Invisible to Gaydar

Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.

"He is gay, guys. Only he doesn't talk about it all the time, on account of having interests outside of being gay?"

Ryan North on Utahraptor, Dinosaur Comics[1]

Originally treated as a subversion of the standard gay stereotypes, the character who is Invisible to Gaydar is a homosexual character who has no camp mannerisms or obviously 'gay' affectations.

In the earliest cases, those Invisible to Gaydar were mostly there for farcical reasons: perhaps as a misunderstanding in which a straight character ends up unwittingly inviting himself out on a 'date' with a gay man, or in which a homophobic character espouses his views to a stranger only to find out that the person he's talking to is gay.

Currently, the Invisible to Gaydar character is Truth in Television showing the producers understand that not all gay men are screaming 'queens' or muscleheads, or to provide a more mainstream-friendly gay character. Alternatively, the plot may hinge on characters not suspecting that a character is gay (ie. they're in the closet), or it may be so incidental to the plot that it's never actually mentioned on-screen. It's still used for cheap jokes, though.

In some cases—especially Soap Operas—this may be because of a Suddenly Sexuality switch for a previously heterosexual character.

In real life, the "str8-acting" concept is very controversial in the gay community, with the two most extreme sides being either praise for showing that one can be gay without being flaming, or scorn for being an insecure phony trying too hard to fit in with straights due to not fully accepting their homosexuality. A lot of people just object to the term itself, feeling that it improperly conflates masculinity with heterosexuality, implying that homosexuality is by default anti-masculine.

Often involves a situation where, if the character didn't mention he was gay, the audience would never know it. Can become Anvilicious depending on how long he goes on about how being gay doesn't define him, though this could also show the character's inner insecurities.

Arguably a Spear Counterpart to Lipstick Lesbian. Also compare Bi the Way, Armored Closet Gay, and Real Men Wear Pink. The Gayngster is a subset of Straight Gays who are also gangsters or criminals. Manly Gay can overlap with Straight Gay depending on the context.

Polar opposite is Mistaken for Gay, which is often Camp Straight.

Examples of Invisible to Gaydar include:

Anime and Manga

  • Kajiwara in Kanon, is a textbook case. Everybody, even the readers, is taken by surprise when they find out.
  • Shinobu Sensui from Yu Yu Hakusho, by Word of God. It doesn't stop him from being an insane nihilist intent on destroying all of humanity...
  • Kudo from Doki Doki School Hours, contrasted with his totally straight cross-dressing classmate Seki.
  • Kurokawa from Challengers, contrasted with flamboyantly gay American Rick. There's also Morinaga, whom rabid homophobe Souichi doesn't realize is gay and in love with him for four years until he finally spills the beans.
  • Gwen Lineford from Turn a Gundam, the first (and so far, only) character in the entire Gundam franchise to have an openly stated attraction to a member of the same sex. Then again, he might be bisexual, but The Reveal of his unrequited love for the main character of the show is carefully held off until the last few episodes of the show.
  • Lu Sheng from Zegapain, who completely caught both the main character and most of the audience off guard when he openly declared his affection for the main character, Kyo, complete with a hug and a kiss on the cheek.
  • A good number of Seme characters fit this, particularly CLAMP ones. Seishiro, Touya, Fuuma, Kurogane, and Doumeki all qualify, just to name a few.
    • Subverted in their series Legal Drug when Kazahaya comments on Rikuo's "girly" like for chocolate, and "He wears his Sunglasses at Night" Saiga is really the one doing the feminine chores Kazahaya initially suspects Kakei of being responsible for. Disbelief on the latter tends to ensue.
    • CLAMP being, well... CLAMP, try to get past the ridiculous stereotypes of the seme and uke roles.
  • The character Isaac in Samurai Champloo is a brawny guy (albeit a Gentle Giant) with a heavy Dutch accent. The characters think he's about to have a Bridget dropped on him when he starts flirting with a male actor who played a female role in a kabuki play. Isaac then reveals that yes, he knew that was a man. (Or rather, he didn't mind finding this out and liked men more anyway).
  • Naoe from Mirage of Blaze.
  • Kubo from Baka to Test to Shoukanjuu.
  • Jun Koshinae from ~I"s~.
  • Umisho: In the manga, Okiura ends up attracting one.
  • A few characters in Sukisho, namely Sora and Minato.
  • Jaehee and Dai in Let Dai. Basically, their love for each other is the only thing that makes them gay.
  • Arakawa Under the Bridge: Underneath that manly suit, Takai's actually very crazy for Ko.
  • Rin from Togainu no Chi. He's very into fighting and very into flirting with Akira.
  • Sweden from Axis Powers Hetalia.
  • Most of the characters of Love My Life. For example, the main character didn't even realize her parents' were gay until her father told her after she came out of the closet to him.
  • Iwahata of Ga-Rei Zero.
  • Kakei from Kinou Nani Tabeta. He's a Supreme Chef but other than that he doesn't show any stereotypically gay mannerisms.
  • Aeon of Air Gear.
  • Ai no Kusabi: Pretty much everyone in the main cast.
  • Legend of the Blue Wolves: Leonard and Jonathan.
  • Zelda's teacher in Lotte no Omocha retired because of a scandal he was in involving a young male student.

Comic Books

  • Probably[please verify] the best-known gay comic book character is Northstar.
  • Obsidian, the son of the Golden Age Green Lantern. He did once help solve a crime using nothing but his vast knowledge of show tunes, however.
    • Post-Flashpoint, the Earth Two version of Obsidian's father Alan Scott has also been revealed as one.
  • Apollo and Midnighter from The Authority are a married gay superhero couple with very few stereotypical gay characteristics. Oh, and don't call them "poofs", because they will rip out your spine and make you eat your face if you're lucky.
  • In Scott Pilgrim, there's the titular character's gay roommate Wallace, Joseph, and Stephen Stills.
  • DC's Pied Piper was this way when he first came out, completely shocking the Flash with the revelation of his sexuality. Later writers have mostly stayed true to this portrayal, and for a prominent gay character he shows few to no stereotypical gay traits depending on who is writing him.
  • Kevin Keller from Archie Comics, despite being explicitly created to be a gay teen in the Archie universe, is pretty mundane. His first storyline had to deal with him turning down Veronica, who had a crush on him. A later mini-series went over the rest of his life, and showed him as an army brat with a goal of joining the armed forces himself. Partially because of the fact that he's basically a typical Archie character (but gay) has gotten him popular enough to score his own series.
  • Mikaal Tomas from the '90s run of Starman was pretty Straight Gay. He was, of course, bisexual according to what we're told and was, originally, Starman in the 70s (oh, the bling) but if anything, he was more standard-heroic than Jack. He and his boyfriend, however, were an interestingly steady contrast to Jack's romantic issues.
  • Hulkling and Wiccan from Young Avengers.
    • Shortly before Wiccan and Hulking outed themselves, he was still calling himself Asgardian. The potential for jokes stemming from this name compelled him to change it. Even the stoic Patriot got a chuckle out of that.
  • Bryan Hand from Ms. Tree.
  • Steve "Jetman" Trainor from Top Ten misses out on this title in that his only negative quality seems to be that he's closeted.
  • X-Men's Anole, his love of theater notwithstanding.
  • Walden Woods from Dork Tower, whose most notable mannerism is his constant more-Goth-than-thou demeanor, while his sexual orientation was mentioned only as a passing gag.
  • Pretty much any gay character written by Gail Simone, including Achiles and Creote
  • Poitr "Colossus" Rasputin from Ultimate X-Men, and his boyfriend Northstar, again, but this one is from an alternate dimension than the one mentioned above.
  • Duncan and Brian from Locke and Key. Especially Brian.

Duncan: Hey Bri, there's a club up the beach that might be-
Brian: Playing Cher or some other crap I don't want to listen to.

