Why is it so difficult to maintain friendships in this community? Finding meaningful friendships in the gay community and then again, in the sub-culture of the black, gay community has become a task in itself. I’m a very social person. If I click with you on some level, I’ll embrace you and build with you. However, for some reason, it seems that a lot of women in the LGBTQ community have lost what it means to be a friend. They simply don’t know how. I’m not sure who, if anybody is to blame for these women not valuing or engaging in friendships but I do know that it hurts all of us in the long run.
I believe in having a circle of sisters that emotionally support and love you outside of your romantic relationships and who uplift you through rough times. I think that it is crucial to who you are and who you develop into throughout your life. I’m a firm believer in having a family that you chose. I’ve seen this benefit the older generations. My grandma has her church sisters who all congregate and hold each other up during deaths of husbands, births of great-grandchildren, and fatal diagnoses. My older aunts have sister-friends who are each others’ backbones through divorces, births, marriages, sicknesses, and when they spouses “don’t act right”. So what’s up with our generation. Why don’t we have that? Is it a gay thing specifically?
I’ve run into a number of issues with lesbian- or queer- identified women.
There are the women who only become your friend because they want to sleep with you. They’re cool, they inquire about your relationship, they want to hang out, they’ll text you — they’re accessible. Then when you get into a relationship (or they do), you express sternly that you don’t want them in “that way” or you become less available emotionally to them, they ditch you. If you’re not going to be sexually available to them, they have no use for you.
There are the women who are shady and are just your friend to try and come between what you and your partner have built — not because they truly want either one of you but because they’re bitter and alone and want you to be too.
There are the women who genuinely try to be what their idea of a “friend” is but when the friendship becomes intense — i.e. you experience a loss, a breakup, an illness, etc — they can’t deal. They can’t be emotionally supportive because they don’t know how to be. It’s not their fault but it still leaves you with your ass out during a rough time.
Lastly, there are women who are your exes. On one hand, I can see why so many lesbians or queers are friends with their exes — the community is so small and, because of that, you can’t let go of your attachments that easily or you’ll find yourself without any gay friends. HOWEVER, being friends with your ex has a certain ick factor to me. I’m not saying that you can’t be cordial to your ex or even that you can’t check in to see how they’re doing from time to time. What I’m saying is “can you have a meaningful, soul connection, genuine friendship with someone you made orgasm once upon a time?” If you have seen her vagina, how can that not cause issues in your friendship from the beginning?
I’ve been lucky enough to weed out the bad seeds and have a group of phenomenal women who I trust and who I hope to be drinking and laughing with in 20 years. None of them (so far) have fallen into any of these categories. I try to stress the meaning of true friendships to my younger siblings because tv and the media have succeeded in falsely convincing them that black women aren’t worthy of friendship and will stab you in the back or are catty.
Anyways, that’s what’s been on my mind today. Lately, I’ve been going through a rough time and I’m just so grateful for the ladies in my life. 🙂