Movies and novels – not to mention real life – are replete with examples of close friendships between women and gay men. And for good reason.
Be a good friend to your gay friend and make sure that when they come out to you, you are accepting of them.
1. He’s a good friend
Whether you agree with the lifestyle or not, your friend has come out to tell you about it because he feels like it’s important. He trusts you enough to share this part of himself with you, and that’s a sign of a good friendship.
It is also a sign that he is open to being a supportive friend for his gay friends in the future, as well. This is important, as many gay people are in need of a strong support network to help them through their lives.
If you are a Christian, you should be prepared to answer the questions your gay friend may have about your religious beliefs on homosexuality. A lot of young gay people who identify as LGBTQIA are unsure about what the Bible says on these issues, and it’s important to be able to explain the Gospel clearly to them. You can do this by reading informed discussion, preparing yourself with scripture and prayer, and talking with people who are knowledgeable about the issue. You can also encourage your friends by being a positive example of loving and supporting all people, regardless of their sexual orientation.
2. He’s a good person
If your friend came out to you, that means he trusts and cares about you enough to share this part of himself with you. He may be dealing with prejudice from others and needs positive, supportive people around him.
If you’re a Christian, be sure to discuss your faith’s position on homosexuality with your friend. Many gay people see Christians as anti-gay, so it’s important that you make it clear that you’re a supporter of their lifestyle and that Jesus is the only way to God.
Be careful not to judge him based on who he hangs out with or the language he uses. Those can be misleading indicators and not a good gauge of whether or not he is gay. It is also important not to pigeon-hole him into the popular stereotypes about homosexuality. Instead, learn more about the LGBTQIA community and show him that you care about him as a person. Then, you can decide together what to do next.
3. He’s a good friend to you
Whether you knew your friend was gay or not, the fact that he told you demonstrates his trust in you. Often, when people come out as gay, they feel they need to tell someone close to them who will be supportive and accepting of their identity. He’s showing that he has the right friends in order to live openly.
He’s a good friend to you because he knows how to listen and he’s supportive of his friends. He understands the complexities of the LGBTQIA community and is willing to help them find their place in it. He’s also a good friend to you because he doesn’t judge you or make fun of you for being gay.
If you’re Christian, this may be a tough question for you to answer because your friend may have strong assumptions about Christians being anti-gay. The first thing you must do is make sure your friend knows Jesus. If he does, you must make it clear to him that your belief in him as the Savior is more important than your feelings about homosexuality.
4. He’s a good friend to other people
Many gay people have had to face prejudice and prejudice is difficult for anyone, regardless of their sexual orientation. Help your friend to cope with prejudice by being an ally and showing that their sexuality is not something to be ashamed of.
You should also show your support for the LGBTQIA community by learning about it, whether by attending Pride parades or simply reading up on the issues. If you find that your friend is reluctant to share much about their relationships, or they’re only using “they” pronouns when talking about their hookups, this may be because they’re feeling unsure of themselves and are hiding some of their identity.
The Gay Best Friend stereotype is common in movies and television, with the flamboyant character often seen giving a sassy one-liner. However, 2020 holiday flick Happiest Season flips the script, with Brandon (Dan Byrd) playing a supporting role as he helps his friend Olive to stay strong against homophobic bullying. Having friends like this can be invaluable to your friend’s self-esteem.
5. He’s a good friend to himself
For decades, the gay best friend was one of the most limiting and unnecessarily restrictive archetypes to emerge from movie studio code. He was the kind of character that could only be gay if he fulfilled a certain specific role in his friend’s life, and his own struggles or relationships were relegated to the background.
For example, when Jules (Julia Roberts) in the 1997 film My Best Friend’s Wedding hears that her fiance Michael has cheated on her, she enlists the help of gay New York food critic George (Rupert Everett). He fulfills the GBF trope to a T, helping her sabotage the wedding and then later advising her on how to find true love.
In 2010’s Easy A, Brandon (Dan Byrd) flipped the script, playing a gay high schooler who tries to look out for his female peers while scheming to keep homophobic bullies off his back. He’s stereotypical, yes, but he also offers a catty voice of reason to the film’s otherwise self-absorbed drama. Whether or not you agree with his beliefs on same-sex attraction, he’s a good friend to himself.