  • Although originally believed to be bi, Word of God says that |Rictor found his relationships with Tabitha and Rahne ultimately unsatisfying and that he was simply deep in the closet.

Fan Works

"Florence": I'm not British, I'm just gay.


  • Val Kilmer's detective, "Gay Perry" in Kiss Kiss Bang Bang.
  • The stars of Brokeback Mountain.
  • Ultimately averted by Willem Dafoe's character, FBI Agent Paul Smecker, in The Boondock Saints. He seems like a tough, straight detective, until he's seen in bed with another man. When the man wants to cuddle, he sneers, "Cuddle, what a fag", making it seem like he's a Invisible to Gaydar, but throughout the film he makes a number of campy flourishes. He occasionally lisps and minces for humor's sake, and at one point sits on pink divan while petting a pink feather boa. In the end, he seems rather comfortable dressing in drag for a disguise. "Schmecker" or "Smecker" are American Yiddish euphemisms for "schmuck", which means "penis", and is often used as an insult.
  • Both the book and film versions of Layer Cake refer to a violent gangster in the 1970s, "Crazy Larry", who was gay. In the latter, he expresses a paradoxical slogan which sums up his character: "Fucking females is for poofs."
  • In the Robert De Niro/Edward Norton movie The Score, Marlon Brando's character shows absolutely no sign of his sexual orientation. It's never brought up, it's not important.
  • The film I Love You, Man, probably to play off the main character's metrosexuality, gives him a gay brother who is far more able to act masculine/ relate to most masculine straight men than the protagonist himself. Turns out, personality is not determined by orientation!
    • Doug, played by Thomas Lennon, who thinks he's on a date with, and kisses, Paul Rudd's main character, Peter. The effectiveness of the gag depends on both Peter, and the audience, having had no idea Doug was gay (presuming they hadn't seen the trailer). When Doug reappears, however, his anger that Peter never returned his calls leads to increasing Camp Gay.
  • Alpa Chino in Tropic Thunder, though he tries to hide it.
    • His co-stars don't get what he's so hung up on. "Everybody's gay once in a while! This is Hollywood!"
  • Alex Karras as Squash, King's bodyguard in Victor/Victoria.
  • Bobby Ray in Sweet Home Alabama.
  • Tom Selleck as news reporter Peter Malloy in In & Out.
    • And, arguably, Kevin Kline as teacher Howard Brackett in the same movie—although Howard's musical tastes, hobbies, and intellectual refinement supposedly give away his gayness, he's certainly no more "gay acting" than Niles and Frasier Crane.
  • Eric Dane's character in Valentine's Day. The best part? He's partnered with Bradley Cooper's character.
  • Matthew from Four Weddings and a Funeral. His partner Gareth is more obvious.
  • Harry in Mamma Mia!.
  • Elliot in Taking Woodstock as well as the construction worker he's interested in.
  • Bernie, Mink and the Dane in Miller's Crossing, who are all Gayngsters
  • William Lee in David Cronenberg's Naked Lunch: "I remembered the simpering female impersonators I'd seen in bars. Could it be that I was one of those sub-human things?"
  • Wallace in Scott Pilgrim vs. the World has no real stereotypical gay affectations. At one point he even remarks that Scott is acting more gay than he is.
  • The bears (big, hairy men who happen to be gay) in John Waters' A Dirty Shame.
  • Eastern Promises: Kirill, a closeted Gayngster.
  • Bobby Long, Brandon Routh's character from Zack and Miri Make a Porno. There's no indication he's (realized he's) gay until his husky-voiced Camp Gay boyfriend shows up.
  • David and George from The War Boys.
  • The Boys in the Band features an example of pretty much every common gay stereotype. Sports-playing high school math teacher Hank, who's been married and has a young son and daughter, is the Straight Gay, though strictly speaking "Hank swings both ways, but with a definite preference"—preference for his own sex, that is. Arguably, Alan, the ostensibly straight guy who turns up, is in fact a closeted gay or bisexual and hence a Straight Gay. Bernard and Donald could also be seen as Straight Gays, and you might think Larry was straight if you didn't know he was a fashion photographer. The main character, Michael, says that in college he used to be 'straight-acting'. Now he's not.
  • Friends With Benefits has Tommy, the sports editor at GQ, as played by Woody Harrelson.
  • "Weekend" is about two straight gays, one who is more comfortable with his sexuality than the other.
  • Zac Beaulieu from C.R.A.Z.Y.. But that might have to do with being an Armored Closet Gay who grows up in the 1960's to 1980's.
  • Zach and Shaun from the movie Shelter.


  • Renly and Loras from A Song of Ice and Fire are this in-universe, being manly knights and not-so-secret lovers. However, they just so happen to have a lot of character traits that would associate them with modern gay culture. Renly enjoys romantic chivalry, bright colors, witty banter, and even creates an order called the Rainbow Guard to act as his bodyguards. Rainbows have religious significance in his culture. Loras is called the Knight of Flowers because his fashion usually incorporates flowers, the ancient symbol of his house. Noblemen of their stature are generally expected to wear expensive costumes that display their wealth and status.
  • In The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay, most people are unaware that handsome film actor Tracy Bacon is gay. Clay is also a closeted gay man himself.
  • A sizable section of the Harry Potter fanbase didn't suspect that Dumbledore from the Harry Potter series was gay until J. K. Rowling said so.
  • Possibly the earliest example of this trope comes from E. M. Forster's Maurice, written in 1914. The eponymous Maurice is written to be the most average young Englishman who ever averaged, who also happens to be gay. The resulting cognitive dissonance forms most of the novel's plot. Forster himself was a Invisible to Gaydar.
  • Jonathan Kellerman's Alex Delaware mystery series features detective Milo Sturgis who is one of these.
  • Nick Cavuto from Bloodsucking Fiends and You Suck, the Not Exactly Heterosexual Life Partner of detective Rivera.
  • The canonical example for any Brazilian would be Riobaldo, from the 1956 classic The Devil to Pay In The Backlands. Although this is subject to never-ending discussion due to the way the plot resolves.
  • The hero in The Door Into Fire (et seq.) fits this trope nicely; it is worth so noting because at least one British paperback edition of the book portrays this cultured prince as Conan-like, complete with an half-naked woman twined about one of his legs ('Pull the other one!')
  • Joseph Hansen's Dave Brandstetter, first introduced in Fadeout (1967), is a gay detective in the hard-boiled tradition, with no stereotypical mannerisms at all. His two long-term boyfriends and one short-term boyfriend, though, are more obviously camp.
  • In Reginald Hill's Dalziel and Pascoe novels, everyone is so distracted by DS Edgar Wield's unbelievably ugly face that they fail to notice that he's gay.
  • Lark and Rosethorn have in some of the more recent books been confirmed to be lovers. They slept in separate rooms and Lark sometimes called Rosethorn by pet names, including "love."
  • In The Atrocity Archives by Charles Stross, the main character's roommates (the aptly named Pinky and Brains) are a couple, and their characterization comes more from the fact that they're both sometimes-destructive occult tinkerers than that they're gay. Pinky does have a tendency to go clubbing, but Brains is described as a "borderline autist" and has to be dragged to Gay Pride every year to keep his security clearance.
    • In case anyone's wondering: if Brains isn't public about being gay he may be closeted, and if he's closeted that's something enemy agents could blackmail him with, therefore not attending Pride would make him a security risk.
  • Alec Lightwood from the Mortal Instruments series. Terrible fashion sense, good fighter, no lisp whatsoever. The only way we find out about it is when the main character, who, as all Mary Sue main characters tend to do, knows everything and asks Alec's sister about it.
    • In fairness, what clued her in was his behavior around Jace, which was shown. Also, by early in the third book, half the cast has figured it out. ("Your parents don't know you're gay, right?" "No, but apparently everyone else does.")
  • Many characters fit this trope in The Steel Remains. The most obvious would be Ringil. He's a hero from the war against the Scaled Folk, famous for making a last stand against insurmountable odds. Despite the fame, what do most people in the empire remember him as? Gay. There's also Grace-of-Heaven and at least one of the dwenda. No mannerisms whatsoever, and they're all Badass Normal (which is good, since being homosexual in this setting is grounds for a very messy execution)
  • Diana Gabaldon's Lord John from both her Outlander series and his own.
  • Most of the main characters in Havemercy fit this trope. You'd never think that foul-mouthed, dragon-riding, whore-mongering Rook was even slightly bi-curious until he starts acting funny around Thom.
    • Royston is a more accurate example, since he's gay in canon. If not for his famous tryst with the prince of Arlemagne, or his "child-bride farm-boy" Hal, most people would probably assume him straight. He is, however, very open about his preferences, to the point that he is the one character that most fans cannot see with a female, ever. Still, his mannerisms are classy and cultured and high-society and quite manly, and though he has an eye for fashion he doesn't flaunt it.
  • Glinda from Wicked.
  • Both Benjamin Justice and one of his landlords, Fred, in John Morgan Wilson's Benjamin Justice series.
  • Jason Carillo from Rainbow Boys.
  • Brad from The Perks of Being a Wallflower.
  • Norman Large from the CHERUB series. If it wasn't for references to his partner Gareth and their adopted daughter, it'd be impossible to tell he was gay.
  • Jamie from The Demon's Lexicon series. Apart from being a bit more shy and overtly affectionate than the other males of the series, he has no stereotypical traits. (Although Your Mileage May Vary... he isn't exactly Camp Gay, but even in the first book, before he displays any attraction to males, he does come off as very... aesthetic.)
    • From the same series, Seb is not suspected to be gay. He even dates Mae and is found out only when she finds his sketchbook, which is filled with many, many sketches of Jamie. Obviously, they break up.
  • Jeremiah Dako, Susan van Bleeck's butler from Otherland. He's not obviously gay except for being fussy about maintaining her household, and during his POV segments complains about not having any time to engage in romantic pursuits. This doesn't stop him from being picked on by Renie's father, Long Joseph, who's insecure in his own masculinity for completely unrelated reasons.
  • Bengo Macarona, distinguished academic and star striker of the Unseen Academicals has been cited in two hundred and thirty-six papers...and one divorce petition.

