How to Discreetly Find out if Someone You Know Is Gay

Three Methods:Know What Not to DoObserve the PersonJust Ask

If you want to discreetly find out if someone you know is gay, then you have to be careful throughout this delicate process. To find out if someone you know is gay, you have to observe that person and know what not to do. You may be able to find some clues for whether or not a person is gay, but in the end, you won't be able to know for sure unless that person opens up to you. If you want to be discreet and find out if someone in your life is gay, then follow these steps.

Method 1
Know What Not to Do

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    Don't ask everyone you know. This is pretty much the worst thing you can do if you want to discreetly find out if a person is gay. If someone is gay and not out, there is a good reason for it, and the last thing that person would want is for you to run around asking everyone in sight if they think that they're gay.
    • If the person isn't out, then those people probably won't know anyway. And if the person did come out to them, they wouldn't tell you. So if you ask everybody if that person's gay, all you're doing is making the person's life more complicated - no matter if they're gay or not.
    • If the person is gay, they clearly don't want everyone to suspect this yet. And if they're not gay, then you're basically just spreading gay rumors for no good reason.
    • Plus, if that person finds out you're going around asking everyone, then they'll never open up to you.
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    Avoid scrutinizing the person's style. One silly myth about how to find out whether or not someone you know is gay is to see how that person dresses. If that person wears tight clothes, loud colors, and bright patterns, then that person is obviously gay, right? Wrong. Any person can wear tight clothes or bright colors -- and it has nothing to do with being gay.
    • Besides, there are plenty of metrosexual males or sporty females out there. How people dress does not indicate their sexual orientation. So don't waste your time trying to analyze what it means if your female friend changes the way she dresses, or if your male friend is suddenly wearing tighter pants.
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    Stop scrutinizing the way this person talks. This is another silly myth to avoid. Don't spend your time looking to see how the person drags their words, lowers their voice, or imitates certain expressions/intonations when they talk. You can spend years analyzing the way a person speaks and it won't lead you anywhere, so don't waste your time.
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    Quit obsessing over the person's taste in entertainment. You can speculate that your male friend is gay because he loves Madonna and GLEE all you want, but most likely, you're just wasting your time. LGBT people are everywhere, and lots of times, they don't have stereotypical tastes. In fact, if someone wasn't out, they would probably try to fit in and not mention any musical tastes or TV shows that would lead people to suspect that they're not straight.
    • Thinking that there's a correlation between musical taste and sexual orientation is just silly. Don't waste your time contemplating this.

