Monday, March 15, 2010
Queer Bro Code
I think I can make a blanket statement about this blog: you all have friends-that-are-gay. Or lesbian. Or bisexual. Or transgender. Or just some branch of the queer community. And this is obviously not a bad thing. Particularly because one of those friends-that-are-lesbian is writing this thing.
Society in general, at least in the US, is at a strange point in time. A lot of men are coming to terms with the word "bromance", or, according to Urban Dictionary (I know, my sources are awesome), "a highly formed friendship between male friends." This type of relationship has been exemplified in Hollywood, particularly with the film I Love You, Man, in which a guy that has never really had a guy best friend acquires one while on a mission to find a best man for his wedding. If you haven't seen it, you really should. Just saying. While this movie is not particularly revolutionary, it has certainly exemplified the changing times and attitudes about two dudes caring about each other- not in a romantic way, but in just a friend kind of way that most people assumed could only be attained by by straight women, or maybe a straight woman and a gay man.
Now that bromances are okay, and girlmances (I guess that's the term?) have always been acceptable, it's now time for society to discuss the dynamic of straight people and their gay friends. Which, according to the New York Times, can get crazy complicated. Its introduction discussed the relationship between American Idol runner up Adam Lambert, who is gay, and winner for that season, Kris Allen, who is straight. If you haven't really listened to me talk about these two-affectionately called Kradam-here's a primer: Adam and Kris were roommates in the Idol mansion and Adam, obviously able to tell that Kris was attractive, had a little crush on him. However, he was able to have a perfectly functioning friendship with Kris and they are obviously forever going to have a bond as an American Idol final two. New York Times, and a lot of other people, have applauded Kris for apparently overlooking Adam's flamboyance and what is apparently his faults as a gay man that had an attraction toward a guy that he knew wasn't going to lead him anywhere.
I'm not particularly sure of the sexuality of the article writer of this story, but the vibe that I got throughout it is that straight guys sacrifice so much being friends with gay men. They apparently put up with a lot of the possibilities of having a difficult relationship and the fact that they may lust after someone.
Little does the heteronormal world is pretty burdensome sometimes when they interact with us queers, too. Perhaps New York Times should have thought about making an article about the queer community and how we put up with a lot of things for our straight friends.
Keep in mind, that I absolutely adore my straight friends. They're awesome in their own unique way. However, while I know that my friends are heterosexual, I don't exactly use them as a novelty item. I don't run around proclaiming that I'm hanging out with "my straight friends." You guys are just people. I love you, but seriously. I know that the queer community's pretty interesting, but we still aren't novelty items. You can't collect us all. I understand that, especially when you're straight, you kind of feel compelled to prove yourself as a liberal-minded person, and almost need to collect people of various backgrounds to prove your difference. It's tempting to just mash all your friends together based on their identities- your queer friends, your black friends, your Asian friends, your biracial friends. But honestly? When you say that-when you call Adam "the gay one" and Kris "the straight one"-you're putting us in some sort of category we don't always want to be in. Okay, we get it, we might even shout it: we're here, we're queer. But when we're hanging out with our friends, we don't particularly need to go to pride parades and hang out in clubs. We actually like the same things that you do- be it shitty reality TV, or dancing in the rain, or maybe the feeling of wearing a warm fuzzy sweater. But we don't need to be known as a gay person that feels this way.
For example, the whole straight girl/gay guy dynamic. Okay, so there's a few stereotypes that are occasionally true in the gay community- a lot of gay men are in the art world. We can't deny it. A lot of guys like fashion and occasionally get pedicures and like Lady GaGa. But what straight people don't realize is that some gay guys just want to throw a hoodie, not even touch their feet, and not enjoy Lady GaGa (I know, that's hard to imagine that any person doesn't like GaGa, but it happens). However, girls feel the need to search for their gay and when they find it, they want to force their ways into their social life. Photos get taken, Facebook friend requests occur, and a lot of dialogue that results in, "Oh my God, my friend is gay, how cool is that?" But little do they know is that they're enforcing stereotypes that they idealize as an insta-best friend and don't even realize that it might not apply for some people, and they may be awesome people outside of it.
This idea of stereotyping can also be disastrous in terms of straight girls/lesbians. For some reason, we're not considered fun, because we're supposed to be these tough bulldykes that don't want to go to the mall. O, I'm sorry you feel that way? Contrary to popular belief, girls that like girls can be pretty all right. But for some reason, only Ellen Degeneres can be a fun lesbian, and the rest of us are just kind of angry at the world girls that like girls. But, to be honest, I've been able to surround myself with awesome straight girls that look past the whole "Oh, you like girls" part. They're all amazing and supportive and I absolutely adore them. But that doesn't mean that the idea still exists.
The dynamic that I've had the most interaction with, seeing as though I mostly hang out with these people, and I'm a lesbian myself, is the straight guy/lesbian dynamic. They dynamic is very similar to the straight girl/gay guy dynamic in the sense that the girl is attached with a lot of expectations. As a lesbian, I'm basically considered a "bro", for lack of a better term. I'm supposed to be able to play video games, talk about girls, and give them insight into the lesbian world. But, in all honesty, that's exhausting. I'm not the expert of the lesbian world. And don't be shocked when I'm looking for the same exact thing you're looking for, either. I'm not the spokesperson for the lesbian world, either. What I'm looking for in a girl might not be what other people are looking for, either. And that gets pretty frustrating. I don't look at my guy friends and expect them to be the representatives of the straight community. These expectations ruin relationships and just make me bummed out of my mind when talking to people.
So what have we learned today? Queer people are like everyone else. They're pretty fun times in general. If people would stop constantly categorizing them in situations that are irrelevant to sexuality, we could all get along a little easier.
Here, have a photo of GaGa cookies for your time:
If you want to say anything, please leave it in the comments.
BTW I do not own any of the photos featured in this post. I hope they amuse you nonetheless.