Straight to the Gay Bar: Friendfactor Makes a Splash

2 Dec

Most out LGBT people I know, can recall coming out to their best straight friend or their straight brother or sister or even their parents. When we recall that moment, it’s hard not to also remember the awkward questions that followed…

“So…have you ALWAYS been this way?”

“Do you like musicals now?”

and the ever-famous…

“So…how do you…do…it?”

What many of us don’t really notice is just how easy it becomes to communicate with our straight friends and family once the big questions have already been asked. Of course this isn’t ALWAYS the case and some of us are dismissed and disowned outright, and sometimes the conversation never moves past the awkward. But for those relationships that are lucky enough to move beyond that, Brian Elliot and his pals at Friendfactor want you to take the next step.

Having started a Facebook group called “Give Brian Equality,” Brian succeeded in getting 600 of his friends to join – to learn about the inequalities he faces. Brian was shocked to see that in just four weeks, the group had grown to 19,000 people. So he started Friendfactor, a new online platform designed to assist LGBT people in communicating with their straight friends about equality. We announced the launch of the app and website just a few weeks ago.

It’s time to move past “Does this belt go with this dress?” and on to “Did you know I can be fired for being gay in 29+ states?”

Tonight, Friendfactor had it’s first Friendraiser, encouraging LGBT people to attend and bring along a straight friend or two. The event, titled “Straight to a gay bar” was a huge success with over 200 attendees and a little education mixed with a few drinks. The approach was subtle and even featured a gameshow where the straight friend had to guess if the title read by the host was the name of a gay bar or a steakhouse, and the gay friend had to guess between straight bars and day spas. Needless to say, “Mantini” and “Touch” were among the stumpers. Visit to find out more information. Here’s a few photos from tonight’s event:

Patty Buckley, COO and Brian Elliot, Founder of Friendfactor


All photos copyright Jamie McGonnigal;

5 Responses to “Straight to the Gay Bar: Friendfactor Makes a Splash”

  1. Brian Elliot December 3, 2010 at 10:29 am #

    Hey Jamie, thanks for coming to the event! I’m excited for many more to come as a way to build a larger base of support for LGBT rights…


  1. Friendfactor Joins the LGBT Equality Movement and Why You Should Too « Kraus Notes - December 5, 2010

    […] past Thursday, I attended the Friendfactor fundraiser in New York City. Standing in a room with hundreds of other gays and their supportive friends […]

  2. The Friendfactor Blog » Blog Archive » Friendfactor Makes a “Splash” in NYC - December 7, 2010

    […] now, the incriminating pictures courtesy of our “Ffriend” Jamie McGonnigal at Talk About Equality: #gallery-1 { margin: auto; } #gallery-1 .gallery-item { float: left; margin-top: 10px; […]

  3. PHOTOS: Chelsea Clinton, Andy Cohen, Ken Mehlman and More Come Out for Friendfactor « Talk About Equality - May 4, 2011

    […] we’ve talked about her before, there’s a new organization that has decided to make some new strides in a whole new […]

  4. kristen bell » Blog Archive » PHOTOS: Chelsea Clinton, Kristen Bell, Andy Cohen, Ken Mehlman … - May 14, 2011

    […] we’ve talked about here before, there’s a new classification that has motionless to make some new strides in a whole new […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: