[Please see ed. note at bottom of post]
I have given myself a mission. Nope, it’s not to finish my freshman year with a 4.0, nor is it to use all my meal swipes by the end of the semester, nor is it even to successfully get into Smoke’s. While certainly ambitious, those things play second fiddle to the most important task of my college years: finding a gay best friend.
Grace had one. Carrie had one. Fran Drescher has one now that her ex–husband is out of the closet (oh snap!). The gay best friend: a male companion with whom women can keep their most coveted secrets, especially about their personal and emotional insecurities. His honesty may be slightly raw —- “Yes, sweetie, those pants do make you look like a suckling pig” -— but are ultimately necessary. He’s always there for a good cuddle on the couch while watching The Notebook or Clueless. He’ll be sure to let you know that your attempts at mastering the “Single Ladies” dance are futile, because no one can be as great as Sasha Fierce. And when the Oscars are on? You won’t need Joan Rivers or the Fashion Police anymore, because you’ve got an expert sitting right next to you. And he brought low–cal snacks!
What makes a gay best friend more valuable than an average girlfriend, you ask? It’s as simple as this: he’s a guy! He's more fluent in pop culture and style than your heterosexual guy friends, and he still comes equipped with an instinctive male mind. He can be helpful in figuring out a hook–up’s mixed signals or a boyfriend’s enigmatic disposition. His opinions about clothes or hair are straightforward because he knows what guys like. And his gay–dar can be potentially life–saving (see: Fran Drescher).
But having a GBFF isn’t all sunshine and rainbows and “honey boo–boo child”s, either. Like with any friendship, there can be some harsh challenges. And while your gay best friend may be helping you with your own pressing issues (Gia Pronto or Sweetgreen for lunch?), his own concerns are far more complicated. Remember that he is living in a world that is oftentimes cruel and ignorant towards homosexuality. Though you may be overwhelmingly accepting, the fact is that many others are not. So next time he’s assuring you that “you’re so much hotter than those Theta sluts,” take a moment and ask him how he’s doing. Tell him that he’s amazing, courageous and unique. Confess your admiration of his bravery to be himself in what can be an unforgiving society. And let him know that just as he is there for you, you are there for him.
After all, that’s what friends are for.
[Street would like to address the controversy surrounding this article. The implications of this article and the opinions expressed in it do not necessarily reflect Street's viewpoint. However, Street prides itself on being a forum for open discussion. We recognize this article’s perpetuation of stereotypes and apologize for our lack of sensitivity, but please note that it was never our intention to offend anyone.]