1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Gaydar questions

Discussion in 'Sexual Orientation' started by RD Spencer, Feb 27, 2021.

  1. RD Spencer

    Full Member

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2020
    Messages:
    163
    Likes Received:
    76
    Location:
    Western Wa
    Gender:
    Male
    Gender Pronoun:
    He
    Sexual Orientation:
    Other
    Out Status:
    A few people
    1. Since sexuality is on a spectrum do you or anyone you know feel like you can tell where on the spectrum someone might be? More specifically being able to tell is someone is more bi or more gay?

    2. Have you ever met someone who would set off most people’s gaydar and later learn for sure that they are actually straight?

    3. It sounds like there’s a few organizations working on using artificial intelligence to determine sexual orientation.
      Do you think they will succeed? Are you concerned about this?

    4. How can you tell how much you are setting off other people’s gaydar?

    5. Any advice or tips for someone with horrible gaydar?
     
  2. old tacoma

    Full Member

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2020
    Messages:
    216
    Likes Received:
    120
    Location:
    Hawaii
    Gender:
    Male
    Gender Pronoun:
    He
    Sexual Orientation:
    Gay
    Out Status:
    A few people
    Gaydar? His interest shows through his eyes. It can range from just curious to outright desire, but his eyes are the window to what’s going on inside him.
     
    Patrick7269 and RD Spencer like this.
  3. RD Spencer

    Full Member

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2020
    Messages:
    163
    Likes Received:
    76
    Location:
    Western Wa
    Gender:
    Male
    Gender Pronoun:
    He
    Sexual Orientation:
    Other
    Out Status:
    A few people

    I struggle to understand what I’m seeing in people’s eyes in general. This is probably why I have a hard time understanding people overall and basically have non existent gaydar.
     
  4. Destin

    Full Member

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2018
    Messages:
    2,055
    Likes Received:
    713
    Location:
    The United States
    Gender:
    Male
    Gender Pronoun:
    He
    Sexual Orientation:
    Gay
    Out Status:
    Out to everyone
    It's about half body language and half eyes. The distance people stand from members of each gender, where their feet are pointing when they stand somewhere, whether they naturally lean forward or back when they're near someone etc.

    My personal favorite is watching where someone's eyes go when they first enter a room. People naturally look at the most attractive person in the room first as a way to subconsciously seek their approval and admire them. If a guy always looks at another guy first when they enter a room, there's a high chance they're into men.
     
    Lesbee, Patrick7269, Chip and 3 others like this.
  5. out2019

    Regular Member

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2018
    Messages:
    635
    Likes Received:
    472
    Location:
    us
    Gender:
    Male
    Gender Pronoun:
    He
    Sexual Orientation:
    Gay
    Out Status:
    A few people
    This is really hard to assess because people could be in denial, or simply don't want to reveal their sexuality. That's why I always wonder if tests and experiments are really accurate.

    Not sure, but once a friend's sister who was very perceptive asked my friend if i was gay. This is before I came out. I FREAKED OUT! :slight_smile:

    Yes but later they came out :slight_smile:
     
    RD Spencer likes this.
  6. RD Spencer

    Full Member

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2020
    Messages:
    163
    Likes Received:
    76
    Location:
    Western Wa
    Gender:
    Male
    Gender Pronoun:
    He
    Sexual Orientation:
    Other
    Out Status:
    A few people
    Another question to add to the list.

    Do you see a difference between a straight guy who is just more feminine and easy going, and a guy who is gay or bi?
    If so how would you describe the difference?
     
  7. Chip

    Board Member Admin Team Advisor Full Member

    Joined:
    May 9, 2008
    Messages:
    15,596
    Likes Received:
    3,448
    Location:
    northern CA
    Gender:
    Male
    Gender Pronoun:
    He
    Sexual Orientation:
    Gay
    Out Status:
    Out to everyone
    Gaydar is a combination of things. I think Destin has given a pretty good description of the analytical side of it. But there's a lot more subtlety to it as well. For one reason or another, the majority of gay men have various attributes, many of which are *extremely* subtle and often difficult to describe, that tip off someone who has good gaydar. And there can also be just a sense of the energy they put off... how they interact, how they move and carry themselves.

