Can they tell I'm gay?

I’m not talking about other gay guys. The gaydar thing has been entrenched in my being and psyche even before I knew I was gay (or at least before I came out, which was when I was 15.) I’m talking about str8 guys who are strangers.

Since I was a teenager, I don’t think anyone I’ve ever known has ever mistaken me for str8. I mean, as soon as I open my mouth, flail my arms around, or express my interests, it’s pretty damned obvious I’m a poofter. I don’t consider myself especially “fem,” but I have what you might call “gay” characteristics that are quite obvious. (The funny thing is, a few guys I know have said they found me rather masculine, which I find amusing. Maybe I’m more masculine than I think. Anyway, no one’s ever kicked me out of bed.)

At my last job, everyone knew I was gay. At my current job, I didn’t burst in there with a peacock on a leash, waving a rainbow flag and screaming, “I’m a huge queer” - but I might as well have, because they figured me out long before I started talking openly about boyfriends or other assorted gay things. (Anyway, everyone’s cool with it.)

But those str8 guys who don’t know me - some at work, most I see in public - I’m convinced they, too, can tell I’m gay, even though I’m not talking or doing anything that might let them think I’m gay. I don’t think I look particularly gay in terms of dress, either. Still, I get these looks - sometimes nasty - that just say to me, “I know you’re a faggot.” Maybe I’m being paranoid - but not scared, though - I’m beyond that.

The question is: do str8 guys have their own innate gaydar? What do you all think?

  • s.e.

I’m straight (which I guess is relevant given the OP).

Out of my three close gay male friends, two I thought were probably gay, the other I had no clue until he told me (and his name is even Bruce!).
Out of my straight friends, there are two that I would have bet my life were gay. Now having known each of them for over 7 years, they seem straight (both are married to women, one just had his second kid). [sub]But I won’t be shocked if either ever comes out![/sub]

Females I can’t tell unless they are really, really butch. And even then I’ve been wrong. [sub]So they say![/sub] :wink:

The funny (or annoying, depending) thing is that my gaydar is still developing … unless someone is REALLY FRIGGIN’ FLAMING I can’t tell. Makes it difficult to know who to hit on, but oh well…

If you’re happy and you know it, then your face will surely show it…


Seriously, though, kids, to answer the OP- yes, I’m sure some or a lot of straight guys realize that you’re gay.
Now, about the ones who give you dirty looks; yes, I’m sure that some straight morons can tell that you’re gay as well, and they’re afraid that if they don’t express their displeasure, you will think that they are secretly attracted to you, and their pudgy egos just couldn’t have that, now, could they?

I set off people’s gaydar all the time and I’m straight. I found this out one time when I was around a bunch of friends and someone said “I thought you were gay when I first met you.” Soon every was jumping in “I thought that too!,” and so on. Heck, I took it as a compliment. I think it’s because I probably show a subtle physical display of my distaste when people talk about women and sex. The thing is, guys are often disrespectful of women, and I just don’t like hearing that. Plus, I guess I’m friendly. Somehow people read that as gay. I don’t mind it most of the time, but it makes it hard to find girlfriends. For you, enjoy it, it sounds like most people are fine with it.

I set off people’s gaydar when they think I am a guy. Gaydar is usually just looking for people who don’t stereotpyically fit into their gender.

Maybe those str8 guys are really gay and they just wanna do you in a nasty way:)

Let’s not get into gender identity versus sexual orientation. They are two different things. Still, I understand what you’re saying. I’m not a huge flaming queen at work, but I make absolutely no secret that I’m gay. Were I to be closeted, it would go everything I believe iin. It’s been many years, and I’ve no problems. If someone homophbic has to work with me and doesn’t want to because of that fact, they need to deal with their own homophobia, and more expressly, their wotk ethic. They can deal with it on their own, just as I’ve dealt with my own issues on my own gay issues.,I do a good job, and in the end we all reap the benefits, thtough raises or profit sharing.

