What to do when your straight friend ‘turns’ gay
A how-to guide.
Pat Head Summitt
Pic by Kim Lee
We have all had friends who have played the sexual tango. What I mean by this is that we have all watched some of our friends play with and explore their sexual identity and *ouch* this announcement to friends is usually followed up with shock, confusion, gossip and the dreaded drama. However, I don’t know about you, but I love the drama when it does not directly involve me (ok, I’m selfish, whatever). So, what do you do when your straight friend ‘turns’ gay?
1. You receive a phone call from a friend exclaiming in disbelief that your straight friend has ‘turned’ gay. You act surprised, but deep down you know that all straight girls are ‘one drink away’ from dabbling in the world of lesbo-ism.
2. You then find out that this sexual tango is taking place within your group of friends: your known lesbian friend is now sleeping with your former known straight friend. You take a moment to imagine all of the ways that this relationship can end badly.
3. The next evening you gather with all of your friends, except for said couple, and ponder the ‘spatula’ skills of your lesbian friend. Does she have a history of ‘flipping’ girls into the world of lady-loving? What is it about her that enabled your straight friend to switch teams?
4. Next, you find out through your string of friends that the new couple is not only hanging out and having sex, but that they are indeed in love. You then laugh to yourself recalling all of your friends who have done the U-Haul after a few short months. You take a moment to tally the successful verses the non-successful U-Haul relationships.
5. A few days later you unknowingly bump into your former straight friend in a bar and you resist all urges to ask her about her first lesbian sexual experience. You notice that she has a different glow about her, but then you wonder if you are projecting this luminosity, as you know just how amazing it is to be in love with a woman. You instead make notes in your head of all of the questions that you want to ask her at a later time and place.
6. You arrive home to meet your girlfriend and together you ponder if and how your former straight friend will come out of the closet. You both decide to stay out of the gossip and drama but know that won't last.
7. You anticipate the moment when you will see them show a public display of affection.
8. The next evening you gather with all of your friends on a terrace at a local bar and you notice that said couple is present and that they are sitting side by side. You try to act normal and you resist all urges to stare at them, but you often take a quick look in their direction. You attempt to get a glimpse of them touching each other’s leg and/or staring wistfully into each other’s eyes and you hope to see a kiss. You then decide it is best to leave your sunglasses on.
9. A few days pass and you begin to wonder how your former straight friend is going to sexually identify now that she is in love with a woman. Will she identify as a lesbian, a bisexual or will she claim that she is straight and that it is “only about the person.” You then recall all of the people who have told you “it’s only about the person” and you then have a silent discussion in your head about what this really means…
10. The next day you begin to feel a bit sorry for your former straight friend as you ponder the time during your youth when you were asking yourself all of the same identity questions. You recall just how difficult it was for you to come out and you are reminded that this coming out has the potential to be a lifelong battle in both the eyes of the law and in the eyes of society. You take note that it is no fun to call your identity into question. Further, you know that it is no cakewalk having to claim a specific identity simply because society deems it necessary.
11. You then decide to make yourself available, without judgment, to your former straight friend. You offer support and inform her that you know all too well of the struggles, both socially and emotionally, that comes with loving a person of the same sex. You receive a smile that speaks a thousand words. You hope for the best.
12. You then anticipate the next moment that you will see them show a public display of affection, because, let’s face it, two girls in love is a beautiful thing.