The time has come to answer the questions I’m sure many of you have been asking yourselves: Do I have gayface? What is gayface, anyway? How would I recognize it (in the mirror or on someone else)?
Relax. I’m making this rare return to the blogosphere to inform, insult and amuse… but mostly to set the record, uh, straight on gayface.
A simple hop over to Urban Dictionary (here) gives us a basic starting point: a look that gay men have that enables other gay men to quickly identify them. Ignoring the clumsy, confusing antecedent car wreck and the tepid, annoying homophobia inhabiting this entry we have our first kernel of truth. Recognizing gayface is an internal, instinctual process which functions much like basic gaydar: you know it when you see it. Contrary to what Urban Dictionary users would have you believe you don’t have to be gay to recognize gayface (like gaydar). And while the ability to spot gayface certainly springs from a subconscious procedure, it remains a process that can be sharpened and fine-tuned.
The next step in our research takes us to Loaded Gun, Boston (here) for a simple, yet balanced look at gayface including a (sloppy) citation of an article in Radar magazine, which named some famous men suffering from gayface. (For a look at some famous contemporary victims, go here.)
To get a baseline reading of your ability to spot gayface, here’s a little quiz:
1. The man is this photo has gayface, true or false?
The answer is, “Whoah Nelly, he has a telethon-worthy case of gayface!”
2. Which side of this photo contains gayface, the left or the right?
The answer is both. Any guy who can “make” the expression on the right has spent countless hours in front of a mirror trying to suppress his condition, as evidenced in the photo on the left.
Think this post has taken a turn towards the heartless, mean-spirited land of snark? I’m being nice. Gentle, even. Check out this site (here), which makes use of profile pictures from Grindr (oh, look it up) to really bring the gayface smackdown! Here’s a sample collage of some pics without the author’s evil/sometimes funny commentary:
Hope this was helpful - class dismissed!