Social Question

Kardamom's avatar

Did anyone ever mistakenly think that you were gay because of a comment you made?

Asked by Kardamom (32112points) May 4th, 2017

Today I was having lunch with two old childhood friends. Let’s call them Maude and Edith. We grew up together and spent our teen years together hanging out, dating boys, talking about boys, having pictures of male rock stars on our walls, all that kind of stuff. When I was in my early 20’s I moved away, then the other two girls moved away from our hometown as well.

About 10 years ago, one of the girls, Edith who was about 40 at the time and I ran into each other in a restaurant. She had moved back to town and I was visiting someone else in our hometown. We talked for about 15 minutes. I was with another female friend, who I’ll call Audrey (who I met as an adult, but by this time, we had known each other for about 10 years). I introduced my “new” friend Audrey to my “old” friend Edith and we all talked for awhile and then we all left. My old friend Edith left with her husband, and I left with my newer friend Audrey.

Fast forward to today. I met up with the two friends I grew up with. We recently got re-acquainted at a birthday party and we’ve been talking via Facebook and text, but I have only visited with Maude. We have lunch together about once a month. Today I got to have lunch with both Maude and Edith. Anyway, we were all talking about stuff we’ve been doing and I happened to mention that I’d recently done something with Audrey. So Edith says to me, “Wow! You two have been together for a long time. Weren’t you with Melanie before her?” So I look at her kind of quizzical, then I look over at Maude, and she’s also looking kind of quizzical. So I asked Edith what she was talking about. I said something like, “Well I’ve known Melanie for ages, but I met Audrey at work.” Then Edith said, “What??? I thought she was your girlfriend!”

Suddenly, it all became clear. 10 years ago, I probably said, “This is my girlfriend Audrey, we work together.” My old childhood friend, who knew perfectly well that I was heterosexual thought I meant girlfriend in the biblical sense.

Just then, my other old childhood friend starts busting up laughing, because she also figured out what just happened, and we both realized that poor Audrey, for some reason, thought for the last 10 years, that I had turned gay.

I finally said to her, “No, I’m not dating her. I’m not gay. She’s my girlfriend just like you and Maude are my girlfriends.” And Maude nodded and laughed in agreement.

I thought the whole thing was pretty funny, because this girlfriend has known me my entire life and has seen me with males that were my boyfriends and until I uttered that phrase, “girlfriend,” 10 years ago, I’m pretty sure she knew/thought I was straight.

So I ask you all this, has anyone ever thought you were gay because of something you uttered?

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26 Answers

Kardamom's avatar

After this incident, I was thinking that this would have made a good Seinfeld episode.

Earthbound_Misfit's avatar

Well, I have heard it said that many women are only one drink away from jumping the fence! Had you been drinking :D

To answer your question, no. At least I don’t think so.

Espiritus_Corvus's avatar

I purposely address common gender stereotypes to illustrate my point.

I was a male nurse for 23 years. Strike one. I thoroughly enjoy cooking and collect cookbooks from all over the world, classical music, films that are considered “chick flicks”, go to museums, know a lot about art history, some opera, literature, dig the hell out of art deco and art nouveau, know way too much about the expressionists and expats of Paris from 1900 to WWII, Da Vinci, Raphael and his crowd, the life of Caravaggio, and thoroughly enjoy conversations with a knowledgeable person on these subjects. I don’t drink hard liquor regularly and prefer coffee houses to bars. I prefer to play poker with a tarot deck because it’s more playful that way. Hardcore dudes think you can’t get more gay than that. I have a fairly indiscriminate nurturing nature that I must keep a check on. I prefer quiet nights under the moon at sea with a lover than loud dancing venues. I have a strong sense of romanticism. I hate killing other mammals, and think people who unnecessarily do are assholes. I hate TV sports. I am quiet and prefer to work in the background. I reserve assertion for when it is important and this is often interpreted as being demure. I am adamantly pro-human rights, which includes the gender rights. I listen when women talk and quite often find them truly interesting in the way they think because they are different from us and incredibly complicated. I think Bruno Mars is a fantastic artist and exudes a playful atmosphere of fun, the list goes on and on.

I have been assumed to be a homosexual based on those things.

