A reader writes:
Just as the latest suicides happened this September, a new coming-of-age movie came out, Easy A. The lead character, high school student Olive, agrees to pretend to have sex with the bullied gay boy to get his tormentors off of his back. I took my fifteen-year-old son to see it last night with a packed audience of young people. They loved it. I thought the film was great, but I'm surprised I haven't heard it mentioned yet in the "It Gets Better" discussion.
I realized afterwards that one of the reasons I love the film so much is because it's about my own high school experience. For those who knew what I was doing, the derogatory term for me was "fag hag".
I was the stand-in girlfriend for anyone who needed a cover. I kissed and cuddled for the benefit of parents and showed up at gay friends' workplaces roleplaying as their girlfriend. It was necessary back then (the '70s) for them to keep their jobs or not be thrown out of their homes before they finished school. I could create enough doubt in the bullies' minds to keep these boys from being harassed.
Like Olive, in the film, I gained a reputation, even though I was still a virgin. I didn't care because it helped make those boys lives more bearable. Perhaps "fag hags" like me are the unsung heros that kept countless young gay man alive until they could live their lives openly.