Gay people walk at a faster pace than the rest of humankind, according to the internet.
The idea that gay people are quicker on their feet is one of many good-natured, often self-deprecating stereotypes which have gained popularity within queer online communities.
Google Maps: It will take 17 minutes to walk to your destination.
A gay pedestrian: pic.twitter.com/76yfEvTjnQ
— Chris Hanna (@Chris_Hanna) March 27, 2019
Some of these also apply to gay people, along with the in-jokes that they drink more iced coffee than other humans and reach record speeds on the pavement.
Unlike harmful anti-LGBT stereotypes, these tropes seem to be largely created by, with and for queer people.
The trope helps people to connect to their identity and other gay people
Many gay people have written online about the ways in which fast walking helps them feel close to their sexuality, whether or not it has any basis in science.
One tweeter said: “you know i’m feeling gay when i walk unusually fast.”
Another included a related trope when they wrote: “tired: gays can’t drive. WIRED: gays walk so fast that cars are unnecessary.”
A different user commented: “I’ve been told that I walk too fast like three times lately… like first of all I’m gay,” while another said: “Google maps: 18 minutes walking. Gays: NOT FOR MEEEE.”
The trope can help build a sense of togetherness, as one person attested, writing: “earlier my mum asked me if all my uni friends walk as fast as I do and I almost said ‘yes, we’re all gay’ and had a f**kin whiplash moment when I realised I can’t make jokes like that for almost a full month.”
Walking fast separates gay people from their straight counterparts
Many comments focus on how slow straight people are in comparison.
One said: “i read a tweet about how all gays walk fast and i thought it was funny but now i’m starting to notice just how leisurely straights really do walk and it makes me anxious don’t y’all have somewhere to be.”
A different person has attracted more than 45,000 retweets and likes by tweeting: “Straight people, look behind you, chances are there’s a gay person trying to get past because you’re moving at an extremely glacial pace.”
They added: “I’m not even kidding I just had to walk ON THE ROAD to get passed my life was IN JEOPARDY.”
Another tweeter wrote: “I am by no means a fast walker but god straight people walk at a pace that would rival that old gay tortoise on a bad day.”
Others have combined the fast-walking trope with the iced coffee trope, such as the commenter who said: “Straight people walk too slow, or maybe the gays out here walking too fast cause we’ve have 6 iced coffees? 🤔”
A different user said: “You think you walk fast, try walking next to a gay with iced coffee in hand that’s late.”
Why do gay people walk fast?
While it is widely agreed that gay people stride at a faster speed than everyone else, there are many different theories about why.
It could stem from a desperate desire to escape the presence of straight people, as one person suggested, tweeting: “Why do gays walk fast you ask? Well to flee the straights of course.
“We’re constantly escaping the straights. Constantly.”
Others have theorised that certain songs have had an oversized effect on gay people’s walking speeds.
Gays walk fast because they learned to walk to the beat of Womanizer by Britney Spears. pic.twitter.com/jC1k6BRXSA
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One person wrote: “Gays walk fast because they learned to walk to the beat of ‘Womanizer’ by Britney Spears.”
Another said: “straight people walk slow because their internal BPM is 72 bpm (‘Thinking Out Loud’ by Ed Sheeran) while all gay people walk fast because their internal BPM is 114 (‘Rose Coloured Boy’ by Paramore).”
There are also claims that gay people walk fast because they’re striding to the beat of “I Want It All” from High School Musical 3, Ariana Grande’s “thank u, next,” Billie Eilish’s “bad guy” and “Nobody” by American singer Mitski, among others.
Or maybe gay people march down the street because they’re late.
One tweeter floated this concept, writing: “Gays walk so fast because they’re always late to everything.”
Another quipped: “Being gay means I can walk fast enough to only be a minute late to my 9am.”
A different user said: “Gays apparently all walk fast but always arrive late for things.”