Lesbros: Ted Gowans

The trusty website, UrbanDictionary.com, has several definitions for the term lesbro:

1. A man who has more friendships with lesbians than other women or men.

2. The male equivalent of a fag hag.

3. A heterosexual man who is either one or both of the following: a brother to one or more lesbian sisters, or, friends with a disproportionate amount of homosexual women. “Wow, your brother really only hangs out with gay girls, doesn’t he! And you’re a big gay yourself, sister! What a lesbro you’ve got there!”

To us, a lesbro is a little bit of all, but at his core, a lesbro is a male friend to at least one, but possibly several, lesbians. This column shares a little bit about some famous lesbros that we love.

This week’s Lesbro: Ted Gowans.

Photo by Lindsey Byrnes

Ted Gowans is a musician by trade and a coffee drinker by hobby. Ted got his start in music in 2004 when he was brought on to be the touring guitarist in Tegan and Sara‘s backing band. Since then he has played and recorded music with Margaret Cho, Matt Sharp, Louise Burns and Chris Mansfield (Fences).

AfterEllen.com: Of the above three definitions of a lesbro, which do you think describes you best?
Ted Gowans:
I’ll go with number 3. There have been plenty of times where I’m out and I look around and realize not only am I the only boy, but I’m also the only heterosexual person in the room.

AE: What is the best thing about your lesbian friend/s?

TG: The outright, no questions asked acceptance I’ve had from my lesbian friends has been amazing and inspiring. Two years ago I moved to Vancouver and really only had a few friends there at the time, and within the first few months most of the people I’d become friends with were lesbians. Since then I’ve developed friendships that will last a lifetime, I’m sure.

AE: Do you think that having lesbian friends has anything to do with where you fall on the Kinsey scale? Care to comment on your own sexuality?

TG: No, I don’t think so. I think your friends and who you choose to be around are a really good reflection of who you are as a person. I’m strong-willed and secure in who I am and I think my friends see that. I’m inspired by people who are the same. I’m a zero on the Kinsey scale.

AE: What stereotype about lesbians have you found to be false?

TG: “They’re all man haters!” couldn’t be further from the truth. It seems like a knee-jerk reaction to the bruising of a man’s ego. I think lesbians choose their male friends more carefully but once they know you they can be the warmest, kindest people on earth. A lot of guys need to remember that just because a lesbian woman doesn’t want to have sex with you it doesn’t mean she hates you or finds you repulsive. Chill, bro.

AE: What do you think it is specifically that draws you towards being friends with lesbians?

TG: I think by nature we’re drawn to be closest friends with the people that make us feel the most comfortable. Friends you can truly be yourself around are priceless and need to be cherished. I’m just as at ease around my lesbian friends as I am around my closest guy friends. I feel very fortunate.

AE: How has your girlfriend responded to your friendships with lesbians?

TG: She’s great. Basically all of our friends are mutual.

AE: You have been in a lot of bands but most notably Tegan and Sara, what was it like when you first joined?

I met Tegan and Sara in 2004 when I tried out to be in their band. I did not know a lot of lesbians at the time but that changed quickly. When we first started touring So Jealous, we did a five-week tour across the States in a van and we all got to know each other quite well. Spending five weeks in such close quarters with Tegan, Sara and [Sara’s ex/creative director] Emy Storey really had a profound impact on my life. I really started to see things differently and I had my eyes opened to so much. It was a real turning point in my life and I’ve never looked back. I guess you could say It was when I became a lesbro.

AE: Did you know that you were in a band that was going to be labeled a “lesbian band”?

No, It didn’t even cross my mind.

AE: How do you feel about the label of “lesbian band”?

I fail to see how being a lesbian and being in a band belong in the same sentence. When you’re sick do you go to the doctor or do you go the lesbian doctor? As musicians we make music because it’s what we do. We have to do it to feel complete. It’s in the make up of our DNA. How many times have you heard the term “straight male band”? I feel It’s offensive and unnecessary to include ones sexuality when talking about their profession.

Follow Ted on Twitter @tedgowans.