so like okay, 

I don’t know why I’ve been obsessively thinking about the concept of “gaydar” 

but I have. 

Actually no it’s because a straight family member used the term like 

“oh I have really great gaydar” 

and it made me feel really gross 

and it took me like a full hour to realize why. 

When heterosexual people say that, 

it feels like they’re bragging about their ability to clock us, you know? 

like a straight person is telling me that they can spot us queers at 50 paces 

and i’m immediately going to be uncomfortable with that, 

whereas when other queer folks talk about being able to spot each other 

it’s a tool for survival. 

Like here’s the thing right? 

being able to tell is important sometimes.

Here’s an example: 

A couple summers ago I was in a very very small town in Nova Scotia, Canada 

(like 6 buildings small) 

and I met a woman in the library who was probably a little older than my actual mother. 

She was there most days using the wifi 

because she lived across the street in an apartment without internet. 

We sat at the same table a few times and spoke briefly about life in passing 

and after a few of these not-talking-about-gay-stuff convos I was pretty sure she was a part of the lgbtq community 

and I slipped in a casual pronoun re: an ex 

and she just looked at me, 

stopped completely 

and said “oh thank fuck, I thought so.” 

and instantly started talking about her girlfriend, 

it was like this huge wave of relief washed over both of us 

because we were in a small rural town and both hovering in this really queer space and unable to talk about it. 

Anyway she was really rad and took me to the closest big town to buy me a tim hortons coffee 

because she found it reprehensible that I had been in canada for more than 3 weeks already and hadn’t ever had it. 

Almost instantly it was like 

“oh okay we have this thing in common that other people may not be cool with 

but we can actually exist and not hide shit without the fear of violence or anger”

but when it’s a straight person

they’re pretty much just letting you know that they can spot the fact that you seem “abnormal” to them 

like great 

thanks for letting me know. 

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We’re identifying brethren while they’re identifying outsiders. It’s that simple.