- This is how to talk to your friend who is gay
- I like my gay friend but i’m straight
- #galentinesday: 20 women tell us why they love their gay best friend
- About this article
- Don’t abandon them
- Support and uplift
- heterosexual and gay men can heal and grow as a result of their friendships.
- Breaking barriers
- New foundations for friendship
- The optimal wing men?
This article was co-authored by Lauren Urban, LCSW. Lauren Urban is a licensed psychotherapist in Brooklyn, New York, with over 13 years of therapy experience working with children, families, couples, and individuals. She received her Masters in Social Work from Hunter College in 2006, and specializes in working with the LGBTQIA community and with clients in recovery or considering recovery for drug and alcohol use. There are 17 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. wikiHow marks an article as reader-approved once it receives enough positive feedback. In this case, 84% of readers who voted found the article helpful, earning it our reader-approved status. This article has been viewed 153,012 times.
Perhaps you have realized you are gay and that you have fallen in love with your friend. You have also probably realized that this is a lot to deal with! You may want to be honest with your friend about your sexuality as well as your romantic feelings. Keep in mind that this is probably not something you want to do all at once. First, you will want to come out to your friend. Second, determine if you want to tell your friend how you feel. And finally, if you choose, share your feelings with your friend. This is a process that may take a few weeks or months. X Research source
This is how to talk to your friend who is gay
I’ll never forget the night I told one of my closest catholic friends that I was attracted to guys.
I was having a rough time going to sleep that night so I asked if I could go over to talk (he lived up the street from me). It was a serene, cool night and I remember I sat there with my hands clammy and I couldn’t even look him in the eyes.
I was so embarrassed… But I needed a brother to lean on, a guy to support me on my journey. I found it so difficult to be alone in this journey… and I remember thinking, “I wish I could lean on my Catholic brothers the way straight guys do… just be open about my struggles, sexual failings, and what I’m feeling.” I was so worried that I could not find a catholic guy to be vulnerable with out of fear of being rejected. After contemplating all this, (for about 20 minutes) I finally told him. And you know what he said to me? He said, “Nothing you can do will change the fact that you’re my friend, you’re my brother. And God loves you as His son no matter what the situation is.”
So I know how difficult it is to tell a friend that you’re attracted to the same gender, and I know how difficult it is for a person with same-sex attraction to tell somebody of the same gender about their struggle. My advice to all you who are friends of guys or girls who have same-sex attraction is to simply love them. They need good same-gender friendship more than anything. I found what I lacked a lot of was good male friendships when I was younger and that led to much distress. As I’ve grown older I’ve realized that everybody was made for community. We need each other. We cannot get through this walk of faith alone.
I also would advise that anybody who is a friend of one who struggles with same sex attraction to encourage them to live the teachings of the Catholic Church, just the way you would encourage any person who is trying to live a holy life.
Encourage with love and understanding. Be kind and not overbearing, and offer your assistance in being their crutch when they need somebody to talk to and when they feel lonely. Good words of encouragement I’ve received are, “Do not worry man, God will make something beautiful out of you! Just trust in Him. Fight the good fight.”
As a Catholic guy with homosexual attractions, I am called to single life right now, and the best way that I have been able to maintain that is because of supportive friends.
You may hear your friend fall, and if they do, be there to lift them up. Even when times get tough, I have had a friend tell me, “If you don’t follow Him, you’ll never be the great man whom God made you to be. Don’t give up!” The are words that any person striving for holiness would need to hear. So I encourage all of you brothers and sisters to be available for your beloved friends who are facing their attractions and are trying to live a chaste single life. It is not easy at times, but it is doable.
“I have the strength for everything through Him who empowers me.” -Philippians 4:13.
Now as for how and what you should say, I would like to offer these suggestions:
I like my gay friend but i’m straight
I’m (28M) a straight man. A few months ago a friend from work invited me over to her house for a dinner with her friends. At this dinner I met a 30 year old man, we got talking and I liked his company. He is openly gay and is also really good looking. Long black hair, tattoos, very fit, around 6ft.