Method 2
Observe the Person

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    See how the person reacts to LGBT topics. This is a tricky subject. There is no set reaction that a gay person can have to the topic of gay people. But there can be two signs to look out for:
    • If the person is very committed to gay rights, is often talking about gay rights, and is often talking about their support for gay people, and if you already have other reasons to suspect he's gay, then it's more likely that he is gay. However, most people who are not out of the closet wouldn't do this. Try discussing the subject to someone else in their presence, and see how interested they are. If they are in the closet they will be likely to cautiously watch for others opinions.
    • If the person is very homophobic and makes comments against gay people every chance they get, there may be a chance that the person really is gay, or may not even know that they're gay, and the idea of coming out makes him so uncomfortable that this is their reaction.
      • That is to say, there's no "one" reaction that can help you pinpoint if the person is gay.
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    Note how the person reacts to the opposite sex. Again, there's no one way that a gay person can react to the opposite sex to make it clear that they're gay. A gay person is just as likely to have a million girlfriends/boyfriends as they are to always be solo.
    • If the person you know is male and you've never seen him have a girlfriend, talk to girls, or show any interest in girls, then sure, there could be a chance that he's gay. The same goes if the person you know is a girl. But it could also mean your person is just very shy. If you're in high school and your person has never been in a heterosexual relationship, they're much less likely to be gay than if they're forty and you've never seen them in a heterosexual relationship.
    • That person is also just as likely to always be having straight relationships. A gay guy could even be a real ladies' man for a long time.
    • When you're out, you can look to see if that person is giving off signs of flirting with people of the same gender. Just don't stare or be too obvious about it. The person could also just be really friendly.
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    Observe who their friends are. Though a gay person can have friends who are mostly straight, they are more likely to be friends with other gay people. If the person hangs out with a lot of people who are openly gay, then maybe they have come out to them and just haven't come out to everyone. If they go to a lot of gay bars with them "just for fun," then sure, they're more likely to be gay.
    • They can also just be hanging out with some people who aren't out yet, either.
    • If the person spends a lot of time hanging out with just one person of the same sex, and that person is known to be gay, and he often crashes at that person's place and seems flirtatious with that person, then there's a chance the person might be gay. But they might not be -- gay people can obviously be best friends with straight people without having feelings for one another.
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    Check out their Facebook profile. Though if a gay person isn't out, they wouldn't be obvious about their sexual orientation on Facebook, you can still look through their profile for clues of their sexual orientation. But this can only get you so far.
    • See how many of that person's friends are gay, and if they keep in close touch with that person. Again, it doesn't mean that person is gay, but even Facebook has a way of knowing that you're more likely to be gay if you have many more gay friends than the average person.[1]
    • Look at the person's posts. Is he always positing about gay rights? This could just mean that he's really passionate about the cause, or that he's more comfortable with his sexual orientation on Facebook.
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    Discreetly ask your gay friends. If you really have a good reason for wanting to know if that person is gay, ask your gay friends, if you have any. They may be a valuable resource for two reasons. One, they might have just heard something about the person from other gay people, or have seen the person at certain events. Or two, they just may be better equipped to be able to tell if that person is gay.
    • You should only ask them if they are closer to you then the person you suspect is gay. Otherwise, your plans to be discreet will backfire and that person will find out.

Method 3
Just Ask

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    Ask only for the right reasons. There are some very valid reasons for wanting know if someone you know is gay, and there are some not-so-valid reasons. If you want to know if that person is gay, then it should be because you are close to that person and want to show that person that you fully support him being gay and that you want to be there for him or her.
    • If you're not that close to the person and are just curious, then leave it alone.
    • If you're wondering if your straight friend's significant other is gay, then you should leave it alone, too. It's not any of your business, unless you really have serious reasons to suspect this person is gay and are worried about your friend.
    • If you genuinely love and care about that person, and consider that person a close and dear friend, then you can ask if you really want to know. But remember that the person just might not be ready to come out -- it has nothing to do with you.
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    Ask directly and discreetly. If you really want to know, find a time when you can be alone with the person, and tell the person that you really care about him no matter what, and ask if he has anything to tell you. If he doesn't, then calmly ask if he might be gay, and say that you only want to know because you want to support him and you want him to be open with you.
    • Remember that this most likely will not work. The person has good reasons for not coming out to you if he is gay, and it's not likely that you can force someone out of the closet.
    • If the person does admit that he's gay and just needed help coming out, then continue to tell him how much you care about him and that you're there for him 100%. If you're the first person to make the person acknowledge his sexual orientation, then you've made a big step and better be prepared to stay by your friend's side.


  • Don't ever ask them if they are gay. Wait for them to trust you and the answer will eventually come out.
  • The better friends you are with the person, the more you will know.
  • If you suspect someone to be gay, chances are, other people will too. Often, people will confront them about it. Watch to see what they do. You could even ask what they thought of the question.
  • Don't ask them if they're gay, let them tell you.
  • Sometimes it's better to get to know them than to assume that they are gay.
  • Don't judge a book by its cover-meaning don't assume someone is gay because of the way they act, talk or even dress.


  • If the person you know really is gay, then it's important to be discreet and not tell everyone you know about it. Otherwise, you're just making that person's life much harder than it already is.

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Categories: Friends and Family of LGBT | LGBT