Friday, March 29, 2002


I understand that there is such a thing, namely, the ability to spot gays reliably. I've concluded that I totally lack it.

Well, I'm pretty sure about one guy. It wasn't the way he looked, or the way he dressed, or any of those speech patterns, stances or mannerisms we see parodied by comedians. No, I think it was the way he ran his hand across my derriere.

Alright, I dealt with that successfully and the person in question left without incident. He'd been standing pretty close but there were innocent explanations for that (to me anyway, being a small town kid new to the big city at the time). But I had absolutely no idea it was coming, and it took a while to realize that it was no accident and he wasn't after my wallet - the expression on my face must have been priceless.

So who needs gaydar, anyway? Apparently all of us. Because there are laws that require special treatment for gays, like with women, minorities, handicapped, et al.

No matter what you think of the propriety of such legislation, you have to acknowledge that being gay is not like the other classifications. The first three usually are readily identifiable and as such they are readily afflicted with group-based discrimination, and if they aren't readily identifiable they probably aren't suffering from discrimination. The former is not true of gays - how can you discriminate against them if you don't even know who they are?

And you can document the other conditions, but not homosexuality. Does it show on your driver's license? Is there a special tag for your car? (bad joke goes here).

But hey, I'm open minded. Maybe somebody out there has written "Gaydar for Dummies" or can otherwise explain this to me.

Seriously, do we have any business writing laws that depend on a classification that is so indeterminate? Or should we require people to declare this status explicitly on publicly available legal documents so that the law can be administered fairly and consistently?

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