The current research aimed to investigate gender-related preferences of youths with different sexual orientations and examine the effects of gender role and sexual attraction. In Study 1, participants from China recalled the gender composition of their friends at different times, and data from 216 of them aged 17–24 were analysed. Growth curve models showed that more than half of the friends of heterosexual individuals were same-gender ones and they had an increasingly larger ratio of cross-gender best friends through adolescence, while gay men and lesbians had an increasingly larger ratio of same-gender friends and more than half of them had same-gender best friends. Gay men had a larger ratio of cross-gender friends in primary school than heterosexual men, while lesbians had a larger ratio of same-gender friends at university than heterosexual women. In Study 2, participants from China ranked their preferences for a set of character profiles and reported their gender role, and data from 141 of them aged 16–24 were analysed. Gay men and lesbians preferred same-gender persons to cross-gender ones. Gender role of the participant had an independent effect on preferences to a character with a given gender role. Findings indicated that sexual orientation has a strong impact on the gender composition of youths’ friendships, and more attention should be paid to sexual minorities in this field of research.