Red Rubber Band

It is often said that gays are the "invisible" minority. That is why we could use the "invisibility" to hide in the closets. It is convenient but too convenient. We are "invisible" even to ourselves. So how do we get to know people-like-us ( PLUs ) ? Let us count the ways.

The most common way is mark certain grounds as "gay-oriented". Hence we have gay bars, gay discos, gay saunas, gay karaokes,and gay social clubs. Of course, we have the gay cruising grounds in parks, toilets, beaches and shopping centres. These are public grounds that are normally quite out of the way such that there is less chance of straights being "inconvenienced".

However, in some cruising grounds like shopping centres, there are more straight guys than gays. So how do we find each other ? Most gays soon developed an acute sixth sense of detecting other PLUs out of necessity. This is commonly called "gaydar"; short form for " gay radar ". But gaydar is by no means always accurate because even the best practitioners cannot fully explain how it all works. It requires a good analytical mind to consider the interactions of the physical environment, the body languages and the unwritten but commonly used signaling methods. But if we need it, we will quickly learn it through much trial and error. If you read the bulletin board, you will find how each person used his gaydar.

The recent gathering at SC organised by Actionkid brought out the need to use this gaydar. Most of the guys who came for the gathering never met each other before. The Olio III cafe had many other customers, yet the guys had no problem meeting up without going to the wrong group first. I guess that may not be too difficult. But there was also another "invisible" group who wanted to satisfy their curiosities even though they were too shy to join in. My guess is that golfnut and Krap were not the only ones who chickened out :-) Their accounts from the "invisible" side of the gathering were hilarious. But what got my attention most, was that they were able to pinpoint the guys correctly and conversely some of the other guys' gaydar were able to "lock on to" them even though they thought they were "invisible"; they were not the "stealth fighters" that they thought they were :-) I thought the whole thing is interesting enough that I tried to archive the postings together and would recommend them to others. I also thought that I could also extract this article from the postings because they made such a deep impression on me and on many others. ( Click here if you want to read them. )

Even though some of us could achieve the highest form of gaydar, the problem is that we still can never be sure. Many PLUs with misguided gaydars will readily relate some humiliating experiences. Hence we also have visible gay objects for easy recognition. Those who wanted respectable visibility would display rainbow flags, red ribbons etc. to proudly declare their gay identities. Then there are those who use hanky codes that most guys cannot remember; there are just too many colours to memorise. For myself, I think a coloured hanky is not a common everyday item, hence it will draw attention if found on a guy; we usually use some neutral coloured hanky or hanky is out of fashion and is replaced by paper tissues.

Then there is the equally confusing earring; was it to wear on the left or the right side ? This gay signal is too well known that straights who want to mimic the gay fashion, are very careful to get it "right". But then, the gays also liked to use the muddled confusion to deflect some attention. The end result is that it is a probable gay sign but don't bet your house on it :-)

The problem here is that we are more closeted than any other countries. Most gays avoided these gay objects because some straights already know them as well and we could be outed. We need a better gay object. That got me thinking about the attributes of a gay identification object that could safely complement the use of gaydar :-

  1. IT should be a common everyday item so that having IT will not draw attention and possesing it will not cause us to be outed.
  2. IT should be not too common an item so that straights will not carry IT to mix up our signals.
  3. IT should be big enough that interested guys can see IT effortlessly.
  4. IT should be small enough that we can hide IT effortlessly when we want to be "invisible" and not be outed.

Seems like the IT needs to have contradicting attributes or very finely tuned balance of attributes. I had actually thought of such an object before; it is the common RED RUBBER BAND. So lets weigh It against the required attributes :-

  1. IT is very common, we use IT to bind all kinds of things.
  2. IT is not too common because straights usually will not carry them around.
  3. IT is big enough because we can twiddle IT around our fingers and we can also form shapes with IT using our fingers so that our twiddling and shaping actions will amplify the visibility. The RED colour will also help to increase IT's visibility. In fact if there is someone that you meet in a "straight" environment who you are dying to connect with, you could "innocently" twiddle a red rubber band in front of him and if he twiddles an "imaginary" rubber band back for you, then you are in luck :-)
    If there is someone whom you fancied and is too shy to ask, just "shoot" him with a red rubber band and see if he gets the hint :-)
    If you want to meet other gays at a cruisy cafe, just place a few red rubber bands on the table and see how many guys come by to say hello. Maybe the waiter will even serve your drink with a glass wrapped with a red rubber band :-)
    If you want to have a group gathering, you could string some red rubber bands together and place them on the table and others will automatically gather at the right table.
    But then of course, the ah pek who wrapped your chicken rice packet with a red rubber band is not asking you for a date :-)
  4. IT is small enough that we can roll it into our wallets or pockets.

As many readers of my webpages would know, I am a very curious guy. One of my curiosity is that how many guys who are out there cruising, have actually read my webpages and how fast does information on my homepage propagate down to even those guys who do not even surf the Internet ? How do guys who are readers of my webpages, recognise each other ? So, why don't you guys try my proposition and use the RED RUBBER BAND ?

The gathering organised by Actionkid triggered this opportunity for me to test my proposition. So if you guys should go cruising, please do feedback if you spotted anybody using the RED RUBBER BAND. Of course, this proposition will take time to propagate. As we all know, the bulletin board lives and breathes on those incidents that create hot and sexciting postings. Actionkid's gathering was one exciting incident that generated lots of very interesting postings for the benefit of all. As reports of spotting of the RED RUBBER BAND slowly come into the bulletin board, we will all have a wonderful time reading about them.

RED RUBBER BAND, don't leave home without it :-)

Who knows what all this may lead to :-) All comments are very welcomed.