One columnist shares the early root of her never-ending affection for all things gay.
By Brittany Moseley
I have Carol Weston to thank for my love of gay men. As a kid, I was a devout reader of Girl’s Life magazine, and Carol was the magazine’s advice columnist. I read her “Dear Carol” section religiously each month, but I never thought I would write her. I was not one for sharing. However, when my parents sat me down at age 11 and told me my oldest brother, Sean, was gay, I suddenly was in need of advice.
Although I’m ashamed to say it now, when I learned my brother was gay, I wasn’t thrilled. In fact, I was pissed. I had no problem with gay people, but I was a kid who lived a sheltered life in a sheltered town, and I wasn’t ready to share my brother’s sexuality with my friends. Hell, I wasn’t even ready to share it with myself. So I wrote to Carol. Weeks later, when my parents told me there was a letter in the mail from some woman named Carol, I grabbed it and ran upstairs.
With each sentence I read, I felt better. Turns out, I didn’t need my parents to tell me it was OK Sean was gay. I didn’t need my best friend Heidi to make me feel better by laughing and saying, “Well of course he’s gay! He wore a pink sweater!” (This was 2000, after all, before pink was acceptable on men.) All I needed was a slip of paper from Carol Weston to make me realize it didn’t really matter who my brother dated. Her words still resonate with me today: “He is who he is. He didn’t choose to be gay. He is gay!”
Sometime between my “Dear Carol” experience and now, I became a fag hag. I blame Facebook. Suddenly, I could find guys who strictly liked guys. The week before I started college, I went a bit crazy with my friending of gay boys. Each was a potential BFF. I was looking for the Will to my Grace, the Stanford to my Carrie. Then I found Adam. He still makes fun of me for the friend request I sent him. He had no idea who I was, but I was ready to be his new best friend. We bonded over everything at our first college party. I recall drunkenly asking him to be my gay best friend. (To all you other gay boys I randomly friended, I apologize for being a first-class creeper.) After I met Adam, I was hooked. I found it so much easier to relate to gay guys, and I still do.
Sometimes I hate when people call me a fag hag. I worry everyone thinks I like gay men simply because they’re gay. I would hate to think I’m that narrow-minded, but in all honesty, once I became friends with Adam, the rest just sort of popped up. Next came Patrick, Eytan, Sean, Asa and Jon, followed by a new freshman class including Jared, Aaron, Paul, Dan and Chase. And then another group with Anthony, Wesley, Dominick and Tom. I suddenly had more gay boys’ numbers in my cell phone than straight boys. I went to parties with gay boys. I ate dinner with gay boys. I even got my own Facebook group, “B.Mo’s my hag.” I did everything with gay boys — well, except the obvious.
At one point even I thought, “Wow, Brittany, maybe you need to find some straight friends.” But it’s difficult to leave your comfort zone. I mean, when you have that many guys saying you’re fabulous, who would want to give all that up? I did, however, stop seeking out gay guys on Facebook. Ironically, some of them seek me out now, which I find amusing and slightly creepy. I’ve made some straight guy friends, and by some, I mean two.
I’ve learned to accept my fag-hag status. I’ve gotten used to being the token straight girl in the room, and I know when I get married, I’ll have at least one male bridesmaid. I’ve become one of the guys. My guys just happen to care about boys, Britney Spears’ latest scandal and the latest episode of “Grey’s Anatomy.”
Carol Weston’s advice did more than help me accept my brother’s sexuality. Whenever I stand up for gay marriage or cringe when someone says “faggot,” Weston’s letter is always in the back of my mind. Now, when I think of the letter, I laugh and wonder if the poor woman had any idea what she started when she wrote me back. It may sound cheesy to give so much credit to one letter, but it was all I needed when I was 11 years old, and it’s all I need now. I feel immense gratitude that Weston took the time to scribble a reply. She was just doing her job, but for me, she did so much more.
Brittany Moseley is a senior magazine journalism major.
(This article originally appeared in the Winter 2009-10 print edition.)