You can’t help but notice there’s something different about your friend lately. He seems distracted when you try to talk to him about girls, and he’s been declining invites to go out to clubs to meet women. When you try to set him up on blind dates, he makes up obvious excuses to get out of them. You start to wonder if your longtime friend or family member is actually into men and just pretending to be straight.
Don’t jump to conclusions just yet – there are a few subtle signs and hints you can look for to determine if your friend is secretly batting for the other team.
His Mannerisms And Speech Patterns
Look for clues in how he acts and talks. Does he make eye contact, smile, and seem engaged when talking to guys but seem stiff around women? Does he have a lisp or higher-pitched voice? While stereotypical, these can be signs he’s putting on an act.
- Notice how he walks and holds himself. Swaggering or feminine gestures may reveal his true orientation.
- Listen for use of terms like “girlfriend” or “she”. If he rarely mentions women or relationships, it could be a cover-up.
- See if he’s extra flashy or vain. Some gay men overcompensate by being overly macho or focused on appearance to hide their sexuality.
- Pay attention to how he talks about men’s looks or builds. Comments like “he’s hot” or focusing on physiques may give him away.
How He Interacts With Other Men
If a guy is secretly gay, he will seem uncomfortable, awkward or nervous around guys, especially if they’re straight. This could indicate he’s attracted to them but trying to hide it.
Does he avoid eye contact, physical contact or talking at length with male friends or coworkers? Many closeted gay men feel uneasy engaging closely with men they’re attracted to.
Oh, and does he frequently make homophobic comments or use gay slurs, especially around other men? This is a tactic used to deflect suspicion and appear heterosexual.
The way a man interacts with other men can be very telling. If several of these signs seem to fit, there’s a good chance your guy friend or crush is hiding in the closet.
His Relationships With Women
You may notice he only dates women for short periods of time or not at all. Perhaps he uses excuses like being too busy with work or studies to be in a serious relationship. If he does date, he may seem uninterested in intimacy or physical affection with his partner.
Some closeted guys even marry or have kids to prove to themselves and others they are straight. But ultimately, they struggle in these relationships because they are living a lie. His wife or girlfriend probably feels confused and rejected due to his lack of interest in emotional or physical intimacy.
His Grooming And Style
A guy who spends an inordinate amount of time on his appearance and grooming may be secretly gay. Look for signs like:
- He always has the latest trendy hairstyle and expensive designer clothes. He’s obsessive about his hair and following fashion trends.
- He works out religiously and is very concerned with his body image and physique. He’s focused on appearing toned and buff.
- He gets regular manicures, facials, and spa treatments. Straight men typically don’t pamper themselves with salon treatments and cosmetic procedures nearly as often.
- He wears makeup or cologne to subtly enhance his looks. While not all gay men wear makeup, those concerned with their appearance may use it discreetly.
- He makes flirty eye contact, playful touches, and flashes bright smiles at other men. His body language and behavior around attractive men seems a bit too friendly and eager to please.
- He talks about stereotypically gay interests like fashion, pop culture, Broadway shows or RuPaul’s Drag Race. While not all gay men share these interests, some may reveal them through their enthusiastic conversations.
If several of these signs ring true, the guy may be putting extra effort into his appearance and behavior to mask his attraction to other men. Of course, some straight men can also be meticulous about their looks and grooming, so look for a combination of signs before making assumptions.
Pay Attention To His Eyes – How He Looks At Men
Does he stare at other guys when he thinks no one is looking? A man who is secretly attracted to other men may gaze at attractive guys for longer than usual. Notice if his eyes linger on muscular men or if he checks out the waiter.
Of course, occasionally noticing anyone, regardless of gender, is normal human behavior. But if he’s constantly staring at men in an admiring way, it could be a sign he’s not being honest about his sexuality.
Reacting Defensively or Aggressively When Questioned About His Sexual Orientation
If a guy reacts strongly when people question his sexuality or make jokes about him being gay, it could be a sign he’s hiding something. Does he get upset or lash out when his manliness or orientation is challenged, even in a playful way? Someone comfortable in their sexuality wouldn’t feel the need to prove themselves or put others down.
Some straight men are just uncomfortable with their sexuality being questioned as a point of pride. But if his reaction seems over the top or is a pattern, it may indicate he’s protesting too much. He could be overcompensating to avoid being found out.
More Female Friends Than Male Friends
Women tend to be more open with their emotions and form deeper emotional connections, and many gay men find it easier to open up and be vulnerable with female friends.
Female friendships can also be less pressured and more relaxed for men. There are no expectations to constantly prove masculinity or chase women. Men and women can form platonic friendships based on shared interests, support, and trust. If a guy only ever hangs with girls and calls them his “girlfriends,” he’s probably pretending to be straight.
See Who He Follows On Social Media
Does his social media following seem disproportionately male? If his Instagram or Twitter feed is filled with shirtless guys, fitness models and “influencers”, that could be a sign he’s more interested in men.
