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The Gay Best Friend: A Self-Confidence Bustier

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Every girl in her life should have, at her immediate disposal, a sassy gay male friend. I’m not just saying a gay guy, but a gay guy with serious attitude. Their friendship is a confidence boost unlike any other. It’s especially flattering when they tell you that you look “fierce.” Also, they are amazing at doling out great advice. They cut through the BS and tell you what you need to hear. “Honey, go for him! You’ll get him because, girl, you’re a ten!” Another sassy girl with attitude may not tell you this because she might be after your man. Anyone else think so? Maybe that’s just the way I think.

Thankfully, I have been blessed with such a friend. Carl, my best friend, is one of those people who loves giving hugs to everyone. He is a social butterfly, wanting everyone to feel special and to see that he is there for them. Yet, he and I have a special relationship. One that is filled with a similar oddball humor and self-reassurance. It has always been difficult to easily or quickly describe my friendship with Carl, but the story begins in elementary school.

When I was eight years old, a dark-haired boy with a bowl cut sat next to me in second grade. I hadn’t talked to him before, but the name tag on his desk said “Carl.” I was in the midst of drawing a picture of George Washington for a class project. Carl leaned over and said, “Your drawing of him looks like a potato.” My mouth flew open in shock. I took immediate offense, like the drama queen that I was. Later, when I went home, I told my mom that I did not like the little Peruvian boy who sat next to me in class. Little did I know that he and I would be stuck together for the next 13 years.

After a few years of being in the same homeroom class, I grew to appreciate Carl’s blunt humor and we became best friends our junior year of high school. We shared secrets and developed a deep care for one another.

When we got to college, he and I would often hang out together and found a group of friends that enjoyed Carl’s and my camaraderie. College only made us crazier. Once Carl and I went to Wal-Mart at 3 a.m. for chocolate cake, shrimp cocktail, and Welch’s sparkling white grape juice. During Big 12 weekend down in Texas, we got drunk with our friends, and Carl and I decided to run around the hotel. We took the elevator up to the Governor’s Suite while taking model picture of ourselves in the mirror. Later, we broke into the spa and pool area. We sat around in the hot tub for an hour and a half and talked about life.

Over the summer break before our sophomore year, Carl came out to me. I told him that I didn’t care who he loved, he would still be my best friend. He talked and I listened. That’s the way our friendship has been. Most of our friends see our goofy side, but when it is just the two of us, we can talk about serious subjects.

Our friendship is an authentic one and I don’t have to worry about Carl lying to me. Of course we get mad at each other, but we say what we mean and speak the truth. That’s what I love about him. He has no hidden agenda. He doesn’t listen or lie to me just because he likes me in a romantic way. He cares about what I say. Think about it, girls. Gay guys love spending time with you because they love who you are. Your personality is why they hang out with you. It is one of the most pure relationships you can have.

Carl moved back to Tulsa this semester and is taking classes at TCC. It’s been difficult because last year I saw him every day, and when I would have a bad day he would always be available to listen one-on-one. He comes down to Norman when he can, but we talk on the phone every day, which helps. When I’ve had a bad day, I can always count on my best friend and his constant message of love and encouragement. As I write this, I get a text from him saying, “Yeah! Dominate this story about me, MB!” Thanks, Carl. I will. I didn’t expect that kid who sat next to me when I was eight years old to become my best friend. Sometimes, when you don’t realize it, that certain person has always been there with and for you, and always will.

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About Mary Beth Pearson

  • Dan Collier

    Terrific article. As a gay man who numbers more women as great friends than guys, this really resonated. I just seem to connect on a deeper level with women. Perhaps my interests lean toward the traditional (so-called) feminine — strike that — not perhaps, they do!