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Nobody's ever known that I was gay without either my telling them or my being in a context where Occam's Razor would justify assuming my love of my fellow male wasn't simply an abstraction. Instead of growing up swishy I grew up to be someone indistinguishable from your local garage mechanic. (And someone who loves swishy guys.)
It isn't like I went to Butch Academy. I suspect most gay men grow up acting just like most men. I'm not fool enough to feel like guessing when gay men first started playing the queen (say, late 19th century). Possibly some of them felt their desire for a man meant they were needed to act like a woman. Or as it transpired sometimes as a parody of a female. Irony was sometimes attached and what we call camp was born. Some gay men do identify with women on some level and they do grow up with feminine body language and interests. No reason to deny that, in my shop I've watched a couple of them from youngest boyhood. The conventional queer majority resent them giving us the term sissyphobia.
Not that many an unfeminine gay man hasn't pinged my gaydar. Some years back it was a trim of beard and/or moustache that made me think to myself "He's a homo." Even today how a guy's pants fit combined with certain haircuts will leave me feeling fairly sure I'm looking at another queer. Originally I positioned the gay books section in my shop near the front in the hope that it would make it easy for gay folks to find them. I've found it a handy way to verify the quality of my Gay Detection System.
Still I don't feel like forgiving the heterosexual media for this:
I would be the worst possible candidate for the new Fox reality show and ultimate gaydar test, Playing It Straight, which premieres at 8 tonight. In this deceptive dating game, Appleton, Wis., college girl Jackie will be pitted against 14 potential paramours, some of whom are secretly gay, all of whom are set on seducing her. If Jackie chooses a straight contestant, both she and her dream man split a million dollars. If she selects a gay player, he pockets the full fortune.
The same concept was used last year on Bravo's Boy Meets Boy, but in that case, it was a gay man navigating his way through a group of gay and secretly straight guys.
Ciara Byrne, the creator and executive producer of "Playing It Straight," says the inspiration for the show came from her experience living in gay-heavy communities such as New York's Greenwich Village and Washington's DuPont Circle, where she didn't have the best-honed gaydar. "I've dated a lot of gay men in my time," she says.
"We cast against type," she says, noting that the heterosexual contestants are of the "metrosexual" variety, and the gay ones easily could pass as straight. "The fact that a guy waxes his eyebrows doesn't mean he's gay."
VH1 is producing a pilot for a TV show called Gaydar:
NEW YORK (Hollywood Reporter) - VH1 has ordered a pilot for "Gaydar," a reality project in which celebrity guests try and guess whether contestants are homosexual.