One evening very early in my relationship with Kelley, we were having dinner at a suburban Atlanta Ruby Tuesday’s (hey, it’s all we could afford: mahi mahi, baked potato and one glass each of white zinfandel, once a month, and we by-god enjoyed it) when I stopped, fork halfway to my mouth, and said, ‘Huh, look, two more dykes in Duluth!’ She turned and looked at the women who had walked in. ‘How can you tell?’ she asked.
I stared at her, stumped. How could she not tell? To me, they may as well have had SCREAMING DYKE!! tattooed on their foreheads in flourescent purple. To me it’s very, very obvious when a person is queer. Many people disagree, especially when it comes to women. Oh, they say, yes, you can tell with gay men, but women are more fluid. Bullshit. You can tell. I can always tell. (Though sometimes I know someone is a dyke before she’s figured it out–and sometimes they’re just not brave enough to ever figure it out. But I see the potential stamped on their faces, in their body language, buried in their smell and the tone of their voice.) Kelley’s own dykedar is now active and fine-tuned but there’s one woman we still disagree about–but, hey, I know I’m right. I know.
So imagine my delight when I came across this in Rainbow Zine:
Last year, Tufts University psychologist Nicholas Rule raised a few eyebrows when he published a study suggesting a man’s sexual orientation can be “accurately and rapidly perceived” simply by looking at his face. Now, a follow-up study finds female faces are equally transparent in conveying which gender turns them on.
“Sexual orientation is perceived accurately, rapidly and automatically from women’s faces,” Rule and his colleagues write in the latest issue of the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology. “Deliberation and thinking too much seems to disrupt this ability.”
Apparently some people can just tell instantly, even from tightly cropped photos of the eyes. Ha! The trick is to not stop and think about it. There again, that’s the trick to most of life. Just do it.