Apparently, I lack that ability because I am a lesbian and I didn’t even know it! My Gaydar is definitely broken. And it’s not like there weren’t signs either… the first time I ever had that ‘funny feeling’ about somebody was in 5th grade. There was a talent show at the junior high school across the street from my elementary school. For some reason, when this really cute guy was on the stage singing, I got a feeling in my body that I had never had before. Imagine my shock, when after the song he took a bow, dropped his cap, and turned out to be a she. OMG. And you would think that I knew at that point that I had an affinity to boi girls. Nope. Not me. I still chased the boy boys on the playground. I still sang the K-I-S-S-I-N-G song to the boys like all the other girls did. And I still checked “yes” in the box when a boy asked me to ‘go around’.
I didn’t pay any attention to the fact that the ‘funny feeling’ wasn’t there.
I didn’t know it was supposed to be there in these situations. I just did what all the other girls did. What a follower I was, sheesh. (*LOL) Hey I didn’t know any better – what did I know in the 5th grade?? Then in the 6th grade I went into middle school, and oh boy was my Gaydar WAY off that year! I had a girl in my class (who shall remain nameless) approach me with a letter. In the letter she told me how she never felt this way with anyone before and wanted to be my best friend. (hmmm…) Well, right around the same time a boy in my class wrote me a letter to the same effect, just not as poetically and he was asking to be my boyfriend. Well I didn’t see anything wrong with having a best friend and a boyfriend so I said yes to both. I didn’t understand it at the time, but this caused conflict and jealous feelings between the two of them. Our school was having a fair which included a ‘marriage booth’. My best friend wanted to take a picture with me, my boyfriend wanted to marry me. So what did I do? I avoided the conflict and married the next guy that came along of course! Hahaha Remember, I was in the 6th grade. In retrospect, I can see just how off the mark I was with my feelings and attractions, and I wonder how I could have been so blind?
It’s not like it ended there either.
I was completely unaware of the fact that I had an affinity for girls, even though I did in fact have an affinity for girls. As the years went on, I pretty much said yes to any boy that wanted to be my boyfriend. Part of this was out of pure curiosity, but I mostly said yes just to be polite. Mama was big on manners. But the ‘funny feeling’, well, it was mostly only there when I would see an attractive girl. I told myself I was just looking at her hair, her clothes, her style – and I was. I was just in denial that I was looking at those things because of anything other than physical attraction. Checking girls out was for research purposes; purely fashion related of course.
How could I have been so off base?
It just didn’t click in my head that “Hey stupid, you like girls.” It just didn’t occur as a possibility to me that two women could have a relationship the same as a man and woman do. I guess it didn’t help that my parents never presented the option. They mostly instilled the idea of going to school, getting married, and having kids. I guess because the gay community is at a loss when it comes to natural reproduction, the thought never occurred to my parents that becoming a lesbian might possibly be an option for me. Well let me tell you my friends, they missed a BIG component when they overlooked the gay possibility, and I learned to look for love with a man.
So I did as my parents expected and eventually got married and had a couple of kids.
But for some reason, things just weren’t working out. We couldn’t see eye to eye. Here I was a grown woman with two children of my own and I didn’t realize that the reason I wasn’t happy with my husband was because I really wanted a wife. Things got really nutty here and I thought I could solve the problem and fix my marriage by pro-claiming myself ‘bi’. I was a married woman who had girlfriends. My parents were happy that I was keeping up with their charade, and my husband was happy that I was keeping up with his. But there was one thing I forgot to factor in, and that was my kids. By not staying true to myself and compromising I had brought them into a totally chaotic situation and there was only one way to make things right – I stood up for myself. I showed them that it doesn’t matter who you love, as long as you legitimately love them; and that you can’t love another until you find a way to love yourself.
I left the marriage as gracefully as I could given the circumstances, and moved on with my life.
Now I’ve found my true life partner, another ‘daddy’ for my kids, and one helluva human being in my ‘wife’. I totally scored and so did my kids! We’ve grown a lot together and she’s really made the difference in how I perceive myself. I am finally able to tell the world I am gay and not wince, LOL. It’s been a journey from the straight side to the life of a lesbian, yet I’ve found my Rainbow Pride and joined the Same Sex Marriage band-wagon.
But wouldn’t you know… my Gaydar is still broken.
I know this because I recently made the mistake of thinking another mom at the kids’ school was a lesbian. I asked her “Are you from a two-mommy family?” She said very matter-of-factly that her mom was as close to a second mom her son was going to get. Whoops. Now I just keep my mouth shut and smile. Having lived the straight life and the lesbian life, I have felt the change in perception that people have had about me. Plus, most people assume that I am straight, and when they find out I am a lesbian they usually say, “Oh”, like “Oh I’m sorry” Or “Oh that’s too bad”. It’s like being able to tell someone’s race over the phone, or tell what religion they are by what clothes they are wearing. Does it change the content of the person? Will you treat them differently once you’ve discovered their orientation?
I would never want to make someone feel judged like this and so I am finding that I am okay with the fact that my Gaydar doesn’t work.
I don’t know who is gay any more than I know who is straight, and I decided that I really don’t care! We weren’t all made to be clones, the fact that we are unique is a given. So rather than judging differences we need to celebrate them instead. If your Gaydar doesn’t work, its okay, you’ll get along just fine without it as long as you avoid being naïve and judgmental. If you’ve got working Gaydar, you don’t know how lucky you are to have it, especially if you are gay, but I beg you to please use it for good and not evil! There are a lot of young gay men and lesbians out there who need an open mind to accept them so that they can accept themselves - enough said.
For more about Gaydar you can visit the following:
Gaydar on Wikipedia
ABC News 20/20 Gaydar
Gaydar: The Ultimate Insider Guide to the Gay Sixth Sense
The Gaydar Test
Article: The Science of Gaydar and related photos
eHow: How to Pass for Straight
Article: Queer Eyes – Blips on The Gaydar
and Gaydar The Movie
Thank you for reading all about my Broken Gaydar and I really hope that you enjoyed this post.
About the Author: Julie Phineas is a work at home mom of 2 who lives in Southern California. You can find out more about her by visiting her website at www.juliephineas.com.