I'm a straight guy. My best friend is a gay guy. Just to kill some misconceptions perpetuated by many well-meaning persons, I offer a portrait of my gay best friend. He:

I love having gay friends. One of my best friends in the world is a 32 year old gay man (I’m 24) and we get along great. Better than most would imagine. First of all, I’m not going to even going to bother trying to defend my sexuality. If that’s your first response than forget it; this whole thing will be lost on you.

I met Scott when I was working at a bank. He came in and I was a smartass to him (because that’s what I do) and he left. That evening, at my bar (yep – it’s mine – stay out) he approached me and called me Smart Ass Banker. I said, “probably” and that was the end of the conversation really.

When the tab came (I still have to pay) Scott had picked up my drinks and the drinks of my friends. Instant cool points in my book. The next time he came into the bank I thanked him for the generosity and he said, “when are we going to hang out?”

Now you have to understand, Scott owns several construction companies and wears nothing but Carhart and flannels all day. He doesn’t look like someone you’d peg as gay. Maybe that’s why we all dig him so much. So when he asked when we were hanging out, I assumed it was because he was new in town and I’m obviously someone in the know. None of us actually found out he was gay until a few weeks later.

He is now considered one of my closest friends and we spent a week with his parents in Cabo San Lucas. There was no awkward gay vs. straight issues to deal with. He was looking at boys while I looked at girls. His gayness has only ever worked in my favor but, even if it didn’t, he’d still be a friend. It’s not like I’m one of those guys that only keeps the company of those who can be of service. In Cabo he had picked up some Abercrombie & Fitch looking dudes at the Triangle (the only gay bar in the area) and we were all drinking at the Nowhere Bar (the college bar.) I was probably drunk (you would be too after that much Irish whiskey) so I jokingly told him to go find me girls while I took a piss.

During my bathroom break I got arrested by the Mexican five-oh and one of the Abercrombie & Fitchers rescued me but that’s a whole other story. The point of this one is that, when I returned Scott wasn’t around so I asked one of his new friends where he went. The guy just pointed and I saw Scott through a crowd of frat boys and Brittany Spears look-alikes coming towards me with two blondes in tow.

Not bad and he’s not even practiced at the sacred the art of picking up girls at bars (not that it’s that hard in Cabo.) They looked like Jewel but with good teeth. Somehow he convinced us to all go back to the gay bar. Madonna was playing, Scott was dancing with three shirtless Mexicans while I made out with the girls between sips of ice cold whiskey. At one point with both their hands down my pants, I took a swig of social lubricant and thought, “what a way to spend a fucking vacation.” Then I thought, “social lubricant is fucking right.”

I always overuse the f-word after whiskey.

The next day I threw on a pair of shorts and was on my out to the swimming pool bar when Scott asked, “are you going to wear those shorts?” I call them “homoments” when he slips into his queerness because they really are few and far between.

“Yes, as a matter of fact I was, you big gay bastard.” That’s how we talk to each other so this is acceptable.

“’Cause they make your legs look skinny.”

And suddenly it dawned on me that if he was my wife I wouldn’t have been able to have the debaucherous evening I’d just had but he still would’ve asked this question. If he was just another mate, he wouldn’t have mentioned the skinny-leg-short phenomenon and he certainly wouldn’t have given up the two Jewels. Only a gay man can work between the lines like this and the fact that were close enough that I know he’s not looking at my ass is just a bonus.

Since I’ve met Scott I’ve been let into the world of the homosexual but in a safe way. I think that my posse is close to 50% gay and were all the better for it. We all get invited to the best parties (seriously – no straight party compares especially from a musical standpoint) and we feel good at how we’ve embraced diversity.

The girls in the group love ‘em because deep down every girl is a Fruit Fly. The guys in the group love ‘em because we can ask them anything about anything and they’re always quick with an answer. This pertains to questions about sex, social issues and women. Gay men know more about women than any straight guy will ever bother with because they almost always become the safe shoulder to some broken-hearted sweetie and they actually listen.

Obviously it’s not always wine and roses (that would be too gay anyway.) There are times when someone of lesser tolerance offends them (and us) and there’s weird awkwardness (like there’s any other kind.) There are times when one of us straighties is uncomfortable at Pride Fest because were still a little too vanilla for that much gayness. Sometimes, after a night of partying, there’s the question of where is everyone supposed to sleep without raising any eyebrows. There’s those times when the sexual preference gap is so apparent you have to laugh. Like anything, there are those times.

But I wouldn’t give any of them up. None of us would. They’re like our brothers now; our sometimes flamboyant, gay brothers. And I dig each and every one of those dudes.

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