General Question

tinyfaery's avatar

Does "gaydar" exist?

Asked by tinyfaery (42542points) July 5th, 2008

Can you really tell if someone is gay by the way they look, walk, talk, etc., or is their no validity to the idea? If it does exist, do only gay people have it? Do you have it? If you do, do you think its usually accurate?

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34 Answers

gailcalled's avatar

I don’t know, no, there is no validity to the idea, I don’t know, no, no, no…did I answer everything?I confused myself along the way.

eambos's avatar

Have you been watching “The Office?”

lefteh's avatar

I think it exists to a certain extent, sure. It’s not always right, but there’s a way to tell.
I don’t think only gay people have it, but it’s certainly more refined. Speaking as a bisexual male, we can pick each other out of the crowd.

mirza's avatar

Yes I think they have it at Sharper Image. It’s sold out

marinelife's avatar

It is not foolproof.

MissAnthrope's avatar

@mirza— Great answer. Ha.

Yes, I think it exists. If you’re aware of what to look for, it can be really easy. It also is a skill that can be developed. I grew up with a lot of gay “uncles” (my mom’s circle of friends), so straight out of the gate, I had a pretty refined gaydar for guys. However, I knew no lesbians, so at first, my lesbian-dar sucked really badly. I’ve been out for 10 years now and my lezdar has much improved in that time. I would say I’m usually right, but I have the added bonus of being pretty intuitive. I often get things about people I couldn’t have known otherwise.

Straight or gay people can have it, I think perhaps gay people have a slight advantage in that they probably have met many kinds of gay people and are more aware of what to look for.

It’s definitely not foolproof. There are effeminate straight men, and butch straight women. Lipstick lesbians always fool me.

xxporkxsodaxx's avatar

No, I had friend for over 3 years before he shipped out for Yale and only about 2 months before he left he told me he was gay. Keep in mind he was the Major and then Lieutenant Colonel for the Battalion at my old military school and he was hardcore too. As for the girls, I’ve met some pretty butch girls who weren’t gay and I’ve met some HOT girls only to later find out they were lesbians. There is no definite way to tell, but there are methods that will probably work 95% of the time.

lefteh's avatar

@Alena: Your answer made me think about the other side of the story: lezdar. Having an interest in gay men, I have a pretty good eye for them, as I stated before. But what I left out because I didn’t even think of it is that I can only tell if a woman is gay if it is painfully obvious. I suppose one develops a more refined gaydar for the side of the gender binary (or whichever offshoot of it) that they are (more) interested in.

bunkin's avatar

yes… I have it! It is just an intuition.

Bri_L's avatar

I think you have to care one way or the other. It doesn’t bother me if people are gay, hit on me or whatever so I am not tuned in to it. I think if it plays a bigger part of your life tan yes. Then the question becomes one of acuracy.

gailcalled's avatar

In reality there is a spectrum of sexual interest and intensity of libido and amts of hormones. Lots of people do not fall at either end.

MissAnthrope's avatar

@lefteh – Yeah, that would definitely make sense. I mean, straight people have an advantage in that it’s far easier to identify potential mates (there’s a very good chance any given woman or man is heterosexual), but gay people have to learn to identify potential mates. For one, there’s a certain stigma to a gay person hitting on a straight person, or at the very least, some people get offended. I know I prefer to have a reasonable idea of a person’s orientation before I make my interest clear. So perhaps it’s an inevitable side effect of having to size people up to determine if you’re a match in that department.

wildflower's avatar

People who are good at reading other people can usually also get an impression of the person’s sexuality and/or recognise if the person has traits most commonly associated with gay people (stereotypical).
If that’s what you mean by “gaydar”, then yes, some people do have it.

generalspecific's avatar

my friends always say i have it. but it’s just so easy with most people, to see they’re gay or something, even if they’re not “out”

Zaku's avatar

What wildflower said. If you can read people, gay is usually pretty easy to read… but like any other way of being, it can be different, concealed, fake, whatever. It’s just projecting and reading a way of being. Women and gay men are better at it because they are more likely to be conscious of and skilled at reading body language. If someone’s acting gay, it’s easy to read. Mine (straight male) is usually but not always correct, and I could easily be fooled by someone acting. But what part of that behavior comes from what exactly in the culture or brain or whatever, I don’t know. Seems to have some basic gay-human similarities, with culture and intention layered on top of that.

syz's avatar

It’s not a specific skill or talent. It’s an ability to be observant, to pick up on subtle physical and behavioral cues, and to recognize these cues as an indicator.

stephen's avatar

if that exist, gay guys dont need come out.

teacher_mom2's avatar

I think so. I can usually spot a gay man by a “look” in his eyes. If you just watch tv and make yourself notice obviously gay men’s eyes, you will notice that their eyes are usually more wide open and there is just a “look”. I have actually brought this up in conversations with friends, and they began to notice the “look”, too.

