The term "bromance" is one that has become widely understood in our society because it is all over the media. A bromance is a relationship between guy friends that is very close but not sexual. A bromance is a type of homosociality, which is a socializing with members of the same sex. According to Don Romesburg in his article "Holy Fratrimony," there are two different types of homosociality for men (aka bromances): old homosociality and new homosociality. Both of these categories of bromances are depicted in the media, especially in the television show Scrubs. In one particular episode, two of the main characters best friends JD and Turk show their different dispositions when it comes to their bromance.
JD represents what Don Romesburg describes as "old homosociality," which was culturally acceptable during the 19th century when men "shared emotionally expressive relationships" and never had to worry about being considered gay. JD does this by openly proclaiming his "guy love" for his best friend Turk in front of a patient without the slightest regard that some of the things that he says, such as "he's the only one that's been inside me," may cause the patient bystander to think that he is homosexual.
Turk, on the other hand, displays his affections more conservatively compared to JD. Yes, he reciprocates JD's physical affection, but he is always concerned about what conclusions the people around him are drawing, namely that they are a gay couple. During the song, Turk always clarifies that he is very heterosexual like when JD says, "It's like I married my best friend" Turk responds by saying, "But in a totally manly way," which insinuates his need to prove his masculinity. Turk is demonstrating the "fear that other men will unmask us, emasculate us, and reveal to us... that we are not real men," which was said by Michael S. Kimmel in the article "Masculinity as Homophobia." Even though Turk is not homophobic, this quote explains his need to counter every comment that JD makes that may be taken sexually and indicate that they are homosexual.
The song "Guy Love" from the show Scrubs is a perfect example of the differing approaches to a bromance. JD represents "old homosociality" by figuratively shouting from the rooftops that he loves his best friend Turk, and he doesn't care who knows it or what anyone thinks. Turk is a little more demure and concerned with other people will think of him, demonstrating "new homosociality." From what I've seen in society, "new homosociality" is more prevalent that "old" because most men are afraid to be labeled as homosexual. Why does it matter what other people think? If you are in a bromance, and you're comfortable enough with your sexuality, then why not show it? Girls do it all the time, so it doesn't make sense that guys aren't able to.
Burbach, Cherie. "Top 5 TV Bromances - Bromance Friendships on Television - TV Shows With Male Best Friends." Friendship at About.com - New Friendships, Ideas for Meeting Friends, Conflict Resolution. N.p., n.d. Web. 13 Oct. 2011.
"Masculinity as Homophobia" by Michael Kimmel.
"Holy Fratrimony" by Don Romesburg.