I work behind a counter and watch customers come and go while I work. Of the 8 people I work with, 5 of us are queer in some way. So what is our favorite way to pass the time? That would probably be playing the game "Straight or Gay". How can we tell? It depends, but mainly we rely on our Gaydar.
When you actually break it down, it becomes clear that gaydar isn't quite what it's cracked up to be. True there are times when I may "sense" that a guy is gay and get it right, but there are also many times that my senses steer me wrong and I am completely wrong. Twice I have believed my sixth sense about someone's orientation and been completely wrong (they were actually both married-not to each other, but you get the point). So if gaydar isn't real, why is it that queer people can often tell? Well for one thing, many times we don't know if we got it right (I'm including myself in this group of guessers). How often do we clock (guess someone's identity) someone and have a chance to ask if it's true? It doesn't happen very often. I'm sure many times I clock a guy and then he walks out and gets into a car with his girlfriend.
Still, many times I am more accurate than my straight friends. Why? Because it matters to me; I'm looking. I spent a great deal of my life looking for people who also were also same-sex attracted. I wanted to know that I wasn't alone, I wanted friends, I wanted a boyfriend...so I paid attention. Sometimes I'll tell a joke, sometimes I'll flirt, sometimes I'll mention my boyfriend and I'll see how they respond to the comments-that's my gaydar. It's also not that accurate, but I feel that it's the most honest. I try not to rely on the way that a person walks, talks, dresses, what they listen to, etc, because many times... it just doesn't work.
So is gaydar real? Probably not. Can you get some insight into a person's identities if you pay attention? Sometimes. Does it matter? Maybe...if you want to know if they'll date you or not.