As the internet has made clear, when it comes to spotting gay men, there is no definitive set of tells that all gay people must exhibit. But there are a number of purportedly common tells and behaviors that can be used to spot homosexuality—or, at the very least, identify someone as potentially gay or bisexual. One of the most popular tells is alleged to be sitting weird.
This is not a new trope: gay or bisexual characters on TV and in movies tend to be portrayed with a particular way of sitting, often in ways that are considered girly or effeminate. In Twin Peaks, for example, rebellious Bobby Briggs slouches and slumps when seated, in contrast to the upright posture of his military father Major Garland Briggs. The Umbrella Academy’s Klaus Hargreeves sits similarly, as if to reject the rules and structures that govern masculinity.
It is a question that has popped up quite frequently on social media and elsewhere, as it becomes more and more common for someone to identify as bisexual or queer. But while the idea of sitting queer may seem like an esoteric and insignificant trait, it can actually have some important implications for the way in which we think about and talk about LGBT identity.
The way in which we sit is one of the most important and underrepresented aspects of the way we communicate. In this article, we’ll take a look at the history of the “bisexuals sit weird” stereotype and how it has come to be such an integral part of LGBT culture.