What do you get when you cross Tinder with GBF: the movie? No this is not a joke, it’s an app.
A couple of weeks back, I received an invitation to celebrate a new app called the Gal Pal app. So, on a beautiful sunny day in Santa Monica, my producer Kory Goetzman and I found ourselves in the penthouse restaurant at the Huntley Hotel, toasting the beginning of a new venture for founder Jasmine Sassounian and her best gay friend and business partner Ian Maxion. Greeting us were beautiful scantily clad boys, glasses of champagne and the team from GlamSquad.com to help with touch ups on hair, make up and manicures. Looking out for you just like any GBF would.
I was totally surprised when I found out about this app. I can honestly say it never occurred to me that straight people would make such an effort to find queer friends. How fantastic! I mean, the hardest thing about truly understanding one another is getting someone to see life from your perspective. This is why having a diverse group of friends is so important. How else will you understand what a community is feeling or experiencing if you don’t have a diverse group of people around you?
When Jasmine got the idea for the app, she said it was because her best girlfriends were jealous of the amazing relationships she had with her “gay best friend” GBF. She wanted to find a way to help people connect. Why not an app? If people can connect for sex, why not for friendship?
Consider this, when the tragic events took place at Pulse Nightclub in Orlando, I wrote a piece for Huffington Post called, “Be More Gay”. It was in response to so many of my friends venting about being upset and hurt that more of their straight friends weren’t posting on social media in support of the queer community. My suggestion was to be more gay. Invite all of your straight friends to the queer stuff. If they have experience with it, then they can understand their connection to it. My friend Frenchie Davis said she disagreed somewhat because she said that straight people also had to be willing to learn about our community. It can’t just be us asking them. They have to want to be invited.
Enter the Gal Pal app. This is one way for people that want to be invited to the party to find someone to invite them. I love the idea of it. I’ll be really interested to see how well it will be utilized. Straight people that want queer friends, and queers that are looking for straight friends to hang out with. I love this idea. I also love that GalPal has chosen to partner with #RestInPride (www.restinpride.org) a partnership that I think perfectly illustrates my point of finding ways to connect in order create a stronger community.
“Rest In PRIDE is all about continuing the conversation of Orlando while bringing together different communities who might not get to interact enough, but have a lot to learn from one another. GalPal has a very similar philosophy, plus they are such a huge supporter of our own community, and therefore we are proud and honored to be a part of their upcoming event!”, says Rest in Pride co-founder Charley Walters
This is how we create bonds with one another, by people finding ways to reach out to one another. Each generation has to find their way of coming together. Although this isn’t the way that I socialize, I love the idea of finding a new way for people to come together for love and friendship.
Our community must continue to live our lives as loudly and proudly as suits us. The easiest way for someone to see you is to actually see you doing just that. It is when they know you, they know your triumphs and tragedies, that is when we come together as humans. That is when we truly change the world.
I am hopeful that Jasmine and Ian have started a trend of people standing up and making real effort to reach out with love and say “it’s a pleasure to meet you.”