The Other Five Kinds Of Friends That Make Every Gay Man’s Crew

The Other Five Kinds Of Friends That Make Every Gay Man’s Crew

Gay men are collectors.

They collect right swipes on Tinder, they collect V-necks from clearance sales, they collect loyalty points at the bar, and sometimes, they even collect friends.

You’ve already had a sleepover with the Fag Hag, downed shots with the Diva and made small talk with the Husband here, but who’s to say you can’t have more?

There’s always place for more in your posse of close-knit pals. Move over, OG group, because here are the five other kinds of friends you’ll be playing Cards Against Humanity with over the weekend:

The Breadcrumb

The Breadcrumb is the sappy second lead in every rom-com, the boy who’s never chosen in the end — which explains why he’s always striking out like every other contestant on the Bachelorette.

The Breadcrumb has been waiting on the bench for you for so long; it’s got a special wing named after him. The two of you have history (obviously), but although it wasn’t all fireworks (like your history with your Brozoned Buddy), you still hold a feeble sparkler for him in your heart.

Why don’t you take the leap and act on it then? Maybe he’s the one that got away?

It’s simple. He’s not as smart as Ryan, not as good looking as Ravi, not as charming as Bilal, not as enigmatic as Ishaan, not as athletic as Krish, not as funny as Kabir, not as breathtaking as Ranbir, not as witty as Farhad.

And yet, he’s not as unavailable as the rest of them. Which only makes him that much less desirable. One day, you hope to find your way back to the boy, through your breadcrumb trail of broken hearts that will surely follow this article.

Just make sure that someone else doesn’t get there first.

The Pile On

Eager, simpering and dedicated — the Pile On is the perfect minion for every gang of gay friends — the Gretchen Wiener to your Regina George in this post-millennial Mean Girls world.

He snakes his way to movies scenes, worms his way to lunch soirees, crawls into cocktail plans and squeezes into the booth while the rest of you enjoy burgers at the diner. But that’s the thing about the Pile On — he’ll do anything to be a part of your coveted inner circle — swipe through your Tinder to find you your perfect match (while dissing the Breadcrumb), hate on the same people you do (excluding him), pick you up when you have errands to run (and he’ll run those as well), and sometimes, if you ask politely, he’ll even do your laundry (but no underwear).

Friendship bracelets, memes on WhatsApp groups, invites to house parties and secret codes to speakeasies, the Pile On doesn’t get a lot of things in life.

Including heavy hints not to hang out with your crew.

The Wild Child

The Wild Child is the alpha to your beta, the Yin to your Yang, the ketchup to your fries, the ‘We-should-do-this!’ to your ‘What-will-people-think?’

With the sole purpose in life to make sure you have a great time every night, he eats, sleeps and sometimes, even snorts party invitations till his eyes end up with the same glaze as your breakfast doughnut — but beware, he’s just as nourishing.

The Wild Child channels a ‘more season two, less season six-esque Samantha Jones’ from Sex And The City (not counting the movie and its sequel), but only with tighter clothes and looser morals. When he’s not running to clearance sales for wardrobe checks, he’s bustling over to the STD clinic for health check ups — the Wild Child knows it’s better to be safe than sorry, but he’ll still want to push his limits, just like he pushes his snooze button every morning. The guy counts his minutes in vodka shots, credit card bills and lines of cocaine (that he’ll do while waiting in the lines outside the restroom) and he feels that every moment he’s not ‘raging and having the time of his life’, is a moment wasted (on Instagram.)

Everything said and done, each encounter with our resident renegade is laced with three questions:
Is it spiked?
Is it safe?
Is it a good decision?

As you can tell, the Child (first name, Wild) will most definitely be the poster boy for all the bad decisions of your life — including that one time you threw up the contents of your vodka-lined stomach on your neighbour’s front door.

In broad daylight.
When the door was open.

But he’ll also hold your head and make sure you don’t ruin your Italian loafers while you are at it.

The Dude

The Dude is a straight A douchebag — he makes sexist (and often misogynistic) jokes, generalises all gay men and jocularly tells you not to hit on him, if you as much as tap him on his shoulder in front of other people. Wait, he might not ask you questions like ‘who plays the man and who plays the woman?’ but he’ll still get you a flamingo pink phone case for your birthday.

But then again, he’s still your douchebag.

The Dude and you have a great story of how the two of you met, which you tell everyone (and anyone) over multiple pints of beer at the bar. He calls himself your ‘straight best friend’, your ‘perennial wingman’, your ‘go-to straight bud’ and other such bro-like things — after which you grimace like a depressed clown from the circus. He then guffaws and punches you, while you wince in mock pain. Everyone has fun, and laughs.

It’s a routine you’ve both enjoyed; it’s a routine you’ve both perfected over the years. As you clean up the pints of beer, and wipe off the hypothetical clown makeup, you never understand why you are friends with the Dude.

And then you realise he keeps all the other douchebags away.

The Flake

Word of caution: the Flake is always away — five minutes away, a traffic light away, a meeting away, a weekend away, until he’s not.

And then sometimes, he’s really away.

The Flake ghosts on your gang more often than the hot model that lives 800 metres away, but never replies to any of your texts on Grindr. Only, he’s more appealing and you don’t want to get inside his pants.

It’s not that the Flake doesn’t love you, he does — irrevocably so — it’s just that he loves cancelling plans more. He’s used every excuse in the book to get out of a plan — hemorrhoids, his dog’s funeral, the flu, an important exam, a boring deadline, head lice, a broken kettle, thunderstorms in the other part of town and even his mother’s birthday.

Thrice in the past year.

He’s inconspicuously absent at your birthday party, missing at that weekend trip to the beach three months ago, and nowhere to be found as you challenge your liver to a drink-off every Friday night. He’s the missing piece in the jigsaw puzzle of your friend circle.

But don’t stress — because when you do meet him (and you obviously will) he’ll pretend like nothing happened and pick up right where you left off last time.

And so will you.

Illustration courtesy Siddha Kannur

Aniruddha Mahale