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Gay Or Homophobe? These Days It’s Getting Harder To Tell

Updated on July 20, 2010


At the risk of sounding as though I’m opening up a  museum of Gay Yesteryear I’ll go ahead and say that although more people were in the closet back in the day it was somehow easier to tell who was who. You see there was no secret handshake or anything (or blowjob as some uneducated straightees suppose) but there was just a, well, a thing that when you came across another gay (or as they used to say, “family” or “friend of Dorothy” both meaning the person was gay) you knew it, they knew it and that was that. But today things are getting increasingly harder to determine about a lot of things and extremes seem to be meeting more in the middle than you ever expected them to so sometimes you have to ask yourself gay or homophobe? These days it’s getting harder to tell – Don’t Get Me Started!

Believe me when I say that I’m delighted that kids are standing up for themselves, taking their same sex date to the prom and all the other advancements we’ve made (yes, although we have many miles to go, it would just be stupid to not acknowledge the advancements in rights and acceptance the GLBT community now enjoys). But with that means that we’re also losing some of our “cool” factor. There was a time when we gays were the only one you went to for fashion advice or where to throw that throw pillow but nowadays as loathed as I am to admit it, some of those straightees out there are just as good and in some cases better than us at all those things! Horror! (Clutch imaginary pearls at neckline) It really feels as though someday (though perhaps not in my lifetime) that sexual orientation is going to be seen more for what it is, more fluid, not so “Straight or Gay? Please check one box only!” Yet God love ‘em (cause no one else does and I even suspect Jesus whom they claim loves them gets annoyed with them spouting hate in his name) for the most part the religious right remain completely unenlightened or willing to think about things like sex and how man came into being, clinging tightly to their leather bound book.  In other words, there are still those out there who hate us gays just because we’re gay.

The amazing thing is how many of the gay haters have turned out to be gay. Well, sort of. If you were a gay man in Congress (aren’t they all at this point – eye roll) and you wanted to hide it from everyone in the world including your own self acceptance wouldn’t you vote against anything that seemed as though it was going to give gays rights? Of course you would because your own self loathing would make it impossible for you to deal or support anything that had to do with gay because you lived your life in fear of being outed which always ends up happening by the way and usually not in a normal way, it’s always male prostitutes and crystal meth or renting a boy to carry your “luggage” or being arrested in an airport bathroom trying to get or give a blow job to the guy in the stall next to you. Silly Closet Gays, when will they ever learn?

So we all get why closeted gays rage against out gays, right? But what about the people you first meet shake their hand and there’s that look in their eye? They say that most people know if they’re going to have sex with someone within the first three seconds. I think it has to do with the pheromones or just our animal instincts taking over but I think it’s true. Now it doesn’t mean you’re going to act on it, it just means that you’d do the nasty if the situation was right. Recently I met someone I had never met before and I shook his hand and while I didn’t think that the three second sex meter went off, another meter seemed to go off.  And then I wasn’t sure which meter had gone off and I wondered if there was somewhere you could go to get your intuition serviced. In what seemed like less than three seconds I couldn’t tell if he was gay or a homophobe who really didn’t even want to be shaking my hand at all. I was peering into his eyes (the supposed windows to one’s soul and perhaps the reason for him being uncomfortable) and I’ll be damned if I couldn’t figure it out. There was a strong intensity about our locked gaze that was certain but is the line between attraction and repulsion as thin as the line between love and hate? For the rest of our time in the same room we didn’t look at each other at all and he left while I was in another room but still I wondered if the lines that we once knew so well were suddenly being colored outside of and it wasn’t all that comfortable for me. I guess there’s a part of me that lives in the past that finds comfort in the two box world of gay or straight. And just writing that makes me feel as antiquated as a stereotype of all gays liking antiques. I’ll never know what was going through that guy’s mind but it seems to me that the times they are a-changin’ again and I’m not sure if I like it. Gay or homophobe? These days it’s getting harder to tell – Don’t Get Me Started!

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    • profile image

      beEZ 5 years ago

      Homophobia = Fear of gays

      Gay haters = People who hate gays.

      2 different things\notions.

      If you hate your ex-friend or ex/husband, does that mean you fear him? Not really. Please stop saying people that hate gays are homophobic because it does not make any sense. Hating on blacks does not make a white man necessarily fear them, it just makes him racist.

      Either stop connecting these 2 terms, or just pick a new one, because homophobe is someone who FEARS gays.

    • somelikeitscott profile image

      somelikeitscott 7 years ago from Las Vegas

      Thank you all for your comments - they're greatly appreciated.

      I'm thinking after reading everyone's comments that perhaps it's more about eye contact than anything else. Whether you're EA with men thinking she's hitting on them or ladyjane who goes out of her way to make eye contact (the correct thing to do in my opinion) and then it makes people uncomfortable.

      There are a lot of things I don't know and I'm adding this to the list!

      And thanks LT, my goal is to have a reader "hear" my voice when they're reading so this was nice to read!