MissAnthrope's avatar

There are also subtle physical cues, in the way people gesticulate and move their bodies in general. There are cues in the way they style their hair, what sort of clothing or accessories they wear, etc.

Trance24's avatar

I believe in it to an extent just because my own is pretty accurate. I must say though as a bi female, I have never been able to tell fully weather a female was was lez or not. Females tend to be a harder case. Gay man are a lot easier to find and point out in my opinion. The only time i can tell with a female is either like lefteh said “its painfully obvious” or I already know the person to the point I know their sexuality.

loser's avatar

I think its kind of a joke, not a science

Knotmyday's avatar

I have a pretty refined sense of joe-dar, which is the ability to sense other coffee-lovers at a distance. Generally their teeth give them away, but I have been fooled by tea connoisseurs and folks from countries with subsidized dental care. Hey, we’re all brothers and sisters under the enamel anyway, right?

guesswho's avatar

I dont think gaydar exists-
I think the ability to read people exists, and that stereotypes can be misleading.
people are individuals, not all individuals fit into stereotypes.(duh!)

I’ve known plenty of straight guys that set off peoples so called “gaydar”. I just
think its offensive.
name for

guesswho's avatar

gaydar is just a name for something that we already have- its our ability to instictively find a partner. Some are better than others at sniffing that sort of prefernce out according to what they find attractive in the opposite, or same sex.
( sorry for the horrible spelling)

scamp's avatar

@teacher_mom2 How Jerry Fallwell of you. Tell me, does Tinky Winky have ‘that look” too?

teacher_mom2's avatar

I think some people just have better sense of discernment. We’ve all met people that are socially backwards – they can’t read people’s facial gestures and body clues that tell them to back off. But there are also some people that are really discerning. I’m talking from a Christian point of view. As we get closer to Christ, we become more sensitive to sin and can actually see it in others.
Scamp, I do not like Jerry Fallwell – he is a false teacher. Try reading some John MacArthur.

marinelife's avatar

@teacher_mom2 I find your claim that Christians can “become more sensitive to sin and can actually see it in others” absolutely ludicrous and clearly untrue. If that were the case, how come no one in Ted Haggerd’s congregation knew he was taking drugs and having sex with male prostitutes? Isn’t proposing having sex with a child a sin? What about adulterous sex with a prostitute? Strangely, no one in the Reverend Jimmy Swaggart’s flock noticed this sinner among them every week. If this is not enough, there are numerous other examples. The very act of using a “sindar” seems antithetical to the tenets of your faith.

BTW, if you were saying homosexuality is a sin, I completely disagree with you.

scamp's avatar

@teacher_mom2 Thanks for the link. I did some reading on his site, and here he says:
2. Emulating God’s love

One question comes to my mind when I think about God’s tender affection for all Christians despite our faults: Do we love one another with the same kind of love, even though we know each others’ faults? Most of us don’t. Many of us would rather elevate ourselves above God and choose whom we desire to love. But as Jesus twice said to His disciples, “The servant is not greater than his lord” (John 13:16; 15:20). Jesus washed Judas’s feet even when He knew Judas would betray Him. Instead of judging others, we ought to make our salvation visible by loving everyone in the body of Christ. We ought to have the same gentle affection God has toward us.

MissAnthrope's avatar

Matt 7:2–5
For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.

Kayak8's avatar

@AlenaD But if their eyes are wide open on tv, couldn’t you see the speck . . .?

MissAnthrope's avatar

I don’t get it.


gottamakeart's avatar

All I can attest to is the “it takes one to know one” rule ;)

gememers's avatar

I think people use steryotypes about how they identify to make there identity known. To enable other people’s gaydar. If you are paying attention, you will know that this is not always true. This does not mean steryotypes are unquestionably accurate.

guihurts's avatar

Some: yes; most: not.

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