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All my friends are straight! What do I do?


It's Saturday night.  You find yourself drinking Budweiser and listening to a standard rock station while playing pool.  Are you straight?  Maybe not.  You are likely just finding yourself in the company of straight friends, and thus you may find yourself to be either extremely bored, right at home, or you may be the envy of many of your gay male counterparts.

As a friend stated "how do I get more gay friends?", his dilemma struck a familiar chord with me as being one I also struggle with from time to time.  If I had to measure it out, I would say out of my male friends that 9 out of 10 are straight.  I have some close gay friends, but not a band of homosexual brothers out to take on the world on any given Friday or Saturday night on the town.  

Many (mostly straight) people have a misconception of social groupings, especially when it comes to gays.  The imagination of society places gay men of all walks together in their own catty clusters, perhaps sprinkled with the occasional cliche straight woman.  A recent New York Times article dissected the shrinking anomaly of the gay man/straight man camaraderie.   It seems the world is catching on to the life I had been living for twenty-something years.  It's the same life that made my friend examine his own situation, finding himself in a committed same-sex relationship that fulfills him, appreciating all of his friends for being "cool" and liberally-minded, but still finding a gap in the big picture of life as a whole.

At this point, the question of how to procure gay buddies comes up.  For those who don't find themselves in the arenas of political action, theatrical and film entertainment or upscale retail, the suitable group of gay chums may be a little harder to wrangle in than it is for others.  Clearly, involving yourself in the aforementioned activities may very well garner you the 10% ratio of gay to straight friends society and your own desires together dictate, but is that really necessary?  

I did a little self-evaluation and took inventory of the things and people who make me happiest.  My friends, being 80% straight (possibly more, which I would discover if I actually enjoyed math and made the effort to calculate it all) are all supportive, and aren't supportive just to fill their quota of having a gay friend.  These days, to most people, sexuality barely matters.  Sure, it adds a certain sparkle to your crew if you have friends who aren't mundane, or who perhaps have differences.  To the modern straight population at-large, being gay is about as different as perhaps enjoying kickboxing over yoga.  We all acknowledge it is likely not be a choice to be gay, but it's just part of the human patchwork to most naked and unbiased eyes.  This is good news for the world, which was once nearly paralyzed by homophobia.  

Within the past decade, homosexuality has become a part of mainstream culture, and now it seems to be time to take this embrace to the next level.  Thanks to the portrayal in films and on television of gays as not just normal, but advantageous members of society, life has become remarkably easier for us.  Thanks to celebrities who have come out with a "so what?" attitude, it's hip to live in the rainbow triangle.

While my friend grapples with the question of why he doesn't have more gay friends, my best advice to him and to anyone else who wonders why most of their friends are straight is clearly simple.  Your friends are your friends, and if they throw the arms of unspoken and implied support or respect around you, you should welcome it with open arms of your own.  Gays having a multitude of straight friends is simply a sign of the times, and it's a reflection on us all.  Thankfully, we are turning a corner, and as a result we are all becoming more well-rounded.  

Gay friends will trickle in over time, but in the interim, let's represent ourselves as a formidable gay population, grab ourselves a beer, and get in the game.

Thoughts, questions and comments are all welcome by e-mailing jbraedleyw@gmail.com

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