It’s curious to me that straight women and gay men have two strongly bonded relationships – the fag hag and the gay best friend – while there are no parallel relationships being lesbians and straight men.
For context, I beleive in diversity when it comes to friends – the more kinds the merrier. But the Fag/Fag Hag relationship seems to be a particularly unhealthy relationship, when a woman makes a gay man the centre of her emotional well being, because it is a role that a gay man cannot fulfill, they can do anything for love, but they can’t be straight.
At least, there seems to be no parallel between straight men and lesbians; but I think it’s there – just not named.
Yes, anyone can be friends with anyone, and without any subtext and in all honesty, some of my best friends over my life have been and are straight men – but these friendships were on par with any other friendship with any other person – the closeness was owing and arising from the personality rather than tapping into any social role.
And it’s movies and TV programs that reflect the relationships that we form in life, art reflecting life, which is in return, copied back into real life.
It used to seem like there were straight people and gay people and each side contained the genders; but when you consider people behaviorally in a broader spectrum, neurologically, it seems that gay men have much more in common with straight women than with straight men – but straight men and lesbians also have overlaps, they do not form the same friendships and relationships that gay men and straight women do.
At some levels, the strong bonds between gay men and straight women can be harmful, if not counterproductive. A fag hag is not merely a woman who enjoys the company of gay men and is friends with some or one in particular, but rather the fag hag is a woman who is in love with a gay man that she cannot fulfill a romantic and sexual relationship with – in a way, he is her idealized safety net that prevents her from forming romantic bonds with an available male, who could harm her, disappoint her or let her down – all the things that happen in a real relationship from time to time.
In a way, the fag hag to fag relationship, is reflected in the current angsty virginal teen to vampire – an eternally unrequited love, the attraction between innocence and a self aware darkness, the promise to be unfulfilled, lest it wholly consumes and destroys the parties.
As a lesbian, it has been a curiosity to me to see straight women flock to be – not groupies in the rock n roll sense, or harem in the Arabian sense – but a level of fannish girl crushes in adult women who are otherwise fully engaged in life – marriage, children, work and personal relationships, – never the less, turn into swooney teens and indulge in some kind of group fantasy of unrequited and therefore safe attraction and semi-devotion to attractive, but needy and insecure gay men who, not exactly string the women along, but who certainly revel in the attention.
Although, it seems that there are some on both sides who take it farther – to the fag/fag hag stage – and the gay man and straight woman, end up in a tight bond of everything that is meaningfully a marriage relationship, except for the sex, which, the woman is often so devoted to the gay man, that she doesn’t form romantic or sexual relationships with available straight men, and accepts that the gay man is having sexual and romantic or sexual relations with other gay men.
It occurs to me to wonder why these women are seeking such strong emotional attachments that can do anything for her, but it can’t do that one thing.
In a parallel, I also wonder about women who work in the criminal justice system, who fixate on a prisoner, often going so far as to marry him – full knowing he is in jail for life, often for violence crimes against women for rape and murder. What is it about him? That forbidden, that he has harmed and maimed and killed, and that you will be the one woman to save him? To rescue him from himself? To be so loveable that a man who has harmed, maimed and killed other women won’t be able to treat you in the same way? To be unattainable because imprisonment holds you apart and wreck vengeance?
Is love for violent prisoners incarcerated a manifestation of the vampire’s self imposed restraint?
Do we just enjoy flirting with disaster and our own destruction?
After all, to fall so completely in love with someone we cannot have for some reason – they aren’t real, they are gay, they are in jail – that they would harm us either by taking our lives, as in the case of vampires and criminals, or use our life vitality, as in vampires and gay men – what is the fatal attraction that straight women seem to have for the unattainable, the harmful, the destructive?
Is this fatal attraction what separates straight women from lesbians – and why lesbians do not have comparable relationship intensities with straight men as straight women do to gay men?
It’s not like fatal attraction to the unattainable is absent from lesbians – many desire straight women – to rescue or steal from the men, the unattainable, the forbidden the unconquerable holds a fascination, has a compelling aspect, a siren song that is difficult to ignore for some.
During World War II, the men of Canada and America went abroad, while the women stayed home with all the other broads.
The woman who stayed home and became Rosie the Rivetter became friends with the men who didn’t qualify for military service. The Geeks.
Geek men, charlie males, computer – dungeons and dragons – anime – braniacs – these are the men that are friends to lesbians – our Gal Pals.
Men who aren’t afraid of strong women, who admire them even, just as they are.
Joss Whedon, creator of the Buffyverse, and Robert Tapert, creator of the Xenaverse, are Gal Pals.
They are guys who are pals to women, who are strong, who are determined, and who are willing to leave their own unique mark upon the world.