There’s no denying that the stereotype of the gay best friend is everywhere in pop culture, movies, and television, but have you ever wondered where the GBF came from?
On Youtube, The catch shattered the history of the GBF in film and television, from the origin of The Sissy character to the ’90s iteration that persists to this day. When we think of gay best friend, they usually exist to act as a sidekick to the straight character, talk about fashion stereotypes or platitudes about men, and lack sexual agency or often even other gay friends. (We look at you Distraught and Sex in the city.)
These tropes began to be challenged in the 2010s with conscious films like GBF and television like Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt who commented on how dehumanizing the stereotype of the gay best friend can be, even though the characters still fit in that box.
It is only recently that the media has started to truly break with the stereotype. The catch highlights characters like Eric on Sex education, which first slides into the trope, but then canonically begins to comment on how the main character, Otis, sidelines him. The plot then evolves to present the stories of Otis and Eric with similar time, space, and heart. It’s a sin completely overturns the GBF, inserting a straight character into the queer spaces of the 1980s.
“As more and more nuanced queer characters have emerged, the gay best friend looks more and more like the product of another era. ” The catch writing.
Watch the full video below!