Let me tell you a little story: In high school, when I came out, I was pretty much the only (out) gay kid in my class. I don’t really know how I dared to do that at 15, but because I was the only one who was out, I always wanted my own group of gay friends. My own little queer clique if you will. I would watch Queer As Folk and wish I could have people who I could go out with and someone who could understand everything I was going through. Don’t get me wrong; I had friends. Just all…straight friends. I loved them, but it just wasn’t the same.

Well fast forward a few years to college, and I was able to have that group. I also still had a group of straight friends, and so I’ve learned what it means to have both sets of friends. Ideally, it would’ve been an even mix, but it just didn’t work out like that. Anyway, I’ve prepared 3 reasons why you should have a group of gay friends and 3 reasons why it’s not really all that important.

Why You Should

  1. Sense of community: Everyone needs to feel like they belong and having a group of queer peers is the best way to do it. Besides that, you can be exposed to the different flavors and dynamics in our community. You’ll probably meet someone transgender, asexual, bisexual, and more.
  2. Someone to lean on: Some feelings are universal, like heartbreak, but there are some things that only queer people understand. Like when you think that straight guy/girl is flirting with you, then they bring their girlfriend/boyfriend around, and you’re crushed — leaving your gay friends to pick up the pieces.
  3. Potential Partners: Everyone knows to be friends first make some of the best relationships. I’m not saying that just because you put 2 gay people together, they’ll form a relationship but if your friends then it’s definitely possible for that to grow into something more. Even if you just want to be friends with a little something extra on the side.

Why It’s Not That Important

  1. Independence is key: Hanging out with mainly straight people has forced me to do a lot on my own. My first time at a gay club was by myself, and while it wasn’t an ideal situation, I still had a good time. It opened my confidence up a bit more and now if I want to go out, and none of my friends are willing, I have no problem going by myself.
  2. Being Brave: Having only straight friends means that you become a sort of ambassador for the LGBTQIA+ community. You learn to speak up and educate (and sometimes read someone for filth if you have to) in situations when someone has misspoken about the queer community. Of course, you should encourage your straight friends to speak up too though.
  3. Personal Pride: Being the only queer one in your squad begins to make you hyper-aware of the differences in your everyday life, and you’ll want to develop your own queer sense of self. You’ll go to clubs and pride parades and carry that sense of community inside of you. Soon enough you’ll be as proud to be gay as you are to be black or a southerner.

So there you have it. Your personal identity is important so you should really try to surround yourself with as many diverse people as you can. That’s what really makes squad goals.