How My Gay Best Friend Makes Me Better With Women
I wish I had known Jake before I suffered the trauma of being dumped on national television.
It was the summer of 2012, and I had successfully auditioned for a spot on a Canadian dating show. If I’d met Jake beforehand, perhaps I wouldn’t have unwittingly gifted my date fake flowers. And maybe I wouldn't have ended up on a premature taxi ride home, wondering whether the casting director had chosen me purely for comic relief.
Jake and I are flight attendants who met four years after the aforementioned embarrassment. We were recently assigned to the same flight to Orlando. Our friendship was instantaneous -- it's difficult not to love an excitable Filipino with a childlike playfulness. Just a few minutes into our first conversation, Jake and I learned we'd both studied at Second City, a comedy club in Toronto. Then and there, it was decided we would start a comedy duo (check), produce a web series (in the works), and move to New York City (maybe next year?). But first, we were going to watch a main-stage show at Second City.
To be honest, part of me wondered if he thought I was gay, too. I mean, I get it -- it’s a common prejudice of male flight attendants. I was also curious whether he had the intention of our Second City outing to be a "date" date. It wasn't a troubling thought, per se, but it was all put to rest when he invited a cute girl to tag along with us.
Bringing hot women on our man-dates is a regular thing
As it turns out, bringing fantastic women on our hangouts is just a casual thing Jake does. He is easily the best wingman I've ever had, especially considering many of my straight male friends get their kicks by cockblocking me -- the prolific and unfortunate accounts of which will have to be saved for another time.
Perhaps it’s because there are no competitive motives or jealousy, but Jake always has my best interests in mind as he offers aid in my troubled pursuits of the opposite sex.
A gay best friend is the ultimate wingman
Jake is the helpline I dial when I’m frantically barricaded in a date’s bathroom. He’s the one I model my favorite jeans for when they reach the cusp of looking passably vintage or straight-up hobo fabulous. And he’s definitely the person I bring along to the store when I pick out flowers.
But my friendship with Jake has helped me with more than style and floral arrangements. He has also taught me how to be more romantic and sensitive to women’s needs.
He is my spy for what women want, because of the way they trust and open up to him. Take, for instance, when a girl from our airline told him about her crush on me.
He called me that night. “What are you doing tomorrow night?” I told him I didn't know. “You’re going on a date with Holly." Jake went on to plan the night’s events. He also explained what would win points with Holly, the qualities she was looking for, and what she was passionate about. “A few more quick things," he said. "She doesn’t care about your car, ask to hold her hand, and keep your spirited opinions on the ‘Free the Nipple’ campaign to yourself.”
Basically, all I had to do was show up. The intel Jake provided was essentially a combination to her heart.
Gay men can untangle the feminine mystique
Women can be complicated beings, and straight men are clueless. But gay men have an amazing ability to bridge the gap as intermediaries.
I found the ultimate friendship with Jake. Women always talk about wanting to have a gay friend; and honestly, I can’t blame them. While verifying (and exploiting) gay men's superior wingmen abilities, I discovered another commonality: for reasons I can’t begin to understand, gay men on multiple occasions have confided they feel threatened by their straight counterparts.
Being true to oneself is downright inspiring
Some have shared that every time they walk into a room, they are afraid to be themselves. They sense hatred before even getting the chance to be heard. This inspired me -- not only because several gay men have been open to my friendship despite this fear; but also that these brave men live a life true to themselves no matter the daily consequences.
The bigoted suggestions that gay men are somehow weak, or lesser men, couldn’t be further from the truth. In my mind, there is nothing braver than being yourself, even if it means risking family, friends, and -- as history has stubbornly shown us -- your own personal safety.
Some of these men, like Jake, are my best friends. I’m blessed to have them at my side in the skies.
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Kyle Towers is basically a sarcastic version of himself. Many of his readers think writing is his greatest talent, but it's actually his good looks. Follow him (if you want or whatever): @Kylecanuck.