    Are there people who are gay and don't set off even well-tuned gaydar? Yes, but most do in one way or another.

    Are there people who absolutely seem gay, but are genuinely completely straight? Yes, definitely.

    Are there people who pin the gaydar meter, but insist they're straight, only to come out as flaming fairies a year or three later? Yes, quite a few of these actually.

    Because of the last one, it's impossible to pin where someone lands on the spectrum of sexual orientation. But you can usually get a pretty good idea.

    And here's something that will terrify those who know they are gay but are closeted: The more you know you're gay and try to "act straight" to throw people off the scent, the more obvious you are to folks with finely tuned gaydar. Many of us have been exactly where you have been, and know exactly what it looks like.

    I haven't spoken about lesbian gaydar because it's a different animal. My gaydar is pretty sharp. My lesbian gaydar is beyond terrible.

    I also have a friend (who is completely straight) who is informally known as the "gaydar Jedi." He can sniff them out, reliably, years before they come out, and his accuracy is almost 100%.
     
    Lesbee, BiGemini87, Destin and 3 others like this.
  8. old tacoma

    Full Member

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2020
    Messages:
    216
    Likes Received:
    120
    Location:
    Hawaii
    Gender:
    Male
    Gender Pronoun:
    He
    Sexual Orientation:
    Gay
    Out Status:
    A few people
    “Gaydar Jedi” — love it!
     
    Destin, Patrick7269 and Chip like this.
  9. Patrick7269

    Full Member

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2016
    Messages:
    512
    Likes Received:
    121
    Location:
    Seattle, WA, USA
    Gender:
    Male
    Gender Pronoun:
    He
    Sexual Orientation:
    Gay
    Out Status:
    Out to everyone
    I think gaydar is also an example of “form follows function”. The function of gaydar often was (and still is) to find other gay men in order to stay safe from homophobia and to find the safety of a community or partner. Of course I’m wildly over simplifying, but beyond being a cute part of our culture gaydar actually serves an important purpose.

    So I look for people who are trying to protect themselves or who are trying to connect. If a guy seems very straight acting but not comfortable in their own skin, especially if they are in a homophobic environment, then they likely have at least some issue going on. Laboriously talking about and objectifying women, telling gay jokes or making gay slurs, or continually asserting macho traits (to me) qualify as “not comfortable in one’s own skin” and these are classic signs of a deeper issue and they are trying to protect themselves.

    As for seeking out connection, I agree with previous comments that eye contact and body language are good clues. To me this is because body language tends to be automatic and less conscious than verbal communication. A closeted man will likely say one thing but unconsciously do another. This is not to say that the man is dishonest or duplicitous; they simply have more going on inside than what they want the world to know. But they will probably say it with their body.

    I think this phenomenon also has a corollary. A man could be 100% straight but appear gay simply because he is completely comfortable in his own skin. Especially in the US, heteronormative standards have historically prescribed how men “should” act, dress, and carry themselves in order to fit in. When a man acts outside these heteronormative standards it can automatically seem gay although in reality it just is non-normative to US behavior.

    I have been to Muslim countries where it is perfectly normal for men to hold hands and/or kiss on the cheek. These men also have a different sense of personal space than in the US, where they may be able to comfortably get closer together. However, these behaviors are simply part of their cultural social norms and in reality being gay may be very unsafe. I was confused by this at first, and I would have been challenged to spot even one gay man among all of the non-normative (relative to the US) behaviors.
     
