I’ve never had a gaydar. I could be standing in the middle of a gay bar, and I still wouldn’t assume to know what a person was. I mean, unless they were telling me that they were gay specifically, I just don’t assume.
I think lots of people must think that I am gay. I have some gay mannerisms. Sometimes when I talk, my hand flops in that gay way. I have a sort of gayish lisp, and a soft spoken, sort of gay voice. And I’m pretty sensitive. Sure, that might not be gay, but it’s certainly not manly. I’m also very child like, and that can be seen as gay. When I laugh, I let it fly. I giggle and cackle and laugh with complete abandon. I am in touch with my feminine side, and I like pretty things. I’m very silly, and I don’t mind wearing colorful things, or looking odd.
But I am definitely not gay. In fact, I’m so not gay that I have trouble telling the difference between a ‘good’ looking man, and a ‘shlubby’ looking man. I look at Brad Pitt and think, that guy looks like he just rolled out of bed! But then I see someone like Ron Paul, and think, wow, I’ll bet lots of women must think he is handsome.
Gay people on TV are always getting the big laughs. They flop their hands around and style their fohawks like crazy cartoon characters. They whine and touch and say, “Oh girl,” and it seems like they always get the punch lines. But in real life, I’ll bet there are lots of gay guys who seem pretty straight.
Some people profess to have amazing gaydars, and they take pride in that. They actually feel good about it when they try to peg someone. But even if I did have a good gaydar, I wouldn’t want to be proud of that. To be proud of judging someone and professing to know some very personal things about their sex life just by observing them for a few seconds? It seems like trying to tell someone’s blood type by what color shirt they’re wearing.
And in a way, it’s the same as pegging someone for anything. It’s prejudice. You’re pre-judging them. It’s sort of like assuming that someone is dumb because they are ugly. Or that someone must be smart because they are well spoken. Or thinking that someone who is fat is lazy. And I’ve met plenty of well spoken individuals who are stupid, or fat people who are energetic.
But when people are wrong, they don’t count it against themselves. They just forget it. They remember the hits, and forget the misses. So if someone is wrong, no one ever thinks, well, my gaydar must be broken. They just sort of shrug it off.
And I guess that gets to the heart of the difference between the way I think, and the way most people think, which is that I really like a lot of good evidence. If I meet someone, I gather evidence about the kind of person they are. I look at their actions, and their words. I spend a lot of time with them before I decide whether I think they are mean or nice. I want a LOT of evidence before I even think about beginning to judge anybody.
In the same way, I want lots of evidence when it comes to questions about anything. The economy, wars, candidates, you name it. I’m always looking for the most amount of evidence before I subscribe to an idea. I never want to judge something based entirely on my gut feelings.
Especially because being gay isn’t so black and white. Sexuality is complex. There are many different flavors of sexuality in the world, and gay is just one of them. So it always bugs me when someone looks across the room at a waiter and says, “Gurl, he’s on fire,” because it’s like calling him a cartoon character. Why don’t they ever say, “Gurl, he’s bi-sexual, but probably a little more towards women,” or “Gurl, he’s probably one of those guys that seems really gay but is actually straight,” or even, “Gurl, as tough as he looks, I’ll bet he secretly wishes he was a woman.” I mean, you never hear people really say that. A person’s sexuality is varied and subtle, and it almost seems insulting to peg someone as this or that. And that’s why, when it comes to gaydars, I just shut mine off, and if I really want to know, I’ll just ask them politely.