"Angry husband?"
"Angry wife, as I heard it."
"Oh, he was married, was he?"
"Not to my knowledge, Archchancellor."

  • Drew, hero of The Gumshoe, the Witch and the Virtual Corpse as well as it's sequel Gumshoe Gorilla.
  • Captain John Granby from the Temeraire series is revealed to be this in book 7. Prior to this, there was no real indication as to his preferences.
  • Marunde from Someone Else's War.

Live-Action TV

  • Riley and Zane from Degrassi the Next Generation are pictured above. Riley's Coming Out Story has been his major arc since his introduction, because he struggles with being both gay and the school's star athlete. His boyfriend Zane often gets painted in fanfiction as much campier than he is in-universe because Riley is so much more masculine by comparison. Get Zane alone and he's as butch as the next guy...except for the hair.
  • Will of the popular Sitcom Will and Grace is a gay lead who lacks most of the obvious Stereotype Gay elements, being only mildly gay by the standard of 1998 TV. Compared to Pet Homosexual Jack, however, he was the Invisible to Gaydar. This was explained in one interview by the creators as a necessary part of getting the series to air. They knew that with the delicate balancing act going on between people who had no knowledge whatsoever of gay people other than what TV had told them, and actual gay people, they had to make things even. So they had Will, the "normal" gay guy, and Jack the "stereotypical" gay guy, with needing both to make the series work. The producers later brought in Vince, who worked with the NYPD and was rather butch, as Will's boyfriend, to have an even more straight example.
  • JP in the British Sitcom Teachers.
  • David and Keith in Six Feet Under.
  • The Wire
    • Omar Little is a physically imposing and violent stick-up man who robs drug dealers. He is very openly homosexual, but displays no camp traits at all. His various boyfriends tend to be either twinks or Invisible to Gaydar as well.
    • Although he supposedly has a wife and kids, Commander Rawls is seen briefly in a gay bar in the third season.
  • Michael Boatman's character on Spin City was gay; aside from being overly fastidious, and his dressing habits, he had no obvious 'gay' mannerisms at all—though occasionally he showed a few signs, such as a deep knowledge of musicals and his treatment of his dog.
  • The short-lived series Normal, Ohio featured John Goodman as a gay male who, homosexuality aside, would have passed for a standard heterosexual sitcom dad (love of beer, football, etc).
  • George Huang from Law & Order: Special Victims Unit is so very Invisible to Gaydar that his sexuality was debated for nine years until the episode "Hardwired" made specific reference to it.
    • In a fifth season episode, "Abomination", Huang says something about how gay people grow up hearing the same insults and stereotypes about gays "as the rest of us do", suggesting that either he was closeted or it was a Throw It In case inspired by actor BD Wong's real-life sexuality.
  • A rather strange case is Tom from Lost. In three seasons, the only hint of any kind of sexuality from him was his telling Kate "You're not my type." Then, a season and a half after that (a few episodes after his death), he's confirmed as gay. This was a Sure Why Not when the writers learned that the fans thought he was gay.
  • Wade and Trey of Noah's Arc.
  • Vito Spatafore in The Sopranos is revealed to be a closeted Gayngster who shacks up with a macho fireman boyfriend.
  • Brian and Steve from The Sarah Silverman Program come off much more as overweight nerds then campy gays. In fact their nerdiness is much more important to their characters then the fact that they're gay.
  • Bobby O. from the non-celebrity third season of The Mole. In "A Closer Look", he claimed that he was going to use his "gay-dar" to sniff out the titular saboteur.
  • Brothers and Sisters has Kevin, but he employs a few gay mannerisms. Saul qualifies too, but only because he's spent most of his life in the closet.
  • Martin Tupper's father in the 1987 HBO comedy, Dream On. His father's boyfriend was also introduced, and the couple would often kiss on screen and even talk about their sex life. The three would get together and watch sports at Martin's apartment.
  • Calvin from Greek.
    • Heath and Grant, and even Robyn. Michael is the only gay character so far to display any particularly stereotypical characteristics.
  • Roy Jr. from Wings.
    • There's also an episode where Antonio unintentionally dates his favorite actor, the star of a fictional show called Austin Houston, P.I.. He thinks they're just buddies, but the TV star is actually gay and thinks that they're boyfriends. When he kisses Antonio goodbye, Antonio is surprised, but chalks the gesture up to being a Hollywood thing.
  • Oscar in the American version of The Office, though Michael refuses to believe it.
  • In Taggart, DC Stuart Fraser was at first presented as a young, naive, slightly geeky junior office with no gay attributes whatsoever. The revelation of his homosexuality later in the series was as much of a surprise to the actor as to the audience.
  • Larry from Buffy the Vampire Slayer. He turns into something of a badass instead, being shown as one of the White Hats in "The Wish", and dying in battle against the Mayor in the season three finale.
  • Officer Julien Lowe in The Shield, though his homosexuality is basically written out by successful Christian "conversion" therapy, at least until the series finale, at least, which alludes to his sexuality confusion by having him be distracted in a conversation with fellow officer Tina Hanlon by staring at a gay couple walking down the street.
  • John Cooper, the streetwise mentor from Southland.
  • Vince from Queer as Folk (UK).
    • Not to mention all of the main guys except Emmett in the US version.
  • Prince Jack from Kings, clearly a man's man in far more than his preferences. Likewise his lover Joseph, while not as aggressive or macho as Jack (maybe he's in less denial?) is no more effeminate than the average metrosexual.
  • In the Comedy Central movie Porn And Chicken the main character (and the audience) didn't know until the middle of the movie that one of his best friends was gay. The friend's reasoning for not telling anyone was that he wanted to be known as the funny friend, not the gay friend.
  • Max from Happy Endings. He does have a fairly Camp Straight best friend, Brad, and a female friend, Penny, who he claims acts like an offensively stereotypical gay man.
  • Extras had Andy embarrass himself when discussing his opinions of a Camp Gay man with his Invisible to Gaydar associate.
  • Graham Chapman of Monty Python hated the Camp Gay stereotype and made a point of exhibiting the clean-cut, pipe-smoking British image of masculinity.
  • Gay couple Mitchell and Cameron from Modern Family are a quite interesting case. Mitchell has Straight Gay mannerisms but is heavily into musical theater and was a figure skater in his youth, while Cameron has more "manly" interests like football but is otherwise a clear Camp Gay.
  • Mag from Dollhouse. She appears in two episodes. In the first episode, the issue of her sexuality never comes up. In the second episode, an offhand comment indicates that she's lesbian, and has been out for some time. Although Zone had to have it spelled out for him.

