Why Every Girl Should Have a Gay Guy Friend
– By Janelle Harris
I don’t think I’ve gone out in a bad outfit or an unflattering hairstyle since 1996, the year Hurricane Charlie blew into my life. For a young, friendless—and probably a little corny—thing like I was way back on freshman orientation week, he was a godsend.
It didn’t seem like it at first, though, considering he sauntered up to me in the student union building one day then pointed a manicured finger at my head like we had history, advised me to immediately cease and desist from wearing my hair snatched back in a ponytail and introduced me to the five designer girls flanking him and his forward self. Turns out he had just met them, too, inadvertently recruiting what would become—for half of my first year in college—my little crew (nicknamed “Charlie’s Angels” by some of the more clever guys on campus). Not only was Charlie my inaugural GGF (gay guy friend), he became my personal stylist since he was a fashionisto and progenitor of all things fabulous and wardrobe-ishly correct. Call me a stereotypist if you want, but I’ve discovered that most of them either are or fancy themselves to be.
Nearly thirteen years after that saucy encounter, I have to laugh about letting some six foot tall gay dude roll up on me and give me a public tongue lashing for my quicky hairdo. (If that would’ve been a girl, though, there would be a whole other kind of story to tell, right?) But boy oh boy, has Charlie come in handy over the course of our mutual growth in divadom. Thanks to him, I met and fell in love with a few other guys: Giorgio Armani, Louis Vuitton and Marc Jacobs to name a few. Aside from offering an eye for fashion, an ear to listen and a shoulder to cry on, he’s exposed me to a host of other bonuses and benefits that come with having a gay guy friend—so many that I now adamantly feel like they are a must-have for every sister.
I know we’re collectively salty over the number of brothers playing for the other team, draining our pool of datable men down to May May, Pookie and them who hang on the block. And that’s a viable complaint. But no number of low cut shirts, booty-hugging jeans or thigh-high skirts are gonna bring these brothers back to Heteroville, so we might as well appreciate and celebrate them for what they are: a must-have companion for every single gal clamoring her way through the dating scene.
Here’s what comes as part of the GGF package:
The guy spy.
Unless there’s been some sort of permanent operation-induced change, gay men are still in fact dudes. That means they have the outer accouterments to infiltrate locker rooms, bachelor parties and football functions—so long as they don’t blow their cover with their repulsion for female strippers or playing too-close two-hand touch with the team’s tight end. Instruct your GGF to either keep his mouth closed or dust off his best deep, testosterone-filled voice so he can blend in with the crowd—and come back with a full report on all of the gory details that guys edit when the fairer sex is around.
The stand-in boyfriend.
In our college party, club-going adventures, Charlie has blocked a countless number of undesirable dudes from getting their grind and/or rap on. Physically he’s a pretty big guy—so no matter how girly giggly we are in our downtime, he’ll throw that tall, medium-build frame in between me and Mr. Whackness in a minute. If a sucka approaches out on the street, he straightens up and straightens out, grabs my hand and plays that boyfriend role so convincingly even his mama would assume he’s been de-gayed. I guess that male bravado has a break in case of emergency option, but it can be a helpful resource in crunch times.
The unromantic romantic.
When boyfriends let special days slip through the cracks, GGFs (good ones anyway) are there to pick up the slack and shower a verbal beat down on the slacker. Sometimes, Charlie will just haul off and do the sweetest things with no prodding or provocation—like buying me teddy bears or my favorite kind of pizza (since I’m clearly a foodaholic) just to show me he cares. He—and his fellow GG counterparts—also tend to make the best cheerleaders, giving us girls completely objective compliments on our faces and bodies without all the lusty baggage that comes with straight men’s admiration. If a gay man tells you you’re fierce, that’s a big up worth its weight at the MAC counter.
Like all relationships, the GGF bond can’t be forged or forced, contrived or constructed. It just has to flow. Since there’s so many out there (as any single lady living in Atlanta, DC, Los Angeles or New York can attest), there are that many opportunities for the friendship to flow and flourish naturally and give you a reason to give plenty of snaps for the kids.
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