Courtesy of EBONY.com
It started as soon as I started to come out to my friends. As legend has it, there is some magical little internal instrument called “gaydar” that many assumed I was equipped with. And with that “gaydar” comes the all-knowing ability to correctly clock any gay person within a 10-mile radius. Only a few years after J.L. King put the fear of the “down low brother” in the hearts of millions of Oprah-watching women, people around me wanted confirmation about men they were suspicious of being gay but too afraid to ask directly (imagine such a concept), or you know, merely being all-around nosy.
I distinctly remember being in class when a friend of mine asked if someone she had known since the original Power Rangers airing was gay. My response was, “You’ve known him since the playground. Shouldn’t you be more equipped to answer that question?” I suppose she already had the answer, but needed confirmation. I wasn’t giving it.
While she seemed sincerely curious, others have been just stupid.
“His shirt is Barney purple, not Que color. Maybe he’s gay.”
“His hair line is just a little too perfect.”
“Oh. My. God. Does he wax his eyebrows? Michael, is he for you or for me?”
That last one was actually for the National Association for the Advancement of Unibrow Removal, but you get it.
Frankly, there are times when I can spot a gay man, but as my friend Raia noted to me on the phone yesterday, mistakes will happen. “Michael, I thought we decided that your New Year’s resolution was to date [actual] gay men,” she quipped. The shade in that comment is so thick I needed a flashlight to write this article.
For the record, it’s not that they weren’t gay. It’s that the way in denial or gay and didn’t know it yet. Whatever, stop judging me. Anyway, the trouble with “gaydar” in me and everyone else is that there’s never a real way to confirm someone’s sexuality. Such a responsibility goes to that person. That reason alone is why sometimes “gaydar” can be as helpful as it is annoying.