Jewish Journal

He Doesn’t Want To Be Her Gay Best Friend

by Tamara Shayne Kagel

January 7, 2011 | 9:30 am

I was lunching with a gay friend of mine, Bentley, a few days ago at Lemonade on Abbot Kinney (if you haven’t had their watermelon-tarragon lemonade get over there asap!) and we were both complaining about a nettlesome girl, Kara, we know.  I have a very short tolerance for certain types of people and socially challenged girls happen to be on my short list, so while I tend to steer clear of her, Bentley has really taken the brunt of Kara’s misguided invective.  I mentioned that I hadn’t seen Kara in months and he said “I had to cut off all communication.  She wanted me to be her gay best friend and I just couldn’t handle that.”

I don’t know why, but it had never occurred to me before how much a certain type of girl, must seek out the gay best friend but it made perfect sense.  I have a great many amazing girlfriends in my life, some of whom, I’ve known literally since infancy, so I don’t put myself in that class of girls who always has problems with other women.  Therefore, I happen to be very good friends with a few gay men because I adore their personalities and we’d be friends regardless of anyone’s gender or sexual orientation.  But for girls like Kara, the gay best friend must seem like the perfect salvation from catty girls.  But really, Kara’s problem isn’t other women, it’s her.  She’s made lousy choices in her life – like always dating losers and then getting mad at her girlfriends when they criticize her boyfriends, or dressing provocatively at work and then feeling victimized by the women she works with.  But for Kara, the ever-elusive Atlantis of the perfect girlfriend, is the gay man: someone she would never be intimidated by or jealous of and whom she could complain to about boys and girls. 

But for my friend Bentley, this seemed to be a chronic problem the gay man in LA is exposed to.  He is constantly swatting away annoying clingy girls that want to latch on and have a gay best friend.  When I asked Bentley for more details, he seemed exasperated by the whole fad.  He said he has to choose really carefully which girls he’ll get close to because otherwise, all these girls will harass him for friendship not because of a mutual interest in one another, but just so the girl can emotionally unload and blather on to her “best friend.”  It seemed sad that Bentley would have such difficulty in perpetuating casual relationships with girls.  These girls need to stop focusing on finding a gay best friend to fix their sorry lives.  Gay men can’t even legally marry in this state.  Torturing them with stories about your attempt to remarry your deadbeat ex-husband who said he doesn’t love you is just cruel.

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Tamara Shayne Kagel is a twenty-something fixture on the Los Angeles scene currently living in Santa Monica.  Currently, Tamara is a successful freelance writer (just ask her...

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