2 min

Honing my gaydar

The search for a gay secret handshake

Cruising has never been one of my strong suits for a number of different reasons: I have really poor eyesight, I’m really insecure, and my gaydar (like my sense of direction) is way off the map.

As the Village becomes more homogenized it’s getting harder and harder to tell the gay men from the straight men. While some guys might treat this like a challenge, those of us who have issues meeting gay men in gay spaces find it incredibly depressing.

Recently, I worked up enough courage to cruise a guy on a Village patio only to watch his face grow uncomfortable. Then he put his hand on the lap of the woman next to him. Oops.

At work, it’s not unusual to get off an elevator and have a co-worker subtly tap me, leer not-so-subtly at a male passenger and stage whisper, “So what’s the story on him?”

“You’re asking the wrong person,” I answer truthfully. “I have no gaydar.”

Not that I would say, one way or the other. If I’m going to get a reputation at work I want it to be for having sex, not for being The Amazing Kreskin of Queers.

In “The Science of Gaydar” published in New York magazine, David France went in search of documented empirical evidence of gaydar. While there’s no gay pheromone per se, he did identify several traits common in gay men: our hair tends to grow counter-clockwise; our index fingers are longer than our ring fingers; and our left thumbs and pinkies have “an increased density of fingerprint ridges.”

Leave it to the gays to come up with a secret handshake for everything, even genetics.

Naturally, I tested France’s findings on myself.

Since there’s a bald spot where my hair “whorl” is, I couldn’t tell what direction it grows in. And as for the ridges on my fingertips, if I could see those I wouldn’t need to use The Force to hook up.

But my index finger is longer than my ring finger. That would explain my affinity for dick.

Still, subtle genetic hints serve no purpose on Davie St. If I’m looking at a man’s hands it’s not to determine whether or not he’s gay, and by the time I’m staring at the back of his head, we’ve pretty much established he’s a bottom.

So much for science. Thanks for nothing, Einstein.

If science has proved anything, it’s that there’s no such thing as a sure thing. Unless Apple invents the iHomo, I’ll just have to learn not to get embarrassed when I occasionally cruise the odd straight guy.