I want to have a gay man
Why your "gay best friend" does NOT want to be called that
Many people probably know it from various films and series: A straight woman has a gay best friend by her side, with whom she drinks champagne and can talk about male problems. Someone who is eloquent and stylish - and simply combines all stereotypical prejudices in one person.
Unfortunately, you often look in vain for a real personality or deeper dimension in such characters. And what is perhaps still quite amusing in the film is unfortunately not that funny in real life. Because when we start applying these clichés to people in real life, it becomes problematic.
A fitting example of this is the cult series 'Sex and the City'. Stanford Blatch, the "gay best friend" of the girls around Carrie Bradshaw, could possibly fill a series of their own, but here it was only enough for the sidekick. Sure, that was 20 years ago, but the portrayal is clichéd and is still in our heads.
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The gay best friend as a decorative appendage
Many women may not even be aware of it: The image of the gay best friend as a decorative appendage is not in order. Because pigeonholing someone because of their sexual orientation is and remains discriminatory - no matter how well you mean it.
It starts with generalized statements like "Oh, I LOVE gays!", "We absolutely have to go shopping!" and "You're gay? Then we'll be the very best friends!" - and ends with these women seeing homosexual men as a kind of accessory to their lifestyle. And no matter whether straight or gay: Who would like that?
Part of the problem is that gay stereotypes seem to feel less wrong than they do with other minorities.
A blatant example: At Amazon, you can simply have an "inflatable best gay friend" delivered to your home. As a gag for a hen party, maybe quite funny. However, if you are completely honest, it is just insanely hurtful. Who wants to be reduced to one type just because they love one way or another?
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Many things that gay men are associated with - well-groomed appearance, fashion awareness, humor, a flair for interior design - are absolutely positive. Nevertheless, it should be clear to everyone: All people have different interests. And, yes, homosexuals can do the same.
It's not fair to stereotype someone who doesn't fit in there. As if the outing of a homosexual man were the occasion to throw pink confetti, hand him a glass of Prosecco and quickly turn on 'Desperate Housewives'.
In addition, the term "gay best friend" implies that homosexuality is the most important part of his personality. That's just not the case! There is more to a person than just their sexual orientation, belief or family environment. We should all remind ourselves of this over and over again.
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The chance for a deep friendship
Of course, it is absolutely understandable why women appreciate a gay friend. Gay men have no sexual intentions. As a woman, you don't have to be afraid of ulterior motives and negative consequences. That is what makes the friendship with them so relaxed and intimate.
It is only important that it is still a question of friendship and not a must-have or a showcase attribute of the supposedly urbane, modern woman. "Look how enlightened and tolerant I am. I have a gay buddy." And: Not all gay men are freely available buddy material, because, surprise, the chemistry must of course be right first.
Also interesting: To ask? What you should know about homosexuality in women
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