Let's say you're at a party. It's fun, but not that fun: You are gay and the party is, as far as you can tell, wall-to-wall straight people. Perfectly nice, just ... straight. Except maybe that one cutie you saw earlier -- where is he? Suddenly your keychain starts beeping. You look up. It's him!
His keychain is beeping too! Now you know. ... You both smile, walk towards each other, and flirt happily ever after.
The confirmation of your new friend's orientation came from your Gay Radar -- a high-tech simulation of the instinct claimed by gay men, lesbians, and some discerning straight people for determining if someone is gay.
The Gay Radar, which is awaiting approval from the Federal Communications Commission, sends out a radio signal that activates and similar devices within 30 feet. When it gets a compatible signal the Gay Radar trills and beeps, or if that seems too out-there, it can be set to merely flash.
As with all dating strategies, the first step -- getting within range of another Gay Radar -- is the hardest. What if you're the only Gay Radar in town? To help you better your odds, the product's distributor, Canadian Michael Borer, says his company won't send out Gay Radars until 40,000 are sold.
In a decidedly new-millennium touch, you can set the Gay Radar to transmit in either gender. Go from male to female with the flick of a switch. How RuPaul!
-- This story originally appeared in Mother Jones.