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How to Identify a Gay Person: VIDEO

Johnbird

YouTuber John from Liverpool notes that while there may be a few signs, simple assumptions should not lead to snap judgments - we are all unique.

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

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  1. cute n clever enough.

    Savvy-family can recognize family - always.

    it's one of those things that a straight person or non-savvy gay person will say: "how can you tell he's gay?"

    answer: because he's gay. it has little to do with mannerisms or speech. we can tell they're gay because they're gay.
    to paraphase Kushnir - it's that blue streak of recognition.

    it has nothing to do with mannerisms, stereotypes, isms, or anything like that. it has everything to do with, well, having actual experience out in the real world with not just gay and straight people, but remembering The Closet.

    looking for isms? remember this - those that don't want to be identified as gay will adopt very VERY specific "isms" that they feel would mask their reality: a savvy gay (or savvy straight) who understands the human experience will clue in to this.
    be it adopting anti-gay posturing (ha!) or ...well.... you know. those young'uns who think nobody will think that they're gay if they're head-to-toe in Abercrombie. Mhmmm, gurl. ;-)

    i dare say it's often easier to tell a Closeted gay from an Open one: energy is a giveaway. we were all closeted at some point - we remember the game.

    it's not who or what you are that gives you away. it's how you are about it.

    it's not that difficult to fool the non-savvy straights. but it's sorta like tiptoeing around the blind - anyone can do it if they want to badly enough, it's just lame.

    Posted by: Little Kiwi | Mar 8, 2013 2:11:00 PM


  2. I have crappy gay-dar. But if you can't pick up that I'm gay, be careful crossing the street. I'm not a flaming queen or anything close, but it should take a keen observer about 30 seconds - and a male (i.e., typically crap observers) about 2 minutes, and a gay male no more than 90 seconds or you fail.

    BUT, not every gay is as easy as me (... wait, um, not exactly how I meant that to come out). And I really don't care that I often can't tell - because I really don't care who's gay and who's not.

    Posted by: Zlick | Mar 8, 2013 3:01:23 PM


  3. heck, i wear my rainbow bracelets every day just to make things easier for those that can't yet reconcile the whole "shaved head, tats and combat boots" thing.

    there is no such thing, of course, as "the stereotypical gay man" - there are literally dozens upon dozens of stereotypes.

    Posted by: Little Kiwi | Mar 8, 2013 3:06:51 PM


  4. I'm confused. Do all gay men speak with a Scottish accent? : )

    Posted by: gr8guyca | Mar 8, 2013 4:29:39 PM


  5. Now that you mention it,GR8GUYCA, kinda.

    Posted by: Kakapo | Mar 8, 2013 6:17:26 PM


  6. Funny and cute. Like the British way.

    Posted by: Gary | Mar 8, 2013 6:20:38 PM


  7. GR8GUYCA and KAKAPO
    His accent is not Scottish its from Liverpool and known as a scouse accent, though his is quite a mild one

    Posted by: mike99 | Mar 8, 2013 6:41:30 PM


  8. I didn't find that enlightening. What was he trying to say?

    Posted by: anon | Mar 8, 2013 7:15:06 PM


  9. I could listen to him talk all day.

    Posted by: David | Mar 8, 2013 7:52:08 PM


  10. "Gay or European"

    Posted by: mikeflower | Mar 9, 2013 12:22:31 AM


  11. "We are all unique" is probably the best take away from that vid.

    Posted by: andrew | Mar 9, 2013 12:32:09 AM


  12. Err, long vowels and eye contact? If you look carefully, you may notice that straight new fathers have a modified eye contact that is difficult to distinguish from gays. I'm pretty sure about this since the literature came out about hormonal changes during fatherhood.

    Posted by: rdiac | Mar 9, 2013 1:46:12 AM


  13. That's a first - being mistaken for Scottish. I got asked if I was Australian in San Francisco in October, but Scottish. That's new. xD

    The video is basically a satirical look at the way in which people use certain stereotypes to define a person as gay.

    Posted by: JohnBirdMedia | Mar 9, 2013 5:15:23 AM


  14. this video helped me identify what an adorable guy John Bird is...

    Posted by: V-8 | Mar 9, 2013 6:40:54 AM


  15. In Europe and the UK most people don't think I'm American. Usually Australian, Dutch or South African. They tell me my accent doesn't sound American. I have a Boston accent [not very strong], but was born and grew up partially in NYC, so I have a little of that,too. We pronounce the letter 'R' as 'AH'. Not all Americans say 'er' or 'urrrrr!'.

    I also apparently don't 'look' American. Whatever.