We quickly became close friends, I feel like I can tell him most things and I hope he feels the same. Three months ago we started sleeping together, we were both drunk and he offered to get me off. At the start it was awkward but now I would say we are FWB.
Since then I’ve been thinking about my sexuality and I don’t quite understand it. I don’t want to say it’s just him because it mightn’t be, but I don’t feel comfortable with bi or pan labels. I do want to date him but I know he would be hesitant, he has dated closeted men before and I don’t know if he even likes me that way. I don’t consider myself closeted because I don’t know what’s going on with me, but I’m not ashamed of him or anything like that.
TLDR: I (28M) identified as straight and am sleeping with a gay friend (30M). I quite like him and want to date but I don’t know my sexuality or if he likes me back.
edit / clarification – I am aware I’m not straight, I said that I was because it was how I identified up until I met him. I’m not comfortable with that label or really any labels.
I like this. I think I might try it out. Then again I mightn’t.
I like to think that there’s always that one person that makes you kind of say “fuck labels” and he might be your one guy. If you have to describe yourself, “mostly straight” might work.
I think I will ask him out. What is the worst that can happen?
I like to think that there’s always that one person that makes you kind of say “fuck labels”
so you believe the talking point of "you just haven’t met the right girl"?
you believe there is a woman out there for every gay man?
date him if you both want it. stop worrying about how you "identify" other than identifying as a decent human being. by that i mean, if you start dating, don’t hide it or hide him. if someone asks if you are gay or bi or whatever, just say, "i enjoy his company and beyond that it doesn’t matter."
There’s no need for labels. Just follow what feels good to you and don’t stress about giving it a name.
Words have definitions. Of course there’s a need for labels.
You should be aware that this sub is obsessed with labels and has the asinine idea that if you have ever so much as looked at another man’s penis in anything less than disgust, you must re-label yourself.
Sexuality is a funny thing. It can be fluid, and it doesn’t fit neatly into the "gay/straight/bi" trichotomy.
You’re into this guy. Pursue it, and don’t feel pressured to re-label yourself because of it.
If you look at another man’s penis, call yourself what you want, but you are not straight.
Forget the labels – if it feels good and you’re both enjoying it, and no one is getting hurt why get hung up on labels?
Or go ahead and assume the label. Just don’t be afraid of it and enjoy. What’s more: the lable can be "persons who enjoy each other company"
Nah, labeling yourself comes with understanding yourself. Being unsure could lead to unpleasant situations for both parties.
Finding personal connection is difficult and often times elusive despite your best efforts. If you feel comfortable with him and even fulfilled? Why not just dive in and see where it goes? At worst it doesn’t work out. But it’s how we grow as people. So, I say bring it up if it feels right and who knows maybe it will work out for the best.
Fuck labels. You like him, you want this. Just do it!
If you consider yourself Straight then you are straight! F*** society and what others have to say. There’s so much pressure for people to fit into a box… male, female, trans, binary… Straight, bi, gay, pan, asexual… you do you man! Don’t get stuck on labels.. just experience life… you only have one.. be happy!! I have dated gay, bi and straight guys.. tbh, the straight ones were the most easy going ✌🏻
It’s not about fitting into a box. Straight men do not like other men.
#galentinesday: 20 women tell us why they love their gay best friend
Valentine’s week is over, and if you are not sweeping the empty chocolate wrappers and confetti off the floor, you are probably dusting off the pieces of your lonely, broken heart (in which case you must go read the Guysexual’s guide to every heartbreaker in the world). What can I say; it’s a tough world.
If you are a single gay man such as myself, how do you find love? More importantly, how do you find love that cannot be bought in a bottle, or prescribed over-the-counter?
That’s where #GalentinesDay comes in — it celebrates the truest, most fairytale form of love there is — the love between a gay man and his girlfriend(s). After all, every one knows that the Girlfriend is the essential crown of every gay man’s crew, and the love they share is as real as Kim Cattrall and Sarah Jessica Parker’s online feud. So why not celebrate that instead?