It doesn’t bother me on a day-to-day basis. It’s just slightly anoying, but I don’t let it bother me.

  • s.e.

I think they know you’re gay because, by your own admission, you come across as Liberace caught fire in an Indian restaurant. Why should it matter what the straight guys think of you anyway? It’s not like you’re gonna get anywhere with them. Especially if they’re wearing baseball caps indoors.

Maybe those guys don’t know you’re gay, but you’re just a bit self-conscious.

And slightly off topic, is it possible for a straight female to have gaydar? I hung out with a lot of gay kids in high school, and now i just seem to stumble over gay guys. Sometimes I can tell, but with disturbing frequency I seem to find them purely by accident. For example, I did an interview for a class and my subject just happened to be gay. And what’s really funny is, I’ve been mistaken for gay. It must be the short hair. Everyone seems to think that if you have short hair, you must be butch. I don’t know if the big boobs makes the situation worse or better.

It’s funny, I’m a gay man and as far as I know I have NEVER set off any straight person’s gaydar. Every time I have come out to someone, they have seemed quite surprised. Some didn’t even believe me. I don’t think I strike people as particularly masculine, but I’m definitely not “fem” either. So how come they all think I’m straight? :confused: Darn it, I’m as queer as a three dollar bill!!!

I do have to admit that my own gaydar certainly isn’t always perfect, although it seems to be improving lately.

I’m not gay and appearance and mannerism wise would never hit anyone’s “gaydar” so far as I know. The only time I’ve been teased about being gay was when I (on different occasions) have given some apparel suggestions to two attractive women I know who both think earth tones and LL Bean type garb are the only things they should wear. I learned that women do not like being told (by straight men at least) that they need to spruce up their wardrobe. Both were teasing, but were very catty about it, mimicking my suggestions with limp wrists and lisps. I’ve noticed that grown women (ala Ally McBeal) are quick to pull out the “You’re acting like a faggot” card if they perceive a straight man is being somewhat feminine, but are very politicaly correct with their gay male friends. It’s odd.

My gaydar is pretty good but not infallible. Tony Randall and Paul Rubens were two false positives I would have bet money on.

Having said that, the reason that some gay men are considered (even some of the poofiest ones) “masculine” is that… well they’re men and are just as aggressive, competitive and power driven as any straight men except for the fact that they go to bed with men.

I have the opposite problem. Hardly anyone (including most gays) I meet think I’m gay. I’m definitely not in the closet and just got out of a relationship :eek: so of course everyone in my life is well aware of the fact that I am gay. It just gets really annoying on the job where I sometimes feel the need to “come out” to everyone from the janitor to the medical director just to put an end to attempted fix ups, etc. I kinda wish most people knew without me having to tell them just because it would so more easier.

Oh well, the grass is always greener . . .

One of my exes used to have the opposite problem all the time; although he was quite heartily straight, people thought he was gay all the time. Maybe it was because he was a bit of a late bloomer in the romance department, and kind of sensitive and soft-spoken, which are apparently not “masculine” traits (although some of us ladies wish more guys would adopt those traits!). It didn’t help that his good friend and roommate was quite flamboyantly gay, and in fact, sang in a gay men’s chorus. Once he met his roomie after rehearsal, and one of the chorus guys took a liking to him; the guy wouldn’t stop pestering the roommate for weeks to fix them up (“Are you SURE he’s straight?” “Yes, I’ve known him for years.” “What makes you think so? Does he have a girlfriend or something?” “Yep, she stays over all the time, and I can hear them fooling around in the next room.”) Before he and I hooked up, apparently there was a long period where the only people who hit on him were gay guys. It was getting him pretty depressed.

Ironically, in college the majority of his good friends were gay and going through the typical late-adolescent coming-out identity crisis. Since my ex was such a sensitive soul, his friends each came to him, individually and in confidence, to pour out their souls about their sexual identity and loneliness issues. He kept their secrets, of course. Years later, as the (now openly) gay buddies all found out about each other, they were both amused and frustrated to discover that they hadn’t been alone all that time…and in fact, that most of their circle had been struggling with the same issues.

