Gaydar (a portmanteau of gay and radar) is a colloquialism referring to the intuitive ability of a person to assess others’ sexual orientations as gay, bisexual or heterosexual. Gaydar relies almost exclusively on non-verbal clues and LGBT stereotypes. These include (but are not limited to) the sensitivity to social behaviors and mannerisms; for instance, acknowledging flamboyant body language, the tone of voice used by a person when speaking, overtly rejecting traditional gender roles, a person’s occupation, and grooming habits.
The detection of sexual orientation by outward appearance or behavior is frequently challenged by situations in which masculine gay men who do not act in a stereotypically “gay” fashion, or with metrosexual men (regardless of sexuality) who exhibit a lifestyle, spending habits, and concern for personal appearance stereotypical of fashionable urban gay men.
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