When American mainstream television realized that gay people inevitably penetrated. The public sphere and did not intend to go anywhere, they decided to assimilate them into the world with their logic. But also neutralize enough that the average audience would not be repelled by their appearance. That’s how a “gay friend” was created, the fetishization of a gay man by heterosexual women, which quickly spread into our everyday life.
At first glance, it seemed that the stereotype affirmed the flourishing gay. And queer culture, it was accepted by both gay men and heterosexual women. We are looking at Will and Grace (Karen and Jack), Sex and the City (Carrie and Stanford). Thinking that such friendships are politically powerful weapons in the struggle against both patriarchy and homophobia. It was not clear until the LGBTQ movement was strengthened, and feminism arrived in a larger number of households, that this is precisely the result of the patriarchy and homophobia.
The concept of a gay friend in TV shows neutralized the gay man and turned him into his useful tool, at the same time he did not have to deal with the real subversion of his being because a gay friend is often not an activist at all. But one of the main reasons why the trend of “having a gay friend” was malignant is misogyny. Women accepted gay men as the ideal of perfect friends – all that meant they were just like best women friends. Only they were men, and therefore more valid and more valuable.
But European, especially British television, had a different and much more positive trend – it portrayed various sexual identities. Not as isolated elements of society. But as persons with all their other identities – both gay and bisexual. Suffice it to say that the whole spin-off of the most popular British SF series. “Doctor Who” is built around the immortal Jack Harkness who is, among other things, bisexual.
With the rise of feminism and inclusion of LGBTQ people. The concept of gay friends is obsolete, and in many circles, it is considered offensive. Many projects are focused on spreading multiple stories and the identity of a gay person. You can be gay and geek, have a hetero best friend, do not know anything about fashion and listen to Alanis Morissette, etc.
Of course, you can be both the fashion reader and the Gaga fan, and that’s the same, but you’re not someone’s fetish because of that.