Ash: But you love her?
Freddie: Yes. We like her.
A Fag Hag is a woman who associates closely with gay men. The term used to be an insult but is becoming increasingly adopted by the women themselves. Friendships between Fag Hags and gay men allow for closeness and intimacy without the danger of sexual feeling getting in the way.
Fag Hags are stereotypically portrayed as overweight. At best, she's a classy BBW; at worst, she's a neurotic drama queen who is either promiscuous or perpetually single. In many cases, the Hag started hanging out with her gay friend because she was attracted to him, before he turns her down for obvious reasons (wishful thinking will ignore even the most Flamboyant Gay characteristics). The friendship lasts however, and some Fag Hags even seek out gay men — either because they find them non-threatening or as a replacement for a 'proper' straight relationship. Gays who enjoy the company of these ladies do so for similar reasons, but it isn't uncommon for a gay man to see his Hag as a sort of maternal figure, especially if she's older than him and/or if his own mother rejected him. A Hag who acts as a mother figure to a group of gay men is sometimes called a "Wendy" — because she takes care of the Lost Boys.
This trope has been heavily stereotyped in Real Life on all sides. A woman with a gay friend at all is often called a Fag Hag even if they simply enjoy each other's company with no ulterior motives. Some women, however, see all gay men as possible Pet Homosexuals, even though the men in question might find this patronizing. And lastly, by no means do all gay men enjoy female company; at best, some simply get along better with other men, and at worst they can be as misogynistic as a stereotypical straight male misogynist.
Some women resent the name "Fag Hag" for multiple reasons including the misogyny that comes along with the term and are rather referred to as "Fruit Flies", "Mo Hos", "Gay Boy Bunnies", "Alternative Lifestyle Assistants" or something along those lines. The Japanese equivalent of this phrase, Okoge, literally means "the rice stuck to the bottom of a pot", playing off of Okama (literally, a type of pot for cooking rice), the slang term for homosexual men and drag queens. In German, it's "Schwulenmutti". Some people, including gay and straight, eschew terminology altogether and simply enjoy their friendships for what they are without the need to put each other down or classify each other in a derogatory way.
The equivalent for a man who hangs out with lesbians is a Lez Bro (or Dyke Tyke or Little Dutch Boy - think about it), but they're not quite as common in Real Life or pop culture. Fag Stag, a Token Straight man in a group of gay men, is slowly becoming more used, but nowhere near Lez Bro levels, let alone Fag Hag.
Compare Yaoi Fangirl. The Gay Best Friend can be an inversion if it's a gay man whose friends are almost entirely straight women. See also Last Het Romance, where the woman may become a Fag Hag in response to her partner outing himself.
- Kate Spencer, the titular character of the Manhunter comic is very much a fag hag; her closest (and arguably only) friend in the superhero business is gay and dating her paralegal. And if that's not enough, a comic set in the future shows her son is gay, too — and likely the heir to her title.
- Scott Pilgrim has this to almost parodic levels. There are three decidedly heterosexual characters, one of whom has has recurring Ho Yay with another male character Played for Laughs. Eventually, the unambiguously straight characters can be counted on hand.
- Ed Brubaker's superhero/spy series Sleeper (WildStorm) has a character named Fag Hag, because she's an energy vampire that can only drain the lifeforce of homosexuals (complete with Gaydar!) She considers it Blessed with Suck since her closest friends were always gay.
- Beautie of Astro City is a human-sized robotic fashion doll. She has an apartment above a gay bar and is friends with the local gay community because they're men who won't try to proposition her.
- In Kick-Ass, Katie Deauxma befriends Dave because she thinks he's gay and always wanted a gay friend.
- The author of Persepolis lives together with eight gay guys in one shared apartment in Vienna.
- Kate Bishop of Young Avengers and Hawkeye fame is a more subtle example. She's both good friends with Wiccan and Hulkling of said team (and the three of them are the three longest-serving members of the team), and she became something of a surrogate daughter to a gay couple she met when she moved to the West Coast after she saved their wedding, while also cat-sitting for a lesbian couple. She's been depicted as best friends with America Chavez, who is a butch lesbian with whom she has extensive Les Yay teased (but Kate insists she herself is straight), and two of her three canon boyfriends (Noh-Varr and Fuse) are bisexual and attracted to one another, while another boy she had extensive Ship Tease with (Speed) was implied to be bisexual in a one-shot story. At this point, the only straight people in Kate's life can be counted on one hand.
- Mrs. Nussbaum from Circles is a widowed straight woman who loves Paulie and the others, despite her late homophobic husband.
- Blue Is the Warmest Color: Subverted as Clémentine, Valentin's friend, is herself queer, and didn't even realize he was gay at first.
