Q&A with Terrance Dean, author of Straight From Your Gay Best Friend
About Straight From Your Gay Best Friend by Terrance Dean
A sassy, funny, and soulful advice guide for straight women from the vantage point of a gay man.
In today’s society every woman needs a gay best friend—someone who gives it to her straight about life, clothes, sex, and relationships. From the inner city to suburbia, a gay best friend has become the new must-have for women.
Terrance Dean can be your new gay best friend. In Straight From Your Gay Best Friend he gives women terrific insights and advice on some of life’s most challenging issues—family, friends, career, love, sex, and intimate relationships. Dean offers direct and to-the-point perspectives, mixed with a little sass, wit, humor, forwardness, and spirituality, as only a gay man can do.
Dean also dedicates a chapter to the most controversial topic in the black community—down-low gay men. He writes, “I am often asked by women, ‘How can I tell if my man is on the down low?’ Or, ‘What are some signs I need to look out for so I do not end up in a relationship with a down-low man?’ This chapter will help women identify if the man they are in a relationship with or considering dating may be on the down low.”
This book will help women discover the power they need for a life of abundant success, prosperity, and happiness with loving relationships. It dispenses practical advice and tips on creating healthy relationships with themselves and any man they desire. And it’s all done from a place of love.
Terrance Dean lives in Los Angeles and will be promoting the book with appearances in New York; Philadelphia; Washington, DC; Atlanta; Los Angeles; and Chicago, among other cities. He is an anthologized fiction writer and his memoir, Hiding In Hip Hop: On the Down Low in the Entertainment Industry from Music to Hollywood, was an Essence best-seller.
Terrance is the gay best friend here to stay or is it a passing societal whim?
The gay best friend is here to stay. We’ve always been around. It’s just that now we are getting more recognition and visibility thanks in part to television programs, movies, and the internet. People will be amazed at the number of women who rely on their gay best friends for advice about everything, from relationships and fashion to dealing with their family members.
What does the gay best friend have to offer a woman that her girlfriends don’t?
First and foremost, we are men. We know men. We know how we act, and what we will do in various situations. We’re the best ally for a woman who needs advice on her relationships and love life. Trust me, we are not going to steer women wrong.
We can also be that go-to person for a listening ear, a shoulder to cry on, and the straight truth about everything. We’re not in competition with our good girlfriends, nor do we have an ulterior motive. We are not trying to sleep with our girlfriends, and we certainly won’t borrow your best fashions and not return them.
What do you hope your readers will walk away with from this book?
I hope readers will walk away with a sense of empowerment and inspiration. Women are naturally powerful, fabulous, and intelligent. In my book, I only reinforce what they already know, and remind them of who they are. Sometimes we forget who we are and what we are here to do, especially when it comes to dealing with other people. My book is intended to provide women with some assistance on their journeys, remind them of their inheritance of what is good and true. I also want every woman to know that no matter what, no one can take away your true divine place in this world. You have a purpose, and your whole life and whatever you desire all depend on you recognizing your purpose.
In your opinion, what are the biggest mistakes women make when entering a relationship?
One of the biggest is giving their power over to men, in the process forgetting who they are and allowing their emotions to take them over. Men think with their brains. Women think with their hearts. Also, women have forgotten how to date. We live in a day and age where people are too eager to hook up instead of taking the time to get to know one another. Another mistake is that women forget that men like to pursue; they like to hunt. A woman has to make the man pursue her and not give in so easily to her (or his) desires. Women have to own their power and virtues.
Another mistake is the failure to listen. Women must listen to men and observe their behavior. Pay attention to what he is saying and doing. If he is not living up to your standards and he is not doing what he says he will, then that woman must reevaluate that man and make him accountable, responsible, and integral. Finally, women tend to date the potential in men. They see who he will become, or what they want him to become, and they fall in love with that man instead of the man they meet. When he doesn’t become who they want him to be, women become disappointed, frustrated, and angry.
If you had to sum up in four sentences your career advice for women, what would you tell them?
Do what you love. Whatever you feel deepest in your heart, whatever brings you the most joy, that is what you are supposed to be doing. Whatever you think about before you go to bed, and think about first thing when you wake up, that is what you should be doing. Your career should bring you joy, peace, and happiness. Don’t do something just for money. If you love what you do, and it provides fulfillment beyond anything you’ve ever experienced, the money will come.
Your book talks about the down-low phenomenon—in your view, how prevalent is the issue of down-low gay men in the black community?
Well, the down-low phenomenon is not just prevalent in the black community, but in all communities, including whites, Latinos, and Asians. Unfortunately, when people hear the term down-low, they associate it with the black community. I feel there should be more open discussions in all communities around sex and sexuality.
We’re so afraid to have those discussions, though, that it’s crippling us—as a result, we have an alarming rate of HIV infection among women. People are scared to talk about gay sex, bisexuality, and down-low. If we talk about it then we have to admit it exists. As long as we avoid talking about it, we are keeping it in the closet, and we are keeping ourselves in the dark.
What is the most important ingredient to living a fabulous life?
Loving yourself. If you love who you are, then others will love you. If you don’t appreciate you, then others will not. If you don’t show yourself respect, then others will not. It’s all about love. And that means loving everything about yourself from the bottom of your feet to the top of your head.
Where do you go from here? Do you have plans for other works or projects?
Yes, I have plans to develop a “Straight from Your Gay Best Friend” series. There are so many topics to address and so many wonderful opportunities to share with people who need support, advice, inspiration, and empowerment in their lives. So, I plan to continue providing material that uplift and encourage people to be their fabulous and fierce selves. People should be who they are and get what they deserve.