"She's a tech-head, Mag." [Beat]. "She's a GIRL, Mag!"

    • A brief prequel comic that came with the season 2 boxset makes it more clear when she tries to coyly come out to her straight friends by telling her she's with someone named "Helen". They think it's some European guy.
  • Cliff St. Paul in Ugly Betty is so straight that he is almost disgusting, although he redeems this by looking all neat and gay in Wilhelmina's wedding
    • Also of note: Austin, Justin's boyfriend in the show's final five episodes. He's almost built up as the complete opposite of Justin, though most of this is made more apparent in his mannerisms than the actual script.
  • In the All in The Family episode "Judging Books By Covers", Archie thinks one of Mike's friends is gay because he acts effeminate. He isn't, but it turns out one of Archie's old drinking buddies, an ex-football player is gay. Archie refuses to believe that, even when the guy tells him personally.
  • Subverted in The War at Home. While Kenny doesn't dress Camp Gay and has interests Star Wars-esque interests, he also secretly has knowledge on musicals and keeps a journal in which he writes poems.
  • Emmerdale's trainee mechanic and fully qualified juvenile delinquent Aaron is Invisible to Gaydar to the point that half the village initially thought he was faking it to avoid a prison sentence for a homophobic assault. His current love interest, a builder named Jackson, also qualifies, something that's discussed within the show, as Jackson mocks Aaron for thinking he's the only gay man in the world with a manly job or personal angst about his straight gayness.
  • In Two and a Half Men, Chelsea's father, who is initially presented as homophobic, racist and several other things (like Chelsea's mother), but comes out and connects with an old army buddy, with whom he becomes romantically involved.
    • In the episode "Tucked, Taped and Gorgeous", Charlie and Alan both (separately) deal with insecurity about their sexuality after Alan befriends a gambling, cigar smoking, single gay dad.
  • On Numb3rs, Amita's parents arrive with a (male) childhood friend of hers, clearly trying to match them up. He appears to be courting Amita throughout the episode. A jealous Charlie finally confronts her, and she tells him that the friend is gay. (Unintentionally?) Lampshaded when an exasperated Charlie asks, "How was I supposed to know that? Do your parents know that?"
  • As the World Turns: The gays of Oakdale.
    • Noah of the gay supercouple Luke and Noah, though this makes some sense given his strict military upbringing from his dad. Given his extensive character development, Luke has had enough time to be way more comfortable about his sexuality and his mannerisms.
    • Still, Luke has his moments especially when it comes to helping and protecting Noah. Lampshaded somewhat when a former executive, turned Squicky step-Parental Incest there for a moment, of his charity foundation told him to lay low around LGBT issues and projects.
    • See also Dr. Reid Oliver. Before he starts dating Luke, the protagonist accuses Reid of being homophobic when appearing uncooperative about hastening Noah's surgery. Complete with a soft chortle, The Reveal, and then a jab about not knowing the gay handshake.
    • Come to think of it, none of the minor gay characters from Luke's college days did anything particularly gay either. Might be because Oakdale's a small town in the Midwest that, despite its latent progressiveness about gay teens, relied primarily on farms, sports, and leisure for hobbies.
  • Battlestar Galactica‍'‍s Gaeta is gay and in a relationship with Hoshi. Who would've thought?
    • The webisodes confirm him as bi, actually.
    • Caprica gives us an example in Sam Adama, though.
  • Marshall Gregson from United States of Tara. However, this can't be said for his boyfriend.
  • These audience members on The Graham Norton Show. Which makes it all the more funny/heartwarming when we see how cutsey their messages to each other really are!
  • Doctor Who, "The Impossible Astronaut"/"Day of the Moon": Canton lost his job because he wanted to marry a black man... in 1969.
  • Dave Karofsky on Glee, who doubles as Armored Closet Gay.
  • Season three of Warehouse 13 introduced former ATF agent Steve Jinks to the team. After Claudia misinterpreted his interest in her, he blurts out that he's gay.
  • Love, Sidney, the first American TV show with an explicitly gay man as the lead character, pretty much never mentioned it after the first episode.
  • Soap has an odd example with Jodie. For much of the first season, he's Camp Gay, what with cross-dressing, being a good decorator and tales of putting on makeup as a child. In later seasons, however, he's just Invisible to Gaydar. Then there's his closeted on again, off again boyfriend Dennis (a football star), and his lesbian roommate Alice, both Invisible to Gaydar.
  • Don Finlayson from the Australian 1970s soap opera Number 96. Notably, Don was the first ever openly gay main character in a television show.
  • Teddy from Beverly Hills, 90210.
  • In the 1970s, Barney Miller had Zatelli, an unassuming uniform cop who mostly caused anxiety for Levitt, who was convinced he was bucking for his job.


  • Joe Pitt in Angels in America, who tries early on to repress his homosexuality, and in fact doesn't even consciously recognize that he's gay until "Mistaken for Gay" by his future lover.
    • Said future lover, Louis, can be played many ways certainly, but it's worth noting that in their first scene together, Prior tells him: "You don't notice anything. If I hadn't spent the last four years fellating you I'd swear you were straight."
    • Mind you, just before that, Louis says, "I always get so closety at these family things", and Prior replies, "Butch, you get butch." Also, one of the first things Louis says to Joe is "run in my nylons", and when he gives his name he adds "but my friends call me Louise." So Louis obviously tends to act differently depending on his company. He has issues with drag queens (he claims they're sexist—yet he obviously feminizes himself in a self-deprecating way in the scene where he first meets Joe). Basically, Louis' gender presentation (and attitudes about same) is another way in which Kushner points up his anguish which tends towards hypocrisy.
  • Albin's partner Georges in La Cage aux Folles, who can play straight at least well enough to convince his new in-laws.
  • Rod from Avenue Q: "My friend's not like that. He's a Republican."
  • Bruce Niles from The Normal Heart. Also an Armoured Closet Gay, at least at work.

