Love and Relationships:Gaydar

If you are lucky enough to be gay (eat your heart out bitches); have gay friends; even privileged to be in our presence (lol… It’s a privilege), or know anything about gay culture, you should have heard of the word, “Gaydar’’ (gay + radar = ‘‘Gaydar’’). Each and every gay person is equipped with this ‘weapon’. Come close to us and you might set it off; then begins the strip and search (*wink wink*). So, basically, according to the NEW OXFORD HOMO Dic(k)tionary, the “Gaydar’’ operates as a sixth-sense which tells us if another guy is gay or not; and to what degree. In some cases, even on a weak battery, the “Gaydar’’ goes off like a siren [that means, the person is gay as hell]. Damn! It is said that all gay men possess this gift and that we can sniff out a Gucci-perfumed man in the middle of peak hour on a Friday afternoon. And I am sure our lesbian counter-parts can sniff out the home-depot and timberland boots of a girl from a million feet. I thought my “Gaydar’’ was pretty good, or was it just Jamaica? Maybe! Coming to Japan, it seems like my “Gaydar’’ got thrown out of whack. I first noticed this just after I moved here. Japanese men are so different from Jamaican, or even western, men. They walk hand in hand; sit in each other’s laps and are very physical with one another, and to top it off they wear jeans that are skin tight. Only a gay man would wear clothes that tight, I naively thought. But these Japanese are straight (or so they think)!!
However long I live here, I still continue to question my “Gaydar’’. So, you have the guys who carry purses (no not wallets)… I mean full-fledge Christian Doir totes: they wear make-up (no, not lip balm)… I mean as much make-up as RuPaul; and they go to the Salon (no, not the barber)… I mean the hair salon with curling irons and perms. Yep! Our little Oriental guys are sporting coiffes that only the most fashionista gay men in the west would try to get away with. Name it and they are doing it: accessorizing, plucking eyebrows, tanning, fake tanning, listening to dance music and vogueing out to the latest disco diva or club track. Done, done and done!
I felt hopeless at this point. My once reliable “Gaydar’’, that has been with me since BIRTH has been compromised. I felt lost and confused.
But what makes it worse is the difference between the guys in the city and the guys in the country. Holy Mary Mother of Jesus!!! Hold on to your bra straps, girls! The men in cities are virtually impossible to “detect.” Maybe I would need to borrow RuPaul’s “Gaydar’’ to pick them out of a line-up. Talk about handbag carrying, wearing barrettes in their hair, painting their nails and carrying cute little dangly cartoon character charms on their cell phones or bags. And, they are often holding hands with a girl or seemingly have girlfriends! It’s bizarre.
Japanese guys are more touchy-feely with each other than anywhere else I have been (except India… LOL… Now, that’s another story…. seriously it is). I’ve personally witnessed what looked like groups of average sports-playing teen guys fiddle with each others’ hair and put their arms around one another’s waists. And I assume they were straight. And if I should start telling tales about the Junior High School boys, now that’s another story too (so many stories to tell….. damn!!!). The JHS boys literally play with each other’s dicks and poke their fingers in each other’s asses. And these are the straight kids! The gay boys are at their desks reading books. (DO NOT LAUGH!!). No straight man in Jamaica, or western countries, would behave in an even remotely similar way. It takes “metrosexual” to a whole new level. So, here is one of the many mysteries of Japan. How then does one tell if a man is gay here? Perhaps a lot of these strange specimens are in fact gay and just don’t admit it (and again, that’s another
story!). Surely, it is not possible for there to be so much cross-cultural confusion.  And I know that with the “keeping up appearances” and conformity which pervades Japanese culture, many gay men are probably forced to stay in the closet and dare not venture out
(well, only between 10pm and 6am), in fear of not getting married (which is a big thing in Japan). Perhaps some of these men can’t even come to grips with the fact that they are, in fact, GAY. It would be stepping out of the box way too much, and that’s sacrilege in Japan. So they grow up, get married and have kids, all the while secretly lusting after men and denying it to themselves. It’s sad if this is the case. And it’s no way to live. I still haven’t gotten to the bottom of this mystery. I hope someone can ‘top’ me (pun intended!). My “Gaydar’’ is as shaky as ever and I need to get it recalibrated when I return to the west: the land where straight men wear polo shirts, baseball hats,stay away from tanning salonsand women’s accessories and listen to hip hop or rap and play sports while gay men wear tight clothes, highlight and style their hair, accessorize, and groove to Madonna. Until then, I’ll stick to my Indian and Pakistani ‘’diet’’. [It’s about time I tell you that story…LOL]

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