Why Everyone Today Needs An Older Male Gay Best Friend
Okay, so much has been said about how every woman needs a gay male friend.
We know the motherhood statements. They have the most wonderful advice about clothes, shoes, hair and makeup. They hold your hands at auctions while you bid for the painting they tell you your living room needs most. In the face of imminent break-ups, discovered infidelities, lover’s quarrels (both petty and life endangering), they have your backs and yell “You go, girl!” with a fierce enthusiasm reserved only for Madonna concerts. They make wonderful last-minute dates, know everything that’s hot and happening, have something amusing and catty to say about everyone and everything. They look absolutely faaaabulous all the time. And they expect you to look the same.
Wonderful. But think for a moment how tiring this must all get for your poor BFF.
I should know. Having lived a good part of my life as a slave to many divas, I have seen how the slow fatigue creeps in, the exhaustion from being too amusing, too hip, too bright, and shiny. Many times, I have gone into hibernation from my friends, only to emerge even more appreciated, valued, and yes, indispensable.
So, may I just expand the discourse a bit? Let’s talk about why every straight person (yes, even the males), needs to face life with an Older, Gay Male friend. Straight from the mouth of a 57-year-old who now knows his value extends far beyond the ability to amuse.
Wait, what exactly is older? I mean 20 years older. Or more. Okay, so you risk looking odd at parties. But believe me, if you find the right Older, Gay BFF, he never looks dowdy. Never. Not if he is educated, accomplished, financially secure (that doesn’t mean wealthy, okay?), sure of himself and his choices. In short, you are looking for someone like me. (Did I say too self-assured?)
No seriously. Here goes…
First off, time has tempered us. We now know that amusing is temporary. Insightful is forever. We think a bit more deeply before giving advice, reaching deep into our inner reservoirs of judgment and humanity. Do not fret, we still have a sense of humor. But again, if we must say something catty, it is often based on intimate knowledge. We’ve Been There, Done That. Our words may sting, but trust that they come from experience.
Second, we know and understand your dark side. God, do we ever. We’ve had to wrestle with our own demons, we still do. We know that everything is never just Black or White. We have peered into the endless mists of Gray that shroud the human heart. We have lived through the Dark nights of the Soul, have come to relish and accept our own faults, body types, proclivities. We know the difference between great sex and great love. We can help you sort all that out. There will be no answers to your anguish. But being, in many ways, creatures of anguish ourselves, we can guide you through the labyrinth.
Third, we are hardly judgmental of human frailty. Having been judged all our lives, we know that Warts-and-all is always more valuable than Photo App Filtered. We take what comes at face value, and feel our way from there. I once had a widower friend tell me that he was bedeviled by carnal desire and would I please watch him as he whacked off but not touch him. I did. And after the deed, I told him that I hoped I had helped in some perverse way, but that it was time to move on and drop the guilt I could see in his eyes. The incident has never been repeated. And we joke about it once in a while. But he knows that that moment of weakness was one I never took advantage of. So there. You can judge me now.
Fourth, on matters of style, we know what lasts. “Uso” is not a term you will find in our lexicon. If you must trust an older gay man for advice on the way you dress, decorate your home, choose your objects, expect to look staid and correct. But trust me, you will never look back at our FB posts and cringe in horror. Quality is paramount for us. As is Cheap and Cheerful.
Fifth, we may be Alone but we are never Lonely. And we never stop looking for Love. In Anything. In Anyone. We make the same mistakes over and over again. And we can laugh at ourselves and let everyone in on the joke. That is why we are perennially Young. Funny. Child-like.
At the risk of espousing some sort of Reverse Ageism, I say it is Wisdom we can offer. Now, that is the one essential you will need, as you age yourself.
Floy Quintos is a Palanca-winning playwright. He is known for his plays “Fluid,” “Angry Christ,” and the recently staged “The Kundiman Party.” He has written for film and television, and was editor of Metro Magazine in its early years.
Artwork by Deiniel Cuvin