I enjoyed this piece, James. I have some thoughts! Gaydar is indeed a myth, and I think within the community today, it's used as a way to joke around with one another. At the same time, though, it is used to indicate who's "straight passing" and who reap the privileges of heteronormative society like someone who is flamboyant, and who is very feminine, wouldn't. Of course, femininity shouldn't be a factor in whether or not someone's gay, but unfortunately, it's the world we live in. Sometimes people would know that I'm gay not based on "how I look" or "how I dress" but usually "how I sit," "or walk," "or talk" or by my "gay inflections." I don't care, though, I love being known for who I am, or at least a part of who I am. Also, I love how you brought up about how we are losing our space in a way like straight people going to gay clubs, and yes, one of the goals for the gay community is explicitly not to make sexual orientation a factor anymore, and I get it. But at the same time, I do like claiming a space that is just ours. I say this because straight people do go to gay clubs with not the best of intentions. Like there are straight couples who exaggerate how they spend their time there by dancing sexually with one another, and how they engage with one another, making an uncomfortable statement, and in my experience, making the rest of us uncomfortable. And some straight people would watch a drag show and party in a gay club and never do it again to have just that one "experience" to talk with their friends. I think it's a whole different story when gays are in their spaces because it's a guessing game usually for us who's gay or not, and their sense of discomfort is heightened, and they feel more threatened if they see you doing something sexual with someone, or looking at someone. So that's why I feel iffy about integration. Because it still doesn't go both ways as we would like to think. I think it's cause I don't want any erasure in any form when it comes to gay culture, though I do understand the need to be together. After all, we do share the world. There is a right way to do it though, I believe, it just takes time to figure it out. I'm sorry for the rant! Haha.

Montenegrin American poet 🇲🇪🇺🇸

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