On the other side, I really hate disco. My instincts for interior decoration stink and run toward the simple and practical. I hate shopping. I dress practically with little thought to the latest fashions. I like to pit myself against nature—I have my forty days and forty nights in the wilderness every few years to keep me balanced. I basically live a very masculine, womanless, solitary lifestyle with dogs and horses. I am very territorial, quick tempered in some situations, and extremely protective of those I care for. I have difficulty being patient in complicated social situations. I am not a multitasker. I am not afraid to get into a physical altercation if the stakes are high enough. I’m big, fairly muscular and not all that graceful. I don’t argue with women because you can’t win and you can’t signal that if this doesn’t stop you will take it to the next level like you can with a man. Ultimately I prefer the company of men because they are simple, direct and I understand the respect game.

There is no biological reaction when I see naked men. I’m heterosexual.

cookieman's avatar

I’ve been told by friends who are gay that I’d make a hell of a gay man if it wasn’t for my attraction to women.

I’m an artist
Dislike sports
Always had female friends
Love musicals
Spends hours at museums
Love to clean house

Sadly (for my gay friends) guys do nothing for me. I’m just not your stereotypical heterosexual dude.

JLeslie's avatar

I think there have been a few times a lesbian has kind of scoped me and then after a quick size me up realizes I’m not gay.

I use girlfriend too, and I think the younger generation doesn’t use the term to clarify a friend who is a girl, because it now is mostly used for an SO. Although, you are talking about peers, so they are our age.

I’m married to a man, so I think it’s fairly obvious what I mean when I say girlfriend, but if you’re single I could see it might be confusing, unless you use best girlfriend, or girlfriends in the plural.

jca's avatar

You know what’s funny about the term “girlfriend?” We use it to denote a friend that’s a girl, although not so much now like you pointed out, @JLeslie, but guys have never referred to their friends as “boyfriends.”

Seek's avatar

I’ve of my neighborhood friends told me several years after we met that she had always assumed I was a lesbian since I never talked about boys.

I mean, I didn’t talk about girls either… But whatever

chyna's avatar

@cookieman And your traits make for the best husbands and fathers.

kritiper's avatar

Possibly. There is a 90% chance a person is gay if they are age 35 and never married. There is a good possibility if a person never had a SO, or never talks about any SO they had.

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

^ That is why the SO (male) and I (female), both heterosexuals, have both been considered gay by a few people that know us. They made this assumption because we were in our mid-40s when we met and later became engaged. It will be the first marriage for both of us.

Kardamom's avatar

The funny thing is (no we weren’t drinking) is that we had all been discussing an event that I had gone to last week where I had ran into not one, but two of my old boyfriends, and how awkward that was because they were talking to each other. I dated them years apart, and it was just a coincidence that they were both there.

I guess “girlfriend” is a somewhat archaic term for platonic friends, but Edith is the same age as me, and Maude and I, the mutual friend that we were having lunch with, and I use it all the time to describe the 3 of us.

SensitiveChris's avatar

Did anyone ever mistakenly think I was gay?
When I would cut my own hair as a teenager my older brother who’s estranged now thought I was gay, but he’s kinda ignorant anyway.
Later on in life I was playing pool with a girl that liked me and we kinda went on one date, but I liked her friend (who’s now my ex wife) and I kinda ignored her passes at me and she said “I think I figured you out, you’re gay aren’t you Chris?”
I said “No I’m not gay, in fact I probably like women a little too much.”
Then I ended up going out with her friend and they never spoke to each other much after that and the rest is history.

SergeantQueen's avatar

Yes. I asked some stupid question in health class in 6th grade. 50 minutes later, the whole grade thought I was gay.

gondwanalon's avatar

When I lived in San Francisco in the 80’s most people that I knew were convinced that I was gay even when I explained to them that I wasn’t. It didn’t bother me. I thought, “whatever”. People are going to believe what they want to believe despite the facts.

Even gay guys would occasionally ask me to have dinner or party with them. I was always kind saying that I was very busy taking college courses and working 2 jobs and didn’t have time to socialize (which was the truth). Of course even if I had the time it wasn’t going to happen because I liked women (been happily married to my wife for 26 years).

zenvelo's avatar

@kritiper ”...a 90% chance a person is gay if they are age 35 and never married.

Where the hell do you come up with that statistic?

answerjill's avatar

A friend thought I was gay because of my taste in music—lots of female singer-songwriters.

