Probably the best-known gay-straight BFF duo would be Brits Ian McKellen and Patrick Stewart. Although they’ve known each other for even longer, their public pal persona really began when they connected on the set of the first X-Men film in 1999. "We fell into each other's arms because of our similarities in our career and because of our age and because we like the same sort of things," McKellen told The Huffington Post about their relationship. They’ve done plays and films together since, but the camera loves them off the set as well. Whether they are holding hands on a boardwalk, wearing matching bowler hats, or sharing a smooch on the red carpet, this is one bromance that will surely never die.
James Beard, for whom the prestigious culinary award is named, starred in television’s first cooking show, I Love to Eat, in 1946. But there weren’t a lot of TV sets in homes then, so it wasn’t until Julia Child premiered The French Chef in 1963 that America really fell in love with watching cooking. Despite a possible bit of jealousy between them, Beard was a fan who championed the show. And when Child returned to the U.S., he threw her a huge party and the two became besties. Both over six feet tall, and both with somewhat funny voices, the duo had more in common than just food. They gave each other the nickname Jiji, for Julia and Jim.
Madonna and Rosie bonded during the filming of A League of Their Own in 1991. Madonna found Rosie to be a bright spot on a shoot that was otherwise tough for the pop star. Both are busy women, and sources close to Madge have said it’s hard for her to ever get really close to friends, so it’s not surprising that they haven’t been seen together lately. But any child of the '90s will remember the public ways they celebrated their friendship. They did go on a trip to Israel together in 2007, and O’Donnell was scheduled to be a guest at a 2013 Madonna concert movie premiere, but she had to pull out due to health concerns. As recently as 2016, Madonna has come to her gal pal’s defense on Twitter against then-candidate Donald Trump’s insulting mention of O’Donnell in a debate.
The stars of the new Star Trek movie franchise are as close off-screen as Kirk and Spock, with Quinto saying of Pine, "He's one of my best friends. … Trek guys stick together, but Chris and I definitely, we stick together for sure." Their interview banter shows off their feelings particularly well, often including inside jokes, compliments, and friendly competition. In one, Pine is asked if they’re real-life friends. He at first answers jokingly no, to which Quinto replies, “I almost started crying.” In another, Pine laments that the only romance he gets close to is with Quinto, before turning the sentiment around: “And I’m pretty content with that.”
Stein and Picasso’s friendship is documented by fewer paparazzi shots than later relationships, but there is plenty of evidence of their long ties. After seeing an early portrait, Young Girl With a Basket of Flowers (1905), Stein became Picasso’s first big benefactor, buying nearly all of his early paintings as well as spending hours posing for the young artist. It was then that he was invited to her famous Saturday salons, and by 1919 he was famous enough that she could no longer afford to buy his paintings. So from then on, he gave them to her. He also started calling her “Pard,” a nickname he picked up from Westerns and which somewhat annoyed her. They generally had a fraternal type of relationship. This could also be said of a famous friendship she had with another straight man, Ernest Hemingway, who claimed, “Gertrude Stein and me are just like brothers.”
Our first Hollywood president didn’t have the best reputation with the LGBT community, and he is widely criticized for his slow response to the AIDS crisis that struck while he was in office. It is ironic, then, that one of Ronald and Nancy Reagan’s closest friends was fellow actor Rock Hudson. Deeply closeted throughout his career, Hudson developed AIDS in the 1980s and by 1985 was forced to fly to Paris because of a lack of treatment options in the U.S. But when a commanding officer stalled Hudson’s request for entrance into a military hospital to see Dr. Dominique Dormant, a French army doctor who had previously treated Hudson in secret, he asked for help from his friends at the White House. Nancy Reagan refused, saying that they “had to be fair.” Hudson was eventually admitted but died later that year. His status as an AIDS patient and gay man were both uncovered then. Despite this apparent betrayal, when a 2003 TV movie tried to paint Ronald Reagan as a virulent homophobe, Hudson’s former lover Marc Christian wrote an open letter to CBS, saying, “The notion that President Reagan was a homophobe strikes me as silly beyond belief. … The point is Reagan could have ignored Rock’s illness and didn’t.”
Although the two have been friends for years and have hosted television shows, radio broadcasts, and a podcast together, their friendship at its best on the currently running hit reality show RuPaul’s Drag Race. The pair readily gush about each other in interviews, with Visage saying, “I’m a very lucky gal to have such a good friend. There’s soulmates on different levels — just because you’re not lovers doesn’t mean you can’t be soulmates. Ru’s my soulmate as a best friend; we complete each other in many ways.” Ru comments on his love for her as well as why it doesn’t matter that he is gay and she is straight. “Michelle Visage and I have been friends for, I’ve lost count, it’s been a long time. I think she was a teenager when I met her. You know, if someone is straight or gay, I really don’t care. I’ve always really just hung out with people who think outside the box. I’ve always been attracted to complicated people. I’ve always been attracted to people who seek the bohemian creed, which is love and beauty and art and music and dancing and laughter. That’s where I go. So I don’t care if you’re gay or straight, I don’t care what you are, just as long as you don’t hurt anyone else.”
This ice princess twosome were never competitors for the U.S. Olympic team at the same time, but they’ve become a team in their own right as figure-skating announcers and real-life BFFs. They were initially paired at Sochi, and their on-screen chemistry moved them to prime time for this year's PyeongChang Games, where they brought the luster back to the Winter Games’ crown jewel. “It's a gift from God that I can work with somebody that I love so much," Weir says, laughing, when asked if they are real-life friends. Surely, that's where much of their genuine banter comes from. "Being figure skaters, it's very individualistic, very cutthroat — the Black Swan has nothing on the world that we come from," Weir adds. "So to find somebody that you can trust wholeheartedly with everything that goes on in your life, it's truly rare, and I'm so thankful for it.” They are also each other’s emergency contacts, in case you were wondering.
Musician John Mayer and talk show host Andy Cohen have been palling around since 2012, even vacationing together in Montana in 2014 following Mayer's split from Katy Perry. In 2015 they took it a step further with a “bromantic road trip” to see the Grateful Dead’s last shows. Cohen documented the whole experience in an article for Entertainment Weekly. Last year, they took a trip to Brazil for Mayer’s 40th birthday. “John Mayer and I have what some would consider an unlikely friendship,” Cohen wrote in his EW piece, but clearly they share a love of travel that acts as a bridge to connect them and spans the globe.
Seen kissing in public more than once, including at the 2017 Golden Globe Awards, Sarah Paulson and Amanda Peet are clearly close. Not only has Peet called their relationship “visceral,” “intense,” and “complicated,” she has described Paulson as “a little bit like my other husband or wife. She’s like my wife," reports People.