J. Bryan Lowder’s weekly series “Ask a Homo” tackles the reason gays use gay slang and gets to the bottom (so to speak) of all that pronoun switching.
In this episode, Lowder offers insight into the need for gay men to speak in code back in the days when speaking openly about your gay trysts could get you arrested or bashed or worse. Hence, calling men “she.” As in, “I went on a date last night and SHE was really hot.” That morphed into Polari, the 19th century British slang used among “theatrical” types i.e. gays. He also touches on ballroom-speak and the colorful expressions they often use.
And as for straight people calling their gay male friends “she” and “her” and “girl”? Yeah, you probably shouldn’t do that.