Male friends are tricky. All through elementary and high school, I would speak to the opposite sex only if entirely necessary; and if I should happen to feel more than friendship for a fellow, heaven forbid that I should do more than look at him from across a crowded room. In return, being known as “that smart girl” in high school did not exactly do me any favours either as boys would only talk to me if they were having trouble with question 9 on our latest math assignment.
In grade 12 I had come to a new realization that avoiding boys was juvenile, and just because I said hello to a guy did not mean that I was madly in-love with him. Unfortunately this attitude only proved to produce a series of unfortunate gents who would run their course through my previously unromantic life – all of them being on a scale of mildly to overly obsessive (and almost all of them being associated with a struggling rock band – but that’s a different story).
After this brief interlude of me befriending the opposite sex, I narrowed my safe guy acquaintances down to my relatives and Michael*, my dear friend who would never dream of lustily tracing the shape of my body with his eyes, or turning a hug into anything more than the purest expression of friendship. He was tall, he was charming, he was handsome, and he was blissfully and inexplicably gay. But more than all this, he was my friend. Truth is, he still is my friend. He makes it so easy to be around him, I feel as if I understand those girls who are “one of the guys” in a more complete way. The fact that he’s interested in the same sex as I am just adds to the simplicity of our relationship, but in no way defines it.
Coming from the same small city as Michael*, I witnessed as he was in high demand to be “the gay bestfriend” of all wannabe fabulous teenage glamazons at the height of the “GBF!!!” phase. But the truth about Michael* is that although he is, in fact, a pretty great Gay Bestfriend, he is even more phenomenal at just being a friend. That, and the fact that he has yet to write a mediocre rock ballad in my honour (but that’s a different story), is why I keep him around.