Trust me when I say being gay will be a much lonelier experience if you go through it alone. You need gay friends, you need to understand gay politics, and you need to be in touch with who you are as a person who identifies with the LGBT community. If you want gay friendships to survive, try your best to steer clear of these five toxic behaviors.
1. Throw shade constantly
Throwing shade can create joyful banter between you and your gays, and it’s a very exclusive method of communication between gay men that allows for creativity and playfulness. But it works twofold. Shade can also be used to passively aggressive express your disapproval of another. I’ve been on the end of shade throwing that is offensive, aggressive, and spiteful, usually stemming from a disagreement with a friend. It’s a whole lot healthier to actually talk about what’s troubling you and not tear down someone else by attacking them with subtle remarks.
2. Reject non-gay behavior
He’s too masculine. He doesn’t enjoy Sunday brunch. He hasn’t seen one episode of Ru Paul’s Drag Race. Not all gay men are tied down to the cultural attributes of the greater community. That’s not to say you won’t have anything in common with them. Open yourself up to other aspects of the gay life that don’t always emphasize feminity, fashion, and other stereotypically gay interests and hobbies, and embrace those who aren’t like you. If every gay friend in your little clique is an exact clone of yourself, how are you growing and learning about others and the world around you? You’re not.
3. Force a romantic relationship
Maybe it’s just not meant to be. Don’t always see a gay friend as a future partner. Straight men don’t have this issue because they’re not sexually attracted to one another so they are able to focus on the platonic characteristics that are important and beneficial to building a strong relationship with other men. You can’t help falling in love, but idealizing a good friend and trying to fit him into a boyfriend mold when he isn’t mutually interested will only create a rift in what could have been a truly great companionship. And be happy for him should he choose to date someone other than you! No one likes a Debbie Downer or a spiteful, jealous type.
4. Compete with your GBF
Gay friendships shouldn’t be competitions. So what if the cute guy you messaged on Grindr ignored you and hit up your friend instead? So what if your friend gets more attention at the clubs than you do? He’s supposed to be your teammate, your shoulder to lean on, and a brother who can relate to you unlike many others in this heteronormative world. Don’t let your insecurities form an iceberg in the path of your friend–ship. Wow, that was fucking brilliant.
5. Put your boyfriend first
Some of us have experienced this. Those group selfies on your GBF’s Instagram are slowly but surely replaced by pics of him and his new boo, and soon enough, you’ll be out of the picture completely. A romantic relationship is not a replacement for a healthy friendship. After all, your gay friends were probably there first and helped shape the person you’ve come to be, which influenced you finding a partner in the first place. Balance time between your gays and your partner, and even combine the two groups if you don’t think it’ll cause drama. After all, isn’t your boyfriend just your best friend who you have sex with all the time?