    Posted by: ratbastard | Mar 9, 2013 10:10:36 AM


  16. Little Kiwi--I'm confused about you saying there are no "isms" but then spending your whole post talking about them, and distinguishing between gays who are "savvy" vs. not (presumably the savvy ones are picking up on "isms" even though the "isms" don't exist?). Maybe you're trying to distinguish between the really obvious stereotypes versus the subtle ones that only a savvy gay would know? I used to think it was just instinct too, but then I realized that the instinct was built off a whole bunch of very fast, very well learned cataloguing of traits, behaviors, etc. Maybe that's what you mean?

    Posted by: Thomas | Mar 9, 2013 3:43:54 PM


  17. Thomas - what I mean is this: "stereotypical gay" is an unenlightened straight person's concept.

    there is no such thing as "a stereotypical gay guy" - there are literally dozens. HOWEVER, non-savvy folks are simply not hip to them yet.

    think The Crying Game - back in the 90s. the "secret" was only a secret to straight audiences. any queer or queer-savvy audience knew the "secret" from Frame One.

    as for the "isms" - while they can be helpful indicators, they're often not what's needed for an "in the know" person to know, know what i mean? (forgive the overuse of "know")

    here's a recent example: i quit a short-film i wast cast in. gay themed, by a bi-identifying writer/director. the thesis of the short film was that "there are some guys you can't tell are gay" - i called that out. define "you can't tell": WHO can't tell? straight people? non-gay-savvy folks, gay or straight?
    the director said he wanted to show that not all gays are like the "effeminate flamboyant stereotypes on TV", and i then pointed out that one can be visibly, obviously, and identifiably gay without embodying any of those specific (yet, let's be real, often decidedly obtuse and amorphous) "stereotypes." he didn't seem to understand me.
    cut to the first day of rehearsals, when in the roles of the two "gay guys that people can't tell are gay" i realized he'd cast two straight actors.
    think about that - to make his film's point that "not all gays are obviously gay" he had to cast two STRAIGHT GUYS, and then direct them to not in any way adopt or change their own mannerisms: to not in any way "play gay". as i said to him "don't you think it says something that you couldn't find any gay men to play the roles of the type of gay men you want to highlight?"

    and that something is that family can spot family. by and large.

    since we can do it - it can cloud perceptions.

    it's like when closeted or semi-closeted guys are looking to get laid, or attempt to date and yet don't want someone "that they can tell is gay" - so what do they do? well, unfortunately, a lot of time ends up being wasted lusting after guys that AREN'T gay - projecting a lust onto them and hoping for something that aint gonna happen.

    i'm pretty darn identifiably gay - and yet, not to everyone (i've found out). some people see me, and my aesthetic, and don't yet realize that Gay also comes in the form of inked, shaved, spike-and-stud-bedecked fellas. they look, and only see, a certain limited number of "isms" as their indicators.

    but when it comes to gays spotting other gays - it aint just about those more-obvious isms. as i said, often a guy who is closeted will make his gayness more obvious via his attempts to not make it obvious: basically, someone doing something that we perhaps once did in order to "not appear gay".

    but yes - the more one gets out in the world, and meets more people both Out and Closeted, and the journeys from the latter to the former, we start to see the patterns, the indicators, the clues and such.

    sorry for the length, btw. wow. haven't said that in a few days.

    Posted by: Little Kiwi | Mar 9, 2013 4:03:37 PM


  18. @Kiwi: I'm gay (and don't consider myself "queer") but when I saw the The Crying Game, neither my friends nor I had a clue. I had even already been told the twist beforehand and I still thought the whole time that the twist was going to surround a different character.
    Of course, that was not about identifying gay people, but (without revealing enough to spoil the movie for others) there were some parallels to this situation.

    Re: the film that cast two straight guys: What you describe reminds me of Brendan Fraser in School Ties as a Jewish guy who does not strike his friends as Jewish. I don't think it matters or spoils the writer's intent at all.

    It would have been a poor and counter-productive casting decision to cast someone who looks and sounds Jewish based on stereotypes, but whether the actor cast was actually Jewish or not (or actually gay or not in the case you describe) should not be relevant.

    Posted by: GregV | Mar 10, 2013 6:19:50 PM


  19. Problem is, GregV, the guy making the short-film was making a film to say "Look, some gay guys are like this ______" and yet he could not find any gay guys like _____ to cast in the role.

    basically, his inability to do so proves his own film's thesis to be complete and utter nonsense.

    sorry, but the School Ties comparison doesn't hold up next to what I'm talking about. There are Jewish people who, through conversions and such over the years, are not "ethnically" Jewish, but culturally.

