerses herself in the drama of gay men in order to ignore her own pathetic life. In the same vein, your boyfriend drama is boring to them. Guess what? They don't date women for a reason. Yes friends support one another through bad times. However the petty squabbles, don't waste their time. Men are men no matter who they sleep with. Leave the whining to your girlfriends.
Lastly, people who say “I totally support gay rights, my friend is gay”, and then do nothing about it are as bad as the people who say “I'm not racist my friend is black.” The political climate regarding gay rights is similar to the civil rights movement of the 60s. If you truly believe in something then stand up and say so. I stood on a street corner with a sign in hand voicing my dislike for PropH8. I'd just as soon stand on a corner for my straight friend who wasn't allowed to marry. Be an equal supporter to all of your friends.
It's difficult to be an openly gay person in today's society. Be understanding of that and do not try to relate. Unless you're gay you don't know what it is like for them. Just be supportive. In my opinion too many women view the gay male/straight female friendship as a novelty. It's not. It should be treated the same way as any of your friendships. With love, mutual support and respect.