Getting Rid of Your "Gay Boyfriend"

What Women Really Think
July 7 2009 9:54 AM

Getting Rid of Your "Gay Boyfriend"

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Amelie Gillette, the brilliantly crabby woman behind the Onion A.V. Club column The Hater , has pointed out one of the scourges of the Bravo network: the repeated use of the completely insulting term, "gay boyfriend." Gillette has started a Hater podcast , and on her first cast she calls the Real Housewives franchise out on their mostly demeaning treatment of their close gay friends. (The Housewives are a pet peeve of Gillette's-she talks about them in her third podcast, too.) Referring to your gay friends as "my gays" makes them sound like trinkets, or as Gillette puts it, "They're just like those little chihuahuas that are carried around in a bag." This is not merely a Housewifely affectation-I've heard many a non-botoxed pedestrian refer to their gay boyfriends, and the Housewives' fellow Bravo star Kathy Griffin can't get enough of the term. Though for most people, it's not meant to be cruel or discriminatory, at this point it's not just insulting ... it's also uninspired. Do you really want to be unironically sharing terminology with a group of women who spend 50 percent of their time talking about their bubbies ?

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Jessica Grose is a frequent Slate contributor and the author of the novel Sad Desk Salad. Follow her on Twitter.