- In The Authority, the Engineer, Angie Spica, is a close friend of Apollo, and is "Best Woman" at his wedding to (male) partner The Midnighter. Apollo teases that she's his fag hag. She doesn't mind.
- Hetalia: Axis Powers fanfic Gankona, Unnachgiebig, Unità: Hungary loves to hang out with Germany, Italy, and Japan. Germany and Italy are bi while Japan is gay. She also loves to hang out with France, Spain, and Prussia when she is not beating the ever-loving crap out of them.
- Marinette has inadvertently become this to Marc in Mon Arc-en-Ciel, being the only other student who knows Marc's crush on Nathaneal and his Dark and Troubled Past.
- In Ask Hoops and Dumbbell, Dumbbell meets a lesbian who admits that she seeks out friendships with gay stallions because she finds friendship easier when Incompatible Orientation isn't a risk. Dumbbell accepts this(As opposed to a mare who previously tried to turn him into a Gay Best Friend), and the two quickly strike up a friendship.
- In Death Note: The Abridged Series (kpts4tv), Takada is this for Light.
- Fag Hag, obviously.
- As described above, the Japanese call them Okoge, which is the title of a 1992 film about such a woman.
- Subversion: Dee from the movie Camp (2003) is called a fag hag but her definition of the word is a girl who only gay guys would hit on.
- Doris in Fame is referred to as a fag hag for her friendship with Montgomery.
- Jennifer Aniston's character being one of these drives the entire plot of the movie The Object of My Affection.
- Parodied in Kiss Kiss Bang Bang; Harry, after working closely with "Gay" Perry, ends up being humorously called out as a fag hag by Perry come the conclusion.
- Two such relationships in the Bridget Jones films and books.
- Bridget's friend Tom calls himself a "Hag Fag" as a gay man hanging out with three straight women: Bridget, Shazzer, and Jude.
- In the second film, Mark and his assistant Rebecca Gillies are hinted at having this relationship, especially considering since he doesn't slip his assistant's identity to his girlfriend.
- Dumplin': Implied to be the case with Willowdean's late aunt Lucy. She was unmarried and is never mentioned to have had a boyfriend, and frequented a gay bar. She originally started attending because the bar had a drag show featuring Dolly Parton's music every week, but went on to become close friends with several of the performers working there.
- Single All the Way: Peter's flamboyant, self-centered actress Aunt Sandy is unmarried, but states that she usually gets along with gay people. Part of it is because they "know how to do stuff," which she appreciates, and part of it is because, "For some reason, they're always obsessed with me." Everything about her screams camp, so it's not hard to see why that may be the case.
- The Star Wars Expanded Universe gives us, of all people, Boba Fett. At the beginning of Legacy of the Force, his only friends are Goran Beviin and his spouse, Madrit Vasur. Yes, gays in the Star Wars universe might seem controversial, but it's overshadowed by other things.
- Common insult to the women in Brett Easton Ellis's The Rules of Attraction.
- House Of Night has Zoey's friends Damien Maslin and Jack Twist. And not a single page goes by that doesn't mention their sexualities.
- Iris Wildthyme has been widely interpreted as a time-travelling Doctor Who version of the stereotypical "fag hag", and indeed, many of her companions tend to be gay. It is, however, worth noting that some stories depict Iris herself as either a lesbian or bisexual.
- Boy Meets Boy has Joni, who is best friends with Paul and Tony, both of whom are gay.
- In a Christmas episode of 30 Rock, Jenna Moroney describes her adoptive family as "four twenty-five-year-old gay guys."
- Her entourage in the episode where she decides to be (more) difficult consists of Camp Gay guys, too.
- Edina from Absolutely Fabulous wants to be one of these, and frequently claims "All my friends are gay!", because she sees having a lot of gay friends as being fashionable. It isn't true. The closest she comes is her ex-husband Justin, and her former friend Max. And both are implied to have actually been turned gay by the act of sleeping with her.
- Referenced and inverted in an episode of ABC's Accidentally On Purpose.
- Jen from Dawson's Creek is a self-proclaimed fag hag, her best friend Jack being gay.
- Dear White People: The woman in the couple who Lionel goes home with realizes she's this as her partner is really gay. She clearly makes her peace with it, because she's still with him near the end of the season.
- When a gay couple moves into the neighborhood in Desperate Housewives, Susan is ecstatic to have them as her Gay Best Friend "just like on tv". Needless to say, they hate her instantly. Though a season or two later they eventually start getting along and hanging out.
- Amy Pond from Doctor Who thought that her childhood friend, Rory, was gay, and she thought that she was this for years. She couldn't have been more wrong.
- In Frankie Howerd Rather You Than Me, Jane says she finds the experience of being a hag "quite agreeable" when Frankie asks her if she's worried that being his beard has damaged her chances of meeting someone.
