Gaydar - offensive term?

Gaydar, or that ability to guess whether or not someone is a homosexual.

Do homosexuals find this term offensive? Is guessing whether or not someone is gay offensive?

Example: when Rosie & Ellen “came out”, no one was particularly surprised. When you asked someone how they knew, they would say, “Isn’t it obvious?” and then give opinions on certain characteristics. Wouldn’t that be stereotyping?


The gay-lesbian-bi-queer community at large tends not to find very many terms offensive. The usual response to an “insulting” word is to re-take the word as their own and throw it back in the insulters’ faces, as happened with terms like “queer.”

Didn’t that phrase come FROM the gay community?

The last thing anyone needs is to find a new way to take offense. None of my gay friends has ever seemed the least bit offended by any word, except faggot, used to describe their orientation. The only people I have ever heard being offended by gaydar are straight people who feel somehow duty bound to be offended on behalf of the gay community.

So I would vote a resounding no. Gaydar, I hope, remains safely in the non-offensive category.

of the 2 gay people i’ve known both have used that
word so i’d say no…

hard to say but here’s what i’d say it depends
on the situation:
if both were gay … no (weather the guess was right or wrong)
if one was straight and the other gay … yes (especially if the straight was guessed as gay)
if both were straight … yes (if guess incorrect)
if both were straight … no (if guess correct)
would also depend on how open-minded someone is

Guessing someone’s sexual orientation isn’t offensive per-se. I’m Indian, and if someone guesses that I’m Pakistani, should I get all riled up about it? That’s just silly.

However, insisting that someone must be a particular orientation after they have told you they are not is extremely offensive. I don’t care if the person says that they’re straight, gay, or bi, I always take them at what they say.

As for stereotyping, I would say that there are gay people who choose to embody a certain set of characteristics in order to let others know easily that they are gay. If someone puts on a “gay pride” shirt, I’m guessing they want me to know that they’re gay (ok, that’s a silly example, but you get the idea).

It is amusing.

I think “gaydar” will eventually fall out of use, but not because it’s deemed offensive. It simply will no longer be a big deal to think that somebody might be gay, and gay people will no longer be afraid of having people suspect they’re interested in someone of the same sex, so the whole surreptitious mystique of the thing will die out.

No, trying to guess somebody’s sexual orientation is not necessarily offensive (except insofar as shoving your beezer into any aspect of anybody else’s private life is inherently offensive), but I could see how some stereotypical “gaydar signals” might be considered so. All stereotypes are potentially offensive, and I haven’t really heard any explanations of how “gaydar” works that don’t rely on stereotypes to some extent.

Gaydar the Magnificent!

Some people think I look Hispanc, or Arab, or Mediterranian, but I don’t have any heritage in any of those. I don’t find it offensive when someone asks, though.

I don’t think there’s anything wrong with “gaydar”, unless people are discriminated for looking or acting gay, or if a gay person hits on someone they think might be gay, or something like that.

I’m sure gays use it just as much as straights do.

Well, none of my gay friends have ever been offended - or at least they certainly haven’t acted offended. (Well how does an offended person act?!?!:D), so I would tend to say no.

However, if I had a gay friend who was offended I would certainly not use the word around that person. The general population? Well, what can you do - no matter what you say you’re bound to offend someone.


Do you have any idea of the time, research and sheer raw technological power that went into the development of gaydar? The years of intense experimentation that was done by lab-coated homoscientists in order to perfect gaydar to the razor-precise levels we have achieved today?

Far from being offensive, gaydar is in fact one of homosexuality’s greatest contribution to the human endeavor.

Unfortunately, mine’s broke.

Gaydar has nothing to do with stereotypes. Anyone can spot a stereotypically gay guy - gaydar is needed to spot the gay men who seem externally “masculine.” Kimstu, I don’t see how someone’s sexual orientation will ever become irrelevant. Straight, single women like me need gaydar to keep of from forming hopeless infatuations with members of the other team

Well, some gay guys are very butch and still obviously gay. But I agree in principle - gaydar[sup]TM[/sup] helps people spot people who are not obviously gay.

I’ve seen a lot of people around this board that really, only people who are gay have gaydar[sup]TM[/sup]. Or that was the original idea, anyway. Maybe we ‘straights’ need our own term for it. :wink:


I’ve seen a lot of people around this board SAY that really, only people who are gay have gaydar[sup]TM[/sup]


My gay buddy Daniel (he’s gay, I’m not) says that he and his boyfriend Ronnie don’t find that term offensive in the least. They find it funny, amusing, a good laugh, and says anyone who is willing to use it to describe themselves are “Good in our books.”

Um … if a gay person never hits on anybody unless that person is wearing a great big button that says, “Hey, everybody, I’m gay,” he is never going to get a date.

Last I heard, it wasn’t a problem for a straight man to hit on a woman whom he thinks “might be straight.” (Unless the man is even the slightest bit awkward in doing so, in which case he gets beaten up or fired or both. Not that I’m bitter.)