"Gaydar" Signals

QUESTION: One of my best girlfriends has wanted a good, strong man for several years now. After dozens of losers in recent years, she's found this guy that seems to be really nice. The only problem is that I'm 95% sure he's on the down low. The GAY down low! When we first met him he gave off a real strong gay vibe and all of us assumed he was just a new friend that happened to be gay. Then we discovered that she was DATING him! We didn't say anything. But now I've run into him several times in public and each time he was with one or more guys that all seemed to be very effeminate. What should I do? Is she blind or am I out of my mind?

CHUCK: Before we start, let's define our terms:

Gaydar (n): an alleged mental process that permits individuals to determine, from certain fashion and behavioral clues, the sexual preference of another individual; used primarily in urban areas; rarely 100 percent accurate

Your friend's new man has evidently pushed your gaydar into the red.You haven't said exactly what it was that has convinced you that he's gay, other than his "strong gay vibe." Does he watch Gilmore Girls? Does he like drinks with umbrellas? Does he have more than one Sylvester album? Okay, enough. I'm kidding. Are you completely certain that he is a homosexual? He may just be displaying what we used to call "tendencies." As I said in response to a post a month or so ago, it's almost impossible for person to prove that they are NOT gay. Regardless of what in their lives, whether they get married, have a kid, etc., if someone's determined to think of them as gay, there's nothing that they can do. Think about that. You may be wrong.

If you remain determined that your friend's man is gay, feel her out about it. If you don't want to ask her directly, do it backhandedly ("Hey, don't you think that some of Tony's friends are gay?"). Let her response guide yours. If he is a homosexual, bi, etc., your friend could not know, or she could be in denial. In which case, all you can do is point out your suspicions. The ultimate choice is hers.

GARLAND: Does anyone remember a few years ago when "On the Down Low" mean a man and a woman were sneakin' and freakin' behind everybody's back? You know, when you could say stuff like, "Kevin and Tonya have been hookin' up on the down low for a while now..."

Anyway, I digress. I've actually kinda' seen this before... okay, who hasn't? But with the people I saw this happening to, I didn't know them well enough to say something to. One of the guys under suspicion, eventually got dumped by the girl and she gave some other excuse for dumping him. I still don't know whether he was or wasn't and I don't know if she knows either. With the other couple - they got married and still are.

I'm all for subtlety if this is truly your friend and you truly think that she's either blind or dumb. I'd lay down a few hints, kinda like Chuck said - the downside to this is you could be wrong and it could back fire in your face. Casually mention this guys tendencies that raise suspicion and see how she vibes with you. Maybe you'll strike a cord. Maybe not.

But I strongly recommend that you look carefully at your evidence against this guys 'straightness' - there might be a heterosexual explanation behind it. It doesn't sound like it to me... but that's me! So, my answer is - No, you're not out your mind and Yes, you're friend may be blind. But she may CHOOSE to be blind. She may be at the point where she's willing to settle for whatever has come her way. Approach her carefully.

Best wishes to all of you.

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