This Valentine’s Day, I decided to ask 20 different women what the gay men in their lives meant to them. The answers poured in through texts, emails and voice notes. One even sent a rap.
Having a gay best friend has been one of the most empowering relationships I’ve ever had. Whether it’s been about shedding my insecurities, approvals I’ve needed for the length of my skirts or the boys that I date, or more importantly, conversations which have helped me decide which course I should study moving forward, the decisions made by my friend have always been spot on.
And when you’ve got razor sharp wit on a principled, loyal friend who’s always up for fun, who would want more?
What does having a gay man as your best friend do to your life?
Firstly, you get answers to ALL your homocurious questions (with the right amount of sass, of course). Plus, you get to have a partner-in-crime for all your voyeuristic ventures. Because, here’s the best thing about Galentine’s Day: with them, there’s no such thing as judging (or being judged). If THAT doesn’t make your life easier, there’s isn’t much scope for anything else to do so. Here, there’s never a monochrome scare; because having a gay best friend means having limitless colour in your life.
In a world where romantic love is celebrated and revered above all else, there exists this bond of platonic love between friends, which finds its best representation between a girl and her gay best friend!
He is the guy who gets rip roaring drunk with you at brunch, hits on the same boys as you do, encourages you to unleash your inner Goddess, and battles the hangover with you the very next day. He is the guy who is always a phone call away. He gives you pointers on sex. He tells you when you’re being a b*tch and when you’ve got to be a b*tch. He binge eats ice cream with you. He isn’t afraid to tell you the outfit makes you look fat/desperate/old. He sings along to Beyoncé with you. He lets you blast Adele when you need it. He reads the same books, and likes the same cocktails. He makes you laugh and he makes you shake your head with exasperation.
In short, he is the brother who is the soul sister you never knew you needed before you met him. He makes you find space in your life for him because you’d be crazy not to want him around. If I could sum up all of this in one sentence?
Love is four-letter word that can be interpreted and used in so many different ways. But for me, each time someone says the word ‘love’, I can only picture a few people in front of my eyes. My friend here is one of my lifelines.
I’ve had a number of straight guy friends and girlfriends but none can compare to this man. He comes up with unadulterated, impartial advice — something that you can trust even with seven blindfolds on. I bet God smiled when he made this beautiful human being and whispered chants as he poured in the purest of a soul into his ears. He made me believe in platonic love and having no expectations out of a bond. A bond of pure love, a friendship that comes with a smile each time he utters a word. I am not exaggerating when I say that I’d trade all my straight friends for this one. As long as promises me that he’ll always be there.
The only thing that changed when I found out that my handsome friend was gay was the slightest crushing of my heart, and that’s only because it was unfair that I would never be able to date such an amazing soul.
It’s endearing to find someone who gets excited about my life more than I do — which is why I think he’s my official power source, on bad days and otherwise.
Having a gay best friend is basically discovering a level of comfort you didn’t know could exist — they aren’t just the best fun you’ll ever have, they will be close to you in a way nobody else can even touch.
I love my friend for his sass and honesty, and his unbridled positivity in life, a combination that most men lack — especially cute men such as him. Having him as a friend in my life is like a three-tier chocolate cake — because I’d never be able to have enough of him.
First things first, I’m a realist. Ok Iggy Azalea song reference aside, I am a realist which means I know exactly how difficult it is to connect with somebody on multiple levels, and to always succeed in having a conversation where you feel an instant match of wavelength.
Thank the heavens I got that with my friend. We might not talk for weeks, but when we actually do, it’s like we never stopped. The best part is that our core beliefs and principles are the same. And our candour gets me, every time! Nothing is out-of-bounds for us; we can literally talk about everything outrageous under the sun without having to be politically correct with each other. From talking about all the boys who broke our hearts (because we have the same lives) to talking about pop culture references that broke the Internet (because we have the same tastes), it’s been one epic journey.
Someday we will travel the world together, living the good life and checking out cute guys but until then, I’ll just show him off to Mumbai as my hot and charming gay friend. Because #IGotMyOwn!
