Monday, June 10, 2013

Five Things You're Saying To Your Gay Male Friend That Are Offensive

Act #161:  Check your patronizing language.

1.  I'm a fag hag.
You may have lots of friends who happen to be gay, but think about it people - if you only choose to befriend someone because of their sexual orientation, how special do you think that might make them feel?  

2.  He's my kid's gunkle.
Tori Spelling tried to start this trend much to the dismay of gay people all over the world.  If you truly valued your gay friend, why wouldn't he just be your child's uncle?  Do you refer to heterosexual uncles as "strunkles"?

3.  You are just fabulous.
What exactly does that mean?  Try diversifying the descriptive adjectives you use when praising your gay friends - like kind, brilliant, wonderful.  Better yet, feel free to treat them like your straight friends and tell them they are an ass whenever they act like one.  Surely they're not fabulous all the time.

4.  I have the best gay-dar.
No, no you don't.  You may have the capacity to identify painstakingly stereotypical feminine characteristics of gay men, but you do not have some superpower to identify homosexual attraction.  Even if you did, seriously, should that earn you bragging rights when most of us have had straight-dar since we hit junior high?

5.  Don't you think he's hot?
Believe it or not, gay men actually think with their brains (and not their penises) just like you do!  Some even write novels, advocate for youth, and create brilliant artwork.  Try asking them about those things too every once in a while.


  1. Thanks for this, Mae! #1 is a huge red flag in the early stages of friendship. I'll admit that most of my best friends are women, but all of them would be offended to be called "hags." To me, it's a sign that someone A) doesn't see me as a complex person with diverse interests and B) isn't interested in being seen that way themselves. If you can't see someone for who they are, you can't really see them at all. You are looking at a flat, static invention of cultural stereotypes, not an actual person.

    1. I love that last sentence so much. Powerful stuff, Robert Campbell!

  2. Hmmm...This makes me want to clarify a word that I use pretty frequently, to describe brothers or close male friends -either gay or straight- of a child's parents: "Funcle." Got nuthin' to do w/ the descriptee's orientation, got everthin' to do w/ his fun-quotient.
    Never heard "gunkle" before, but it sounds kind of grimy...
    ♥ you Jane!