A New Site Wants to Connect Straight Women With "Gay Best Friends"
Are you a girl? Do you have a gay yet? If not, you may want to consider signing up today for Every Girl Needs a Gay, a new site that promises to pair straight women with gay men for #FabulousFriendships!
Why would a girl need a gay? It's simple: Gays are v. stylish, respond positively to indirect sunlight and only need to be watered about once every two to three days, much like everyone's fave indoor plant, the Braided Ficus Tree. (Speaking of, a gay is the perfect choice to help braid your hair during slumber parties!)
Below is a screenshot of the service's "About Us" page, which is only slightly less ridiculous than that last paragraph:
In a perfect world, this would all be one big Internet hoax. But there are a few signs pointing to This-Is-an-Actual-Thing-Town. There is a terms of service. There is a Twitter. There is a Facebook. There is a "contact us." There is a woman with rainbow hair as the mascot. There is a launch date of Jan. 1, 2016.
But according to the creator of the website, who asked Mic not to print her full name, Every Girl Needs a Gay is indeed real. A self-described middle-aged woman, Web designer and "old-school hag" who wishes to remain anonymous for now, she told Mic she is surprised by all the negative response, adding that her intention was not to demean gay men or the women who befriend them. Rather, she was inspired to create the website as an homage to her own gay best friend, whom she missed when she relocated to Boston from Michigan in 2007.
"These relationships are sacred," she told Mic. "They bring out our best selves, and once those selves are tapped and brought to the surface ... they are then celebrated by the very person who helped unearth them. I was lost without 'my gay.'"
"These relationships are sacred. They bring out our best selves."
Good intentions aside, we probably shouldn't have to spell out why everything about Every Girl Needs a Gay is problematic. But let's briefly discuss anyway.
While it is true that research has found that some gay dudes and straight women are capable of having special friendships because of their ability to keep things strictly platonic, it's also true that the term "GBF" is not OK (just as referring to women as "fag hags" is also probably a bad idea). It has been (rightly) criticized for propagating lazy stereotypes and tokenizing gay men as nothing more than fashion accessories.
Remember five years ago when Teen Vogue was like, "GBFs are a must-have item for spring"? That was bad! We should have all learned this lesson back then.
Despite the negative feedback Every Girl Needs a Gay has generated, the site's creator said she is open to the criticism.
"If the idea is a big fat goose egg ... please tell me. I have no ego," she said. "I'm older than the bloggers and tweeters and maybe have missed the evolution that has taken place between my day and this great new day where there is a broader acceptance of ... everyone but a middle-aged woman who was just looking for her Boston Gay."
So in the end, this can hopefully be chalked up to something of a #TeachableMoment between generations. Because in 2015, every friendship is different. Gay dudes and straight girls can absolutely kick it and connect in special, unique ways — but also, sometimes a gay man will befriend a lesbian. Sometimes a polyamorous agender person will befriend a straight bro. Sometimes a fox will befriend a hound. And all of this is good! There is no such thing as a standard-issue gay best friendship, just as there's no such thing as a standard-issue gay man or straight woman.
With this in mind, Every Girl Needs a Gay feels like a giant step backward. We can only hope that the site's creator aborts the mission and embarks on a new entrepreneurial adventure. Something that doesn't involve using humans as accessories would be a good place to start.
Nov. 13, 2015, 1:35 p.m.: This story has been updated with comments from the site's creator.