Having a gay man as your best friend is nothing like the stereotypes that people talk about — instead, it gives you true perspective of how life can be the same and yet so different for the community. It allows you to step back, and look at your own prejudices, your own self and your relationships — my friend here helps me become a better person and a better member of the community.
I’ve known my GBF for all of three years, but it’s like they say — in true connections, the amount of time you’ve known each other is completely irrelevant. He has taken up so many roles in this timeline: confidante, bridesmaid, partner-in-crime, and a true inspiration in the way he lives his life!
His resilience, the character progress he’s shown, his utter and complete honesty are all things I value deeply. He’s never shied away from living his truth, which is a difficult thing to do for anybody, but probably more so for him. I know that we’ll continue to grow together as time goes by — as we already have — from being at constantly drunken social situations to sober-planning our future shenanigans!
The best thing about having him as one of my best friends? Having someone who’s there to support and back me up no matter how ridiculous I’m being, and always having someone I can share my dreams and views of an idealistic future with — just because I know he wants the same things in life.
My life wouldn’t be half as awesome as it is without him, because he’s the Betty to my Veronica! The only difference?
This is what I have to say to my friend: For all the laughter you bring to my life and for all the madness, I want to thank you for being you.
PS: Just know one thing, when the snow falls and the wind blows, I’ll never let you be that lone wolf.
Imagine befriending a man whose sole interest in you doesn’t depend on the size of your breasts or the width of your hips — that’s a gay best friend right there. As men, they are genuinely interested in YOU as a person and THAT makes all the difference.
Can you imagine getting that kind of attention from the opposite sex (without any expectations) and having fun at the same time?
Who doesn’t love a bundle of delight that’s always ready to give you advice from the male perspective? It’s the fun bit of mansplaining!
Having a gay friend opened up unheard of avenues in my life. I might have come from a background where the word ‘gay’ was taboo (and I blame society for that), but my friend sprung into my life, opening it up — and made me realise that no man can be a better friend than your gay best friend.
Especially when this one’s worth more than all the money.
I can’t speak for all the ladies with gay besties, but mine sure does add a whole lot of sparkle (and glam) to my being. He’s got his cheeky comebacks down pat, death stares to kill and a sassy style to match. He’s got a way with words and a way with the world.
Yes, he might be really cool, but that’s not the only reason I love him. He’s there for me in times of need, is all ears when I talk about life and whine about love endlessly. And, most importantly, when my life feels grey and glum — he appears like a rainbow in the sky.
Here’s hoping that come rain or not, he’ll always be there to make my life more colourful.
I frankly don’t know how my life would be without him, because a life with a sassy partner/friend is just endless hours of laughs and eye rolls and more laughs (there’s a lot more, but I was told to keep it short).
A gay best friend might have started off as a season’s must-have accessory a few years ago, but now he’s so much more. Which is why I think that having a close gay friend is a perennial must-have/indispensable/can’t-do-without necessity of life.
I miss my GBM, now that we are in different countries. But our love and friendship is just as strong, if not stronger. After all, distance does make the heart grow fonder. Supporting his right to live and love is just about the basic most thing I or anyone could do for such a man (men) who does so much and brings so much warmth and radiance in my (our) life(s). Happy Galentine’s day to my GBM, who’s no longer just my gay best friend, he’s my family. For now and forever to come. I love you and I pray your light shines even brighter with the years to come.
Having my best friend is undoubtedly the most ‘awesomesauce’ part of my life – I use this word only because it encapsulates our entire relationship. It’s that delightful.
There are times when we don’t talk or meet for days on end but when we finally do, it’s as if we never stopped. Every time we meet, I feel happier and lighter! I could go on and on, but that’ll never do him justice. I truly admire him, and wouldn’t want him to be any other way (i.e. straight).
