Value - And Work to Keep - Your Closest Friendships
I don’t believe anyone would disagree with one of our most beloved gay icons, Bette Midler, who sang, "you gotta have friends" in her 1972 debut album, "The Divine Ms M." That line continues to ring true for many of us in the LGBT community who may have found ourselves alone and afraid in a less than supportive world at one time or another.
Gay men and lesbians have felt tremendous adversity because the larger culture has challenged us on our "lifestyle choice" or demeaned us for it. So we especially understand how important it is to create a circle of loving and supportive friends through difficult times. My own gay and lesbian friends have described to me how they have created their own "families" from friends when their own family of origin distanced itself or outright rejected them.
I know I’m continually grateful for the good friends in my life who have stood by me in both good times and bad. Friends have stood as best man at my commitment ceremony. They’ve volunteered to be interviewed for a forthcoming book. And, yes, they have even tried to act as my matchmaker.
That said, it’s important not to lose a close friend by not following certain rules of decorum. A 2012 Huffington Post blog "The Five Laws of Gay Friendship" mentions "being tactful, sincere, and building good karma," and most importantly, to "get your own man and not to go after your friend’s new boyfriend."
Keeping in mind that one has to work on friendships and be mindful of etiquette, I can’t stress enough how vital it is that, if you ever find yourself in a serious argument with a friend, you resolve that dispute as quickly as possible lest you lose that friendship forever.