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The Queerty Gay Baby Naming Guide

Last week’s Advocate interview with actor Chris Evans talking about how his mother “was praying for [he and his gay also-hot/ also-actor brother, Scott] to be gay” reminded us of all the parents out there that would not just be happy to have a gay child, but actively want to have an adorable homo tyke of their own. One straight friend in high school would foist his mother on your editor again and again because his love of the ladies was such a crushing disappointment to her and I could you know, talk to her about musical theater.

Let’s face facts here: Gay babies are in. Everyone wants one, unless you’re a crazy-evil Southern Baptist who thinks depriving your kid of rainbow-colored crayons will keep them straight. Gay kids are just like regular children, except they like to do things like go to classical music concerts and watch Auntie Mame (both versions!) on the sofa all afternoon. And who wouldn’t want an honest-to-goodness baby dyke to fix up your Rav 4?

Coercing your child’s sexuality to fit your own personal preference is pretty creepy, we admit, but giving your child a name that says “pizazz” and “style” is a gift no matter what his or her sexuality winds up being. Want a gay baby? Start with the name.

For Boys:

Basically, the gayest name of all time, so your child (and everyone you know) will know right away your personal preference. That said, as stereotypical as the name might be, it has a great pedigree: Just think of the Bruce’s Springteen, Willis and Wayne. The name hasn’t been popular since the 50s, making it perfect for the Mommy looking to inject some Mad Men panache to their pride and joy.

A really trendy name right now (it’s was the 66th most popular name in 2007), Julian conjures up images of Roman glory, conquest and wrestling. The fact that the name’s held by civil rights leader Julian Bond and Beatles spawn Julian Lennon gives it a classy counterculture patina.

Now, we realize Joshua’s a pretty mainstream name as such things go. It’s the 4th most popular name in the country, but the key factor here is that we’re not joshing around. Joshua is a gay name only when enjoyed in all its polysyllabic glory and like Michael, Matthew and Christopher—it can swing whatever way its bearer wants it to go. If by some chance your child fails to show a predilection for Fassbinder films, he can always safely truncate his name for maximum heteronormativity.

Say “Elliot” aloud and try to make it sound anything other than sing-song. Come on, we dare you. See? Doesn’t work. Add to that the fact that it’s the name of a boy who loves aliens, an imaginary dragon and a sad and tragic singer-songwriter and you can be pretty sure that a tyke named Elliot will grow up a starry-eyed dreamer.

Confession: I’ve wanted to have kid named Caleb ever since I was 14 and had a crush on a camp counselor with the name. Unfortunately, Caleb means “dog” in Hebrew, and what with our well-established obsession with all things puppy, it seems like a pretty sure bet that if your editor names his child “Caleb” he will be paying for therapy for years. But it’s a great name! The 33rd most popular right now. Young gay boys will totally crush on your boy if you name him Caleb. I promise.

For Girls:

Derived from Welsh origins, Enid means “soul” or “life” and is coming back in vogue after a century-long exile. There’s something about the name which screams square cut horn-rimmed glass glasses and Seattle.

If you have a boy and a girl and live in Palm Springs, it would be a crime not to name one child Sandra and the other Bruce (see above). Take your mid-century modern obsession to it logical conclusion– and to the Dinah Shore Classic. You’ll be an instant hit. You’ll also be paying homage to Sandra Bernhard. Just don’t be surprised when your child starts swearing at you about what a bitch Madonna is.

Another great name with a queer pedigree, the name has been shared by an early screen idol and the author of The Children’s Hour, one of the first mainstream plays to address lesbianism openly. While the name will never be as popular as it was during the Victorian age when it was the 16th most popular name in the U.S., it’s had a revival in popularity in recent years.

It might just be the “qu” in the name, but Quinn seems like a fun queer name for a kid. It means “counsel” in Gaellic and, thankfully, Dr. Quinn: Medicine Woman has been off the air long enough that none of the kids on the playground will make fun of her.

We actually think “Ellen” may be the gay equivalent of “A Boy Named Sue.” Should you name your daughter after daytime’s dancing lesbian, you can be pretty sure she’ll wind up sleeping with every guy she can get her overcompensating hands on. Of course, the fact you dressed her in vests and tennis shoes her whole childhood probably didn’t help, either.

What would you name your gay baby? And what names scream “queen” to you?

On:           Jan 13, 2009
Tagged: , ,
    • Ben

      I met a high concentration of gay Nicholases, Andrews, Alexanders and Bryans, but I think this is just because these are very common names where I live (England). I’ve also met a couple of gay Jordans in my time – which sounds like a good gay name.

