Jun 13, 2010

[Technicolor Musings] Gaydar Patch 2010-06

Gaydar indeedImage by Ko:(char *)hook via Flickr
Gaydar, or the unique ability of individuals to determine if a guy is gay or not, is not exactly a precise science. There's a lot of intuition and gut feel that goes into it and thus it's really hard to explain how it works. Believe me, as a geek I've tried to explain the pseudo science behind this when my friends ask but even my formidable geekiness is unable to distinctly quantify in words how it's supposed to work. Gaydar is just gaydar - it just works.

While I doubt today is going to be any different in terms of my ability to explain this concept, my partner has helped me come up with an alternate strategy. Today's entry will hopefully represent the first of a series of entries over time where I'll discuss possible tips and tricks to add to your own internal gaydar system of sorts along with necessary updates for which items no longer apply. Let's face it - as soon as the concept of the metrosexual became mainstream, a lot of older, non-updated gaydars started giving false positives. So yes, updates and software patches of a sort are needed!

So today we're touching on a few items to watch out for and those that can be forgiven a bit more for the straight guys out there who allow themselves to be dressed by their gay friends.

In this patch release for gaydar users everywhere, here are major items to add to your watchlist:

White Leather Shoes - These sound innocent enough and they've been around for some time, to be honest. But this updated gaydar definitions file is not about totally new items on the scene but things that can now be more definitively associated with the gay male. These shoes become primary indicators of male homosexuality in direct proportion to (1) how pointy they are and (2) how flat the toe section gets. If the shoes are beginning to resemble clown-like proportions with Enid Blyton elven curly tips, then things are definitely getting pink around here.

White Leather Shoes
The white leather shoes become even gay when worn with (1) denim or worse, (2) white pants regardless of material. This is more commonly seen in upper class cruising places like the ever reliable Greenbelt or randomly in call centers as a way to work with dress code rules but still be somehow fashionable. The gayness of the ensemble becomes even harder to ignore with the matching white belt, preferable not a leather one so you can express yourself somehow by leaving the extra length hanging down your leg.

To date, this gay geek only owns one pair of white shoes and they happen to be some beat up Adidas sneakers. Yay me.

The Stylish Leather Travel / Gym Bag - As much as going to the gym is almost assumed to be part of every gay man's routine, that notion does not quite justify this current gay fashion trend of sorts. You see them everywhere - the big, bulky leather bags that only have short stubby handles since it assumes (1) you will place heavy things in the bag like your gym gear and (2) you will carry it lower to the ground using a single hand. Instead these bags are often seen (1) barely full regardless of the gay man's gym habits and (2) with the short stubby handles draped around his arm like a women's handbag. 

Obviously that's where the concept was derived from weather or not we queers admit to it. While the "man bag" tried to establish itself as part of metrosexual culture, it's with some irony that gay men have adopted these leather gym bags and travel bags as their gay accessory of choice. So now there's a very big chance the guy in front of you is queer when (1) he has such a bag, (2) with a designer label, (3) has it clutched tightly to his side like a woman's bag and (4) it's obviously not full. It feeds the inherent almost feminine need to have a bag with interior dimensions like a black hole and yet they just don't have enough things to put in it most of the time.

Be on high alert if such a bag is paired with pointy shoes of any color - the pointier the queerer, quite frankly. Pardon the photo on the right - it was the best example I could find and this bag's straps are still too long. Shorten them a bit in your minds and you'll get what I'm talking about.

So rest assured that seeing these indicators increase the likelihood that the bloke you're talking to may be a lassie at heart tenfold, but of course are never absolute guarantees. When it come to interpreting your gaydar readings, remember to look at the whole picture.

And as mentioned earlier in this piece, there are some things we need to retire from active gaydar blip status. One is white pants and the other is tight plain color shirts. 

White pants alone used to be a dead giveaway that a guy was gay but the metrosexual advance has firmly adopted it as a fashion regularity amongst the straight set. The same used to apply to the extra-tight plain color T-shirt that would nicely hug the guy's frame and show off all those extra hours at the gym. But now when you see this, your heart may go aflutter with lust over the guy's body but don't start hearing wedding bells just yet. Too many straight men have adopted both white pants and tight shirts as their own and they're even learning not to have sleeves beyond their elbows! The horrors of horrors, right? 

As much as these changes help make even straight men look more attractive, they do tend to send mixed signals to unpatched gaydars. Please note though that my earlier reminder about the need to study the whole picture stands. I already cited as an example that white pants + pointy white leather shoes combine to a higher overall gaydar rating and seeing the guy in the tight shirt + stylish leather travel bag + the fabric belt that's off center with some extra length hanging out the front. Oh yeah, totally gay right there.

Remember, gaydar is a constantly evolving series of rules, definitions, conditions and combinations of factors and so you can't just immediately assume homosexuality by seeing a single item on its own. But with training and proper software updates, I'm sure you'll be better ready to identify them whether you're a straight woman who wonders if they guy who never asks her out is straight or not or the gay man just looking for someone else to hook up with.
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  1. Winner! The white leather shoes are beginning to annoy me (I have a pair though. lol).

  2. You do realize that all of this is moot in Europe. :P

  3. @AJ: Yeah, the shoes have been really getting to me too, haha!

    @Mahar: Very true, but then I'm sure my gaydar perspective works best in a local context, hehe