Dear Hetero Friends: 12 Things to Remember

Friendship between gay men and straight men can be tricksy. In the spirit of Pride, tolerance and not behaving like a prick, Toby Sharpe clears up a thing or two for his hetero pals...

Feature by Toby Sharpe | 01 Jul 2016

It can be difficult for straight men and queer men to be friends. Both sides come to the scene loaded with preconceptions. To some extent, each side fears the other.

The gay guy mostly worries that his straight friend thinks he’s only in it for the occasional flash of wang against grey sweatpants. Or, alternatively, that he’s being 'too much’. Too flaming, too homo. He worries that he is impossibly different and unable to pretend otherwise.

On the other hand, the straight guy worries he’ll do something offensive. Maybe he’ll say something homophobic, or maybe he’ll be too careful. He worries he’ll make it obvious that he’s over-thinking the interaction as he tries to come across as chill with... well, whatever it is gays get up to.

With Pride season in full swing across the world, and in the spirit of resolving this dilemma, I’d like to share a few messages with straight men struggling to navigate their dynamic with a gay friend. A slice of honesty from your friendly neighbourhood queer. Let’s do this.

1. ‘What does a dick in the ass feel like, though?’ is not an acceptable question to ask your homo friend, your homo acquaintance, or your homo employee.

2. Making that weird tight-lipped smiley-face of tolerance when you walk past gay couples doesn’t make you look super-enlightened. It makes you look like you’re sucking a Fisherman’s Friend made of kitten litter. It makes us feel uncomfortable.

3. Sometimes, men brush past each other. It does not necessarily mean you’ve been hit on. Sorry.

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4. Queer sex is not necessarily just anal sex. Men can look each other in the eyes while they fuck. I know! Shocking!

5. Despite strange societal expectations that gay relationships must mimic straight ones, being asked which one of us is ‘the woman’ in a given relationship is actually painfully boring and hellishly heteronormative.

6. We don’t give a fuck that your uncle is gay.

7. We don’t give a fuck that you listened to Macklemore in late 2012.

8. Announcing that you've willing to accept your flatmate is ‘alright looking’ doesn’t make you seem hip and tolerant. Neither does your Women’s Studies module.

9. We’re most likely not in love with you, and we probably don’t want to fuck you. If women aren’t constantly begging for your meat-trumpet or salivating over your sweaty bodies – why would we?

10. Plus, even if you were the hunkiest of hunks, an obsession with the idea that we’re necessarily out to capture your sperm-cannon and butt-palace seems a little odd – and reflects poorly on how you think about your own interactions with women.

11. ...That said, every gay man has his story of unrequited love for the straight best friend. Maybe we lusted for the cute guy on the swimming team whose front crawl was a little less aggressive than the others. Perhaps it was the whimsical but handsome poet fella who winked at us once, revealing an obvious gayness in need of nurture, goddamnit. It happens, and it can be rough. We're only human, we make mistakes, we experiment. Y’know, similar to how straight men like to experiment with man-buns. Or pegging.

12. But remember, friend: just cos we fancied a straight ’un in high school, we don't necessarily fancy you when you're wasted, sweaty, and inexplicably convinced that you're Marlon Brando.