      Oddly enough, Ashley is a man’s name here and has no homosexual connotations.

      Jan 13, 2009 at 9:21 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Me

      First, enough with the stereotypes: “Gay kids are just like regular children, except they like to do things like go to classical music concerts and watch Auntie Mame (both versions!) on the sofa all afternoon. And who wouldn’t want an honest-to-goodness baby dyke to fix up your Rav 4?”

      Yes, yes… “all in jest,” but damn…

      Anyway, back to the names: For boys, MICHAEL has to be the gayest name ever. I’ve known SO many that I’ve had to differentiate them with certain monikers. There’s Chicago Mike, Mexican Mike, Grand Theft Auto Mike (yeah, true story), Gimp Mike (um… LONG story)… the list goes on.

      Jan 13, 2009 at 9:44 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Amber LeMay

      Hung or not, Chad.

      Jan 13, 2009 at 9:52 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • ggreen

      For as gay A-holes Michael is hands down the winner with Steven/Stephen running a close second.

      Jan 13, 2009 at 10:02 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • TikiHead

      No way would a tasteful gay boy enjoy, much less watch the Lucille Ball version of Mame.

      Jan 13, 2009 at 10:31 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Hint

      The prevalence of gay Michaels is just the law of averages. There are more straight Michaels than any other name as well. But yes, they are far more likely to be “Mikes”.

      Jan 13, 2009 at 10:42 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Padraic

      I’ll take your Lillian and raise you a gay brother named Dashiell. Use their full names as much as possible, and they’ll be the two best literary/artfag kids on the block. Call them “Lilly” and “Dash,” and you’ve got a cute, femme-y “vaguely ethnic swan” and a sporty gay who lives up to his name on the track.

      Jan 13, 2009 at 10:57 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • thisismikesother

      @Me and @Amber LeMay :

      Humorous dose of irony for today: my full name is michael chad, and i am a homo.

      Jan 13, 2009 at 11:46 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Grant

      I seem to have met a preponderance of Seans/Shauns/Shawns. In fact, I’ve dated four of them, and have begun referring to them as Shaun 1, Sean 2, etc.

      Jan 13, 2009 at 11:52 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Japhy Grant

      @TikiHead: Mister TikiHead, knowledge is power.

      Jan 13, 2009 at 12:05 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Michael W.

      My first name is Michael.

      Jan 13, 2009 at 12:17 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Eminent Victorian

      Look under your seats! Today, every guest gets a gay baby! [pandemonium].

      Jan 13, 2009 at 12:42 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • dizzyspins

      Ive met many gay guys named Colin, Christopher (NOT shortened to Chris) and Stephen (with a ‘ph’). But of course the gayest name of all is JEFFREY!!

      Jan 13, 2009 at 12:42 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • unicorn rider

      Hello…My name is Lance.

      Jan 13, 2009 at 12:52 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • tavdy79

      Jonas or Jonah (“man of peace”) would be a fabulously ironic name for a future drag-queen.

      Louis (if you’re going for aristocratic/camp) Lewis (if you’re going for preppy/nerdy) Ludwig (if you’re going for butch/leatherman) or Louise (if you want a alternative to Sue)

      Charlie, Teddy and Timmy are all wonderfully camp names as well.

      Jan 13, 2009 at 1:46 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • tavdy79

      I forgot to say: Julian and Enid both have another chunk of camp appeal: Julian was the name of one of Enid Blyton’s Famous Five, another of whom (George Kirrin) was sooooo the first major queer character in children’s literature.

      Jan 13, 2009 at 1:54 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Michael

      I’ve known tons of gay Scotts on screen and in real life.

      Of course this is coming from another Michael, who doesn’t mind Mike but detests Mikey.

      Jan 13, 2009 at 2:17 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Andrew Triska

      FYI, the Landover Baptist site you linked to is a parody, not a real sect of Christianity. Don’t worry, though – there are plenty of crazier Christians out there.

      Jan 13, 2009 at 2:20 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • loneboywonder

      Are the musical “Mame” and “Auntie Mame” the same thing? I’ve never seen either, but have heard of the musical…this must be an old gay thing…I spent all day watching Power Rangers.

      Jan 13, 2009 at 3:11 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • cruiser

      @loneboywonder: No they are 2 seperate movies, “Mame” starred the great Lucille Ball, “Auntie Mame”(written by Patrick Dennis)is the story of the author growing with his Auntie Mame, the movie starred the one & only, the most fabulous Rosalind Russell(I highly recommend “Auntie Mame over “Mame.”

      Jan 13, 2009 at 3:38 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • cruiser

      Hey Japhy,
      How about you get Scott Evans(Chris Evans’ HOT Gay brother)for a Morning Goods?! That would be soooo worht it.
      The only problem is, if he IS that HOT the pictures might not survive long enough to make it to here. ;)

      Jan 13, 2009 at 3:42 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Chris


      agreeing w/cruiser: see “Auntie Mame” it’s a masterpiece of comic timing and a real laugh riot….

      Jan 13, 2009 at 3:46 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Ryan

      three words.

      blow gabriel, blow.

      also, as a Ryan, I find that about 95% of the other Ryan’s I have ever met in my life are big mo’s.

      Jan 13, 2009 at 3:51 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Joseph

      I’ve already decided my son’s name is going to be Schuyler Nicholas. I haven’t yet told my future boyfriend.

      Jan 13, 2009 at 4:34 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Nicholas

      I have to agree with most of the names discussed in the above comments… My name is Nicholas, I’m gay and I went to university with 4 other gays also named Nicholas – everyone had to call us by our first and last names to differentiate. My best friend (also gay) is named Shaun. I have an ex boyfriend named Michael and I know of countless other gays named Michael. In addition, I have 3 friends (all gay) named Stephen (and yes, dizzyspins had it right – it’s always Stephen with a ‘ph’)…

      Jan 13, 2009 at 4:34 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • dgz

      why do so many of us go by full name? e.g. Nicholas over Nick, Christopher/Chris, etc.? huh.

      Jan 13, 2009 at 5:33 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • seitan-on-a-stick

      How about Gay Gayer Gayerson? Now, that’s GAY!

      Jan 13, 2009 at 6:56 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • RichardR

      @dgz: As a Richard who grew up as “Dick,” well, there’s my reason.

      I have a homophobic brother named Lindsey Lee (for a grandfather and a great uncle) and he was so freaked out being called Lindsey he changed it to just Lee, totally missing all the female Lee’s around.

      So in his [diss]honor, I recommend both Lindsey and Lee, for either gender.

      Jan 13, 2009 at 7:04 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Carsen T.

      My parents wanted to name the middle one Julian so badly, that when she came out as a girl, they called her Julie Ann. Usually my family just looks at the saint calendar and named us based on who’s saint day it was.

      I hated my name, Catherine. I wanted a boy name, so badly as a kid. I kept on stealing other kids names in Kindergarten.

      Jan 13, 2009 at 8:36 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Brendan D.

      I’ve known enough bitchy queens named “Glen” to recommend it, if that’s the kind of attitude you’re going for. Bonus points if it has an extra “n” on the end.

      Jan 13, 2009 at 9:28 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • petted

      I like Ethan and Drew – I think they have a nice ring to them (they’re a little preppy but hey I likes what I like).

      Jan 13, 2009 at 10:00 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jack

      I think Sebastian’s a pretty gay name, it’s very flowy. I knew a couple of Sebastians. Great bottoms, the both of them.

      Jan 14, 2009 at 12:36 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • GSM

      4 partners in my life. Michael, Michael, Jay and Alexander. Hmmmm……..

      Jan 14, 2009 at 1:13 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • JC

      Bless my mother for having a backup plan; with a first name of Joshua and 2nd name of Caleb I was destined for gayness. Can I get an amen!

      Jan 14, 2009 at 10:27 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • TikiHead


      Lucille Ball’s version was still horrid (but it was a musical, so that is gayer).


      I highly recommend the book over either movie — very raunchy!

      Jan 14, 2009 at 10:48 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jon B

      I’m a really big fan of the names Tristan, Jaden, and Jake (yeah, I know it’s plane, but how can a guy named Jake not be adorable?). I’m pretty sure boys growing up with the first two are going to end up gay… the third just makes them grow up cute (do any of you know a Jake who isn’t cute? Remember, Jake not Jacob).

      Jan 14, 2009 at 2:35 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Sierra Ewing

      I would name my Baby if it were a girl, Sunflower Leigh.
      If it were to be a boy, his name would be Raine Thomas.

      Jan 17, 2009 at 1:09 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Stephen

      @ggreen: It takes an A-hole to know an A-hole. :^D

      Jan 17, 2009 at 2:39 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Stephen

      @Andrew Triska: What do you know about Unitarians?

      Jan 17, 2009 at 2:45 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Stephen

      Question: What would be an un-gay name?

      Jan 17, 2009 at 2:52 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Bitch Republic

      Every boy named Tyler I’ve ever met has been gay.

      And I liked the Lucille Ball version of Mame, although it’s admittedly not as good as Auntie Mame.


      Jan 17, 2009 at 12:34 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·

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