Gaydar, Circa 1980 – How to Spot a Homosexual

Written by | Miscellaneous, The Lens

Remember how difficult it used to be to identify other members of the LGBTQ+ community with whom you could share laughs, love, and/or larceny? Well, the CIA compiled a useful manual on the topic in the dawning days of the Reagan era.

Indeed, the Central “Intelligence” Agency (notice our sassy use of air quotes) thought they could make the world a better place by blackmailing – oops, we mean protecting their fellow Americans by outing those suspected of gay behavior. And we quote: “The homosexual has a problem.”

Oh, honey – our claws are out already. Please, go on…

“He may not consider himself ‘queer,’ he may accept his deviation from the normal, but he recognizes that society frowns on him.”

Speak for yourself, CIA! The only ones frowning are your dissatisfied wives. Pardon our interruption and keep cramming that foot in your mouth.

“But our subject leads a Jekyll-Hyde existence, constantly cautious, constantly aware that his ‘Mr. Hyde’ will be exposed.”

In the above snippet, the homoerotic air quotes are all theirs. But we don’t blame them; we’re always hoping for gays to expose their monsters.

The memo goes on to assert that homosexuals drive foreign cars, have impeccable credit, keep their apartments neat, and are generally quiet.


Reaching a crescendo of crap, the dossier concludes, “One of the most common mistakes made by the average person is the conviction that he can recognize a homosexual on sight. This is similar to recognizing a Communist. The subject has a mental or emotional problem rather than a physical one. There is no way to spot a homosexual.”

Wow, the nation’s most elite security force gave up so fast. We, on the other hand, have spent a lifetime fingering and pinning down our fellow fags. The fact that the CIA wrote an incendiary manifesto about hunting homos only to shrug and admit that it can’t be done is some weak-ass sauce.

You can read the full text of their ridiculosity courtesy of MuckRock. Buckle up for a bonkers ride!

Photo: Melissa Hawkins 


Last modified: March 10, 2021