Toronto Diary
11 min

The gay best friend as accessory

At some point or another, every gay man has run into The Grace. You know the type: someone who’s pro-gay for utilitarian reasons and who seems to regard the LGBT community as magical little lap-dogs.

Admittedly, this isn’t homophobic on the same level as someone who campaigns against gay rights or those who think homosexuality is an abomination unto our Lord, The Invisible Giant who Lives in the Sky. The thinking behind it, however, stems from the same root belief: we are not people; we’re things to be controlled for the sake of making things easier for the majority.

When public speaker Mark Pampanin wrote a speech on the subject for the Pi Kappa Delta tournament, a public speaking and debate competition, not only did he win, but he was invited to give a TED talk on the subject of commodification in the queer community. 

To any allies reading this, allow me to say that there’s nothing wrong with wanting gay friends. We want to be friends with you, too. The problem becomes when people hang around with us not because they like us as people, but because they think we can do something for them.

The Graces of the world have their hearts in the right place, more or less. However, they’re not really treating us as people. They’re treating us as helper monkeys. We have our own shit to deal with, and as much as we want to help, we can’t be bothered picking up your shit to boot. Let’s hang out as friends, not as labour.