After many years of anxiety surrounding the possibility that I could end up dating a gay man without knowing it, I am finally ready to have this discussion.
For a while, I hadn’t wanted to touch this topic with a 10-foot pole because of its sensitivity and political implications, but lately homosexuality has been at the forefront of my mind and an issue of growing public and legal importance. As many of you know, days ago, R&B singer, Frank Ocean, openly admitted that he essentially is gay, being that his first love was in fact a man. Yet, even before Ocean’s big reveal, I had become frustrated with being unable to tell if guys who were romantically interested in me were gay. I scoured the internet for articles to help me recognize the signs, but all of them, some ridiculous and some rather logical, eventually conceded that there really is no way of knowing whether a guy is gay unless he openly admits it.
As a single woman, I am unapologetically terrified that I might accidentally date, or even worse, fall in love, with a gay man. For some women, this may not be a problem (no Jada Pinkett). But, unless the man in question is flamboyant or has admitted to engaging in gayctivities, how will we ever know?
When the unthinkable happened to author, Terry McMillan, everyone, including me, was unsympathetic towards her because she claimed she didn’t know her husband was gay. How could she not have known? He was prettier than her and his mannerisms were extremely telling, yet, she was none the wiser (so she says). There are men who are obviously gay, but then there are men who show no signs that they pledge allegiance to the rainbow flag, so what’s a girl to do?
First, I should make clear MY definition of gay. [Homosexual adj. A man or woman who is physically or sexually attracted to someone of the same sex]; notice this does not take into consideration whether that person actively engages in homosexual behavior. Given my definition, you can see why it is, at times, impossible for me to determine whether the object of my affection is or could be gay. How do you know someone’s thoughts unless they share them with you? I have pretty much decided to follow my instincts, and pray about it. Doing so, I can’t go wrong.
Also, over the years, I have been advised to look at a number of things – the way a man walks, where he lives (cities known for being gay metropolises), his mannerisms and tone of voice, the “finger test” (but some men might like to be stimulated “back there” by their women, so by my definition this wouldn’t necessarily make him gay), he has gay male friends, he’s 40+ and never been married with no kids, he’s a celebrity lol, he likes musicals or the arts A LOT but hates sports, his fashion sense, his relationships with women or lack thereof, promiscuity or objectification of women, and even personal hygiene (ridiculousness like him wearing Secret deodorant (it is strong enough for a man, but pH balanced for a woman). However, are any of these really signs? Many gay men profess to be able to tell, but sometimes their gaydar is off, as well.
Unfortunately, I have become so consumed with knowing whether my guy likes T&A or B&A (you’ll figure it out) that certain behaviors have caused me to end relationships, or not engage in relationships altogether with men that I felt exhibited too many of these behaviors.
This could be hurting, not helping me, so I beg you to enlighten me. Guys, gay or straight, are there are any signs you care to share? Ladies, are there any signs that I missed or that you swear by?