Tuesday, August 20

My Best Friend - There are a lot of stories out there about the unrequited love of gay teens. Many of us have personal experience, having gone through phases where we were stuck in a crush on a straight male companion who shared much but didn't return the longed-for affection. (I can count three big ones of my own, each lasting more than a year, stretching into my early twenties.)

The Advocate serves up a tale that proves that things haven't changed, even in today's more tolerant society. Gay kids may be figuring out their sexuality younger than ever, but they are still falling for all the wrong guys. The ubiquity of this abortive boyhood gay-straight relationship must say something meaningful about friendships and love on the cusp of sexual adulthood. At an age when our straight peers begin to pull away from one another, gay boys often engage in an inappropriate and inevitably doomed effort to keep the ties together. Robinson rightly points out that sex, per se, isn't even what it's all about. These relationships are often platonic and certainly transcend physicality. They leave a lasting mark. {Sigh}

I wonder, though, how it feels on the other side. I've never seen the story told from the viewpoint of the "straight" friend. Where are the sensitive remembrances penned by the boys who grow up to be the self-assured heterosexuals? Oh, right, they're guys -- they don't have all those feelings.