These days, the lines between gender and sexual preference often blur. It would all be simpler if there were some way to tell just by looking if a guy is gay. There may be no guaranteed signs that someone is gay, but if you try some of these tips you should be able to get a good idea whether the person you are interested in is gay or straight.
- Don’t assume he’s gay just because he’s not interested in you. Deciding that the guy must be gay because he is not drooling on your shoes is both foolish and unfair. That split-second decision could cost you the chance with a great guy who is just shy; worse, it could cost you the chance at a great friend. Sometimes a guy just prefers blondes over brunettes, plain and simple. Sometimes he prefers guys to girls. It's all about understanding men. For detailed information on those subtle cues guys give out when they're really interested, I recommend the popular Let's Talk...Man to Woman. In any case, the important thing is to not make assumptions.
- Ignore the stereotypes. There are plenty of stereotypes out there about gay men – they are overly tidy, obsessed with their hair, shoes or wardrobe, interested in Madonna, Cher and Broadway musicals. Ignore these labels. Being gay is one part of a person’s life; it does not determine his personality, likes or dislikes in other areas.
- Listen when he talks about previous partners. Does he use gender neutral terms such as partner or date instead of girlfriend or boyfriend? If he tends to be too politically correct about gender neutrality, he may prefer to date men.
- Watch what gets his attention. Sometimes all you need to do is pay attention to what he likes. That doesn’t mean follow him on a shopping excursion. Just watch when you are out together or in a group. Who does he watch? Does the closest barmaid draw his eye, or is it the cute guy with the buzz cut?
- Get to know him. Instead of trying to figure the guy out just by watching, try getting to know him. If he is gay, he is more likely to come out to a friend than to a woman he just met. If he’s not, getting to know him will help you determine if you are really interested in him as a person and potential partner.
- If all else fails, ask him. For some, the direct approach is best. Realize that if you are asking a man that you don’t know well, he may just tell you to mind your own business. Asking about sexual orientation is a personal question and shouldn’t be approached lightly. Have a little respect and try step five, getting to know him, before you try a direct question.
Now that you know how to tell if a guy is gay, remember that this is a delicate process. When you're trying to figure out if the guy who caught your eye is gay, it might be tempting to rely upon stereotypes and gossip - but listening to anyone who tells you that you can tell a person’s sexual preference just from the way he walks, talks or dresses is a waste of time. If you are wondering about someone in particular, your best bet is to get to know the guy first. Be patient and pay attention. Your answer will come sooner than you expect.