Video Games

  • One of the intimidating armoured guards in The Longest Journey mentions that he's gay if you try to get your (female) character past him by flirting. Unless it was just a quick way out.
  • Fable and especially its sequel present the player with the option of same-sex dating, but only with NPCs that are themselves gay or bisexual. These NPCs are not obviously gay - this is discovered by flirting with them and getting a positive response. Otherwise, they dress and act the way the straight townspeople do.
  • Joachim Valentine from Shadow Hearts. While he is certainly a Large Ham, little he does is overtly homosexual, with the exception of a couple comments he makes throughout the game.
    • And of course the end of the Man festival. At least if Anastasia's reaction is any indication.
      • Given that he was screaming the entire time, how much he was, uh, into it is open for debate.
  • Kevin Smith from Killer7 had a romantic relationship with another man according to companion book Hand in killer7, although you wouldn't know this by just playing the game.
  • Arguably, Urick in Drakengard 2. It's heavily, heavily implied that he and Yaha were more than just friends, and Urick doesn't display any overly-effeminate traits, unless being the former guardian of what basically amounts to a magical flower garden counts. Yaha, on the other hand...
  • BioWare started this one with Juhani from Knights of the Old Republic, part because LucasArts pitched a fit, forcing them to fly the whole thing under the radar. In-game, the fact of her being Jedi and a rare species of alien due to Mandalorian genocide are much more salient. However, they still managed to make her the first confirmed-to-be gay character in the Star Wars Expanded Universe.
  • In Mass Effect 1, a female Shepard romancing Liara comes off as this.
    • Certain data files in Lair of the Shadow Broker heavily imply Mass Effect 2's Gavorn is this.
  • In Mass Effect 3, it was revealed that Shepard would be able to have a romantic relationship with some male characters on the ship, which would make him an example of this, as well as any of the characters that he gets with.
    • Aside from Shepard, there's Steve Cortez, the pilot of the Normandy's shuttle. Seen getting in debates with other Alliance officers about which patrol craft is better than the other. Was married, but sadly, his husband was on one of the colonies targeted by the Collectors. On the other hand, he does talk about that dead husband an awful lot.
      • It could be justified by the fact that he found that he never truly got over his husband's death and he was reminded of it when he picked up that last recording before leaving Earth. Things like that, some depressed people tend to want to get off their chest. Also, he enjoys his conversations with Shepard and Vega on unrelated things, like Mako vs. Hammerhead.
  • Grand Theft Auto: The Ballad of Gay Tony: Gay Tony. Yes, seriously. Were it not for his nickname and a couple of odd quirks and rants, you might never know for sure what Tony Prince's orientation is. Some of the game's positive critics mention how Tony doesn't act stereotypically.
    • Tony Prince is more of a double subversion than a straight trope, no pun intended. While he isn't interested in fashion or speaking in a perpetual lisp, he is a drama queen who snorts coke and runs nightclubs, and even calls himself an "old queen" at one point. That said, he tends to play this angle up more when in a group of people or at his clubs than when interacting with Luis, to whom he is cynical, rational, mature, and at one point in the game, even self-sacrificing.
  • Street Fighter: Zangief could be considered this depending on which side of the argument you're on. He shows no camp traits but there's been some strong hints towards him being gay in the original Japanese games without being overt.
  • Guilty Gear: Venom is the only canonically gay character from the Guilty Gear series. However, it's fairly common for people to not even know he's homosexual until either playing through to the end of his story or taking a glance at his bio.
  • Alpha Protocol has Conrad Marburg as one of the most dangerous nemeses in the game. A life-long black ops Psycho for Hire who's gotten very good at killing people over his long career, whether by guns or bare fists. Tough as nails and a Consummate Professional. The only clues that he has any sexuality are the statues adorning his mansion, and if you have the right handler for that mission, she points out that he doesn't invite female guests.
  • In Albion, the way he talks about his late superior implies that the wizard Khunag may be this. True or not, talking to various Kenget Kamulos reveals that they endorse close bonds between their members, and even refer to Achilles and Patrocles as the ur-example.
  • Arcade Gannon is gay. You can flirt with him if you're of the same orientation; otherwise, he just reveals it in some blink-and-you'll-miss-it lines.
  • Most of the male cast of Morenatsu, and especially the main character and all nine potential love interests.
  • Arie van Bruggen in Deus Ex: Human Revolution. Once Jensen finds him, the first thing he says is "Sorry man, you're not my type". If it weren't for that single line, you'd think he was just your average straight Playful Hacker.
    • And even then, the line goes by so fast that it could be mistaken for a smart ass comment.
    • His penthouse has a post it with a girl's phone number and a "Forever Alone" doodle, meaning he could be bisexual.

Web Comics

  • Vinci from Vinci and Arty. Although he isn't specifically gay (Word of God says he doesn't pay much attention to physical details), at least in regards to his relationship with Arty he technically qualifies.
    • Though his occasionally being mistaken for female somewhat overshadows this.
  • Bob the Angry Flower plays it straight (ha ha) with Homosexual Robot Cop.
  • Ethan of Shortpacked describes himself as gay, but puts a whole lot more energy into thinking about toys than about sex, sexuality, and fulfilling stereotypes.
  • The Utopian from Johnny Saturn, as well as his boyfriend Lewis.
  • Justin from El Goonish Shive, to the point where the girl who inadvertently outed him still thinks she can win him back.
  • Karl Kroenen from Abe & Kroenen. Abe falls somewhere on the border between Invisible to Gaydar and Camp Gay, although it doesn't help that his action figure's hands have a tendency towards "limp wrist" gestures.
  • Marten's first boss from Questionable Content acts just like any other character, and the only difference is his mention of his boyfriend. Marten's second boss, Tai, is also gay and a little crazy, but not any more than the rest of the cast.
    • Same goes for Marten's dad and Dad 2: Dad Harder, all though they have so little screen time it's hard to tell.
  • Senileavich and Ridley of Funny Farm. Ridley's borderline, given his consideration for his appearance, but Senileavich is a stoic grump who couldn't act the stereotype if he were deliberately trying. As opposed to the flamboyant but totally straight Mike Hopkins.
  • Cadugan the surly half-elf ranger from Yet Another Fantasy Gamer Comic. Women adore him, and tend to be in denial about their failures to seduce him.
  • Steve from Khaos Komix, though he will cook. And he's claimed to be bi, but "I decided on bi because it sounded less gay" does not smack of being true to oneself.
    • It does if you see Steve as a guy who thinks of himself as "a man who loves men" instead of "a gay man." He doesn't see a correlation between who he chooses to love and what he sees the word "gay" to mean.
    • In fact, all of the male gay characters are arguably straight-gay, including Mark, Alex (though he may be pansexual), and Tom (who is a transman).
  • Most of the gay characters in Boy Meets Boy, and Collin in Friendly Hostility.
  • Several in Closet Coon; Colin doesn't even acknowledge he's gay at the start of the story.
  • The present and future arc versions of Galehaut in Arthur, King of Time and Space, playing off the Ho Yay between him and Lancelot in the original stories.
    • And, following a Retcon to stop the only male gay character being dead, Kay and Bedivere (originally Space/Contemporary Bedivere was genderflipped).
  • Kay Wheeler from Misfile is presented as an example of this trope.
  • Utahraptor of Dinosaur Comics, through Word of Gay.
    • …or through comics #4-6, 19, etc.
  • Jhim from Something*Positive. The only trait that stands out as particularly effeminate is his fondness for dance, but even that gets undermined when he complains to the rather dim choreographer that the ballet is too girlie and she says she's sorry, she composed it thinking he was gay. Another character who never actually appeared onscreen was Branwen's father, who married Branwen's mother as a combination of The Beard for him, her disdain for sex, and their mutual desire for kids. Davan has an awkward meeting with the now-deceased father's lover and goes to Mike for explanation as he doesn't want to upset Branwen:

"Hey, did your Uncle Patrick ever strike you as being gay?"
"No. I mean, apart from his boyfriend Leland."

Rick: I wonder if on straight dating sites they have a "gay acting" check-box...