About this article
Telling a friend that you’re gay and you love them is something that you’ll want to do in stages so you don’t overwhelm your friend. First, come out to your friend. While there’s no perfect way to come out, make sure to tell them when there’s enough time for them to react or ask questions. If your friend has a negative reaction to your news, tell them “I’m sorry this upset you. This is who I am.” Then, give your friend some space. On the other hand, if your friend is happy for you, think about if and when you want to tell them you are in love with them. For example, if you know that your friend is straight, ask yourself if it’s worth risking your friendship by telling them. Otherwise, you can tell your friend by saying something like “I am in love with you. I know you might think this is weird, but I want to be honest about my feelings.” To learn how to come out to others in your friend group, keep reading!Did this summary help you?YesNo
Don’t abandon them
Many times when a friend who has these attractions is about to let you know about them, they fear your rejection as a friend, especially if you are the same gender as them. I know that is what I was afraid of when I first told my guy friends about my attractions. As for what you should say, it all boils down to saying things with love. One of my closest straight friends told me,
“I know you on a personal level and that’s the real you. You’re a child of God and most importantly my brother.” -Larry D.
We need that affirmation that our friendship won’t be awkwardly different because of this. Here are my straight guy friends advice for those who are friends of people who end up coming out to them:
“My best advice would be to love! Love is incredibly powerful in any and every situation! A loving friendship is a friendship of God, and even though sometimes there may be headaches and struggles in the friendship, love always is the victor. Because when love is at the center then prayer is pretty close by, and when prayer is close by then God’s love is able to work in both parties!” -Nick F.
“A true friend will be there for another friend no matter what. Gay or straight, it does not matter, you should stand by and care for those who care for you.” – Jacob R.
Support and uplift
Sometimes I felt like I was such a sinner because of my attractions. There were days I have felt that I wasn’t worthy of God’s love because I was such a “terrible person.” The reality is that we’re all sinners, we all mess up and fall and we all have our own temptations we are battling. Experiencing an attraction is not a sin, but acting upon that attraction sexually, or lusting over someone in your head, or having a same-sex partner is a sin. Here are some words from one of my friends who helped me learn to love myself.
“When your friend is gay, only two things matter. First, that you love them unconditionally. Second, that you always encourage them to love themselves.” -Samantha F.
“The church teaches us to love each other, even with all our sins weighing us down. ‘Hate the sin, not the sinner’. Jesus tells us that he who is sin-free shall cast the first stone, therefor do not judge them, rather help them. This might be a difficult time for your friend, he probably just wants someone to hear him out and help him understand it all, and that’s where you (his friend) comes in.” -Alyssa C.
“Who are we to judge? Just because our sins are different than theirs doesn’t mean they are any less of a person. As a friend we’re supposed to love someone no matter the circumstance. Love him/her the way God to loves you.” -Stephanie D.
As you can see, God has blessed me with amazing friends. Good Catholic friends. I highly encourage you guys to love your friends who are struggling with same-sex attraction. Offer them an ear to hear, and simply be a normal friend. Encourage them to follow the teachings of the Church with sincere love, and if they fall; love them past their mistakes. Let them know God is there for them. Be present to them, and journey with them as we all strive to get to heaven.
heterosexual and gay men can heal and grow as a result of their friendships.
Posted June 27, 2015 | Reviewed by Gary Drevitch
I recently finished reading Dr. Robert Garfield’s terrific new book, Breaking the Male Code: Unlocking the Power of , and last week participated in a joint interview with him by Dr. Dan Gottlieb on WHYY (National Public Radio) in Philadelphia. This all got me thinking about my own friendships and those of my gay male clients. The bonds between gay men and straight women have been written about and featured in popular media (i.e. Sex in the City, Will and Grace), though a lot less has been said about how gay and straight men recognize and negotiate the distinct challenges, complications, and rewards of their friendships.
According to Garfield, among the many obstacles to male-male platonic fear of homosexuality looms large. Straight men fret that if they get too close, others will see them as gay; which in their minds means feminine (horrors!), weak, and perverted. Perhaps even scarier is that their emotional connections will somehow morph into sexual attraction. Interestingly, in the U.S., before there was such a thing as a gay identity, some straight men would, with little shame, engage in sexual contact with other men (usually allowing themselves to be fellated) when female partners were otherwise unavailable (see George Chauncey’s seminal book, Gay New York: Gender, Urban Culture, and the Making of the Gay Male World 1890-1940) and there is good reason to believe this still occurs in other countries and cultures. But then, in the U.S. in the mid 20th century this behavior became associated with gay identity, new at the time and seen as criminal and then sick. As a result of this behavior-identity link, sexual congress between gay and straight men decreased considerably, or at least went underground.
