Stop all the clocks, cut off the telephone. It seems we have reached the end of an era.
According to today’s Sunday Times’ Style magazine barometer of what’s hot and what’s o-v-a-h, the GBF (Gay Best Friend) is done, replaced by the BMF – Best Man Friend.
I’ll assume they mean that the BMF is a straight man. Straight men are “men” and gay men are “gay”. I think that’s how it works.
Anyway, ignoring that every so slightly acidic twist of the heteronormative knife, here’s why I’m glad my services as a GBF will no longer be required. Quite frankly, it’s been an exhausting couple of decades and I will be glad of the rest.
I like shopping, don’t get me wrong. But I like shopping for myself. The great thing about being a gay man is that my boyfriend is also a man so we both wear men’s clothes. (If you’re a man and you don’t, that’s cool too – please don’t @ me.) This means we can actually shop properly – assess what looks good, appreciate each other’s sartorial decisions, get true clothes envy etc.
Being a GBF, however, means that you have to go shopping with a woman and I have to confess, I haven’t really enjoyed that since I was dragged around the shops by my mother as a child, clutching a packet of Opal Fruits.
I don’t wear dresses or bras or high heels so while I can tell you you look “nice”, if you insist, I don’t really know what accessories would go with them or what colour you should wear or whether a flesh-coloured bra is appropriate under that T-shirt.
I know Gok Wan has done a sterling job of convincing women that gay men care about your clothes, ladies, but guess what? We don’t. All we care about is when we go out together, we all look good and that you’re not going to moan you bought the wrong top all night.
2. Man trouble
If the era of the GBF really is over, then I am very glad to see this aspect of it sail off into the sunset. Dating woes are, newsflash, very boring. How do I know? I spent five years blogging about them and even I fall asleep before the end of every post.
Plus, as your GBF I have watched you make the same mistake time and time again, offering my advice – usually “get rid” – only to be told I “don’t understand” or, if this is a straight woman talking, “it’s not like a gay relationship”. And as I press my fork into the palm of my hand while you tell me that you just “love a bad boy” for the umpteenth time, I smile and say, “you should do what feels best for you”, knowing that you cannot and will not.
And with my shoulder finally free of you crying on it, I’ll be able to buy more tops with epaulettes!
Believe it or not, I do not want to hear the ins and outs of your sex life. Quite literally. Yes, straight ladies and gay guys, we both like cocks and yay for all that, etc, but I don’t really want to know what he’s too quick or he’s too rough or he’s not rough enough or what his face looks like when he ejaculates because… well, if I wanted to know any of that, I’d watch all those videos he keeps texting me when you’re on holiday with the girls. Which brings me to…
4. Your boyfriend
Can you please let your boyfriend know that even though we like men, we don’t randomly like just any man who tips us the wink – kind of – so we do not want to have sex with him. No, honestly.
Sure, he’s buff and he’s hot and, if you’re lucky, he’s charming, but we’re not interested in stealing your man. This is not EastEnders.
The only thing worse than the boyfriend who walks into a room with his back against the wall just in case the poor hapless GBF can’t help himself, is the other extreme: the boyfriend who is “totally cool with gay guys” and walks about in his pants thinking he’s giving you “a treat”.
Mate, if I wanted to have sex with someone who stalks about in baggy M&S boxers proudly showing off his Chinese symbol tattoo, I’d have married my schoolboy crush.
5. Girlie nights
I don’t like Sex And The City and can only drink three martinis before the police have to be called. Pampering makes me feel awkward and there is always one woman there who doesn’t think the “gay bloke” should have been allowed to come so thanks for the invite but I will be staying at home writing blogs like this about you.
Obviously you have busy schedules because of your incredibly important straight lives, but as your personal fag bangle, I must wait in my jewellery box until you are ready to take me out again and moan at me over a bottle of Merlot.
When you have a boyfriend, we never see you until it all goes wrong and then if it all goes right, you want to hang out with other women planning weddings, having babies etc.
Like Miss Havisham, we wait, clutching our Queer As Folk boxset, staring at our half-swigged cosmopolitan and willing the phone to ring. Looks like it never will now.
7. Your jealous girlfriends
There is always at least one of your very own gal pals who, quite simply, just doesn’t like us. Maybe we’re over-dramatic, too funny or too loud, it’s a myth that all girls love a gay boy, sadly.
They will like us at first, perhaps, before declaring that we are “too much” or “very full-on” and we know what that means so we will stick in our lane and try to keep everyone happy.
This friend will be an ice queen all night long, until 3am in the club and Kylie comes on and she flops on to you, tells you “It’s such a waste you’re gay”, and then is sick on your nice new shoes.
8. Your jealous GBFs
If you’re as wonderful and popular as all my lovely friends, chances are you too will have more than one GBF in your portfolio.
Like two cats that have been locked in a Ford Focus for three days with nothing but a picture of Miley Cyrus to eat, we’ll prowl around each other and try our very best to outdo the other when it comes to jokes, attractiveness, fashion, attentiveness to you, bawdiness, you name it. We’ll use every weapon in our arsenal to prove that we are the best gay and not this other interloper.
You, of course, will be totally oblivious and will take us aside just after the woman in point 7 has thrown up on us, to tell us that we “should get together”, which is ridiculous and lazy and homophobic.
And then we’ll get together and really ruin everything for you.
9. Trying to fix us up with any random gay man you meet
We all don’t really like each other that much, to be honest.
10. We need you too
And so this is it, is it? You are leaving us behind.
Your faithful GBF, who would never lie about how your arse looked in that dress – we don’t need to, what’s in it for us? We don’t want to shag you and we don’t want to compete with you.
Even though we are always just a text away with sage advice and self-deprecating one-liners. Despite the fact we can see through that man you’re chatting to before he’s even so much as bought you a drink. You’re going. OK, I get it. You’re moving on.
You want a Best Man Friend now. A straight guy. You sure? Straight men are great, lovely but… not us.
And, of course, if you leave us to go off with them, who do we have? Who will listen to us cry because that man did exactly what we knew he was going to do? Who will appreciatively give our guns a squeeze and tell us we’re looking hot, and mean it because they don’t want to screw us?
Who will say no when we try on that pair of jeans with the feather detail around the crotch? And who else will tell us that it’s totally OK for us to have a fourth martini and that they’ll always be there, because we have been too, and that’s the way it works.
And even though we drive each other mad, we actually adore you and in our own way, kind of love all those very things listed above.
You go off and play with your BMF if you like, but it won’t last. We need each other too much.
This GBF is going nowhere and you know it. Now crack open that bottle and let’s talk about what you’re going to wear tonight on that date with the disastrous bad boy.
Note: this piece is a joke and laden with stereotypes and that is intentional. I know all women are fierce and independent and gays are totally manly men masc4masc man men men men men. OK?
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