Word of the Gay

*Straight talk on Gay language, one word at-a-time.

#23 “gaydar”

“Gaydar” is a portmanteau word (one that combines two words into one) of the words “gay” and “radar” and refers to the ability of someone to decipher if someone is either homosexual (“gay”) or heterosexual (“straight”) through the use of perception, intuition and past experiences, i.e. their own personal “radar.”

Having the ability to pick up on one’s sexuality is a talent that many boast, but few actually possess.  It seems the more time one spends within the gay community, or with gay men and lesbians, the more attuned this ability can actually become.  Some gay men and lesbians pride themselves on having a refined gaydar, and use it to their advantage in social interactions.

1. noun: the ability to decipher one’s sexuality (as being gay or lesbian as opposed to heterosexual), through the recognition of either overt or subtle clues in mannerisms, patterns of speech, dress style, etc.

Ex: “My gaydar was going into overdrive when he walked into the room.  Who does he think he’s fooling?!”

The term has been made widely popular over the last two decades in North America and Europe, and has mass exposure in popular culture, having been used in countless television programs, short films, full-length features films and on the internet.  Check out the WikiGayDar post for more references to “gaydar” in popular culture.  In the United Kingdom, www.gaydar.co.uk is a widely popular and trafficked social-networking and dating website devoted to gay men. 



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