    And a gay person not knowing the Secret of the Crying Game right off the bat simply means that gay person is what I talked about in both my previous posts: non-savvy. Had you been "queer", you'd have likely known. It's one of those things that self-identifying Queer folks tend to be hip to.


    the galling thing about the filmmaker i talked about was that he didn't realize that his film's thesis was 100% negated by his choice to cast two straight men in the roles of the "gay men that people need to realize exist".

    Posted by: Little Kiwi | Mar 10, 2013 6:30:38 PM


  20. "...his film's thesis was 100% negated by his choice to cast two straight men in the roles..."

    If it was a documentary thst urported to preent resl people instead of actors, then you have a point that his project had no integrity.
    But if it was a work of fiction with actors playing characters, then there's no reason for him to even ask any auditioning actors their real-life orientation. (I 'd be offended if someone asked me that at a job interview; it's none of the employer's business unless and until I bring it up or we eventually have more casual conversations.)
    And since most actors are straight, chances are that the two actors chosen are more likely to be straight than gay.

    Posted by: GregV | Mar 10, 2013 11:36:26 PM


  21. Not really. And why would you be offended? Are you still worried about people knowing that you're gay? If so, you probably wouldn't be right for...you know...a film about gay people.

    I'm not sure what you can't see - the guy was setting out to make a short-film, the raison d'etre of which is that it was to highlight "the type of gays that aren't represented in media", and to do so he had to cast two straight actors; and not because of ratio of gay to straight people in the field, or the auditioning process.


    but i understand why you continue to have the opinion you've expressed; you didn't know the secret of the crying game, and still worry about coming out to people in the workplace.
    makes sense when i take those things into consideration.

    Posted by: Little Kiwi | Mar 11, 2013 8:34:45 AM


  22. @Kiwi: You say he "had to" cast straight actors, which seems to suggest that he was either advertising "gays preferred" or asking auditioners their orientation and was trying to screen out anyone who answered "bi" or "straight" but that that route was fruitless. I don't think what you are suggesting he did and/or should have done would even be legal in Toronto.

    I have actor friends and have dabbled in it myself. No one ever asked me my orientation or religion or ethnic background in ANY type of interview in any industry (even in acting when playing the love interest of a woman... OR a man) and if they had, I would have found it highly inappropriate.
    I have a fairly successful actor friend who has been asked at an audition what his age or racial background is, and he gives rhetorical answers: "I COULD be from dozens of different corners of the world. Tell me what would you like me to be first and then you can decide if you believe me as that character."
    Actors should never be limited to playing what they are in real life as long as they can pull off the look and essence of the character the project needs.

    Posted by: GregV | Mar 11, 2013 2:03:11 PM


  23. Greg, none of that has anything to do with the fact that in order to make a Thesis Point about Gay Diversity he cast two NON-GAY actors in the roles.

    He has an idea about what gay men he wants to see in film. And to make that point he cast two straight guys.

    "Actors should never be limited to playing what they are in real life as long as they can pull off the look and essence of the character the project needs.."

    And this is where you're missing the point, which ties into this article here on Towleroad: "how to identify gay" - the non-gay identifying (ie, "Bi") writer director didn't realize how flawed his idea of "what looks gay" is.

    This guy's idea of "the type of gays we need to see in film" are all based on performances by heterosexuals in gay roles. I asked him his favourite gay characters in film and TV - not ONE was a gay character played by a gay actor. speaks volumes.

    but truly, dude, come on. he sets out to make a film saying "look, gay guys like this exist!" - and then can't a single gay guy that matches what he's envisioning in his head to play the role.

    he needs to sit and think about what that really means.

    Posted by: Little Kiwi | Mar 11, 2013 2:10:25 PM


  24. Greg, none of that has anything to do with the fact that in order to make a Thesis Point about Gay Diversity he cast two NON-GAY actors in the roles.

    He has an idea about what gay men he wants to see in film. And to make that point he cast two straight guys.

    "Actors should never be limited to playing what they are in real life as long as they can pull off the look and essence of the character the project needs.."

    And this is where you're missing the point, which ties into this article here on Towleroad: "how to identify gay" - the non-gay identifying (ie, "Bi") writer director didn't realize how flawed his idea of "what looks gay" is.

    This guy's idea of "the type of gays we need to see in film" are all based on performances by heterosexuals in gay roles. I asked him his favourite gay characters in film and TV - not ONE was a gay character played by a gay actor. speaks volumes.

    but truly, dude, come on. he sets out to make a film saying "look, gay guys like this exist!" - and then can't a single gay guy that matches what he's envisioning in his head to play the role.

    he needs to sit and think about what that really means.

    Posted by: Little Kiwi | Mar 11, 2013 2:10:26 PM


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