Among the keys to access Gay Project blogs I can find often “How to recognize a gay”. In fact, for a gay guy, the need to relate to other gay guys is very important. The search for other gays automatically starts as a result of the simple awareness of being gay. The motives are varied but convergent:
1) the need to not feel unique and to diminish the sense of marginalization, perceiving themselves as part of a group;
2) the need for a dialog without continuous fictions, with other guys who live oh have lived similar experiences;
3) the need to create relationships of friendship and mutual trust with people sharing similar sexual orientations;
4) the need to create strong affective relationships, to love a guy and to live for him, and to feel him relieved, which constitutes for a gay the most powerful thrust;
5) the desire for physical contact with other guys is both generic and consciously sexual;
In other times, before the Internet era, a gay boy could find news on homosexuality and gay lifestyle of other gay guys exclusively through books, some rare gay-themed movies, or through gay-friendly direct acquaintance, event anyway fairly rare.
It is commonly said, and it is true, that every gay guy develops sophisticated methods and techniques to identify other gay guys, the so-called “gay radar”.
When asked “how to recognize gay?” I can only answer in an articulated way.
1) If a gay boy does not want to be recognized, in an environment where being gay is not accepted, recognizing him is virtually impossible for anyone. Even the most experienced gay people, when they try to use “gay radar”, in such cases, are exposed to grotesque situations.
2) If a gay guy, in an environment where homosexuality can be tolerated, deliberately (more frequent) or heedlessly launches signals, it is possible for another gay to start a genuine recognition procedure.
Generally, those who consciously launch very weak signals of homosexuality make it explicitly hoping to be recognized by another gay guy, but not by heterosexuals, who have no ability to decode those signals.
Among the weak signals of homosexuality some are quite common:
1) Absence of any reference to “my girlfriend”
2) Do not talk about women or girls, or talk about but only in terms of friendship
3) Do not comment when a cute girl passes
4) Do not go on talking about girls when the subject has been started by another person
5) Do not talk about gays, do not make jokes about them, do not continue a conversation started by others on gay related topics
Other signals less weak and more significant are:
1) Do not say “falling in love with a girl” but “falling in love with a person”
2) Writing in a way not sexually connoted. This point requires special attention.
GAY GUYS AND SEXUALLY CONNOTED TEXTS
Years ago I administrated a website in Italian about couple relationships, the readers of the site were all or almost all heterosexual. I started there an experiment: wrote and published a lot of stories (about 100) not sexually connoted, that is that reading the stories it was strictly impossible to detect from grammatical elements if the single character was male or female, because the text was in this sense radically neutral. In Italian usually the subject of the verb is not needed, usually adjectives are different for masculine and feminine but there are adjectives that are exactly the same for both the genders. It is quite simple in Italian to write stories non sexually connoted. In English things are a little more complicated because usually the subject must be indicated and the use of pronouns (he, she, him, her) can hardly be avoided, nevertheless even in English it’s possible to write texts not sexually connoted. For example, to express quite similar contents I can use a sexually connoted text like this:
“I went to her last night, she told me she would come to see me, I love her because she is beautiful and then she is my girlfriend and I’ll love her forever.”
It’s evident that I’m telling about a girl or a female character. But I could also use a not connoted text like this:
“We met last night. My friend told me “Don’t worry, I’ll come soon to see you”, what I feel is love and then no one is more important for me … I just stuttered “My soul, you are the only object of my desires, and will be forever.”
Here it’s impossible to detect from grammatical elements if I’m talking about a man or a woman.
There is an American novel published in 1870 by Bayard Taylor, considered the first American gay novel, whose title “Joseph and his friend” sounded to the general public quite similar to “Joseph and his girlfriend” and the first chapters seam to justify this interpretation, but reading the subsequent chapters it’s easy for gay readers to understand that the “friend” is a male friend, if not exactly a boyfriend.
Well, my experiments on my website intended for heterosexuals, demonstrate that all the readers (heterosexuals) saw a woman in the character not sexually connoted. All comments were based on this assumption completely unjustified from the literal text. Clearly the brain of a single person goes straight to what is usual for that person.
Gay persons are used to find a lot of sexually connoted texts, clearly all in hetero sense, but they unlike hetero people, are extremely ready to detect not connoted text, because gays are accustomed to express their stories in public in a not sexually connoted way.
In conclusion: the heterosexuals do not recognize a not sexually connoted text, while homosexuals immediately notice that the text is not sexually connoted.
This conclusion is very useful to detect gays. The one who uses non sexually connoted expressions discovers somehow himself and gives occasion to the other to give in turn signals of recognition.
Many guys, when they notice more or less gay signals from another guy, launch a search for information about him worthy of the secret services, search for his name and email on multiple search engines online, if that guy has a website or a blog that is not explicitly gay, they analyze it in depth with rigorous philological criteria and read with acute spirit the author’s profile. They essentially seek to gather evidence to confirm the initial hypothesis. In some cases they end up finding explicit references to a girl or heterosexual experience and their research ends with archiving because “he’s not gay”. In other cases, however, the hypotheses are confirmed and you get to the final evaluation: “probably gay” or, rarely, If the search is about boys still in the closet, to the evaluation: “certainly gay!”
In the past decades, the finding of other gay guys was very difficult, today, using Internet, the opportunities for gay guys are enormously increased but also risks because what is glittering is not all gold.