Lesbros: Jack Antonoff

 
 

What is the best thing about your lesbian friends?

There’s something extremely relaxing about being friends with women and not having any sort of strange tension. It’s hard for me to be friends with straight girls and not have it feel like it’s headed somewhere more intense. There’s always that weirdness there with straight girls. It’s like I’m constantly concerned that they think I’m hitting on them, while simultaneously terrified that I’m being hit on.

That awful tension does not exist with my lesbian friends. [It's] almost like I’m free to be my nervous self, without the fear that they will think it’s meant to be flirty. Ugh. 

Do you think that having lesbian friends has anything to do with where you fall on the Kinsey scale? Care to comment on your own sexuality?

I’m not sure. All I know is what feels comfortable to me. I’m “straight,” but in no way am I a zero on the Kinsey scale. I think having many lesbian friends says more about me feeling more comfortable around women in general.

It makes more sense for me to be friends with lesbians rather than straight girls. Here’s why: I love talking about relationships, but you can’t really do that with straight girls because it always feels like some kind of gross flirty tactic. It’s so easy to talk about relationships and women with my lesbian friends because there is no fear of a hidden agenda on either end. In a way, we can relate way more because we are after something similar and go through a lot of the same bulls–t to find it.

What stereotype about lesbians have you found to be false?

I don’t really hear many stereotypes about lesbians. I mostly hear stereotypes about Jews… paranoid.

What do you think it is specifically that draws you towards being friends with lesbians?

That’s an interesting one. Here’s one thought: I went to a private school for my entire life up until 8th grade. When it came time for high school, I was convinced by my parents to go the local public school. It was a time in my life that I resembled a cross between Duckie from Pretty in Pink and a young Rick Moranis; not to say that I’ve grown out of this.

Needless to say, I was tortured and it was beyond hideous. I endured two years of New Jersey public high school before transferring to a performing arts high school in Manhattan. I was coming from a place where I was tortured for being gay, which was odd because I wasn’t, nor did it feel like jab, to a place filled with wonderful people who loved me and also happened to mostly be gay.

I was one of two straight boys in my entire class and a lot of my female friends in my new school were lesbians as well. It’s somewhat strange, but in those formative years, it kind of felt like I was saved by gay people. It was the first time I felt comfortable being a boy who wasn’t gay, but didn’t really fit in with all the other straight kids. I don’t even want to imagine how I would have ended up if I spent two more years in that shockingly close-minded, homophobic public school.

Being gay in 2010 is not easy. I feel incredibly drawn to people of inner substance who have honest struggles in their lives and find ways to overcome them. To be openly gay in America, and a lot of the world, is something that currently takes a lot of strength. I’m happiest when I’m surrounded by people who inspire me. And in the current climate of civil rights, I’m extremely inspired by the LGBT community and what they have to go through to be themselves.

How have your girlfriends responded to your friendships with lesbians?

Different reactions. I had one girlfriend that found it somewhat odd. That’s pretty offensive if you think about it. People seem very comfortable with women having gay men as friends, but a man being friends with lesbians seems to rub some people in a strange way. Almost like they assume it’s some kind of fetish or that the man is just trying to fulfill some kind of fantasy. It all goes back to people having a hard time understanding that you can be a straight man that has much more in common with women then men.

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