  • Ples Tibenoch of Hanna Is Not a Boy's Name is a somewhat prudish, very respectable gentleman whom you would take for het or even asexual if not for Word of Gay. He is certainly less campy than Ambiguously Gay Conrad.
  • Darius from Slightly Damned is only revealed to be gay through his diary; otherwise he acts like any other person and no one mentions it again.
  • The (unnamed?) gunman in Keychain of Creation is a poncho-wearing, velocoraptor-morphing Autochthonian. Marena tries to seduce him with female pheromones, and he doesn't respond.
  • Neil Ortiz of Multiplex. See, you can tell he's gay because he brings it up occasionally and he wears a pink shirt. Besides that there's nothing to go on.
  • Most of the gay cast in Red String. Fuuko, Hanae and Igarashi are all normal young people who happen to be gay. The author even completely caught the fandom off guard when she introduced Igarashi's boyfriend for the first time.
  • Both TJ and Amal of The Less Than Epic Adventures of TJ and Amal. TJ's case (according to Word of God) overlaps with Bi the Way.
  • Liam Williamson from Kytri's This Is the Worst Idea You've Ever Had and its prequel Sin Parase. The fact that he's been in a relationship with his partner Gabriele De Luca for five years is the only clue you get.
  • Dirk Strider of Homestuck is gay, but doesn't think its a big deal, and doesn't understand or like it when people insist on labeling him as such.
  • Goblins has a short gag with Big Ears being visibly embarassed when a magic wall reveals to Minmax, Fumbles and Complains Of Names that he is attracted to male goblins. This is the only time his sexuality is ever hinted at.

Web Original

  • Sean O'Cann from Survival of the Fittest, who somehow managed to be more effeminate in the closet than when he came out.
    • Billy-Jay Clarke from the spin-off Evolution, a standout football player, although in the closet.
  • All of the non-straight characters from Fragile and its sequel Perpetual Change are examples of this
  • Many of the guys in the video Yes, We're Gay But..., though one or two are Camp Gay.
  • The eponymous Gay Guy in Robot, Ninja & Gay Guy
  • This Not Always Right story.
  • From Sims Big Brother, Keegan at least looked like a flaming queen Stereotype. McKenzie meanwhile? You can probably not even guess she was gay until you see her say she is.
    • From the original season seven; there was a guy who was openly gay in the house. However, he said, "I'm not like your average gay guys - I like beer and football."
  • The protagonist of The Gay Who Wasn't Gay Enough, a mockumentary created by the Toronto Gay Rugby Team.
  • Saladin, of the Whateley Universe. He's a virile, muscular superhero at Whateley Academy. No one suspects him until he has to out himself because of a blackmailer.

Western Animation

  • Lexington of Gargoyles, via Word of Gay declaration from Greg Weisman. In volume 2 of the comic continuation he meets a London gargoyle named Staghart who obviously would have been his Love Interest if the comic hadn't been cancelled.
  • Gus and Wally from Mission Hill are an elderly gay couple who only display their sexuality when appropriate and are an early example of a gay couple on in a cartoon being portrayed in a wholly positive light. Gus is Manly Gay, while Wally is Invisible to Gaydar, if a bit wimpy.
    • They're also the first to show a guy-on-guy kiss on Prime Time, network television ever. Which got praise from GLAAD and scorn from the Moral Guardians, despite the show being marketed to adults in the United States.
  • The Alchemist from Venture Brothers. Almost never shows any stereotypically homosexual tendencies (other than putting on a Camp Gay voice), only putting forth any for the sake of humor.
    • And let's not forget to mention Colonel Gentleman, who is every bit the dashing Sean Connery-esque gentleman agent, except that he's also famous for his homosexual conquests and his young male lover Tiki, despite showing no stereotypically gay traits at all and, according to the creators on the Season 2 dvd, transcends sexuality. As Jackson Publick said in his Genlteman voice, "Of course I'm having sex with Tiki. Look at him, he's gorgeous, what the hell else would you do with him?! That doesn't make me gay, it makes me smart!"
  • Similar to Lexington, Richie from Static Shock was confirmed to have been gay like his counterpart from the comic.
  • Mocked in Futurama when a muscular, dashing, macho man knocks down Fry's sand castle and hits on Leela. She rejects him, but when he tells her it was a business proposition that they didn't understand, she offers to go for a stroll with him, slightly disappointed that he wasn't attracted to her. He then adds insult to injury by telling Leela "No thanks ma'am, I'm actually gay" and walking off.
  • The Simpsons: Waylon Smithers is one of the most prominent Invisible to Gaydar characters in mainstream media. About the only stereotypically "gay" trait he displays is his collecting of Malibu Stacy dolls, which in the Simpsons' universe is an Expy for Barbie, and in one comic following up on the detergent debacle, crossdressing... as a Sailor Moon parody. Otherwise, any sexual aspects of his personality could just as easily be displayed by a heterosexual character without anyone noticing the difference, even if Hilarity Ensues when they're revealed to the audience. Even then, some people thought his collecting of Malibu Stacy dolls was showing he was wimpy than that he was gay.
    • One of the comics had an army of Smithers clones performing Hello Dolly on Broadway.
  • Ren and Stimpy, as confirmed by John Kricfalusi in a 1997 magazine. With the release of Adult Party Cartoon, the statement became very, very explicitly canon. (Though Ren became more of a Depraved Bisexual).
  • An excellent example in Archer: Basically, Archer's been forced by his mother to sleep with a gay man to later blackmail him. Archer believes that everyone who is gay is automatically Manly Gay, so he first approaches the man in some incredibly small daisy dukes and tank top, making over the top sexual innuendo, and even dyeing his hair blonde. He's later advised by two other gay men, who are one half this trope, the other half Manly Gay, to just use his typical Casanova attitude on the man the same as if he were a woman.

