April 14, 2011

Dear Gay Dude: Do Gay Guys and Lesbians Hang Out?

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What is the issue?

Dear Gay Dude,

I’ve always wondered something. Do gay guys and lesbians get along with each other? I know this might be a silly question, but I’ve never really seen an overlap. Gay men seem to have a separate distinct culture from lesbians and I was curious to see if that’s actually true.

-Friends 4Ever?

Dear Friends 4Ever?,

Short answer: Of course gays and lesbians are friends! Are you kidding? As homosexuals, we’ve all dealt with the same bullshit discrimination. We’re allies and support one another as brothers and sisters in the queer struggle!

Long answer: Um, I think so….

This is a tricky question to answer and it may involve a lot of sweeping generalizations so I’ll try to type carefully. I can only speak from my own experiences here, okay?!

Gays and lesbians are friends obviously. But it can vary from person to person. I know gay men who hang out exclusively with lesbians and I also know gay men who have never had a lesbian friend. We can sometimes exist in different worlds, which makes sense because we live on opposite ends of the sexual universe. Gay men reside at Anal Avenue and Two Penises Lane while lesbians are holding it down on Vagina Vagina Court and Ani Difranco Street. You can’t get more “opposite sides of town'” than that.

Are you ready to hear some of the stereotypes that can make gays and lesbians polar opposites? Certain ones are more true than others, but here are the basics. Lesbians tend to be more driven by their emotions (I guess} and drawn to monogamous long-term relationships than gay men are. They also find themselves frequently entangled in what is commonly referred to as “dike drama.” Look, I know what I just said is kind of icky, but if anything is real, it’s dike drama. That shit is not a lie. It’s here, it’s queer, and lesbians deal with it. In the few friendships I’ve had with lesbians, I have been STUNNED by their relationship drama. It can be a damn soap opera. Like gay men, lesbians can be an incestuous bunch. The difference though lies in the seriousness of the romantic relationships. Some gay men can do sexual double dips and call it a day. But with the lesbian friends I’ve had, it gets more complicated than that. There is no “Wham, bam, thank you m’am!” Instead, it’s “Wham, let’s cuddle, and who are you talking to? Your ex-girlfriend? Fuck you!” Relationships appear to get serious very fast. Nesting can occur in a second, and before you know it, you’re just together. It doesn’t always last forever though. Things can end just as quickly as they started. And then before you know it, someone is having sex with someone else’s girlfriend and then all hell breaks loose. Wait, this is starting to sound eerily similar to the love lives of gay men…

My best friend in high school was actually a lesbian. We saw eye to eye on practically everything, and when our two queer sensibilities would converge, it would create a beautiful double rainbow. The only thing I couldn’t relate to is how she dealt with her girlfriends. Even though we were both emotional intuitive people with similar thought processes, her girl problems would just have different outcomes than the issues I had with boys. One day she’d hate this one particular girl passionately, and the next day, they would record a voicemail together that would be like, “Hi. You’ve reached Cynthia’s phone. She’s not here right now because she’s cuddling with ME.”

I think all of these differences have the ability to sometimes create a tension. Gay men can view lesbians as being too much drama and lesbians can see gay men as superficial narcissists. But at the end of the day, people are people. As a gay man, I don’t need a translator to speak lesbian. I get it. I get them. I love them. In fact, I think it’s bullshit that in this new queer media, lesbians’ voices often get buried. I don’t see them being represented nearly as much as gay men are and it’s totally unfair. They still seem to be majorly marginalized. At gay clubs, they have “girls night” instead of sharing a queer space or heck, having their own. Of course there are lesbian bars, but gay bars seem to outnumber them.

So here’s the short answer and long answer combined: Yes, we hang out. Yes, we love each other. Yes, we are different. Yes, we can exist in different social worlds. In the end though, it’s up to us. We can be as separate or together as we want to be.

Love,

Gay Dude TC mark

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