October 1, 2012
By: Daniel O'Carroll
It is often said, that when it comes to creating a serious friendship, men and women aren’t compatible. The inability to be “friends” is somewhat due to the expectation of always wanting something more intimate from each other. This vicious cycle often sees friendship sailing into a relationship, which (in due course) leads to a break-up, sinking what could have once been a stable pairing. Yet despite these turn of events, many women continue to seek a male friend for friendship sake; hoping to fill the space that many men leave open. By removing the possibilities of sexual intimacy, it’s almost certainly easier for women and men to engage in actual friendship. Ultimately, women – unless homophobic – want a gay best friend (GBF).
The media constantly presents many women with their trusted gay companions, from Will and Grace, Carrie Bradshaw and Stanford Blatch in Sex and the City, even Rachel and Kurt in Glee. There is an idealised perception that befriending a homosexual will be the end to your life’s misery and woe. They say a dog is a man’s best friend; well seemingly, gay men are a girl’s equivalent. What is it about this type of relationship that attracts women so much?
For women, a GBF is ideally the best of both worlds; after all, he fits the bill. He’s a guy. Check. And he just so happens to be your best friend who wants you for you and not your body. Double check. It’s almost like having a boyfriend without the complexities of a relationship or the sex (as lets face it, you’d be doing nothing for him in that department). For once you could be happy in the knowledge that you’ve found something completely platonic with a man with no underlying motives; and the best part… you can even talk about feelings! No, this doesn’t mean gay men are overly effeminate, but they do find it easier to understand what you’re talking about half the time – boy troubles being a big issue. With a GBF you could walk around in lounge pants, have no makeup on, and be rocking the latest bed hairdo, and it’d be absolutely fine. It’d be like being with “the girls” except he’s a boy. You fancy staying out all night. Sure thing. Want to pig out on the sofa. Damn right! Have a night of facemasks and pampering… possibly at a push? You are ultimately able to be yourself in front of a man without having to try to impress him, hell, he’ll even tell you if you need to shave, or if those tight jeans are causing some serious muffin-top exposure, unlike most of your lying girlfriends or significant other, but you’ll love him for it. The only downside to the pairing is the fact you wouldn’t be able to share clothes, unless you fancied looking like a bloke.
Due to such clichéd positive aspects of having a GBF, it seems that people feel the need to acquire a token gay man into their friendship circle as if he’s a useful accessory more than a person. All most women seem to be looking for is this fashion-frenzied, outrageously camp stereotype to provide them style advice and gossip. Whilst it’s true that some men would be more than happy to oblige to this ideal, that’s not the be-all and end-all of a GBF. In some ways it seems that woman would gladly selfishly impose friendship for their own gain, as realistically what are men getting out of it (it’s not often you hear gay men saying, “I really want a straight female friend”). They may be gay, but they don’t really want to constantly hear about your menstrual cycle, tampons and all that jazz – they have problems of their own also. It is important to remember that friendship is ultimately a two-way street, and not something that can be procured from nothing; which is why it seems strange that gay friendship is almost constantly objectified, becoming a girl and her gay plaything. GPT? (Gay plaything). You can’t expect to force a friendship upon a poor unsuspecting individual and reap rewards; it takes time and effort, and mutual compatibility. The fact he happens to be gay is just the icing on top of your fabulous cake.
In reality, a GBF is primarily like any other best friend. Ultimately, it goes to show that men and woman can be compatible as just friends, without the urges of jumping into bed together (unless it’s for a sleepover). Yet this desired form of friendship between a man and woman is not something to fight or buy your way into, but a natural occurrence like all friendship building. You’re either lucky enough to have a GBF or you don’t; there’s no going out and hunting down a homosexual. Fortunately for you, I’m holding open friend-auditions very soon (just kidding).
images used: comparestoreprices.co.uk, queerty.com, twodaymag.com