See the photo above. To the right you will find me, Ryan. I’m gay. On the left is my friend Ed. He’s straight. In the middle is his fantastic fiancée Jenn. She is also straight.
Ed and I have been friends ever since elementary school. We’ve played sports together, made fun of our alum over the years and have dined out and enjoyed each other’s company several times while helping one another on this road called life.
He was there for me when my mother died at a young age. I visited his place shortly after he and Jenn welcomed their adorable son into the world last year. These are all normal things that happen in most friendships.
So, what’s the point of all of this? There’s still this glaring misconception in the world that gay and straight men can’t be friends. This happens both in and out of the gay community, where people can’t seem to comprehend that we can be buddies without the stereotypical awkwardness that can get in the way.
Fact: Ed is a handsome guy. Also, fact: he works out and has a great physique. Third fact: that doesn’t mean that I want to have any type of physical relation with him (I don’t, just to clarify).
Fact: He’s aware that I’m gay (I’ve been out for almost twenty years). Other fact: I talk about gay things sometimes around him and Jenn like who I’m dating and the occasional episode of Queer Eye or RuPaul’s Drag Race. Third fact: that doesn’t weird them out at all because they not only accept me for who I am but don’t make things like this a big deal when they aren’t in the first place.
I was outed during my freshman year of high school but Ed and other straight guys in my school didn’t waver when it came to our friendship. Keep in mind, it was still somewhat taboo to be out then. Things have drastically changed for the better since, where coming out isn’t as big of a deal compared to what it used to be, but I’ll always have gratitude towards the hetero guys in my life who still invited me to dinner and the movies without fear that they’ll be picked on for hanging out with a gay dude.
“Ryan and I were friends prior to him coming out in 2000,” Ed said when I asked him to give me a quote on this topic. “The day after nothing changed for him and I. We’re still good friends and still say jokes that date back to the 90’s. It’s a friendship that withstood the rest of time. I have zero reason at all on my why wouldn’t be friends.”
I’ve read stories recently of gay men going to prom with their straight buddies with most (if not all) of the entire school supporting their decision. That is something that I would never dream of doing back when I was in high school but it makes me happy to see that the younger generations are getting it so right when it comes to breaking down the walls between one sexuality and another.
The bottom line is, and some of you already know this but this is for the ones who don’t seem to understand, that gay and straight men not only can be friends but should be friends.
Life is so short and it’s important to value the quarters you have in your life as opposed to the hypocritical pennies that constantly follow us with their opinions on matters like this.
This post was created by one of our Contributing Writers and does not reflect the opinion of Instinct Magazine or the other Contributing Writers when it comes to this subject.