Real Life

  • Leslie Cheung is this -despite his boyish looks and beautiful and almost feminine facial features- in real life and the character Ho Po-Wing he portrayed in Happy Together by Wong Kar-wai.
  • Freddie Mercury of Queen seemed to switch between Invisible to Gaydar (I Want it All, Spread Your Wings, Fat Bottomed Girls, Breakthru, etc.) and Camp Gay (Seaside Rendezvous, Killer Queen, Don't Try So Hard, Good Old-Fashioned Loverboy, etc.) on a whim. He probably found this easy to do because he was actually bisexual.
  • Chuck Palahniuk, the author of Fight Club.
  • William S. Burroughs loathed the queer culture of his day, which influenced his manner and dress toward the hard-boiled and "banker drag" respectively.
  • Rick Mercer is as well.
  • Rob Halford, the vocalist from Judas Priest. His stage persona distinctly leans toward Manly Gay / Leather Man however. "Hell-Bent for Leather", anyone?
    • He's got electric sparking power...
  • Benjamin Britten. He was your lovely, old-fashioned gentleman who lived in a small town. With his companion. They somehow got away with it in an era when being gay was still illegal.
    • He also had many friendships with 12-14 year old boys. Ironically, these days that would be highly frowned upon, even though the boys wrote him very affectionate letters and nothing untoward at all seems to have happened. According to one of the boys, "He wasn't fey at all. He didn't appear to be homosexual."
  • Ronnie Kray, the most famous Gayngster.
  • Cam Clarke, Liquid Snake? Kratos Aurion? Kaneda? Leonardo? A blood elf? The guy's openly gay and even remixed a number of romance songs so they come from a homosexual angle rather than a straight one, but the guy's about as Invisible to Gaydar as you can get. Then again, he's also He-man...
  • Bob Mould, guitarist and singer of the influential 80's alternative band Husker Du. The band's drummer Grant Hart was also gay, but that revelation wasn't as jarring as Mould's confirmation of his sexuality in the early 90's.
    • Interestingly enough, the one member of Husker Du that isn't gay, bassist Greg Norton, was the one that most fans in the 80's thought was gay, almost entirely based on the fact that Norton had a handlebar mustache.
  • Neil Patrick Harris. The fact that he played Barney on How I Met Your Mother - the straightest man in the history of TV shows - enforces this image even more. He plays himself as an unapologetic womanizer in the Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle movies, in spite of hallucinating himself riding a unicorn over a rainbow. The gay entertainment site made a list over gay actors who made unforgettable straight men, placing Harris at the top.
  • George Michael kept up a clearly straight persona for the majority of his career in Wham!, and was largely thought to be straight until the incident in Los Angeles, when he was arrested for "engaging in a lewd act" in a public restroom. After that, he embraced his sexuality publicly.
  • Sir Ian McKellen.
    • Then there's Gods and Monsters, in which straight gay Ian McKellen plays James Whale, who, at times, verges on camp gay...and uses the phrase "I touched (your/his) prick" several times throughout the film.
  • Long John Baldry. Yes, that Long John Baldry. This casts pingas in a whole new light...
  • Matthew Bomer, star of White Collar. Rumors abounded for quite a while before he came out, but these were more as a result of his prior unwillingness to speak about his family and tendency to play the pronoun game in interviews than as a result of any telling characteristics.
  • Robert Gant got pushed into coming out after having been called "one of those brave straight actors playing gay characters" once too often during his first season on Queer as Folk.
  • Let's not forget the great pioneer of computing, Alan Turing, who was forced, as part of his sentence for being gay, to take hormone treatments in order to repress his sexuality. He found the situation so distressing he committed suicide by eating a cyanide-laced apple. Of course, it was The Fifties, and the cyanide-laced apple was a tribute to Snow White and The Seven Dwarfs, so he may have ended up a Camp Gay in another time or place. From Andrew Hodges' biography Alan Turing: The Enigma we may conclude Alan was so 100% boffin he had no room for queenliness. He did however possess an understated sense of humor.
  • And of course there is Stephen Fry, the most unassuming British man—gay, straight, or anything else—on the planet.
  • There's was also George Takei, who played the original Sulu. After he came out publicly and married fellow straight gay and lover of 18 years Brad Altman, though... Oh, Myyyy! He seems intent to make up for several decades of missed camp.
  • Roddy Bottum of Faith No More.
  • John Glover, whose status as an openly gay man still surprises Smallville fans, despite the fact that he's played a number of gay characters on stage and screen. This is probably because Lionel Luthor was the least gay person on the show.
    • Of course, in the late 80s and early 90, he looked very Camp Gay.
  • Even though he's played roles of gay men and/or drag queens in film and television, most fans of Dave Chappelle would be surprised to know that Guillermo Diaz aka "Scarface" from Half Baked is openly gay.
  • Adam Lambert of American Idol was always been suspected to be gay (he IS) during his run but most female fans lied to themselves and thought he was just slightly flamboyant. Well, he pulled it off, didn't he?
    • Idol probably helped the fangirls along behind the scenes, as you never heard anyone even mention the possiblity, on the radio, TV, or press that he could be gay (blogs, however, were free to speculate), much in the same way they buried Kris Allen's wife so the fangirls could swoon and dream and write fanfics. As judge Kara Dioguardi and even Lambert himself noted, he was never really in the closet and merely people seemed too afraid to ask. Now that everyone knows, he's pretty much turned up the Camp Gay Up to Eleven.
      • How about Clay Aiken from the second season? Those "Claymates" certainly believed he was straight, though for everyone else it might have been closer to Transparent Closet.
  • Similarly, Will Young on the original Pop Idol never hid his sexuality, but some fangirls were in denial all the same.
  • Neil Tennant of Pet Shop Boys fame. The "sexual orientation" angles of "It's a sin", "Was it worth it?" and "Can you forgive her?" may have gone over the heads of many fans. If you look at him in Interviews or on the stage he does look quite effiminate in his gestures (not overly camp but it is pretty much visible, especially if you compare him to his music partner Chris Lowe who is again of the ambigiously straight gay.
  • Lee Daniels, Oscar-nominated director of "Precious." Yep, he's into dudes.
  • Ricky Martin, who came out of the closet few days ago (as of this addition)[when?]. Though in his case, lots of people had been speculating about his sexuality and were just wondering when would he admit it.
  • Walt Whitman is either this or Bi the Way, depending on what scholars you listen to.
  • James Randi, who came out in April 2010 at the age of 81. Oddly, not a single self-professed psychic was able to discern and predict this information beforehand.
  • Richard Chamberlain, the actor who played John Blackthorne aka "Anjin-san" in Shogun and Father Ralph de Bricassart in The Thorn Birds.
    • In the mid-1980s, several of the more militant gay groups were doing "gotcha outings" where they would involuntarily out gay celebrities who were still closeted. When this happened to Richard Chamberlain, his reaction was "I haven't been closeted since the early 70s, and I've never denied being gay. What's your point." Chalk that up as a personal Crowning Moment of Awesome for the always classy Mister Chamberlain.
  • There are currently two state governors and the federal foreign minister in Germany who are gay. All of them as straight gay as it gets. Most famous gay people in Germany are very Invisible to Gaydar...
  • Clive Barker. The man who dreamed up Pinhead, among countless other devilish creatures.
  • Bryan Fuller
  • James Robert Baker. Not only was he straight gay but so were all the main characters of most of his books.
  • Dan "Bulldog" Butler of Frasier. Even disregarding his performance as a very decidedly hetero, sports-loving horndog of a talk radio host, Butler never really goes into "camp" or stereotypically gay behavior, even though he's been out for ages.
  • Roland Emmerich. Yes, the guy that did Universal Soldier, Stargate, Independence Day, the Godzilla remake, The Patriot, The Day After Tomorrow, 10,000 BC and 2012 is gay.
    • This trope could almost have an entire heading for filmmakers alone, including Gus Van Sant (though his film choices make it less of a surprise, his behavior gives nothing away), and Bryan Singer.
  • Rock Hudson certainly belongs in this category. He was very masculine in looks and mannerisms and frequently cast as a romantic lead.
  • Michael Stipe of REM is also gay, which can't be seen in the songs nor his appearance.
  • David Yost aka Billy "Blue Ranger" Cranston. Too bad he was so bullied because of it by (some of) the cast and crew during these days, that he left the show. No wonder he hates it.
  • In most places, openly gay people seeking and winning elected office is a recent thing—if it happens at all. Most gay male politicians are Invisible to Gaydar, especially today:
    • France has two high-ranking ones, from opposing parties:
      • Roger Karoutchi, a member of the liberal-conservative UMP, was the Minister for Relations with Parliament (yes, the French political system is a bit weird) and is now the French Ambassador to the OECD. Noted for wearing suits worthy of The Thick of It. Also something of a Twofer Token Minority: not only is he gay, he's also Moroccan and Jewish.
      • Bertrand Delanoë, the current (Socialist) Mayor of Paris. Noted for not taking very much part in Paris' gay community (although he has taken big steps to advance gay rights in the city), and for being a serious contender for President someday (although he withdrew in 2012, meaning that if a Socialist wins in 2012, he'll probably never get a chance, seeing as he's already 61 and French Presidents get five-year terms).
