It has been a few years since I was in a serious relationship and an even longer time since I felt the need to AGAIN educate my straight brethren on proper etiquette when interacting with gay couples. When in doubt – treat gay relationship as you would straight relationships. Do not deviate from your observed levels of respect, as doing so usually results in awkward moments.
If you’re still a bit confused, here is the hard and fast rule: If you would be uncomfortable or you would be thought of as disrespectful by pulling said stunt with your straight friends, know that it is EXACTLY the same reaction felt by the gay community.
So, for the record…
** If as a straight man, you would not care for your girlfriend/wife to be manhandled by her straight male friends, chances are gay partners don’t care to have their partner pawed by the masses.
** If it would annoy you to have your boyfriend go out with girls from his neighborhood on the slide – even if they were ‘lipstick lesbians,’ - then chances are, gay partners would be irritated to have straight folks take their partner out on the town.
** If an argument or disagreement ensues with you and your girlfriend you want friends in your circle to be sympathetic. Well, as it turns out, gay couples would like the same thing. Gay relationships aren’t any more or less important and therefore the SAME feelings are being experienced by the partners in question. Be empathetic and sympathetic that they are going through the same thing you would.
All said, strive to treat ALL couples, equally and show ALL couples equal respect. The misunderstanding you may avert may be your own.
Female couples appear to have more serious issues dealing with straight men that disregard female-female relationships, but don’t sleep on the females, they too can step out of line with one or both male partners.
Tell us of an incident when you’ve witnessed a straight person stepping out of line with regard to a gay relationship. (If you’re straight, tell us of an incident involving a disrespectful gay counterpart.)
Keep passin’ the open windows…