This semester at the University of San Francisco, my film professor asked me to make a documentary about something I am passionate about; turns out I am passionate about gay men.
‘What the Gays Gave Me’ is a short documentary exploring the dynamic friendship between gay men and straight women. Upon moving to San Francisco for university in 2011, I soon realized I get along with gay men better than any other gender or sexuality, and started to wonder why that was. As my friendships grew and evolved into the wonderfully strong bonds they are today, my gay friends and I began to analyze just why we thought this type of friendship works so well.
I finally got the chance to put our wine-inspired theories to the test with this documentary. We have all seen this type of relationship portrayed in the media in shows such as ‘Will and Grace’, and even the new movie ‘G.B.F’. The friendships are often times very stereotypical, where the gay man is portrayed as a fashion guru helping his ‘fag hag’ pick out the perfect outfit for her upcoming date. As a self-proclaimed ‘fag hag’, I wanted to show the world, well at least my little USF community, that there is so much more to this companionship.
Luckily my research brought me to Eric, who has been an incredible help to making this documentary into something more than a tale of two best friends. With his innovative quantitative research, and vast knowledge of this subject, I was able to gather enough evidence to show the relationship between gay men and straight women may just be one of the purest forms of friendship out there – due to the ability to build a solid foundation of trust based on the unbiased nature of the friendship itself.
With a big thanks to my amazing friends Taylor, Mark, Margret, and of course, Eric, I was able to complete a project that I am very proud of, and it represents a very large part of my life. Enjoy!
P.S. – I want to give a shout out to my amazing friend Luke Adkins, who was in New Zealand for the filming of the project and was unfortunately not able to make it in the documentary. I love you so very much!
Brittney Montag is a media student at the University of San Francisco.
I'm Eric M. Russell, and I am a researcher and graduate student in social and personality psychology. My primary research interests include LGBT relationships and friendships, mate attraction, and evolutionary psychology.