Did you know that gay people do have straight friends? It may be a silly thing to point out, but let me give you some examples of my experience.
Whenever I start talking about a friend that is new to my mom, the first thing she asks is, "Is... gay?" For some reason, there's been something in her mind since I've come out that I only have gay friends. No, most of my friends are straight, actually.
About six months ago, I was out to eat with a couple friends, both straight (twin sisters), and one asked, "So, do you have any straight friends?" Her sister and I just looked at her, then each other, then back at her and started laughing."Well, is there something you need to tell me, Carrie?" Katie said immediately reaffirming she is straight.
Someone once asked me, "Who cares? Who cares that you're gay?" Well, maybe nobody. But, maybe everybody. The question wasn't necessarily directed only at myself, but the whole gay community. We care about each other being gay just because it's a little bond we share. Straight people might not care we're gay, but some really care and don't like it. Thus, we appreciate and love our straight allies.
I've asked some members of Spectrum to help me with this subject so that everything is not strictly based on my own opinion. Here are a few responses (respecting confidentiality):
Gay male: "My straight ally friends are a very important part of my life. Their love for who I am and not what I am, and their support is what matters to me the most."
I know that this is much in regards to the coming out process, which can be both liberating and terrifying. A straight ally can be a huge help to you if you happen to come out to maybe the wrong person that takes it in a very bad way. The straight ally may be able to help calm the other person down or just step between if there's trouble.
Gay male: "My straight ally has meant the world to me....I don't know what I would do without my straight ally."
This person also mentioned that his straight ally is also very open and verbal about being an ally. The ally has a pink triangle on his/her door to show that if there is a GLBT person that needs to talk, he/she can confide in this ally. Cheers to this ally!
Straight male ally: "Sometimes, people are afraid to learn about homosexuality from people who are gay; it's easier to learn from someone like them, I think, and less intimidating."
Bob gave me permission to use Bob's name, so I will. Bob and I have actually been friends for a couple years now. I am very proud to call him my friend. Bob mentioned during a meeting once that just because you go to a BSA meeting, people don't ask you if you're black; so, if you attend a Spectrum meeting, you shouldn't automatically assume that that person is gay. If you think you may be more comfortable talking to Bob (straight person to straight person), please send me a note and I will forward it on to Bob. Thank you, Bob.
I have overall been very lucky with the friends I've had. Just because someone (straight) has a gay friend doesn't mean that person is an ally, though. The person may be able to accept their friend, but not the gay community as a whole. That's not necessarily bad, but we could say it's a good start.
I would like to thank some people for being there for me. I would like to thank all of the members of Student Government Association for being so accepting. To the people in my classes, you've been great. And, finally, to all my co-workers, especially, I thank you and love you. I realize this is a little more personal than it should be, but I felt it needed said.
Write to Billie at firstname.lastname@example.org