One striking aspect about gay men and straight women is their ability to become friends almost instantaneously. Whether it is at the movies, the mall, a restaurant or bar, gay men are able to “show no fear” when they introduce themselves to women. Likewise, women are mutually able to open up to gay men that they are meeting for the first time. There seems to be a unique exchange of words and expressions that solidifies a unique connection. But how quick can these two click? It may depend.
In a few days? Granted, all friendships take time to form. Like all individuals, gay men and straight women must allot some energy and resources to cultivate great friendships over time. Not all gay men and straight women are able to make friends with one another immediately. Many of these individuals need time to develop a long lasting sense of reliability and trust.
In a few hours? Although straight women and gay men need time to form a holistic friendship, their attraction towards one another as friends is noteworthy1. Because of this, they may be able to express more openness and interest toward one another than they are with other individuals of different genders or sexual orientations.
In a few seconds? It may seem farfetched, but some straight women and gay men “click” the moment they begin a conversation1. If a straight woman knows that a man is gay (even before meeting him), she may be more open about certain aspects about her personal or romantic life than if the sexual orientation of the male was ambiguous. But how can straight women be 100% certain of a male’s sexual orientation before even meeting him? She cannot. However, gay bars or LGBT events are ideal spots where straight women can safely assume (for the most part) that the men they meet will be gay. If there is no ambiguity about a man’s sexual orientation, a woman is likely able to feel more comfortable talking about certain topics. Because gay men appreciate a sense of openness and comfort from their female friends2, gay men may welcome conversation and make a friendly connection in no time at all.
- Hopcke, R. H. & Rafaty, L. (1999). Straight women, gay men: Absolutely fabulous friendships. Berkeley, California: Wildcat Canyon Press.
- Grigoriou, T. (2004). Friendship between gay men and heterosexual women: An interpretive phenomenological analysis. London, England: London South Bank University, Families and Social Capital ESRC Research Group.