Gay men have suffered physical, social, and psychological abuse at the hands of heterosexually identified males who, thanks to homophobia and heterosexism, felt fully justified in inflicting these terrors. Further, male sexuality has traditionally been viewed as predatory and uncontrollable, which some men have used to rationalize the sexual harassment and assault of women. Stories, both real and fictitious, about prison rape among male inmates further reinforce the myth that men are unable to rein in their aggressive sexual tendencies. So it’s no wonder hetero men would fear homosexuality and gay men in particular.
This legacy of violence, both physical and psychological, inflicted by straight men toward those of us who are gay naturally fuels our caution and distrust at the thought of befriending them. In his book, Garfield describes the stiff hugs he would receive from a gay friend. Fortunately, Garfield is all about talking such things out—good medicine for those among us who are the strong, silent, swallow-your-feelings-until-you-die-of-a-heart-attack type of guys. As it turns out, the gay friend worried that if he hugged too closely his friend would think he was coming on to him. A straight friend of mine once complained that I don’t give him full body hugs, but instead grab his shoulders keeping my pelvis far from his, thus creating a posture that looks like the letter A. I realized I was doing everything I could to keep my genital area from touching his body. However, my partial embrace left my friend feeling as if I were withholding emotionally. After discussing this, we now fully hug. I am reassured he will not misinterpret any contact between our lower bodies, and he understands my need for this reassurance.
Few things can be a more soothing balm for us gay guys than a close friendship with a heterosexual man. Acceptance and, yes, love, from a guy who is not interested in us sexually but accepts our sexuality can begin to heal the abuse we have experienced from our fathers, bullying peers, and society at large. For the straight guy, friendship with a gay man offers the opportunity to learn important lessons about masculinity, male identity, sexual orientation, and diversity. Thus there is significant payoff for both parties.
But how do we deal with the possible sexual tensions that might come up? What if sexual feelings do emerge, or are already there? First, there is no need to panic. Part of being a mature adult is coming to the sad realization that we are not going to be able to have sexual relationships with everyone who floats our boat. Often these sexual feelings, when not acted upon, can actually fuel affection and intimacy. On the flip side, all adults—male, female, LGBT or otherwise—need to find polite but firm, unambiguous ways to respond to unwanted romantic and sexual invitations.
The trick is not to fear these attractions, or feel ashamed of them, even if they are unrequited. My first glimpse of my straight male friend (the one who complained about my hugging) was in the locker room at a local gym. He is 6’4”, handsome and muscular, and yes, I was physically attracted to him; in some ways, I still am. Now that we are good friends, he and I, along with his wife and my husband, can joke about his eye-candy status without anyone feeling anxious, fearful, or threatened. He is beautiful inside and out, which is why I like him so much.
Granted, if you fall deeply in love with a man who is sexually unavailable, straight or otherwise, and you can’t be around this person without your frustrated wishes for romance interfering with your enjoyment of his company, call it quits. However, it might be a good idea to hang in there, at least for a while, to see what develops. As the quote goes: You can never have too many friends—and friendships between gay and straight guys can be healing and uniquely satisfying for all involved.
Friendships between gay and straight men have always existed. But there have also always been roadblocks to their formation. Many straight men hesitated to befriend gay men, fearing harassment, rejection from their straight friends or being called gay.
The growing acceptance of homosexuality, however, has allayed some of these fears.
There are still barriers. Gay men – particularly those in conservative and rural environments – remain wary about trying to befriend straight men, fearing prejudice-fueled rejection. At the same time, many straight men still doubt that they’ll be able to relate to gay men in any meaningful way and, for this reason, may not try to initiate a friendship.