    BiGemini87 likes this.
  10. Patrick7269

    Full Member

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2016
    Messages:
    512
    Likes Received:
    121
    Location:
    Seattle, WA, USA
    Gender:
    Male
    Gender Pronoun:
    He
    Sexual Orientation:
    Gay
    Out Status:
    Out to everyone
    No, I don’t think so, at least not in my experience. I think gaydar is already so subtle that it really cannot be very precise about the finer details.
    Yes, while traveling outside the US (I live in the US, so that is my frame of reference for masculine norms) or interacting with people from other countries who are living the in US. As for US-born men, I have on a few occasions met a few men who seemed gay but are not. They tend to be comfortable in their own skin and have tastes and behaviors that do not fit US norms of masculinity.
    This creeps me out and I am very curious who would feel the need to research this. I see value in knowing where the boundaries of “nature vs. nurture” are for general science, but to attempt to isolate the “cause” of homosexuality just doesn’t seem right to me. Very creepy.
    I don’t think you really can know, since gaydar is a very subconscious thing, in my experience. I think in an ideal world this wouldn’t be a concern, since the need for gaydar would be minimal as LGBTQ folk would just live without fear or isolation.

    Fun fact: everyone in high school knew I was gay, despite my laborious attempts to hide! My (mostly straight) classmates could see me a mile away not because they had such awesome gaydar, but simply because I was so far from self-acceptance. Gaydar is a function of both the observed and observer. As for me, I was lucky to have friends and be generally accepted without being bullied or questioned.
    Sometimes my gaydar is horrible too! Sometimes it’s spot-on.

    I think that gaydar improves when someone is more calm and self-accepting. That inner peace gives you a better vantage point to really see others without the self getting in the way.
     
    RD Spencer and old tacoma like this.
  11. RD Spencer

    Full Member

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2020
    Messages:
    163
    Likes Received:
    76
    Location:
    Western Wa
    Gender:
    Male
    Gender Pronoun:
    He
    Sexual Orientation:
    Other
    Out Status:
    A few people
    It sounds like gaydar falls under the people reading category. Which I struggle with. Picking up subtle queues has always been a challenge for me so it makes sense that I would have non existent gaydar. The only time I could tell is if someone had the Hollywood stereotypical behavior and style and in my ignorance I believed that is how gay guys were.


    When I started questioning myself I figured if I as long as I didn’t act in the stereotypical way no one could tell. Which I didn’t do anyway. It didn’t even cross my mind to act homophobic, super macho and masculine. I was easy going and quite but otherwise average. I really have no idea how other people see me. Up until recently I assumed that everyone thought I was straight but looking back over the years there has been quite the handful of circumstances where people have came off and/or said things that would sounded like they thought I was not straight. Not too long ago one of my sisters said something that sounded a lot like she was calling me out. It actually took me a few days for what she said to click, so at the time if figured she was talking about something completely unrelated. She herself had came out many years ago but has never said anything to me before.


    Here’s another example of how bad my gaydar is. I strongly suspect a friend I use to hang out with is gay. Everyone in our circle of friends had caught onto his sexuality before I did even though I had hung out with him more. They started asking me about it. A big part of what gave him away was how he acted out and the things he said when he was drunk. At the time I was oblivious to any signs of his gayness when he was sober. And he was often homophobic and critical of gay people. I didn’t make the connection then and just thought he was an A-hole.
    By the way he never did come out.


    Interestingly, on a few occasions years later a couple of my other sisters have asked about my friend’s sexuality and saying he seemed like he was gay. I just told them he hasn’t said anything to me. The thing is they have never seen him drunk, act out or even be homophobic. They said he just always seemed gay. Even though they asked about my friend they had never ask about me, so again I figured that they thought I was straight.


    Would my sisters have thought I was bi/gay this whole time and not say anything?


    Lately I have been thinking that I may have seriously overlooked the situation. My horrible people reading skills have truly left me in the dark on this.
     
  12. PatrickUK

    Advisor Full Member

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2014
    Messages:
    6,462
    Likes Received:
    1,751
    Location:
    England
    Gender:
    Male
    Gender Pronoun:
    He
    Sexual Orientation:
    Gay
    Out Status:
    Out to everyone
    I find it difficult to define, but what I would say is this... don't ever fool yourself into believing you can float beneath the Gaydar. You can't! The harder you try it the more you will set it off. Closet cases don't just ping the Gaydar, they often set off a fucking siren with their attempts at concealment. It may discomfort some people reading this to hear it, but the harder you try to live in the closet and act straight the more you draw attention to yourself. (EDIT: Just noticed Chip wrote exactly the same thing above, so...)