- The premise of the reality show Girl Who Like Boys Who Like Boys is filming several groups of girls and their own Gay Best Friend as they do... stuff.
Kurt & Blaine: Gay, gay, gay gay gay gay gay gay, etc.
- Mercedes quickly becomes Kurt's "brassy hag" once she (finally) realizes romance is not an option. It's subverted when she hangs out with Kurt and his crush Blaine and is bored out of her mind as the boys chat about theatre, fashion, and political issues relevant to them as gays. This results in her hearing nothing but the word "GAY" come out of their mouths.
Kurt: Oh my gosh, I open my mouth and a little purse falls out!
Blaine: Oh my gosh, SO gay!
- Unfortunately, Kurt and Mercedes began drifting apart during the second season and into the third. However, Kurt has developed a close friendship with Rachel.
- When Tina has an obsessive crush on Blaine, he says she's hagged out. Later, when she realizes how silly she was, she says she feels she'll only ever be a hag for Blaine, Kurt, and all the other gay men she'll ever meet. They assure her she won't be.
- Jenny for Eric on Gossip Girl.
- Discussed multiple times in Happy Endings by and around Derrick, the recurring Camp Gay character.
- Penny essentially became a hag wannabe after her former boyfriend (and main character) Max turned out to be Straight Gay. She's overjoyed upon first being introduced to Derrick, but ends up finding that 100% gay 100% of the time is too much even for her. In a later episode, he names her a hag nonetheless, to her joy, especially as an upgrade from being The Beard.
- Jane also declares herself a "total hag" to Max since "the gays love me", but next to her Derrick doubtfully shakes his head, eventually calling her "a top, plain and simple" due to her commanding personality. Later, Derrick recruits her for his wedding party when his fiance "Eric's hag Jan" can't make it.
- Subverted in an episode of Married... with Children. Peggy goes dancing with a gay guy and it is strictly platonic. But the gay guy's husband suspects that his partner is having an affair with Peggy!
- Noah's Arc: Brandy, Noah's boss, comes off as this at times.
- Debbie from Queer as Folk definitely counts, though given the premise of the show any other heterosexual woman would also qualify.
- On Riverdale, once arriving in town Veronica is on the lookout for a new gay best friend and is ecstatic to meet Kevin.
Veronica: So what's the social scene like here? Any nightclubs?
Kevin: A strip club called the Ho Zone and a tragic gay bar called Innuendo. Friday nights, football games, and then tailgate parties at the Mallmart parking lot. Saturday night is movie night, regardless of what's playing at the Bijou, and you better get there early, because we don't have reserved seating in Riverdale. And Sunday nights...Thank God for HBO...
Betty: Veronica Lodge, Kevin Keller. Veronica, Kevin is—
Veronica: Gay, thank god!
- In a Saturday Night Live skit about Dumbledore coming out of the closet, JK Rowling (Amy Poehler) is on Larry King and reveals cut scenes from Harry Potter movies. In them, Dumbledore is openly gay and Professor McGonagall is his fag hag.
- On Sense8, Daniela attempts to seduce Lito before realizing that he's in a committed relationship with Hernando. She then proceeds to essentially move in with them. It helps that she's an extreme believer in Guy-on-Guy Is Hot.
- Sex and the City: All four of the girls at one time or another. Margaret Cho as Lynne:
Lynne: This is my boyfriend Damien. I say boyfriend loosely as he is clearly a homosexual.
- The final episode of SPACED shows Twist socializing in a gay club, but looking sad as she realizes she's thrown away some of her best friends.
- Two-time Survivor player Corinne Kaplan made a point in both games of seeking out and aligning with a gay player. In her second season, it was with a guy who wasn't even in her original tribe, meaning she was willing to adjust her *entire game plan* in favor of working with a gay guy.
Corinne: I love my gays.
- The L Word:
- Kit is the only straight woman in a Cast Full of Gay, making her a double inversion of this trope as Fag Hag for lesbians — maybe a Lez Hag?
- Her season 6 boyfriend is also a Fag Hag — by default, being a straight drag queen, whose friends are all gay drag queens.
- The Sarah Silverman Program features Sarah who is best friends and neighbors to Steve and Bryan, the most obese, nerdy, stoner gay couple ever seen.
- The Secret Life of the American Teenager: Ashley Juergens apparently, since she became close friends with the school's Token Gay guy.
- Ugly Betty has its fag hag in the form of Amanda.
- Warehouse 13: Claudia eagerly becomes one once paired with Steve Jinks. She expresses her surprise that she only started becoming one with Steve, because "I mean, I am pretty fabulous, right?"
- Will & Grace:
- The titular Grace is the fag hag of Will.