Of course, the traditional notion that gay men and straight men cannot be close friends is inherently homophobic and untrue. We propose gay-straight male friendships are not only possible, but that they can grow to be extremely rewarding. So rather than focusing on the factors that prevent these friendships, we’ve decided to focus on why they might form and flourish.
While it’s still too early for our team to be sure about our theories, here’s what we’ll be exploring in our current and future studies.
New foundations for friendship
In some ways, when it comes to “bromosexual” friendships, the onus is on straight men. If they’re open-minded about befriending gay men and make the effort to try to forge friendships based upon common interests, gay men should feel more comfortable reciprocating.
So which straight men are the most likely to befriend gay men, and vice versa? And what determines whether these friendships prosper?
For one, the timing of when these friendships form may be crucial. We know that gay men are now coming out at an earlier age. Gay men who disclose their sexual orientation to their straight male friends earlier in life may be able to build more open and honest friendships with them into adulthood.
Second, recent research has argued that gender and sexual orientation might not be as black and white as previously thought, which opens up new avenues for exploring how gay and straight men can relate to one another. If a straight guy and his gay male friend are less rigid about their masculinity and sexuality, they’ll probably be more likely to discuss details about their sexual and romantic lives openly with one another.
These discussions are particularly important because they normalize same-gender attraction. Friendships also strengthen when each side discloses personal information, which can include discussing sexual experiences.
There’s another factor that could foster “bromosexual” friendships: the ability to give and receive advice from one another. Recent research has suggested that advice sharing could be a crucial reason that straight women seek out gay men as friends. In short, women are able to trust the dating advice from gay male friends because they know their gay friends don’t have any ulterior motives: They’re not trying to hook up with them or compete with them for guys.
We believe that this same sort of unbiased advice sharing might also foster friendships between gay and straight men.
The optimal wing men?
Because of the trust they engender from straight women, gay men are uniquely positioned to be excellent “wing men” for single straight men.
There’s a prevailing belief that men – regardless of their sexual orientation – are more sexually promiscuous than women. For this reason, women are often wary of their suitors’ true intentions, which could be to deceive them in order to have sex.
The increasing popularity of dating websites and apps (which are rife with unwanted sexual advances from “nice guys”) has made women more skeptical — and has made it that much harder for men genuinely seeking long-term relationships.
However, straight women do tend to trust the dating advice of gay men (especially more than advice from straight men or women). Accordingly, straight men could get a leg up in dating from becoming close friends with gay men. For example, a gay friend could vouch for his straight friend’s good intentions to women. A straight wing man wouldn’t be able to perform this tactic as successfully because the woman might be skeptical of the straight wing man’s own intentions — which could be to woo the woman for himself.
Straight men who are comfortable with their sexuality may also act as wing men for gay male friends. Just as a gay man might be able to pass on advice about women to his straight friend, a straight man could connect his gay male friend with another desirable gay man, since neither the gay man nor his straight friend are competing for the same person.
We believe that having a trustworthy confidant to help with romantic pursuits is one of the major reasons straight and gay men are leaving the comfort of their same-sex, same-orientation friend groups to form “bromosexual” friendships.
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For a long time, friendships between gay men and straight men – what some now call “bromosexual” friendships – were uncommon. Homophobia was likely one reason; another was that straight men probably assumed they didn’t have much in common with gay men.
But lately, “bromosexual” friendships have started to receive more attention, acceptance and interest. They’re being explored and depicted in books and blogsan article in their Style section to “The Rise of the ‘Bromosexual’ Friendship.”
This sort of normalization is good news. But social scientists still haven’t studied the dynamics of these friendships: why they develop and how they’re maintained.
We’re part of a team of community, evolutionary and social psychologists that has recently begun a research program with the goal of studying this very topic. Specifically, we’re interested in looking at the reasons gay men and straight men become friends (or remain friends after the gay friend comes out). We currently have a survey investigation underway that explores some of the positive outcomes of “bromosexual” friendships, including our theory that gay men and straight men can be optimal wing men for one another.
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