gaydar : Gay & Black Glossary


The ability of gays to tell if others are gay, even when they are in the closet. The biggest give away is eye contact. Straight men only make eye contact when they are preparing to fight. The biggest give away for lesbians is sensible shoes :-). The various signals are extremely subtle. They were honed over centuries of gay oppression. They can’t be so obvious straight people would notice them. If your gaydar is not well tuned, you could end up with a knuckle sandwich. If you are a straight person, don’t worry. You would not accidentally give them out by mistake. One signal is not sufficient. It is more like a mating dance of birds with step and counter step.

The key signal is brief repeated eye contact. A quick scan of the body of another male is a real give away. Turning around and looking at another male is a very blatant clue. A gay man in a public space looks more alert. He keeps track of where the other males are. A straight male is more zoned out and stolid looking, not reacting to his environment. He is not scanning. His attention might be drawn by a nearby female. A gay male is watching for other gays anywhere within a block.

The New York Times claims there is a correlation between being gay and left handed and having the ring and index fingers the same length.

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