A gay man seeking advice on how to appear “gayer” has prompted a flurry of responses online.
The man wrote to the AskGayBros subreddit. He asked, “How can I come off gayer?” Then he went on to explain that people always presume him to be straight.
“I talk like a straight guy, I only wear comfortable clothes, and it makes me look even straighter. I have a few gay mannerisms, but not enough, and all my hobbies and interests are not the stereotypical gay ones.”
He worried that it might hurt his “chances of finding boyfriend material when no one would guess that I’m not straight.”
The query may well surprise some people. So many generations of gay men have been forced to hide their sexuality that being “straight-passing” has developed a certain value in the eyes of some.
Spend any time on dating apps and it’s clear that many men still tend to go for “masc” dudes. There can also be open hostility toward femme guys. So why would someone wish to let go of his straight-passing privilege?
Then again, this particular poster is not asking to appear less masculine: He just wants other gay people to realize he might be part of the community.
Either way, lots of people chipped in with helpful suggestions.
The most popular was the simple, “Wear a rainbow watch band.” The original poster said this had not occurred to him but he’d gone ahead and ordered one.
Others offered variations on the same theme.
“Get a rainbow keychain and casually set your keys on the table next to your coffee mug at work meetings.”
“My boyfriend is like you and wears a rainbow belt,” said another. “Get a rainbow wristband or watch band. Get some pins for your backpack. Get a shirt that tastefully insinuates you are gay. I have a Stonewall shirt that I really like that doesn’t look mega flamboyant but it’s one of those ‘IYKYK’ things.”
“I knew a guy who I couldn’t tell,” added another responder. “He got a small and very discreet rainbow bracelet that he wore everywhere, and wore it in a photo on social media – that did the trick.”
Others pointed out that being straight-passing has its advantages in the world of gay dating.
“I have good news. If you are so masculine that you never trigger anyone’s gaydar, gay guys will crawl through broken glass to take a crack at you. Guys that don’t ‘look gay’ are in high demand.”
Another suggested this only works if one is already considered attractive.
Proving that this wasn’t a unique problem, one guy said he had the same issue.
“I’m the same. The amount of gay guys who told me they thought I was straight when they saw me at the gym or out in public on campus and were glad I’m not is too many. Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to find a way to be obvious.”
Do you ever try to discreetly indicate you’re gay in certain environments? Such as work or at the gym? Is it something you feel you try to actively hide? Or is it simply something you never think about? Let us know below.