"I am not a fag hag! I'm an alternative lifestyle companion."
—Condie, Rick and Steve
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 nonthreatening 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.
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, but at worst they can be as misogynistic as straight guys.
Some women resent the name "Fag Hag" for multiple reasons, and are rather referred to as "Fruit Flies", "Mo Hos", "The Love That Dare Not Speak Its Name Dames", "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.
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 Pet Homosexual 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.
Anime and Manga
- 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.
- Ed Brubaker's superhero/spy series Sleeper 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.
- Possibly Coco from the SLG Gargoyles comics. But then, considering how gargoyles raise their young, Coco and Staghart may consider each other brother and sister.
- Beautie of Astro City is a a human-sized robotic fashion doll. She has an apartment above a gay bar and is friends to the local gay community because they're men who won't try to proposition her.
- The love interest in Kick-Ass befriends the main character 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.
- Fag Hag, obviously.
- Subversion: Dee from the movie Camp 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.
- 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.
- The titular Grace from Will and Grace is the Fag Hag of Will.
- Karen is Jack's
- Ugly Betty has its fag hag in the form of Amanda.
- 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.
- 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.
- Jen from Dawson's Creek is a self-proclaimed fag hag, her best friend Jack being gay.
- In the recent 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.
- Jenny for Eric on Gossip Girl.
- Sex and the City: All four of the girls at one time or another.
- Referenced and inverted in an episode of ABC's Accidentally On Purpose.
- On Glee, 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 & Blaine: Gay, gay, gay gay gay gay gay gay etc.
- Unfortunately, Kurt and Mercedes began drifting apart during the second season and into the third. However, Kurt has developed a close friendship with Rachel.
- In 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 faghag.
- The Sarah Silverman Program features Sarah who is best friends and neighbors to Steve and Ryan, the most obese, nerdy, stoner gay couple ever seen.
- The premise of the reality show Girl Who Like Boys Who Like Boys is filming several groups of girls and their own Pet Homosexual as they do... stuff.
- Noah's Arc: Brandy, Noah's boss, comes off as this at times.
- When a gay couple moves into the neighborhood in Desperate Housewives, Susan is ecstatic to have them as her Pet Homosexual "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.
- 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!
- 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.
- 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 and Steve, 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 Het Is Ew attitude.
- Somehow, Ed, Edd 'n' Eddy's Jimmy and Sarah were left out of this.
- Cherri Bomb from Hazbin Hotel, a close friend and partner to Angel Dust, who is openly gay.
- 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, since 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 panty hose!" She went on to talk about how "We were your date to the prom, and dragged your sorry asses through the Underground Railroad..." Cho can be described as the patron saint of Fag Hags.
- 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 and Wilde-bashing roman a cléf The Green Carnation.
- Yaoi Fangirls. At best, they'll be genuine friends with gay guys and just so happen to find them attractive. At worst, they'll pretend to be friends just for cheap thrills.
- The CBC once even aired a documentary about fag hags.
- Sex columnist Dan Savage apparently regularly gets letters from men who are attracted to women but unsuccessful with them, asking him if their sexual problems are because they're gay. Savage points out that gay men and straight women not infrequently get along - dare one say it? - fabulously.
- Kevin Smith is an outspoken Fag Stag.
- Same thing with Daniel Radcliffe.
- Kathy Griffin.
- Comedienne Lisa Lampanelli said in her book, Chocolate, Please, that if it wasn't for gay men, "us fat chicks wouldn't have any friends."
- Diamanda Galas.