OK, so my gay BFF in high school didn’t really fit the stereotype, except that he did always give excellent advice. But it wasn’t just the advice I valued, but the source. As a teenage girl—the most cutthroat species of information broker on the planet—I thought having a close male friend was like having the Oracle of Delphi on speed dial. And, since he was gay, his understanding of the world was much harder-won and all the more valuable. So I accepted advice from him that I resisted from my mother or girlfriends. How could I tell if a guy was interested in me? Was he any good for me? When should I kiss him? Have sex? Keith knew.
To be fair, he got something out of it too: In high school, there weren’t many people he could talk to about dating guys (he once had me pose as a lesbian so he could take me to his gay teen support group). We remained close through college and grad school, although we finally drifted apart after Keith and I both settled down with nice men in different cities.
When Keith came to my wedding, we hadn’t seen each other in three years. I met his partner. We didn’t have much to say to each other. We'd both found our answers.