"gaydar", another gayspeak term, is the joining of the words "gay" and "radar" and means.. well, what you can probably discern from those two words (and the other writeups on this page). granted, it should be called "queerdar" due to its scope (it is, after all, not used solely on gay men) but, hey, it's a catchy-sounding term. so, whatever. it's not unusual for it to be substituted with "bi-dar" (the ability to detect "bisexuals") every now and then.. but this substitution is usually made by bisexual people. perhaps it'd be best to just call it 'dar, as a catch-all phrase.

the question remains, however, if gaydar is merely recognition by sight/sound or by some other indefinable sense.

well, there are definitely certain visual clues that'll tell you (like the inverted pink triangle shirts that guy you've been wondering about in the office wears or the telling bodylanguage he affects) and sometimes even audio clues (a certain lilt or affected gruffness in the voice or use of a particular diction). unfortunately, these clues usually can run concurrent with popular fads and styles, stereotypes, or the person's level of openmindedness.. and so what one's gaydar might reveal may, in actuality, just be speculation. this is learned gaydar. this is the kind of gaydar that an otherwise straight person can acquire.

then there's also the indefinable, otherworldly sense possessed by a vast majority of gay people (despite what you might think, not all gay people have gaydar.. sad, really). it's kind of like picking up a vibe. or feeling a kind of deja vu or secret familiarity. it's like going "heh, i know yer secret". this is inherent gaydar. straight people rarely ever acquire this and only after prolonged exposure to members of the gay community.

it should be noted that gaydar is not 100% fool-proof (despite what some tired old bitchy queen may tell you) nor does every queer register as a blip on each individual's gaydar. otherwise, the phenomenon of gay boys falling for or accidentally going after straight boys would not happen so readily.