Tropical_Willie's avatar

Not a comment but my college roommate and I knew (we were both straight) most of the managers and owners of the restaurant and bars that catered to the gays and lesbians in a city of 160,000 people. It happened because my roommate worked afternoons and nights at a large hotel, some nights he would drive the lady that ran the cigarette and magazine shop in the lobby, home, she was in her 70’s and had lived in Yonkers, NY before moving to our city. Now a widow she never learned to drive. Some nights my roommate had to stay real late he would call me to drive home. Her landlords owned three of the gay bars in town. She would “pay’ for the rides by inviting us over to have appetizers, cheeses and drinks. She would also invite the landlords and some of their friends that ran the restaurants too.
Some of our acquaintances thought we were gay because we were treated like royalty at several of the gay bars or restaurants.

ucme's avatar

When I worked with Alzheimer’s sufferers we held charity nights out in town, we’d take a tour around the pubs & nightclubs in fancy dress shaking money tins for anyone feeling generous enough to give to a worthwhile cause.

Anyway, I was dressed as a kind of sexy highwayman complete with cape, 3 pointed hat & a pristine white shirt with more frills you could shake a stick at. So this big knuckleheaded doorman/bouncer walks up to me & asks if i’m gay, me being non confrontational but mischevious replied quick as a flash… “buy me a drink big boy & you just might find out”

I thought about running out screaming like a girl as I went but nah, fuck that, i’d firmly put him in his place & left calmly with a tin brim full of hard earned cash…“stand & deliver”

kritiper's avatar

@zenvelo Found that fact a long time ago. (A “confirmed bachelor” is a person who is at least 35 and has never been married.) Also, 10% of men are gay.

tinyfaery's avatar

This makes me kind of happy. In such a heteronormative society someone thinking you’re gay because of a few comments and being okay with it, is definitely wonderful in my book.

Heteros think I am all sorts of things. When my wife and I go out most heteros do not assumes we are a couple. My wife is definitely picked out of the crowd as a lesbian by other lesbians whether she is with me or not. Most lesbians do not think I am gay unless I am with my wife, and then I assume that lesbians assume I am gay since I am with my wife who they assume is gay.

When I tell people, gay or straight, about old boyfriends no one thinks I am anything but straight. Then when I mention a wife both gays and straights question me. Being bisexual is still taboo in the gay community.

I was at Pride once with my bisexual button on and I was with my wife and group of people she knew and people were cold to me. When my wife pointed out that I was indeed her wife (I guess they thought we were just friends.) they became a whole lot nicer to me. One asked why I wear a bisexual pin. I said because I am bisexual and they guffawed me saying I’m a lesbian since I have been with my wife for so long.

Really though, I am a true bisexual. If something happened between my wife and I, I am just as likely to date a man as I am a woman. And equally, I’d lick Chris Hemsworth just as much as I would lick Michelle Rodriguez.

Be glad it’s so simple for you.

cookieman's avatar

@chyna: Aw, thank you, but some of the fathers I run into at my daughter’s school would disagree.

“Big game this weekend!”

“Oh yeah? Who’s playing?”

“Who…How do you not know?”

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

@tinyfaery Thank you for sharing your story. It’s fascinating that there would be members of the LGBTQ community that don’t “get” bisexuality.

Personally, I envy those that are bisexual. It’s like they have been given this special ability to be physically turned on by the right person, no matter what their gender is.

Coloma's avatar

No, though I have been hit on by gay women over the years. I am quite feminine in appearance but also more mentally masculine. I am not overly squeamish, timid, fearful and few things scare me.
No topic is taboo, I will speak up and have no social anxiety whatsoever. I have leadership qualities but have no interest in leading.

I am outspoken, funny and bold but not in an obnoxious way, in a very organic way. I am not your “typical” overly emotional female prone to histrionic outbursts. If anything the thing I have most been mistaken for is having men think I am coming onto them, flirting with them, when I am simply being playful and engaging. One of my ex husbands friends asked him once if I was coming onto him and he just laughed and said “no, she’s that way with everybody.” haha

This afternoon I scooped up a fat, 2 foot rattlesnake on a long stick and put him back in the field he slithered out from while the neighbor lady watched in horror and repulsion.

Funny story@Kardemom Yes, I can see a Sienfeld episode in there too. ;-)

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

It was never a mistake when anyone thought I was gay.


josie's avatar

I once told a hooker in Chicago that I wasn’t interested, and she asked me if I was gay.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I have been accused of being a “lesbo” (an insult) when I refused advances from some men. SMH.

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