Yes, Facebook Knows You’re Gay!

January 4th, 2011 by Search Influence Alumni

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I recently read a great article by aimClear‘s Marty Weintraub who used Facebook’s demographic targeting to determine how many people serving in the military are gay or lesbian. While it is interesting to see who is  romantically interested in who – I felt the data didn’t take in account members of the military who do not list what they are romantically interested in. So it occured to me, why not do a post where you target things that are stereotypically associated with gay and lesbian culture and explain how same-gender loving they are – and this post was born.

While I would love to go down every item on the “who like” section of the FB targeting,  for sake of brevity (I’ve been told I’m long winded) I will only address a few of the items.

Gay Interest: RuPaul’s Drag Race
Why This Interest Might Make You Gay: The flag ship of gay network, LOGO, Drag Race is a fierce competition that pits drag performers against one another in lip-syncing battles where the loser sashay away in defeat. It is just about the gayest (and most fabulous) thing you will see on TV. Straight military men rarely have an interest in fabulous drag queens unless their wives are forcing them too.

Gay Interest: Fashion/Dolce & Gabbana
Why This Interest Might Make You Gay: Straight men in the military are just not interested enough in fashion to list it as a Facebook interest. Also have you seen some of those Dolce & Gabbana fashion ads? They always have fully dressed, anemic-looking women with random naked musclebound guys just out of focus.

Gay Interest: Bravo/LOGO
Why This Interest Might Make You Gay: These are channels my father (an open-minded ex-military guy) refers to as the “gay-channels” and honestly I can’t argue with him. While LOGO is an all-gay network, Bravo is no stranger to gay shows. Before they had housewives running AMEX bills up between foreclosures, they had hit shows like Queer Eye for the Straight Guy and Boy Meets Boy – both incredibly gay shows.

Gay Interest: Queer As Folk
Why This Interest Makes You Gay: Straight dudes (military or otherwise) do not want to watch 5 gay studs have bathroom sex between meaningful (and often bitchy) comments about love.  If you find yourself hoping main characters Justin and Brian make it – you’re probably gay (if you have all the boxset message me, we should make a day of it).

Gay Interest: Madonna/Techno
Why This Interest Might Make You Gay: Techno music has always been important to the gay man. There is something sexual about it. Coupled that with a well placed Madonna sample (hopefully not from the Hard Candy era), you’ve got yourself a gay rave. If you are a straight guy in the military and can’t wait to hear Junior Vasquez’s newest “If Madonna Calls” remix – you’re gay.

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Gay Interest: Joan Crawford
Why This Interest Might Make You Gay: At first I wasn’t certain why liking Joan Crawford would make you gay but when I called my mom (who champions herself sort of a gay advocate), she said “Joan Crawford” and promptly hung up. After doing some Googling I remembered she is who the movie “Mommie Dearest” is based on. I would be lying if the moment I read the words “Mommie Dearest” I didn’t instantly time travel back to Saturday afternoon with my Mom and my “Uncle” Vincent shrilling the phrases “No more wire hangers!” before laughing themselves silly. Joan, like Judy Garland and Lucille Ball, is a gay icon and if she is one of your interest on Facebook I’m certain you plan on bringing your “friend” to the next military ball now that Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell is lifted.

Oh fear not lesbian sisters-in-arms! I did some research on you too. The only problem I did have with targeting military women by their interest was there isn’t a lot of “sensible shoes” data so I had to employ the help of the site “Things Lesbians Like”, as well as research the “likes” of several lesbian friends of mine (oddly enough they likes a lot of the same thing despite not knowing each other).

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Lesbian Interest: Tegan & Sarah
Why This Interest Might Make You a Lesbian: Indie rock lesbian twins. No, I’m not kidding and I was just as surprised as you are reading that statement. Their music focuses a lot on being lesbians and I have a hard time believing straight women (military or otherwise) like this type of thing. Anything is possible, though. I have a straight friend who is a huge Scissor Sisters fan and awaits the second coming of 70’s ambiguous glam rock.

Lesbian Interest: Flannel
Why This Interest Might Make You a Lesbian: This is one of those stereotypes which is oddly true. Lesbians enjoy flannel and how couldn’t they? It’s comfortable, rational, and closely associated with lumberjacks (which are the tree-cutting cousins of lesbians).

Lesbian Interest: Softball
Why This Interest Might Make You a Lesbian: If you have to wonder why softball is a sport closely associated with lesbians, you obviously don’t know many lesbians. Heck, even gay-rights activists believe softball is closely associated with lesbianism or have we forgotten the Elena Kagan softball photo?

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Lesbian Interest: The L Word
Why This Interest Might Make You a Lesbian: When Showtime realized how popular Queer As Folk (see gay interest above) was with homosexual men, they tried to gain lesbian viewers with the L Word. While it’s gay neighbor was busy dancing to techno music and having anonymous sex, the L Word focused on domestic partnership, fixing cars, and finding true love – it was like modern day Xena with softball replacing the sword fights. If you know women in the military who debate whether or not Alice killed Jenny, they probably have a live-in girlfriend and go to the Lilith Fair.

Lesbian Interest: Samantha Ronson
Why This Interest Might Make You a Lesbian: A celebrity DJ, lesbian style icon (nobody wears birkenstocks, glasses, and flannel quite like Sam), and former girlfriend of Lindsay Lohan, Samantha Ronson is the lesbian dream.  Not only can she tame alcohol drenched burning bushes (that’s a Lilo joke), she’s self-employed, talented, and has courted some of the hottest “lipsticks” in Hollywood. Ronson is like the Ellen for the hipster generation of lesbians. While a straight girl can tell you she was Linds’ gal-Friday, a true lesbian not only knows she is a DJ but has several of her remixes on her iPod.

While I could probably write a book about using Facebook interests to determine who is and isn’t out in the military – I just want it to be clear that this post is by no way meant to be used as evidence against the military man who knows all the lyrics to Cher’s “Believe”. It’s just a humorous way to show the power of Facebook demographic targeting. The enlisted men and women who serve this country are heroes no matter what their sexual orientation. Knowing that the US government is heading in the right direction to protect the rights of those who protect us is inspiring and makes me proud to be an American who can waste his time using Facebook to figure out who’s gay.