My current story is about Kong Lin, from her husband's perspective. Kong Lin has a long-term male friend (among other friends).

I want her husband (straight Chinese guy) to describe him by something along the lines of "he is very gay", an obvious-from-first-glance kind of gay. (And leaving the reader to infer that her husband does not perceive him as a "threat" to his marriage.)

Question: What would a straight Chinese man say to describe another man as "very gay"?

In Chinese, we have 同性恋 = "same-sex love", but I don't believe it's a simple matter of adding a before that. Judging from Baidu search results, 很同性恋 doesn't seem to work (nor does 非常同性恋 nor 明显的同性恋).

On CC-EDICT, there's a bunch of slang (like 弯男), but I want to avoid anything offensive or insulting.

  • By "gay from first glance" you really mean "feminine/effeminate"? There are super-macho non-feminine gay men, and you wouldn't really describe them as "gay from first glance" (I don't think I could tell). Consider opening your vocabulary to "feminine" instead.
    – dROOOze
    Feb 11, 2020 at 12:48
  • At this stage, I've written little about him, so I guess it's possible to go outside the box on this question. (Thus far: He's Kong Lin's 同学, he's a hairdresser, and everytime we see him, he has elaborately colored hair.)
    – Becky 李蓓
    Feb 11, 2020 at 12:56
  • 他看起来非常像同性恋。or 他看着很像同性恋。
    – dan
    Feb 12, 2020 at 0:55

5 Answers 5


As you said “obvious-from-first-glance”, you could probably write it as “他一看就是个同性恋”.

  • 2
    I went with this one in my writing; my teacher actually laughed a bit.
    – Becky 李蓓
    Feb 29, 2020 at 11:41

Arh hah, let me tell you the new generation expressions!

『同性恋者』is too formal to address a gay man. I would say it's equivalent to "homosexual".

The popular terms to the concept in Chinese have nothing to do with their original meanings, just as "gay" now has nothing to do with "joyous", but instead, they directly take after English counterparts.

  • 他显然并非直男。

  • Obviously he is not a straight man.

Comment: Now in Chinese net community, the word 直男 is stigmatized by extreme feminists, referring to conservative, male-chauvinistic men. So it's now not a strict equivalence to "straight" in gender preference aspect.

  • 他看起来给给的。

  • He looks like a gay.

Comment: Don't suspect! It is actually a transliteration of "gay", and it IS the most common expression. And for this reason, often it's used unchanged as "gay".

  • 他看起来gaygay的。

  • 他一看就是弯的辣~

Comment: To avoid being seemingly harsh, often we use some tricks to soften the tone to show our innocence and acceptance. As in example, 辣 is a homophonic substitute to 啦, and a cursive ~ conveys (somehow) cute tone.

  • 他明显就是基佬。

Comment: WARNING! Many homosexual people may feel offended by addressing them 『基佬』. It's derogatory. The etymology of 『基』meaning homosexual related is now hard to determine. Here are two explanations: 1. 基 in Cantonese is pronounced very similar to "gay". 2. In ancient Chinese, 㚻 (ji1)is the character for homosexual practice, which has evolved to 鸡, finally to 基. But whatsoever, 基佬 in Cantonese (as in Mandarin now)is derogatory. However, 基 used alone is not derogatory, as in 『腐眼看人基』.



Nah~ I used all four ways to express "gay". May this short paragraph help your own writing!

  • Wow! What are some other new generation expressions? I would love to hear about them!
    – Axel Tong
    Feb 12, 2020 at 4:24
  • In my experience ~ 's more direct meaning is a sort of wavering voice, but not in a fearful sense. Sorta like musical vibrato
    – Aaron Liu
    Dec 7, 2023 at 21:44

hahaha, I understand this question, he must say something like"他看起来非常gay”. Most of the time, people use this word to describe some men really care about their outlook or their lifestyle. Maybe you know the "Gay or Europen", I think it's somehow like that.

  • Exactly, we would say someone 很gay if he always cares about their hair or has a good looking body. Most of the time, it is positive and joking.
    – sfy
    Feb 13, 2020 at 8:34

It can be expressed by Chinese idioms
龙阳之好 or 断袖之癖


We always say,"你这个人好gay啊".

Also if a man is gay,you can say,"这个人是弯的".

straight  =>  love girl(for boy)
curved  =>  love boy or love girl and boy(for boy).

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