You know what’s fucking horseshit? Treating people differently based on race, gender, sexual orientation, ability, or anything else. Treating people as “less than” because of something about who they are. And Teen Vogue has done just that by asking “Is a gay best friend the new must-have accessory?”

The must-have items for her fashionista classmates included a Proenza Schouler tie-dyed top, a shrunken military jacket, neon-bright chunky bracelets, and . . . a gay best friend.

What. the. fuck. People are not fucking “accessories.” And calling gay men a “must-have accessory” not only trivializes the friendships themselves, but it contributes to homophobia by dehumanizing gay men. Calling someone an “accessory” makes them less than human; it takes away the person behind the orientation. Equating an actual person with a “tie-dyed top, a shrunken military jacket [and] neon-bright chunky bracelets” is fucking disgusting. People and friendships are so much more valuable than an item of clothing. People aren’t a “hot” accessory that can be discarded when you tire of them.

Even though the piece does go on to discuss the importance of the friendship itself, the fact that they even refer to befriending gay people as a “trend” or ask about whether or not a gay man is a “must-have accessory” is appalling. While I don’t doubt that the piece had good intentions, I don’t appreciate much of the language used in the piece, nor do I appreciate that they refer to gay best friends as “GBF”s. In doing so, they’re defining someone solely on the fact that they’re gay. Their sexual orientation becomes their main identifying characteristic, and it trivializes and erases almost everything else about the person.

You don’t befriend people strictly because they’re gay, you befriend them because you genuinely like them as a person. Their sexual orientation shouldn’t even come into the equation. Just as you shouldn’t refuse to interact with someone because they’re gay, you shouldn’t want to interact with them strictly because they are. Straight girls having gay male best friends isn’t a “hot topic” for discussion. It’s not a “fad” or a “trend.” These are real people in real, meaningful friendships and should be treated as such.

Dehumanizing someone by equating them with a material item or a passing fad is simply unacceptable. And you know what? I absolutely love my “GBF”s. But NOT because they’re gay. Because they’re kick ass people, they’re loyal friends, and they support me through everything I do, just like a true friend of any sex, gender, or orientation would.

This entry was posted in Caterwauling About The Patriarchy, Griping and Kvetching and Bitching, SGO, Sexuality. Bookmark the permalink. Post a comment or leave a trackback: Trackback URL.


  1. ArthurNo Gravatar
    Posted July 11, 2010 at 8:33 am | Permalink

    At least they didn’t go one further and claim that a ‘gay fling’ was the new must-have accessory … or some such.

    And as much as this is nowhere near ideal, nor hopefully the end-point of gay acceptance in society in general… I do on some level find it hopeful that *any* advice involving interacting with gays comes so natural these days as to almost be a platitude.

    I’ve seen some statistics about the over-time shift of perception of gays in the states of the US, and it’s great to see that no matter how glacial it might feel, the trend is in the direction of general acceptance across all states, even the reddest of the red. I think they tipped the last US state to cross the 50% mark within less than a decade or two.

    If all we need is to keep working at educating those around us then patience is a small price to pay. :)

  2. Nell GwynneNo Gravatar
    Posted July 11, 2010 at 11:38 am | Permalink

    I think Bryan Safi devoted a “That’s Gay” to the media’s perception of the “Gay Best Friend” phenomenon. I agree that the idea of using ANYone as some sort of superficial accessory is just plain sad.

    • Britni TheVadgeWigNo Gravatar
      Posted July 11, 2010 at 11:39 am | Permalink

      I freaking love Bryan Safi.

  3. alphafemmeNo Gravatar
    Posted July 12, 2010 at 2:42 pm | Permalink

    Yeahhhhhhhhhhhhhh. Gay men aren’t threatening to masculinity as long as they’re just “accessories” for straight women! Because then no one will have to take them seriously! What a great idea!


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