Lesbros: Vivek Shraya


The trusty website, UrbanDictionary.com, has several definitions for the term lesbro:

1. A man who has more friendships with lesbians than other women or men.

2. The male equivalent of a fag hag.

3. A heterosexual man who is either one or both of the following: a brother to one or more lesbian sisters, or, friends with a disproportionate amount of homosexual women. “Wow, your brother really only hangs out with gay girls, doesn’t he! And you’re a big gay yourself, sister! What a lesbro you’ve got there!”

To us, a lesbro is a little bit of all, but at his core, a lesbro is a male friend to at least one, but possibly several, lesbians. This column shares a little bit about some famous lesbros that we love.

Vivek Shraya is a transplanted prairie boy living in Toronto. Active in the local queer community, he’s also a musician who has toured North America, showcased at NXNE and CMW, and appeared with Tegan and Sara, Dragonette and Melissa Ferrick. Shraya has released five records, including 2009’s Keys & Machines, and was recently featured on Degrassi and ABC’s Private Practice. God Loves Hair is his first book.

AfterEllen.com: Of the above three definitions of a lesbro, which do you think describes you best? 

Vivek Shraya: A man who has more friendships with lesbians than other women or men. I am the definitive lesbro. 99.9 percent of my friends are lesbians. No joke.

AE: What is the best thing about your lesbian friend/s?

VS: Everything! More specifically, their crazy amazing sense of style (which they let me rip off), plus our mutual boner for Joan Holloway (Mad Men) and Channing Tatum’s muscles. Plus their big hearts.

AE: 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?

VS: As a queer man, I have difficulty connecting with straight men (unless they watch Top Model) and with gay men there is always a weird tension of “Do I like you? Do you like me? Do you want to f–k?” Whereas with lesbians, there isn’t the same kind of tension, so we can just be buds.

AE: What stereotype about lesbians have you found to be false?

VS: All lesbians have watched all six seasons of The L Word. Wrong! I am one of the few in my friend circle who watched to see who killed Jenny Schecter.

All of my other favourite lesbian (relationship) stereotypes are found in this amazing video.

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

VS: It’s actually the opposite, lesbians are drawn to me. Like a moth to a flame!

AE: How has your girlfriend (or past girlfriends if you are not in a relationship now) responded to your friendships with lesbians?

VS: I have an intimacy with my friends that can definitely trigger jealousy with a partner but anyone I love has to be a bit of a lesbro themselves.

AE: You have worked with a lot of celesbians … can you describe what was it like working with Meghan Toohey?

VS: I met Meghan through a mutual friend and we instantly discovered a musical chemistry. This is particularly special as a lot of the work we do together, we do separately or online (G-chat! Holla!), as we both live on either sides of North America. She produced my last two records, If We’re Not Talking and Keys & Machines, and has this unbelievable skill to take a song to a whole new level. She is also one of those annoyingly talented people who can play every instrument.

AE: There is a testimonial by Sara Quin (of Tegan and Sara) on the back of the book you released last year called God Loves Hair. Can you describe how that came about?

VS: God Loves Hair was such a personal project for me that I was hesitant to show the manuscript to the closest of friends. But both Tegan and Sara have been so supportive of my artistic career and are huge inspirations, not to mention avid readers, so I sent them copies for their feedback and then waited nervously for their responses! Thankfully they enjoyed the book and I then asked Sara if she would be willing to write a quote for the book.

Find out more about this week’s Lesbro at vivekshraya.com.

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