    • Germany has or has recently had not one, not two, but three openly-gay men at the highest levels of government—each one from a different political party.
      • The current Mayor of Berlin, Klaus Wowereit, came out just before the elections of 2001, with the famous words "Ich bin schwul, und das ist auch gut so" ("I'm gay, and that's good"). Since Berlin is, besides being Germany's capital and largest city, a full-fledged state of Germany, Wowereit is also equivalent to a state Prime Minister and is considered to be a likely Social Democratic candidate for Chancellor in an upcoming election. Comparisons to Delanoë are numerous.
      • Ole von Beust, Mayor of Hamburg (Germany's second-largest city, its largest port, and itself a Bundesland) 2001-2010, a member of the conservative Christian Democratic Union. Unlike Wowereit, Beust was very rudely outed by his homophobic vice-mayor (whom he had just fired for sound political reasons)--an announcement that surprised pretty much everyone. A conservative from an old aristocratic family, Beust regards his orientation as a private matter, and is very much a Invisible to Gaydar. Beust also had an openly-gay man in his Senate (the term for the cabinet of Hamburg), the Justice Senator Roger Kusch (ex-CDU, currently head of his own breakaway party).
      • At the federal level, Guido Westerwelle was the leader of the classical liberal Free Democratic Party—the third-largest party in the Bundestag—which, being in coalition with the ruling Christian Democrats, makes him Vice-Chancellor and Foreign Minister (the highest posts in the German Cabinet after the Chancellor). Owing to some really embarrassing defeats in the 2011 state elections, he declined to run for re-election as party head at the May 2011 FDP Congress; he remains the Foreign Minister and Vice-Chancellor, although he's having to fight to keep those offices and may not be able to hold on much longer. It should be noted, to be fair, nobody was terribly surprised when it came out; in a situation comparable to John Barrowman, while Westerwelle doesn't sent out any of the "traditional" signals of "gayness" (either in the camp or hard direction), he nevertheless managed to register on all but the least sensitive gaydars.
    • Peter Mandelson, Baron Mandelson, of Foy, in the County of Herefordshire, and of Hartlepool, in the County of Durham, PC, Prince of Darkness, also known as "Mandy" to his enemies (and occasionally friends). The MP for Hartlepool and member of Tony Blair's Cabinet until he was sent to the European Commission, he was for quite a long time one of the most powerful men in Britain, being Blair's spin doctor and all; he stunned everyone (or perhaps not) by surviving his reassignment to Brussels and even his elevation to the Lords by returning to the Cabinet under Gordon Brown (with whom he got along not at all). He did at one point have a moustache that could be described as a Porn Stache, but everyone hated it and he got rid of it later.
    • Congressman Barney Frank. The antigay jokes his political opponents throw at him ("Dancing Queen" being popular, for some reason) probably come from an incident in the 1980s when a male prostitution ring was operating out of his own house by Frank's then-lover, a male hooker named Steve Gobi[2] Otherwise, the man is one of the stereotypically straightest guys in Congress, being the least fashionable, least smooth talking guy on the planet, which he openly references when he's making fun of himself. He's also a nerd about financial policy, possibly the un-sexiest area of policy short of municipal drainage. On the other hand, after the Great Economics Mess Up Of 2008-9, his nerdiness put this area of interest in the spotlight, and the financial reform that passed in 2010 (the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act) is the first piece of major American federal legislation with an openly gay man's name on it.
    • Also from the US, the late San Francisco Supervisor Harvey Milk. He loved opera, but he also played football in high school, majored in math in college, made lieutenant in the Navy during the Korean War, worked as an actuary before becoming a hippie, and wholly lacked camp mannerisms. Nevertheless assassinated—for purely political reasons, although the assassin was in fact a homophobe—as dramatized in the biopic.
    • Norwegian politician and former Minister of Finance Per-Kristian Foss.
    • Ireland has current presidential candidate David Norris. If it weren't for the fact that he was one of the pioneers of the gay rights movement in Ireland (along with Mary Robinson, who would go on to become Ireland's first female president) and that being gay has since become such a huge part of his political persona, you'd never be able to guess it.
  • John Barrowman, except when he's around Simon Amstell, who's another example. He often plays the Camp Gay stereotype for laughs when in front of an audience.
  • Paul Zaloom. Yes, that Paul Zaloom.
  • This bit by comedian Steve Hughes plays with the idea of Gay = Unmanly.
  • Sir Elton John switched his public/stage persona from Camp Gay to Invisible to Gaydar in The Nineties. The Expository Hairstyle Change helped quite a bit.
    • He also performed with another Invisible to Gaydar artist, the aforementioned George Michael. Their duet version of "Don't Let the Sun Go Down on Me" is definitely Crowning Music of Awesome.
  • Former MTV personality Dave Holmes. He was the runner up on the network's "Wanna Be A VJ?" contest and has carved out a moderately successful career as a television presenter.
  • Robert Reed, better known to most people as Mike Brady from The Brady Bunch was as Invisible to Gaydar as they come. While most of his co-stars knew his sexuality, the general public never had the first clue. He was only outed after his death from AIDS.
  • According to some, Cesar Romero aka The Joker from the Batman TV series.
  • Jonathan "Jon" Knight from New Kids on the Block.
  • Russel Tovey of Being Human (UK). Also known for playing the single most heterosexual character in The History Boys.
  • Lance Bass from N'Sync
  • If they didn't say anything, Reichen Lehmkuhl and Chip Arndt of The Amazing Race a few seasons back would've turned heads since they were as Invisible to Gaydar as they could get.
  • While the rest of the Fabulous Five on Queer Eye for the Straight Guy was about as flaming as they could be, Ted Allen was notoriously understated. (He's also gone on to a very successful multi-show career on Food Network.)
  • Derren Brown, who picked up three supermodels at the same time in one of his TV specials.
  • Jonathan Groff.
  • Zachary Quinto recently confirmed his status.
    • Dan Kloeffler of ABC News made a fleeting reference to his own Invisible to Gaydar status while on the air with a clarification on ABC News's blog because of the above confirmation.
  • Frank Kameny. He had a Harvard doctorate in astronomy and was an astronomer for the Army Map Service until dismissed, in 1957, for his homosexuality. He became a pioneering gay activist. He was also in the army during World War II and spent 20 years on the Selective Service board.
  • Playwright Alan Bennett. He's not camp at all. And he always wears a tie.
  • Actor Alan Bates. He was married with two sons, but had relationships with men and seems to have been pretty much homosexual rather than bisexual. However, he kept this a secret and even told his male lovers that he wasn't really gay. He wasn't camp either.
  • Paul Staffelbach, the Gay Comic Geek, has been accused of being a real-life straight man pretending to be gay for the purpose of gathering online fame several times, despite videos of him kissing his boyfriend.
  • Actor Dirk Bogarde. Also not camp. Spent much of his life with Anthony Forwood, but remained closeted.
  • Writer and founder of the "It Gets Better" Project, Dan Savage, is this, aside from the occasional campy moment.
  • Harvey Levin, former lawyer, founder of celebrity website and host of The People's Court, is this as well; a 2011 episode of TMZ on TV featured a segment in which one TMZ staffer said that some people are actually surprised to learn that Harvey is openly gay. Some episodes of the show reference Levin being a fan of the NBA's Los Angeles Lakers and having a fairly decent knowledge of sports, and has shown him during the morning staff meetings (that each edition of TMZ is shot at) to have a couldn't-care-less attitude when a female staffer(s) occasionally go into girl talk while pitching stories.
  • Comedian and podcaster Dave Rubin. Back when he was in the closet his roommates found a bunch of gay porn on his computer and after a short discussion concluded that it couldn't possibly belong to him.
  • Anthony Perkins was married to a wife and had children by the time he died, but he did have several homosexual affairs before marriage, so his definite sexuality could've ranged between bisexuality or closeted homosexual. Regardless, he never exuded campiness. Ever.
  • Stand-up comic Todd Glass, who came out in an interview with Marc Maron, has always exuded a meat & potatoes aura in his act.
  • The great scholar of philosophy, translator of Plato, and controversial social critic Allan Bloom[3] was as close as one could be to this in an era in which being openly gay was, if not illegal, then seriously stigmatized. He was, however, as open as he could be given the times, and his habits rather remind one of Graham Chapman if he had been an American academic rather than a British comic (at least if Saul Bellow's final novel Ravelstein—widely considered to be Bellow's masterpiece—a Roman à Clef about Bloom, is to be believed). He was also skeptical of the gay-rights movement in the form it took (not for its aims, but because he found it too sentimental and herd-like)
  • Gorden Kaye, the actor playing René, the womanizer Kavorka Man in the series 'Allo 'Allo!.
  • Douglas P. of the band Death in June. Coming to terms was a particular struggle for him since he thought all gays were Camp Gay.
  1. in title text for comic 1129.
  2. In Frank's defense, he said that he knew nothing of Gobi's activities.
  3. Not to be confused with literary critic Harold Bloom, to whom other tropes apply