- Gimme, Gimme, Gimme subverts Will & Grace in a very British way; it throws together an appalling gay man and a sociopathic straight woman, possibly because nobody else would care to share a grotty rented flat with them. Linda becomes a reluctant fag hag to Tom.
- There is actually a song called "Fag Hag" by Lily Allen.
- In the musical production called Fairy Tales, the song "The Gay Guys" is about a woman bemoaning how every friend, every boyfriend, every husband, and even her father are gay, and warns the man asking her out that before the night is over, she'll probably wind up turning him gay too.
- From Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five's "The Message" (1982):
"Crazy lady, living in a bag, eating out garbage pails, used to be a fag hag."
- "Gay Boyfriend" by The Hazzards.
Gay Boyfriend, Gay Boyfriend
I don't really care that you are queer.Gay Boyfriend, Gay BoyfriendI never feel lonely when you are near.
- Peejee for Jhim in Something*Positive. She gets over it (mostly), but only after Jhim moves to Washington D.C.
- Chris is a Fag Stag to EVERYONE in Fur-Piled.
- Rain has a few instances of this. Rudy addresses Rain as his Fag Hag following their break-up. Also, Gavin is Maria's fake boyfriend, making him a Lez Bro. Also, as Gavin is the only straight member of the main characters, he counts as one all his own.
- In El Goonish Shive, Susan is close friends with Justin and even admits that she likes him because he will never feel any sexual attraction for her.
- Missie of Misfile describes herself as this once she becomes friends with Rumisiel... to his extreme chagrin, as he's not actually gay; he is Ash's Beard, not the other way around like Missie assumes. Worse, he can't correct her without lying his ass off and/or breaking The Masquerade.
- When Stan of American Dad! decides he wants to be gay (long story), he tries to cheer up his despondent wife Francine by claiming she can be his Hag.
- According to the commentary, they actually wanted to say Fag Hag, but FOX said no. When they asked the Log Cabin Republicans (gay Republicans) about it, they also said no.
- Toot to Xandir on Drawn Together, played for very Squicky laughs when she more or less rapes him and manages to get pity-sex out of him.
- Condie Ling of Rick & Steve: The Happiest Gay Couple in All the World, who makes up for her inability to find a date (by Rick's own word, she turned him gay in high school) by hanging out with homosexuals (who are less prone to reject her, or at least, reject her less violently) and has a serious disgust of heterosexuality. She'll have you know she is not a fag hag, though — she is an alternative lifestyle companion.
- Comedienne Margaret Cho is a self-described fag hag, which she claims stems from growing up in San Francisco and being raised almost exclusively by gay men; she bonded with the gay kids at her school because they were outcasts just as much as she was for being overweight and Asian. "They say certain smells bring you back to your childhood. Well, the smell that brings me back is balls in pantyhose!" She went on to talk about how "We were your date to the prom, and dragged your sorry asses through the Underground Railroad..."
- That title may have to go to Oscar Wilde's close female friend Ada "Sphinx" Leverson, who was the Victorian equivalent of a Yaoi Fangirl. Leverson's Fag Hag-ness was considered as poisonous in some circles as homosexuality. A disguised version of her helped the Depraved Homosexual characters based on Wilde and his lover Alfred "Bosie" Douglas worm their way into society in order to corrupt it in the Wilde-bashing roman a cléf The Green Carnation.
- Enforced in 18th century Italy, where it was not uncommon for rich noblewomen to have cicisbei — male companions or lovers, equivalent to mistresses for men. Cicisbei were more tolerated if they were known to be homosexuals and therefore were only around to be friends with the lady, and not to have adulterous relationships with her.
- Judy Garland was this. Her social circle included many gay men and she often went to gay bars with them. This helped contribute to her status as a gay icon. Garland once quipped that when she died, they would fly the flags at half-mast on Fire Island.
- Diana, Princess of Wales was well known for closeness with gay men. Given that her time in the public eye coincided with the worst of the AIDS crisis, the role was all the more important. In one famous moment, Diana removed her gloves and shook hands with a man diagnosed with AIDS in a public appearance; at the time, there was a strong (and entirely incorrect) belief that the disease could be transferred through touch, so Diana doing so — and later making a televised statement about how AIDS could not be spread that way — was considered shocking. Princess Diana and Freddie Mercury were also close friends.
- Estelle Getty, best known for her role as Sophia on The Golden Girls, was famed for her relationship with gay men; she herself joked that she felt most comfortable when she had her "five-fag minimum" around her. Getty explained that, given her career on the New York stage, being surrounded by gay men was inevitable, and she developed incredible Gaydar as a result. On a more serious note, Getty was also a tireless advocate for AIDS victims (having lost her nephew to the disease) who appeared at charity events on a regular basis.