When Jay told me he was gay, I told a mutual hairstylist friend. She looked at me and said, “Duh! You didn’t know?” I told her there were times I thought so, but I was never sure.
It has been almost nine years since that night Jay told me. Ever since, I have come to the conclusion that everyone looks gay or lesbian at one time or another.
How can you tell if someone is gay or lesbian? What are the characteristics? Is it the way they walk? Is it when men have flimsy hands or women have butch haircuts? Are all male decorators, florists and hairstylists gay? How can you tell?
In 2008, I graduated from Interfaith Ministry in New York City; Jay came with me to the graduation and to spend a few days in New York City. We were sitting at a neighborhood bar in Greenwich Village. I asked Jay; “How can you tell if someone is gay or not?” He responded, “Look at who they are looking at.” How simple is that? I spent the rest of the time looking at who came into the neighborhood bar and watched their eyes, it was actually fun.
Since 2008, I have had the honor of doing commitment ceremonies for gay and lesbian couples. I have married very masculine women and men and very feminine men and women. There is no trademark that determines if a man is gay or a women lesbian.
I have a 7-year-old grandson and he is the spitting image of Jay. Hair color, ears, mannerisms, he loves to create and he’s an artist. When he was younger he always wanted to be Dora the Explorer. For his 7th birthday he wanted Lulu Leopard hat and slippers with pink and purple leopard spots. In July we went to the movies, he was wearing his slippers, definitely girl’s slippers, and wearing them proudly. I know Cameron is gay. He is already struggling in school because he does not want to play with the boys playing trucks. He has a hard time with sports and rough housing. He is a loner; when I would pick him up from preschool for my daughter he would be by himself coloring. How do I know he’s gay? I just know. I think his parents are concerned that I will make him gay.
I asked a friend at a recent networking function about how to tell if someone is gay or lesbian. He told me that his parents knew he was gay at birth, that there was something different and they just knew.
What I have learned over the years is that there are no true characteristics that determine gay or lesbian. I have found that the LGBT community to be completely unique and loving, there are no marks, looks or mannerism that are just gay or lesbian. In the LGBT community, I feel free to express me and be accepted, for that I am very grateful and honored to have great friends and colleagues; I truly love the LGBT community. Thank you for being strong to be yourself. You are incredible.