Also, look for subtle signs like following a lot of gay celebrities, pop stars, or TV shows popular with gay men like RuPaul’s Drag Race. Following LGBTQ activists, causes or hashtags like #pride are other clues he may not be straight.
His likes and comments can reveal a lot, too. Is he frequently complimenting men on their looks or physique in a flirty way? That kind of behavior usually isn’t meant for a straight buddy.
The most telling sign on social media is who he’s actually connecting and engaging with. If he’s direct messaging, tagging and leaving flirty comments for a lot of other men but rarely interacts with women, his interests probably lie elsewhere.
Being Overly Defensive About His Masculinity
If a guy gets weirdly defensive or aggressive when his masculinity or sexuality is questioned – even jokingly – it could be a sign he’s hiding something. Does he overcompensate by constantly talking about how many girls he’s dated or hooked up with? Does he make a point of leering at or catcalling women to seem virile? Does he put down gay men or make homophobic comments?
These behaviors suggest he feels threatened by being perceived as effeminate or gay. Rather than risk being found out, he hides behind a mask of hypermasculinity. But over time, the act becomes exhausting and the mask starts to slip. His discomfort around the topic of homosexuality and his hostility toward gay people may stem from repressed feelings he can’t acknowledge even to himself.
If you have access to his computer or phone, check the browsing history and cache. Look for frequent visits to gay dating sites, chat rooms or hookup apps, or see if there are a lot of searches related to gay stories or meeting spots. Notice if he clears his browser history and cache frequently as well. This could indicate he’s hiding his online activity.
Frequently Discussing Past Romantic or Sexual Encounters With Women In A Way That Feels Forced or Exaggerated
Some closeted gay men overcompensate by frequently telling stories about past encounters with women. If a guy is always talking about his ex-girlfriends or hookups in an exaggerated, forced way, it could be a sign he’s not being fully honest about his sexuality.
Strong Reaction To LGBTQ+ Topics
When he reacts strongly against LGBTQ+ topics, it could be a sign he’s secretly gay himself. Does he make disparaging comments about gay people or relationships? Does he get angry or uncomfortable when LGBTQ+ subjects come up in conversation or media? Homophobia is sometimes a way for closeted gay men to hide their own sexuality by loudly condemning it in others.
Frequent Denial of Homosexuality
Think about it – if someone accused you of something that wasn’t true, would you feel the need to deny it over and over again? Probably not. You might deny it once to clarify, but would then brush off any further questions because you know the truth. In contrast, protesting too much can seem like overcompensation, as if he’s trying to convince himself.
Of course, some men may deny being gay due to societal pressures, family issues or other personal reasons. But if his denial feels excessive or he gets angry when the topic comes up, it could point to some underlying insecurity or internal struggle with his sexuality.
Resistance To Traditional Gender Roles
A guy who is secretly gay may reject traditional male gender roles and stereotypes. He doesn’t feel comfortable engaging in typically “masculine” behaviors or activities. For example:
- He has no interest in sports or other physical activities. He prefers more creative pursuits like art, music, fashion or decorating.
- He avoids manual labor and isn’t very handy or mechanical. He’s not interested in jobs like construction, landscaping or vehicle repair.
- He’s very well-groomed and spends a lot of time on his appearance. He cares a great deal about style, fashion and personal grooming – more so than most straight men.
- He’s not aggressive or competitive. He avoids confrontation and prefers cooperation over competition. He’s gentle, sensitive and nurturing in nature.
He’s Not Interested In Physical Intimacy
This sign is more aimed at couples than friends, but it’s definitely one of the biggest indicators out there. If the guy keeps making excuses about not being in the mood or saying he’s tired whenever you try to get intimate, that’s a major red flag and could mean he’s actually romantically interested in other men.
He’s “Overly” Masculine aka. Macho
You know what they say, when something is too much, it’s just too much. And when a man tries way too hard to act all macho and manly, it usually means he’s overcompensating for something. It probably means he isn’t being totally honest about who he’s really interested in.
Now, that’s definitely an unusual one, but it’s interesting to think about. And when he just won’t stop going on about how hairy his chest or legs are, that could maybe be a sign.
Observe How He Holds A Glass or A Mug
There’s actually kind of an interesting thing about how gay men and women hold drinking glasses compared to straight folks. A lot of lesbian women will hold their glass by the top part. But gay men, they tend to hold it differently – usually by the cup’s ear, that little indentation on the side, or they’ll wrap their whole hand around the glass.
A lot of gay men will sit with their legs crossed or close together instead of sprawling out. So if your friend tends to sit that way, it could maybe be a little hint…but then again, probably not! We can’t assume anything for sure based on one small thing. But if you’re trying to figure out your guy’s sexuality, you may want to add how they sit to the list of things to pay attention to.
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