"But ya gay though, right?"
March 26, 2020 3:36 PM   Subscribe

I'm tired of answering this question. Please give me clever responses to it.

I could use a little brainstorm here, if anyone wants to help.

Most people assume that I'm openly or semi-closetedly gay. They're not wrong, but they're not right either. I'm not really interested in continuing to answer the "Are ya gay" question with an explanation of my whole gender/sexuality situation.

I'm sure someone can help me with an appropriate quip to communicate that:
1. I'm not in the closet
2. I don't care to discuss this at length unless you're asking if I want to fuck

I guess those two items are the whole list. It gets tiresome and sometimes uncomfortable to keep answering this question without a riposte in my pocket.
posted by Sterros to Human Relations (35 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
I would go with the Dear Prudence option on this: "What on earth made you think that was an appropriate question to ask me?".
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 3:48 PM on March 26, 2020 [32 favorites]

For #2: "Are you proposing me sexually?"

They'll either back off or discuss their proposition more detail. :)
posted by brook horse at 3:49 PM on March 26, 2020 [15 favorites]

Best answer: Or, to put it in the same register as your post title: "Why, ya interested?"
posted by btfreek at 3:50 PM on March 26, 2020 [51 favorites]

What's that thing they say about small minds?
I'll think about it.
You're right as usual.
That's a formal possibility. *wink*
What an odd thing to say.
No shit, Sherlock.
What's your point?
Only during a full moon.
Depends on my shoes.
posted by maya at 3:51 PM on March 26, 2020 [4 favorites]

Yeah, I was going to suggest, “Why, are you looking for a date?”
posted by holborne at 3:51 PM on March 26, 2020

"Why do you need to know?"
posted by mostly vowels at 3:54 PM on March 26, 2020 [5 favorites]

Are you seriously asking about my sex life? Will you need photos too?
posted by Jubey at 3:59 PM on March 26, 2020 [7 favorites]

"Isn't there anything else about me that's interesting to you?"
posted by amtho at 4:01 PM on March 26, 2020 [1 favorite]

Do you want to shut down the convo full stop, or casually educate about the broader spectrum of sexualities as you do so? Because that will change the answers.
posted by freethefeet at 4:04 PM on March 26, 2020 [2 favorites]

"That a topic I normally reserve for people I'm dating. Are you asking me out?"
posted by bunderful at 4:07 PM on March 26, 2020 [4 favorites]

"How often do you floss your teeth? Oh, I thought we were asking each other inappropriate personal questions."
posted by praemunire at 4:10 PM on March 26, 2020

I'm reminded of this Tik Tok skit where a woman answers the query "So, that means you're a lesbian, right?" with a pause and then "Who's asking?"
posted by mhum at 4:10 PM on March 26, 2020 [3 favorites]

Response by poster: Good question, @freethefeet. On the contrary, I want to continue the conversation. People who ask me this are often people I'm interested in. But I'm not wanting to educate people, really. Not in the earliest stages of our acquaintance.
posted by Sterros at 4:13 PM on March 26, 2020

“More or less” with a shrug and a subject change
posted by Illuminated Clocks at 4:14 PM on March 26, 2020 [10 favorites]

I just say "It's complicated." Not very quippy I'll admit, but it's quick and gets the job done.

Only a few people have ever followed up by asking more and they were all worth knowing.
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 4:47 PM on March 26, 2020 [4 favorites]

People who ask me this are often people I'm interested in.

The best answer here might be some variant on "I'm attracted to you", or if that is too forward, something that conveys "I am definitely attracted to people of your gender identity".
posted by yohko at 4:49 PM on March 26, 2020 [3 favorites]

Just taking a step back here, unless there is a level of intimacy between you and these people that I am not reading in the question, they should not feel fine about asking you this and you should feel fine about cutting them dead. I've been out for one thousand years and that announcement remains my turf.
posted by less of course at 4:55 PM on March 26, 2020 [1 favorite]

"Actually I use the word queer [or bisexual]" (if that does at all apply to you) and then (if needed) changing the subject complicates things/destabilizes assumptions (in a good way) but also keeps it vague. This is if you are looking to keep talking to this person/have some investment in a social relationship with them.

(If you are looking to end the conversation, I've gone with a very blunt "that's really not an appropriate question to ask the person ringing up your groceries" but ymmv.)
posted by needs more cowbell at 4:58 PM on March 26, 2020 [1 favorite]

"Yeah, I don't love talking about this unless someone is propositioning me. Are you proposing me?" Either they laugh and back off or they proposition you.
posted by selfmedicating at 5:10 PM on March 26, 2020 [4 favorites]

"I date people, not body parts. Are you thinking about introducing me to someone, or...?"
"I should point out that, currently, my social life is full."
posted by TrishaU at 5:33 PM on March 26, 2020 [2 favorites]

