Which Ear Is The Gay Ear?

Which Ear Is The Gay Ear

Back in the 1980’s when the occurrences of men wearing earrings took an upward trajectory; it became a norm to associate straight people wearing earrings on the right ear as being straight. It also became a widespread belief that men who wore earrings on the left ear were gay. However, this idea and belief were known to vary from country to country and culture to culture. This, therefore, raises the question; which ear is the gay ear?

Which ear is the gay ear?

The ear most homosexuals get pierce more often than not is the left ear, hence its reputation as the Gay ear.  It, therefore, suffices to say that when someone who is a heterosexual is piercing their left ear, it simply means that they are getting their gay ear pierced. It is most times advisable that straight men avoid getting the ear pierced if they intend going on with being straight. It is however normal for people to pierce both ears regardless of the category they find themselves. It should be noted that the concept of gay ears is one that is fast losing strength as more and more people are piercing their ears without recourse to sexual leanings. 

Origins Of The Gay Ear

Even with the changing times and advancements, a lot of people still view the piercing of a part of a person’s body as having sexual meanings. For one to better appreciate the idea of piercings and what they stand for, it is imperative that we take a look at the America of the 70’s and 80’s. During this time, it was not cool to be identified as LGBTQIA publicly. During this period, there was no real social or legal cover for individuals who fell under this category. A lot of people lived in fear for their families, jobs, properties and even their own lives.

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It was not uncommon to find people being physically attacked the moment they were discovered to be gay. The need for some sort of secrecy led to innovations as regards their lifestyles.  Usually,  people who belonged to this category would come together in secret bars and local parks in the dark hours of the night and they usually used subtle means to let people know they were gay.

As people started understanding the codes gay people were using, a new phrase was coined: “right is wrong and left is right” the wrong in the phrase was associated with being gay. Very soon, the phrase spread like wildfire through America in a time when piercing was just beginning to gain ground. Piercing of the body was for a long time not what was generally accepted by all, it was mostly seen on rock stars.

For a while, body piercing was even seen as an act of rebellion and with the gradual introduction of the concept, piercing of one part of the body was soon seen as being gay.

In some places, the idea of the piercing of one side of the body as being gay was reversed as the left ear was the signifier. Other parts saw the piercing of both parts of the ear as being synonymous with being trans or bi. Soon after, the original phrase was soon lost and people began to forget which ear was the real one even as piercing became more popular.

What Was The ’90s Like For Piercing?

By the 90’s the concept of “right and wrong” had been forgotten by most people and piercing soon became more about fashion and rebellion. Also, with an increase in acceptance of gay rights by the law and society, there were fewer reasons for people to hide their identities. And that killed the “gay ear.”

What’s So Gay About Piercing Your Right Ear?

Back in the days, the whole idea of the right ear being symbolic of being gay was one that was widely accepted. It was one of those gossips one heard and believed without trying to confirm. It was so strong that soon it became a widely held belief nation-wide.

For us to understand the whole right ear being the gay earthing, it is important we take a walk down to history lane. Ages back, wearing earrings symbolized several things among which is not sexuality.  For many, it represented religious affiliations for others it was about social class. In the time of Buddha, large earlobes with earrings meant compassion, wisdom and love as thought by the leader. During the time of sea voyages and pirates ship crew members would all put on earrings for protection from the perils of the sea.

The 20th Century

The twentieth century was an era that brought about fear and confusion. The whole idea of earrings being an exclusive reserve of females was soon swept under the carpet and men took up the fashion.  Then came the idea of the gay ear, nobody knows if it was fashionable or shameful and the idea may have just come from people not being used to seeing men on earrings. It is, therefore, possible that many felt men who wore them were trying to copy women and become more female.

What Is The Validity Of The Notion Today?

The real origin of the notion is one that remains as some sort of mystery. It is even made more complicated because the internet is the number one source of information everywhere.  The internet is one place where information flies around regardless of its authenticity. A lot of people just want to wear what is fashionable without recourse to the sexual connotation of such

What’s The Good News?

Time, as they say, is a good healer and this genuinely applies to the gay ear phenomenon. This can be largely traced to the fact that most young people are not aware of what transpired in that regard in the ’80s and ’90s.  Some know, but believe it is something that should be left in the ’90s.  Homosexuality may have its signs and symbols, but it is only reasonable to say that the earring concept should never be one of them.

Earring Tips For Men

It is important to note that there are a few earring styles that can be worn by men. The popularity of earrings among men soared in popularity first among sailors and hippies community and it has been maintained for decades.

How Can I Keep My Ears Healthy After Piercing?

Your primary concern about earrings apart from looking good should be as regards the health and wellbeing of your ears. You need to ensure that the piercings are healthy while also ensuring that the piercings remain open if you don’t intend using any piercing for some time.

Usually, the greatest concern after piercing must have been carried out has to do with what happens immediately it has been done. This is the most important aspect of the after-care process. a piercing would find it difficult to be infected if it has had enough time to properly heal. Even at that, piercings are holes in your body which means that they can develop fungal and bacterial growths hence the need to keep them clean always.

One easy way to keep your piercings clean is by using saline solution and any other cleaning product. If you, however, opt for soapy water, make sure that it is anti-bacterial. Maintaining a clean lifestyle should also suffice in keeping your piercings healthy and clean. You should also ensure to keep your beddings clean all the time so that you are not exposed to dirt and sweat.  Also, ensure that you regularly take your batch while also cleaning the piercing area.

What Time Is The Best Time To Wear Earrings?

As with other jewelry, putting on visible piercings is something that should not be done in business settings. However, when it comes to other functions, the way and manner you use them are entirely at your discretion.

You should be mindful of using them on occasions such as a funeral and formal event such as an award occasion.  Also, if there is a dress code involved in the whole arrangement that requires looking corporate, you may want to jettison the idea of wearing an earring.

How Can I Keep A Piercing Open?

One challenge with leaving piercings for periods without an earring is that they can heal pretty quickly.  Piercings under a year old are expected to be filled at all times as leaving them open would make them close up quickly. There are a number of products you can use to keep your piercings open.  You may however make use of items such as a broken comb or a fishing line. However, ensure that whatever it is you are using is properly sterilized.


Having established the answer to the question bothering on which ear is the gay ear, it is important to note that it is all a misconception. Having piercings on the ear is more than just a symbol of sexuality, it is a representation of the changing times and trends as it affects our modern society.

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  1. Maybe it was the left ear in the UK but in the USA if you pieced only your right ear (in the 80’s) it meant that you were gay. In the 90’s and currently most people in the USA have multiple piercings in both ears and it has nothing to do with sexuality whatsoever.

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