helen-louise (baratron) wrote,

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My gaydar is not as poorly calibrated as I thought!

Gaydar, for those who don't know, is that sixth sense that queer people are supposed to have which makes them notice other queer people. Some people believe in it, others think it's a myth, others... are ambivalent. Me, I have a gaydar. But it's calibrated wrongly. I'm brilliant at spotting queer men, and lousy at spotting queer women, which is a bit bloody useless, really.

So, there are some people at work that I think are gay. There's one guy, S, who dresses very neatly and has certain speech and body language mannerisms that set my gaydar whooping. Not least the fact he is crazy about his nieces and nephews and talks about them the way other colleagues talk about their kids, yet he never mentions his own partner or any desire to have kids himself. Then there's a supervisor, V, who always wears nice clothes - not expensive, but nice. And he has great hair, and a soft voice, and is generally very swishy. But then he's also French, and I can't work out how much of his clothes and hair style and swishiness is down to him being French. I find myself comparing him to the other French supervisor, M, who's also lovely, but fairly rugged, and trying to work things out. Think of V like Ricky Martin and M like Gerard Depardieu, and you get the idea. When I finally quit my job, I might just ask him - but then again, I might not. For the moment, I'll just enjoy his bum every time it goes past, and imagine him cuddled up to another gorgeous guy in hot boy-on-boy action.

Then there's another supervisor, A, who also sets my gaydar going. He doesn't have the confident body language of S or the body sense of V - he tends to wear baggy clothes that cover up his shape (he's also skinny, and wears glasses). But I have dear friends who are gay geeks, and my hindbrain knows the type. And today I discovered that my suspicions were correct. He's just got back from holiday, and it seems that he was unsuccessful in finding a nice boy for a holiday romance. Or maybe he found a holiday romance but is now single, I'm not sure. Anyway, one of the other interviewers said to him (nicely, because she also is lovely - I can't be arsed to waste my time writing about any of the bastards at work, which is how come you're spared my rant about what happened last night) "Aww, never mind - you'll meet the man of your dreams soon enough!". My ears pricked up. Although the latter part of this conversation was conducted at a volume loud enough for all of us to hear.

Then later on in the shift... we were trying to interview men aged between 16 and 34 for this particular project. Now, men of that age are the absolute hardest group to get - young women are often stuck at home with kids, and older people are often bored and lonely, and so you can get them to agree to spend 15 minutes doing a survey (hell, for some old people, us ringing is doing them a favour - god, I hope I never get to be that lonely), but young men are busy with work and going out and are generally most likely to tell us to fuck off - in those words, even. We were having trouble finding 16-34 year old men, and when I went to report that we were out of numbers he asked why. I said "We're having a bit of a shortage of men". He said (in the style of voice I shall call "I'm a little teapot", which will make sense to maybe 3 of you but perfectly describes the tone to me) "Tell me about it!". So all in all, I suppose I can count that as someone at work coming out to me. Do I get to lose a purity test point over it?

I'm still very amused by all this, because although my questions about A have been answered, I still don't know about S or V. And isn't the whole gaydar thing just based on stereotypes anyway, and stereotypes are supposed to be bad? Hmm. It's just... when I see two shaven-headed men with earrings who are wearing t-shirts and shorts yet somehow still look stylish come mincing towards me, somehow I'm not at all surprised when I hear one of them remark "Darling, even the men I don't fancy are still worth looking at"! (Yes, this actually happened, last Sunday at London Bridge station).

And I still want to know about my physiotherapist, who is 50-something and still a "Miss", too petite to be butch and too old to be boyish, yet somehow more elfin than feminine. She has very short hair, lots of energy, and lives with a cat in a house full of books. She even wears sensible shoes, although that could be because she's a physiotherapist and nothing to do with being a Woman In Sensible Shoes. But if I could tell if she was queer, that would imply my gaydar could tell queer women, and we've already established it's crap at that.

Nonetheless, I am amused.

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