A lot of the above suggestions range from curt to aggressively rude. If you don't want the person to walk away and possibly never talk to you again I'd stick to something more benign like "more or less" said in a neutral tone. If i'm asking because I'm say, confused if the person you're with is a date or a wingman I get my answer and can leave it there. If I wanna fuck, I also get my answer and can pursue it.
posted by fshgrl at 6:02 PM on March 26, 2020 [6 favorites]

I tend to be contrary and if someone tells a gay joke or Jewish joke, I tell them I'm offended. They ask if I'm gay or Jewish or whatever and I say "I'm whatever you want me to be." (I'm not gay or Jewish but I'm Latino and don't look the part)
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 7:12 PM on March 26, 2020

How about, "The answer to that question is usually given over tea or dinner."
posted by amtho at 7:17 PM on March 26, 2020 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: @less of course: I do not feel any compunction about being asked the question; anyone of any level of intimacy with me is more than welcome to ask the question and it will never hurt my feelings. And I'm certainly not interested in 'cutting dead' someone, because people approach the topic with honest curiosity. In other words, people aren't usually homophobic to me.

I'm just a little tired of it, that's all.
posted by Sterros at 7:18 PM on March 26, 2020

My take on this is that if people are asking, they're expecting a yes/no answer, not an education, so something that falls along the lines of a yes/no answer is fine, assuming you want a good-faith response to a good-faith question. I'd probably go with "more-or-less, yeah" and leave it at that. If they have follow-up questions, you can address those however you see fit, (including saying that you'd rather not get into it right now) but I suspect most people won't have them. You don't have to give an education you don't want to give, but you'll have to be okay with not being able to be as precise as you might want to be otherwise.
posted by Aleyn at 9:04 PM on March 26, 2020 [2 favorites]

"Depends who's asking."
posted by miles1972 at 10:56 PM on March 26, 2020

Would something like "I'm not into labels"/"labels are for soup cans" be appropriate for your situation?

"Buy me a drink and find out."
posted by Glier's Goetta at 2:21 AM on March 27, 2020 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Try pre-disclosing.

They are looking for information so they can avoid wasting time by sizing you up for a partner or judging you as a threat, or identifying you as an ally or any number of other things. Yeah it's none of their business if they intend to stay strangers, but they want to know who you are and that's not a bad thing. Maybe you know a nice guy you could set them up with if you aren't personally interested in them, and they are looking for a network. They may also be calibrating your views, in case mentioning gay marriage will get them into hot water because they are picking up perceived inconsistencies in your views, regarding pronouns, feminism and history. Even different gay circles have different rules about what are socially acceptable views and practices on those subjects. (Back in my day (1976) we were calibrating who could use the word "queer", and I had some embarrassing moments when people heard me use the word and informed me it was not okay for straights, or that it was not okay for allies when they leapt to the conclusion that I was one of those two things, due to my being just fourteen years old and the default assumption at that time that no one young enough to not have graduated high school was gay. I know similar calibrations are going on now.)

A simple, "I identified as gay for about fifteen years, but now I identify as bi," or "Being gay is not an important part of my identity," or "I'm gay but I prefer not to have partners or hook ups in my life right now," or "Out of the closet, but not so much 100% gay as delighted with what I am finding out about myself," or "Gay, with a long-term monogamous partner," or "Gay, and looking for more connections," or "Still trying to wrap my mind around what being gay means," or "Figuring out if I am genderfluid and bi, or if I just haven't read enough yet," are all good ways to give them the data they are looking for without describing rimming or talking about your parents and what your therapist says.
posted by Jane the Brown at 4:21 AM on March 27, 2020

Hit the awkward back over the net: "Why, do you like what you see?" And then go from there.
posted by seanmpuckett at 4:52 AM on March 27, 2020

oh, haha, i'm actually vegetarian
posted by i like crows very much at 5:38 AM on March 27, 2020 [1 favorite]

That's more of a third date question, don't you think?

It's a long story but if you're asking if I'm dating, the answer is x. If you're asking who I date, the answer is x.

Well, if you know someone who's interested, I'm looking for (explanation).
posted by bunderful at 6:13 AM on March 27, 2020

Yes, but that's only the 47th most interesting thing about me.

Stolen from Sue Perkins of Great British Bake-off fame
posted by valoius at 6:42 AM on March 27, 2020 [1 favorite]

A lot of these replies are aggressive, designed to make the questioner uncomfortable for asking. That's OK if that's your goal! But if you want to set the questioner at ease and just deflect further questions, I'd go with some variant of "well it's complicated". If they're oafish enough to ask further then say something polite like "it's personal and I'd prefer not to discuss it".
posted by Nelson at 8:03 AM on March 27, 2020 [3 favorites]

If someone you're interested in asks, just say "Well, you're definitely my type, I can tell you that"
posted by FirstMateKate at 8:08 AM on March 27, 2020

To my ear, a lot of these suggestions sound way too aggressive. I don't feel qualified to make a suggestion, but maybe some variation of "Yeah, but it's not a topic of conversation. " or "A true, but uninteresting fact."
posted by SemiSalt at 9:03 AM on March 27, 2020 [2 favorites]

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