Before I learned that my best friend is gay, I laughed at the comical portrayals of gay men on shows like Saturday Night Live, which used some variation on the flamboyant gay man as a regular gag. Before I learned that my best friend is gay, I saw such caricatures as light play, and never did it cross my mind that they were not necessarily realistic or accurate. Before I learned that my best friend is gay, whenever I heard a girl brag about her "gay BFF" and how good he was for shopping and gossip, I didn't think twice about it. I probably thought she was progressive and accepting merely for having a gay best friend.
Then my best friend came out to me, and suddenly the butt of those TV jokes was a real human being, and one who, far from reveling in feminine pastimes, happened to be perfectly masculine. In fact, he had even less interest in girly things than most straight men.