Last night I was at dinner with my friends, and I recall disrupting the conversation at hand entirely to announce, “Guys, my gaydar is broken.”
I had started to suspect I was no longer able to divine the exact location (or locales) of where the gays were hiding in my current graduate program. I grew bored.
Obviously, there’s something terribly wrong with those straight girls who go around saying, “I need a gay man to go shopping with.” I always had gay men at my side, and the last place they wanted to be was the mall. They preferred to go to the thrift stores to pick out ironic tee shirts, which they then wore while listening to indie mixes while cruising town in search of frappuccinos instead of men. The gayest thing they did was, well, date men. If I had some stereotypical HIGH! FASHION! GAY! at my side, I would have been in deep trouble, considering I only recently became the kind of woman who could step onto Fifth Avenue without being mistaken for ugly.
The concept of “gaydar,” “fag hags,” and other names given to this sort of pursuit is problematic. It limits people to their sexuality and creates dangerous stereotypes.
That said, I’m a fag hag, and so is The Gemini.
But lately my gaydar’s broken. I keep thinking everyone’s gay. I was watching “The Martha Stewart Show,” where Martha made baked Alaskan with Andy Samberg. And I thought, “Oh, he’s pleasantly gay.” He fit all the stereotypes. He had a sort of joie de vivre and a bounce to him that I found familiar, comforting, like a red balloon floating into the sky on a summer day.
And then I remembered Samberg dates Joanna Newsom and has been with her since 2007.
What, my friends, went wrong? Have I been relying too deeply on stereotypes? Has grad school merely turned my concept of queers into a theory? Have I just become heteronormatively boring? Most people, even the gays, can easily become boring with age. Is this happening to me?
Andy Samberg, I’m not calling you gay in a bad way (is there a bad way to be gay? I doubt it.) I’m saying I wish you were gay because I don’t want to lose this important part of me. This is my intuition, Andy. My intuition’s at stake. I want you to change.