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 â€œgaydarâ€ that many assumed I was equipped with. And with that â€œgaydarâ€ 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 â€œdown low brotherâ€ 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, â€œYouâ€™ve known him since the playground. Shouldnâ€™t you be more equipped to answer that question?â€ I suppose she already had the answer, but needed confirmation. I wasnâ€™t giving it.
While she seemed sincerely curious, others have been just stupid.
â€œHis shirt is Barney purple, not Que color. Maybe heâ€™s gay.â€
â€œHis hair line is just a little too perfect.â€
â€œOh. My. God. Does he wax his eyebrows? Michael, is he for you or for me?â€
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,â€ she quipped. The shade in that comment is so thick I needed a flashlight to write this article.
For the record, itâ€™s not that they werenâ€™t gay. Itâ€™s that the way in denial or gay and didnâ€™t know it yet. Whatever, stop judging me. Anyway, the trouble with â€œgaydarâ€ in me and everyone else is that thereâ€™s never a real way to confirm someoneâ€™s sexuality. Such a responsibility goes to that person. That reason alone is why sometimes â€œgaydarâ€ can be as helpful as it is annoying.