    Do I set off the Gaydar in other gay men? Absolutely I do. Even straight men pick up the vibes with me (and they're often the last to know).
     
    Chip, BiGemini87, Lyman and 2 others like this.
  13. Patrick7269

    Full Member

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2016
    Messages:
    512
    Likes Received:
    121
    Location:
    Seattle, WA, USA
    Gender:
    Male
    Gender Pronoun:
    He
    Sexual Orientation:
    Gay
    Out Status:
    Out to everyone
    So after almost 5 years on Empty Closets I finally learned the multi-quote feature! Look at me go! :kissing_closed_eyes:

    Heh. Is your friend available as a consultant? *lol*

    To be clear, I was accepted by the grace of others, not because I was a bully. I played violin, sang in chorus, acted in plays, and was on the diving team, which are highly non-conforming in the Midwestern US. Some of my friends were jocks, some were geeks, some were outcasts. Looking back I’m surprised that despite my shyness, inner struggles, and internalized homophobia I actually did alright.

    This brings up another potential indicator for internal strife - substance abuse. This guy sounds like he overcompensated for his fears when sober and tried to numb his fears by drinking. Clearly not at peace with himself.

    Although I don’t know you, I think this could be the case. Especially if your family is less tolerant or accepting of gay folk, your family could know for a fact and not say anything. If your family is tolerant and accepting then your sisters may have been respecting your space.

    My family was violently homophobic in the 80s and 90s, they knew with almost absolute certainty that I was gay, and there was a cold silence around the topic until I brought it up.

    I am in the same boat. Looking back on high school (and college) I could have had A LOT more fun! *lol* But I was in the dark about people, especially myself.
     
    Shorthaul and RD Spencer like this.
  14. Patrick7269

    Full Member

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2016
    Messages:
    512
    Likes Received:
    121
    Location:
    Seattle, WA, USA
    Gender:
    Male
    Gender Pronoun:
    He
    Sexual Orientation:
    Gay
    Out Status:
    Out to everyone
    ^^^ What Patrick said!
     
    SkipNY likes this.
  15. Lyman

    Regular Member

    Joined:
    May 11, 2020
    Messages:
    152
    Likes Received:
    63
    Location:
    Munchkinland
    Gender:
    Male
    Gender Pronoun:
    He
    Sexual Orientation:
    Gay
    Out Status:
    Some people
    Ummm... This thread is very, very interesting!

    As far as I know, those studies that used facial recognition to attempt to predict sexuality failed spectacularly and sounded like sheer pseudoscience. On the other hand, big tech companies can easily know your sexuality, political views and so on, especially if you don't hide your ass from them. For example, if you use your fav search engine while being logged into an account of the same service with your name, they obviously can add two plus two. And there are more subtle ways in which they get the info they need. The more data they have, the more money they make (e.g., through personalised advertising).

    Do these tricks work in real life? Will I ever be able to see a gay person entering a room and looking first at someone of the same sex?

    If they do work, I want to nominate Destin for the next Nobel Prize in something.

    If anyone wants to unveil further tricks, I'll be listening very attentively. But I guess it all boils down to getting to know a lot of gay folks during your life and then letting your brain derive the right patterns.
     
    Destin and RD Spencer like this.
  16. RD Spencer

    Full Member

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2020
    Messages:
    163
    Likes Received:
    76
    Location:
    Western Wa
    Gender:
    Male
    Gender Pronoun:
    He
    Sexual Orientation:
    Other
    Out Status:
    A few people

    Out of curiosity is your friend pretty good at figuring out people in general?


    And what are his secrets to his well tuned gaydar?
     
  17. RD Spencer

    Full Member

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2020
    Messages:
    163
    Likes Received:
    76
    Location:
    Western Wa
    Gender:
    Male
    Gender Pronoun:
    He
    Sexual Orientation:
    Other
    Out Status:
    A few people


    He had other issues as well but his sexuality was probably the biggest. He ended up getting into drugs as well. Had some periods of sober times then back into drugs and drinking. His mental health seem to decline every time fell off the wagon. Later on he got into that synthetic marijuana called spice. I think that he did some serious damage to his mind with that stuff.


