The older I get, the more I come to see the value of true friends. I've heard it said that the older one gets, the smaller your circle of close friends becomes. I've found this to be especially true in the gay community. It's very difficult to make and maintain a close friend in a society that seems to thrive on superficiality. I've been blessed to form some very close friendships that I value very much, but I find I have a harder time making and keeping gay male friends. And it's not just me; I hear it from other people as well. Most gay guys just make lousy friends. I could go into the reasons behind this, but I decided that I didn't want this column to be a downer; so instead, I'm going to take a tongue in cheek look at why lesbians make better friends than gay guys.
There seems to be a stereotype in gay culture that gay men can't be friends with lesbians. In the past, the two segments of our alternative society kept very separate, despite the fact that lesbians have long been strong allies of the gay man and all their causes. When the AIDS epidemic first swept through the gay community in the early 80's, lesbians and feminists were our strongest supporters, marching next to us on Washington and demanding funding and education. Even with this show of support, there seemed to be a rift between us, a separatism that only damaged our shared cause of equality. I see that beginning to change in the younger generation, but we still have a ways to go.
Now there are exceptions to every rule, and as I've said, I have some very good gay male friends, but I've realized recently that I have more close lesbian friends than gay guys. In fact, of the people directly involved in our commitment ceremony this coming August, at least four of them are lesbians who I count among my very closest friends.
So without further ado, here are my top five reasons lesbians make better friends than gay guys:
Reason Number 5: You never have to compete for outfits. Ever gone shopping with a gay friend? God help whoever gets in the way if you both spot a particularly nice shirt at the same time. And if it's a sale? Forget it. Somebody's getting injured. It's just not acceptable for you both to own the sale article of clothing. Heaven forbid you should both happen to wear it to the same party! On the other hand, go shopping with a lesbian and you're in for a treat. Most lesbians I know tend to fall into one of two main categories, lipstick lesbian or butch. Either way, you'll never have to compete for the same outfits — unless, of course, you're a drag queen or very into flannel.
Reason Number 4: They make great dance partners. If you hit the clubs often, you know how predatory gay guys can be on the dance floor. Even the sweetest, most mild mannered boy seems to transform in a groping, grinding, gay goon. With a lesbian, however, you never have to worry about an unwelcome advance. I've been the envy of every guy in the club more than once while dancing with my lesbian friends. Of course, I can get that reaction just by dancing with Jon. But that's not the point. The point is that lesbians look hot on the dance floor and you can even go dancing at straight clubs with your best gay gal.
Reason Number 3: They won't compete with you for guys. There aren't many things more important to a gay boy than clothes, but this one definitely qualifies. Now, naturally, this isn't much of an issue for me these days. My competing for guys days are over, but it's a complaint I hear often from my single friends. They find a guy they really like, and as soon as they tell their other gay friends, it's like that sale rack incident all over again. Guys are pigs and gay guys are like pigs in heat. (Pigs do go into heat don't they?)
Reason Number 2: They won't steal your boyfriend. Obviously, this one is similar to Number 3, but it is a slightly different and more heinous act. Competing with someone for a guy is one thing; having them stolen out from under you (literally in some cases!) is something else altogether. You never have to worry about catching your lesbian gal pal in bed with your man. While I do have one lesbian friend with a bizarre fascination with the male member, she'd never actually want to be in close proximity to one.
And the Number 1 Reason why lesbians make better friends than gay guys: They don't thrive on drama. All our friends tell my partner and me that we're really lesbians trapped in the bodies of gay men. This might explain why most of our close friends are lesbians. We'd prefer to stay home on a Saturday night and watch Trading Spaces on TLC than go out clubbing; we're all about stable, long-term relationships; and most telling, we abhor drama. If I had to boil down all my criticisms of gay culture into one thing, it would be too much drama. And I'm not talking about PBS Masterpiece Theater drama either. I'm talking about the my-life-is-over-because-my-hair-won't-cooperate type of drama. Gay boys seem to be born with the innate ability to blow every little thing into a full-scale disaster. Every little misunderstanding becomes an excuse to indulge in a fit of histrionics. Not that lesbians don't have their own drama the term dyke drama didn't invent itself but personally, I've found my lesbian friends to be much more stable and dependable and much less dramatic. I have enough stuff going on in my life that I don't need to exaggerate or invent more problems. When it comes to drama, boys and girls, I'm with Mary J.
So there are my reasons why lesbians make better friends than gay guys. Does this mean I value my lesbian friends more than I value my gay friends? Not at all. I value all my friends equally, and I'm especially grateful for the gay friends I have that don't fit the stereotypes I've mentioned above. But when I get tired of all the drama in my life, it's nice to be able to turn to one of my lesbian friends and just cuddle up on the couch and watch TV. Yeah, lesbians rock.
© Josh Aterovis, All Rights Reserved