In a world that seems to be polarized more than ever, it’s nice to find ways to quietly show your pride. A pierced earlobe can be just the ticket, and there are a lot of options out there.
At one time it was common to hear that a pierced right-side ear indicated being gay. Over the years this rumor has faded, but many people still struggle to decide which side of their ear to pierce.
Men have been wearing earrings for ages, but they became linked to gay culture in the 70’s and 80’s as part of a larger movement toward body modification. In those times it was still dangerous to come out as LGBT, and people had to find subtle ways to show their pride in their communities. One of these methods was getting a single ear piercing on the right side, which signified a man’s sexual orientation.
The lore goes that when you get your ears pierced, a right-side piercing indicates that you are gay and a left-side piercing means you’re straight. But the history of this story is a bit hazy, and it’s not consistent across cultures and regions. The origins of the phrase are unclear, and it was often used in a derogatory way to marginalize gay men by saying they were “gay pierced.”
It’s important to remember that this was a time when it was dangerous to be out as LGBTQIA+, and even now many people struggle with coming out publicly and finding community. So the story of the gay ear may have been useful for those in the closet, but these days it’s much easier to find your tribe and share your true self without needing to resort to symbols like a piece of jewelry. Still, this piece of ear lore remains a touchstone for the LGBT community and continues to hold significance for many gay men.
Ear piercings have become a common form of body art. Many people get them for aesthetic reasons, while others do it to express their individuality. Ear piercings are generally safe for most people, but they can be uncomfortable in the beginning. They may also cause infection or fungal growth if not cared for properly.
In the past, ear piercings were a popular way for gay men to signal to other men that they were homosexual. The idea behind this was that it was hard for homosexuals to communicate openly before decriminalization, and a subtle signal like an earring could help them connect with their community without risking retaliation or discrimination.
However, as time went by and piercings became more mainstream and popular, this code started to lose its effect. Many straight men began to pierce their right ear as well, and the implication that only a right-ear piercing was gay was lost.
In the 1990s, it became more fashionable for guys to pierce both ears, probably because of boy bands who had done so. This flipped the script entirely, and it became a popular thing for men to do whether they were gay or not. With the rise of internet dating, it’s no longer as important for gay men to signal to other men that their orientation.
In the past, when it was incredibly dangerous to be openly homosexual in the US, a pierced right ear was a secret code signifying that the wearer was gay. A pierced left ear, on the other hand, was considered a straight symbol of heterosexuality. This ear piercing code was used in a similar way to the “flagging” code, where keeping a handkerchief in the back pocket of your left shirt would tell others that you were a top, while wearing one in your right would make you a bottom.
Eventually, however, this fad died out as earrings became more mainstream and piercings were seen on men of all sexual orientations. This, combined with the general rebellious nature of piercing culture, made it harder to tell if someone was gay or not through their earring choices.
In addition to being a fashion statement, ear piercings are also useful in certain cases. The lobe of the ear contains an energy point that, according to Ayurvedic traditions, is helpful for maintaining healthy reproductive organs in men and women. As a result, many people choose to get their ears pierced for health reasons and find that they can be very beneficial in both the short and long term. In addition, a lot of people find that their piercings look really cool!
Ear piercings were once used to signal sexual orientation, but they weren’t the only way. Flaming was another common form of gay code. This system of dress codes included keeping a handkerchief in the left rear pocket indicated that you were a “top” while wearing one in the right was a sign that you were a “bottom.” Other methods of gay identification included wearing a cross, a skull cap or both.
In the past, it was much more dangerous to be out as homosexual in America than it is today. The gay ear piercing was a subtle way to show the world that you were gay without drawing attention to yourself. Nowadays, there is no need to signal your homosexuality through a symbol. With the rise of dating apps and a more accepting society, men can be proud to identify as gay without any fear of discrimination or rejection.
Whether you choose to get your earlobes pierced or not, it’s important to take care of them properly so that they heal quickly and don’t become infected. Be sure to wash your hands before touching your piercing and avoid putting too much pressure on it when you’re wearing it. You can also encourage a faster healing process by twisting your piercing several times a day. Stainless steel is an excellent choice for new piercings as it prevents infection and is safe to wear.