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Ellen Friedrichs

If You Don't Have Gaydar, How Can You Tell Someone's Gay?

By August 17, 2009

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You might have heard about "gaydar," the notorious sixth sense that helps GLBT individuals identify each other. But what should you do if you aren't a gaydar guru who can instantly pick the other lesbians or gay guys out of a crowd?

This is a problem for a teen who writes: "How can you tell if a guy is gay? I don't exactly have gaydar so I wouldn't know. Are there any signs or hints that I could look out for?"

Here's the thing, there are signs and hints, but there are no universal signs or hints that apply to everyone all the time.

If you want to know if someone is gay you can start by testing the waters with questions, (So, what do you think of gay marriage? Think you might join the GSA? Did you hear that our math teacher is a lesbian?) and see how the person responds. The answers might not prove anything conclusive, but they might give you a better idea of what you're dealing with.

Coming out yourself can also prompt another GLBT teen to do the same. But again, this tactic can be hit or miss.

But as you probably know, the only surefire way to find out if someone is gay, is to ask. As one teen says, "[I only think] a guy is gay if he's out of the closet. I'm done guessing and assuming." Another puts it simply, "Without a direct answer of "yes" or "no," you can't tell for sure."

Do you have any other tips on how to tell that someone is gay? Share them here!

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