    • ltfawkes profile image

      ltfawkes 7 years ago from NE Ohio

      I enjoy the way your personality enters your writing, for example:

      "If you were a gay man in Congress (aren’t they all at this point – eye roll)"

      This makes you a very entertaining writer.



    • ladyjane1 profile image

      ladyjane1 7 years ago from Texas

      great hub as always scott and as far as eye contact goes, I have been a hairdresser for many years and learned to look people in the eye always but now I find it makes people very uncomfortable. I don't know maybe they just have something to hide who knows. And I agree with you it is getting harder to tell who is gay and who isn't these days. I do however think there are more closet gays out there than people want to believe and unfortunately these are the biggest homophobes there are. Cheers scott.

    • Earth Angel profile image

      Earth Angel 7 years ago

      Okay, I give up!!

    • Earth Angel profile image

      Earth Angel 7 years ago

      Good Morning Mr. Joe-in-Hand!!

      I LOVE this Hub!! It is thoughtful, authentic, a perfect balance of humor and depth!! Go Scott!! This is the side of you I think would have won the Oprah-Have-Your-Own-Show Contest hands down!! Or up!!

      Most of us understand the eye-contact thing, or at least seemed to at one time!? Gay or straight wasn't the focus; it was a recognition of interest, or at least a recognition of some kind of connection!! Physical or past life?? Having a similar interest in collecting vintage dominoes??? A fellow recovering alcoholic?? It wasn't always readily apparent - but was fun to uncover!!??

      Genuine eye-contact has become more rare as people keep one eye on their Blackberry's!! Or mom's keep a watchful eye over their kids while trying to have a 30-second conversation!! Or the tire guy trying to juggle the customer right in front of him with the ringing phone!! Or teenagers in their own world of electronics and social media!! Or the neighbor's husband trying to hide something!!?? Sincere eye contact between one human being and another has become more scarce!!

      People want to know they matter!! They want to be heard, they want to be seen, and they want someone to provide validation and recognition in a sea of numbed-out humanity!!

      So years ago I began making it a point to look people in the eye - when they are talking to me (or others) or I am talking to them!! All people; friends, store clerks, strangers, even guest speakers!! (I do it with animals as well but that's another story!!)

      Ninety percent of the time my direct eye-contact is as refreshing to the other as a gentle breeze on a sunny day!! For years I have received positive feedback - so much so that many others have adopted the habit as well!!

      The other ten percent, however, is all over the board with individual interpretations!! The funniest is older married men who think my direct gaze is a come-on!! They completely miss the fact that I made even more direct eye-contact with their wives - and everyone else in the vacinity!!

      Proudly these male-egos boast to their spouse, "the little blonde over there is flirting with me!!" To which the wife responds with an appropriate eye-roll!!

      "No really, watch, that blonde really wants my body in the worst way!! When I'm talking, she can't take her eyes off me!!"

      To which an exasperated wife responds, "Her name is Sapphire, she's a Spiritual Director and she has been celibate for years!!"

      So I agree with you GREAT Scott!! It's hard to tell with 100% certainty what is on someone's mind - or in their heart!!

      Isn't that a good argument for holding judgment at bay??? For looking and accepting each other as individuals without checking their box for them??

      GREAT Hub Gentle Sir!! Great Hub!!

      Blessings Always, Earth Angel!!

    • sree1987 profile image

      sree1987 7 years ago from India

      As soon as I read the title, I re collect my experience with a gay in a public place. I didn't recognize him and had to pay for it. But I was fortunate enough to move away from him. Being Homosexual is a personal wish but such people shouldn't put others to trouble and it is really identify them in public just like the way it happened with Elliot (Brendan Fraser) in the movie " Be dazzled "..

      A nice hub.

      Thanks for sharing.

      - Sree

    • gqgirl profile image

      Sabrae 7 years ago from Georgia

      I just don't get it. I can't really comment on this one to clearly. Men tend to get more out of the gay bashing than the women do. At least that I've seen. And I don't understand why it is that way? Can't we all just live in peace and love whom we want to love, be it man or woman? Tho our society has come a long way in acceptance we still have a long way to go :) Great hub

    • Paradise7 profile image

      Paradise7 7 years ago from Upstate New York

      Ah, dear Scott. I'm a straight woman who has gay friends and a gay brother. I always thought my brother was more than a little paranoid about being gay. It's hard for me to imagine that there's anyone out there who would hate my brother, just because he's gay. (Believe me, he was born that way, and it's an improvement on some of the Neanderthals I've met that are hetero.) He's a very friendly, mild-mannered person, and quite learned, as well.

      He lives in Trenton. He got beat up by some homophobes in New York one night, going to the train station on his way home from work. Not mugged: beat up by gay-bashers.

      I was really shocked. And it didn't happen that long ago, either.

      So, Scott, I can understand why it would make you uneasy if your radar no longer seems to work and you can't tell instinctively when to cover up because a gay-bashing homophobe is in the vicinity. I'm just really, really sorry that you would ever have to feel this way.