    I didn’t tell him anything about myself for years because he would gossip for attention and spill out anything he had on anyone else. I did finally tell him that I was bi and then later on he seemed to mock me about it. So he has yet to even come close to accepting himself.



    Looking back it seems like they may have been dropping subtle hints that they know something is up and sometimes It also seems like my sisters treat me differently than our brothers.
     
  18. BiGemini87

    Full Member Away

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2019
    Messages:
    565
    Likes Received:
    427
    Location:
    Petawawa, ON
    Gender:
    Female
    Gender Pronoun:
    She
    Sexual Orientation:
    Bisexual
    Out Status:
    Out to everyone
    Honestly, I've seen people (not here) try to debunk it, but given some of the things that have happened in my own life, I find it hard to ignore the legitimacy of being able to pick up on another's gay-ness. True, not everyone has the same range (Don't feel bad @RD Spencer. Lots of people have trouble reading other's tone/body language, and even those who are good at it come across people who are hard to read) but it's something that's there.

    I can think of two examples off the top of my head, both occurring in my high-school years.

    1) To this day, I still don't know what tipped me off, but I said to one of my male friends, "M, you know if you're gay, it wouldn't change how I feel about you, right? You're still my friend". He most definitely wasn't out at the time (and he didn't do anything macho to overcompensate) but years later, he and I were chatting and he off-handedly mentioned having lived with a boyfriend for a time. I still don't know if he's gay or bi, but the confirmation of not-straight was a big "huh, what d'ya know?" moment for me.

    2) This girl kept insisting back then that I was a lesbian like her (though she didn't share in my clothing choices, it might have been the way I dressed; I was called a "dyke" by pretty much any guy I made enemies with, because I favoured baggy clothes, baseball caps, and did absolutely nothing to make myself look appealing). I digress: It was a few years later that this girl admitted she only said I was gay because she liked me--but looking back, I wonder if she was picking up on my bisexuality without realizing it, too.

    As to whether I can pick up on it from people? Well, aside from my one friend, I'm not sure. If I've picked up on anything with other people, I never found out for certain. I would love to put it to practice, though; I have this weird, almost academic curiosity about it at this point. ^^;
     
    RD Spencer likes this.
  19. Chip

    Board Member Admin Team Advisor Full Member

    Joined:
    May 9, 2008
    Messages:
    15,596
    Likes Received:
    3,448
    Location:
    northern CA
    Gender:
    Male
    Gender Pronoun:
    He
    Sexual Orientation:
    Gay
    Out Status:
    Out to everyone
    I'm not so sure he's that good at reading people in general. But as for gaydar, he's the best I've ever run into. When we've talked, there's nothing particularly special that he can point to. It's just a sense. There are many guys that I will get the same "sense" about, and later find out that they are, in fact gay. It's difficult to describe. I think part of it is energy, and part of it is looking at really subtle body language, plus adding up whatever other factors (things like occupation, hobbies, interests, specific musical instruments played) that are, on their own, pretty good predictors.

    At one point we jokingly considered combining our collective understandings and creating a pretentious sounding "scientific instrument" called the (our names) Sexual Orientation Risk Index, which would have about 100 questions, each weighted a different amount, and the higher the score, the more likely you were gay. But we never got around to doing it.
     
    RD Spencer and old tacoma like this.
  20. Lyman

    Regular Member

    Joined:
    May 11, 2020
    Messages:
    152
    Likes Received:
    63
    Location:
    Munchkinland
    Gender:
    Male
    Gender Pronoun:
    He
    Sexual Orientation:
    Gay
    Out Status:
    Some people
    Wow, I'm learning a lot. Out of curiosity, which instruments have nonzero correlation with sexual orientation?

    That reminds me of the gayest gay at my high school, who played the bassoon and had to endure some nasty jokes related to the other word for that instrument. :frowning2:

    P. S.: If you get to the point of getting the guy to reply to your 100-question quiz, wouldn't it be easier to directily ask? Isn't the whole point of gaydar to figure out soon and barely knowing the person? Haha.
     
    #20 Lyman, Mar 8, 2021
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2021
    RD Spencer likes this.