The DaVinci Gay Hankie Code
I know what the red hankie on the right means, but what do you suppose a red baseball cap means? Does it involve a Louisville Slugger?
It seems every time I read the Washington Post, I learn something new…
It was with some trepidation that we opened a most interesting card [from Senator Bill Frist], which announced on a blue-jeaned cowboy’s belt buckle something called the “5th Annual VOLPAC ’06 Weekend” in Nashville on April 21-23.
Problem was you had to unbuckle the cowboy’s pants and look inside to see what this was all about. Seemed a bit too “Brokeback Mountain.”
The back of the card shows the cowboy from behind with a red flowered handkerchief sticking out of his right pocket. Wait a minute — wasn’t there something about how this used to be some kind of code in the gay community years ago? A way to signal each other in crowded, noisy bars?
So we checked the GayCityUSA.com’s Hanky Codes. Sure enough, there it was in the chart explaining what they mean: red hanky in right pocket. Oh, dear.
Now, growing up in the ’80s I recall that which ear you wore your single stud earring in made a huge symbolic difference, but I never heard of this color-coded hankie thing. I wonder how many times I innocently put a handkerchief in my back pocket long ago when I was playing music in bars and maybe, without my knowledge, I was teasing the gay men. Who knew?
Wow. I just checked out the Hanky Codes. Only gay men could come up with a color coding signal that depends on the interpreter to distinguish the subtle difference between “coral” vs. “orange”, “mosquito netting” vs. “teal”, and “robin’s egg blue” vs. “Air Force blue”. And what, pray tell, happens to the poor red-green colorblind gay men cruising for an “armpit freak”, only to be hit on by a “navel fetishist”.
Man, there is still so much I don’t know. “Shrimper?” “Milkee?” “Chicken hawk?” “Tearoom bottom?” What is this, a John Waters movie?