If straight guys are supposed to have gaydar, then I’m sorely due a refund here. Every single time I’ve though I’ve noticed a blip, turns out I was probably wrong. It’s probably a genetic thing though, for a while my own mother was sure I was gay, but apparently I’m not.

I have a feeling a lot of people may think I am gay, although I am straight. I don’t think my physical appearance suggests that I’m gay, and my voice is about like that of most other guys. Still, I don’t do a lot of “guy” things (e.g., I don’t like sports, drinking beer, fixing cars, building things, go hunting/fishing, etc.) and I typically don’t ogle at the women, that is, I don’t show it since I personally find it to be socially unacceptable to do so. On the other hand, I don’t do anything that women typically do, either. My longtime friends and family all know that I gave up on dating a few years ago out of frustration and discouragement, though newer friends may not know this. A lot of people also know that I have a friend whom I met online and have twice visited so far. We have a lot of common, albeit perhaps unusual interests that make us good friends, but in no way do either of us have sexual interests in each other or other guys. I’m sure all of this would still register pretty high on a lot of people’s gaydar systems.

You’re gay?

I seem to have the opposite problem, much like jmpride62. Straight people never get that I am gay and if I am likely to be in contact with someone more than two or three times, I find it easier to be out, usually by mentioning the boyfriend (cue shocked face then uber-casual repetition of the word ‘boyfriend?’). I’ve pretty much lost count of the amount of times I’ve been told ‘No, you’re not’ when telling someone I’m gay.

Now, I would understand this if I was a 6foot plus, bearded, lumberjack-shirted butch type. But I am short and skinny, speak with a slight lisp, have fabulous hair and expensive footwear, drink smirnoff ice and smoke malboro lights (I think it’s some kind of law for brithomos), have a humble-but-pretty collection of glittery ‘fag’ and ‘poof’ baby tee-shirts, dance far too energetically to anything remotely resembling disco, and I write poetry. Get a friggin’ clue, people. My family were shocked and hurt beyond belief, my friends didn’t believe me (‘You’re 16, it’s a phase’), and new workmates or acquaintances gape and ask me if I’m sure.

Trust me on this. More than sure.

I think I may have to resort to the ‘waving a rainbow flag and screaming, “I’m a huge queer”’ approach in future.

My gaydar is pretty crude: some folks I’m sure about immediately, some surprise me, and some are false positives. I don’t put much stock in it: of all the things I care about about a person, their sexual orientation isn’t one of the more important. I’m not gonna be jumping their bones in any case.

When I was single, it was more of an issue – and the fact that I set off straight women’s gaydar was no help whatsoever. It’s humiliating to go out on a date with a woman, to go to a party together, and to have her later complain that the only nice guys at the party were gay. (Just so we’re clear, when I said, “Am I not nice?” she stuttered and said, “Oh – well – I thought you were – you’re straight?”)

Yay not being single.

There are many factors to consider as this can require a complex answer. Mannerisms. Dress. Speech patterns. On a lighter note - your music collection… :slight_smile:

When I was at college, there was this fella. He was very intelligent, cute, great bum, kind, well toned, gentlemanly, great at DIY… all the things women appreciate…

Anyhoodle, he asked me out for a drink one night (WOOHOO!!). We had a great time. After a while he mentioned quietly something about his boyfriend… Whoa…

It was a shock. I thought I was more…erm… ‘aware’. Apparently not.

Needless to say we became great friends. I learned a lot about many things, made more great friends, and know more about Martha Stewart than most women…

As to the OP, not necessarily. You may think you’re coming across as fem, or flaming, but some people are so oblivious that without all the ‘in your face’ signs they won’t have a clue. Trust me. My mom kept giving me holy heck because my friend and I never officially ‘got together’… then I told her why… :eek: BOY was she embarrassed - but was glad we remained friends.

Live as you see fit amd enjoy yourself! :slight_smile: