What Is the "Gay Meter Effect" on Instagram and How Does It Work?

Amber Garrett - Author

May 12 2020, Updated 11:27 a.m. ET

gaymeter instagram effect
Source: tiktok

Though it was created months ago, the latest Instagram effect sweeping your friends' Instagram stories and your TikTok feed is the "gay meter" filter, which has a sliding scale to show friends where you sit on the spectrum from super super queer to straight as an arrow. It's silly and unscientific, yes, but who cares, right? You can do it over and over again until the meter lands where you think it should. 

Here's what the gay meter effect on Instagram looks like and how to add it to your stories.

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What is the "Gay Meter" effect on Instagram and how do I get it?

There are actually a couple filters that perform similarly with different looks, so we'll walk you through all of them and how to add them to your stories. Our favorite comes from Italian filter creator @francescomazzinii. We like it because it simply illustrates that sexuality is a spectrum and though there are people who are totally straight and totally gay, most of us land somewhere between the two. 

gay meter instagram effect
Source: instagram
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But if you prefer to see these things reported in numbers, there are three similar filters that "calculate" your gayness in a percentage:

To add any of these filters, search for either the user name or the title of the filter in the Effect Gallery, which you can find by swiping left through all the filters on the "create story" screen until you reach the "Browse Effects" button at the end. 

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You can either try it from that screen or add it to your effects. Then just tap and hold the shutter button in the middle to take a selfie video of yourself with the gauge over your head until it stops. That's all there is to it! You can share it on Instagram, or as a lot of people have been doing, post it on TikTok.

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Is the gay meter effect homophobic?

Look, it's not that deep. It's just a fun way to proclaim to your friends how straight or not straight a random filter thinks you are. But if it helps, it would seem at least a couple of the creators behind this effect are LGBTQ+ themselves. 

And it's about as scientific as this filter that tells you your genetic heritage — unless you truly think you are 88 percent mole. 

(Actually, if you want to get a little nerdy for a sec, our DNA is actually very similar to that of many animals on earth. Small changes make a big difference — as evidenced by the fact that there is only at 2 percent difference between human DNA and that of a chimpanzee.)

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But we digress — the point is: no, the gay meter effect is not homophobic. The only thing that would be homophobic is if you are offended, repulsed, or angry at a randomly generated Instagram effect suggesting you're gay. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ 

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