4Women - Lifestyle

From toys to furniture, sneakers to hairdo's. Everything that makes a South African lesbian's life interesting

Welcome L.B.F!

By Dianna Campbell

It’s difficult to find a person these days that isn’t familiar with the term “G.B.F.”
By its Urban Dictionary definition, G.B.F is: “an acronym for ‘gay best friend’. A homosexual man who is the best friend of a woman. The G.B.F. is a fashion accessory mainly found adorning city women, having risen to popularity in the late 90’s. G.B.F.’s are prized for having acute fashion sense and therefore suitable for shopping trips. Also known for better understanding the mysteries of female nature and therefore a good agony uncle and conversationalist”.

Welcome L.B.F!
The G.B.F. is still a significant idea in pop culture today. I know plenty of straight women who would give their left arm to have a G.B.F., and I know plenty of gay men who happily have close friendships with straight women. It’s an interesting concept, when you think about it.

Which brings me to an even more interesting concept that I have noticed recently. Move over G.B.F, because apparently, the L.B.F. (lesbian best friend) has been born.

The idea of “L.B.F.” culture is alien to me. The idea that I potentially am an L.B.F. to some people is even stranger. But not necessarily in a bad way. I’ve just spent so many years in the closet, terrified of the world and told when I was in secondary school that if I came out I would be bullied, that I never considered the possibility that girls don’t care if you’re a member of the LGBT community. In fact, they celebrate it.

My first encounter with the L.B.F. concept happened when I started varsity. I was introduced to a friend of a friend. Let’s call her Sarah. Sarah seemed to be indifferent towards me, not at all rude to me, but not particularly interested in being friends with me either. If my friend, Sarah and myself met for coffee, Sarah wouldn’t speak to me much, if at all. However, one day in passing, my friend called me a “lipstick lesbian”, and suddenly, Sarah jumped into the conversation: “Wait, you’re a lesbian?” Suddenly, everything had changed. I wasn’t invisible anymore. She started walking with me and talking to me, she’d run up behind me between lectures to chat to me, sit with me if she bumped into me, etc. I was delighted to be making friends, but I was confused as to what had suddenly changed. It was only when she started asking lots of questions about being gay and LGBT related topics, that I realised that it was my being gay that had sparked her interest.

Exhibit B was when I came out in my hometown. I went out with my friends about a week later, and a group of girls that were in my year at school approached me. Like Sarah, I wasn’t particularly visible to them. Until I came out. That night, they were suddenly sitting with me, complimenting me, and chatting to me like we were best friends for years. Also like Sarah, they asked a lot of questions about the LGBT world.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I didn’t mind this at all. I’m always happy to make friends, and I didn’t mind answering any questions they had, within reason. In fact, I think it’s absolutely wonderful that all of these people were asking questions about the LGBT world. It shows their interest and support. Which is awesome, right? I spent most of my teenage years afraid that I’d be mocked, beaten up and isolated if I came out. I couldn’t have been more wrong, and I wish I could tell my fifteen-year-old self that I had nothing to be afraid of. What exactly is the appeal in having an L.B.F.? I did some thinking, and compiled a list.

The perks of having an L.B.F.:
  • We’re a unique minority – Kinda like finding a four leaf clover or a unicorn. We’re magical creatures. I suppose there’s a sort of novelty in being friends with us.
  • We understand girls – I think most girls, straight and queer, have a decent grasp of the female mind. However, queer girls might have a better understanding of the deeper emotional side of girls, because we’re used to being in relationships with them. Therefore, if you fall out with a female friend, we might be able to help you understand how she’s feeling, making it easier to patch things up. Yay!
  • We won’t judge you or think it’s weird that you fancy Jennifer Lawrence.
  • We won’t steal your boyfriend – We don’t fancy men, therefore we won’t steal yo man. Score. (Not that a true friend would steal your boyfriend anyway, in the words of Gretchen Wieners – “That’s just, like, against the rules of feminism!”)
  • We’re great at parties.
  • We miiiight fancy you, and it’s always nice to be fancied – *DISCLAIMER: Queer girls DO NOT fancy every straight girl they meet. But, sometimes it does happen. Never on purpose and never because you’re straight, though. The only reason that this may be a perk is because as girls, we thrive on compliments, I’ll put my hands up and admit to that. So I guess it’s always nice to be liked and complimented.
  • You can borrow our flannel shirts anytime.

It’s interesting. Maybe the L.B.F. has been a thing for a while and I’m only noticing now, or maybe the world is changing and developing further as time goes by, and the rate of LGBT allies is growing.

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