55 Gayest Ways You Met Your Significant Other(s), According to the Autostraddle Reader Survey

On the 2016 Autostraddle Reader Survey, we asked those of you with one or more significant others to tell us where you met your very special someone(s). 29% of you met online, 23% met at school, 18% met through friends, 6% at a bar or party and 4% at an LGBT event.

8.5% picked “Other” and provided us with your answer as a write-in. Also, lots of people wrote in answers even though they’d also checked off an aforementioned category, because you really wanted us to know the full expression of your personal truth. For that, we salute you. Thank you for being so open with us all.

We learned that just as it was in 2014, the best place to meet a queer lady besides the internet, A-Camp or an Autostraddle Meet-Up is roller derby or softball. If you’re not athletic, I hear that Tinder is a solid thumb workout.

So, here are the gayest ways you met your lover, pulled from the write-in box on the Autostraddle Reader Survey and ripped mercilessly out of context for your collective enjoyment:

1. Queer youth center, then later at the gay bar

2. Folk scene (trad. music and dance)

3. Sacred harp singing

4. A spiritual retreat

5. Peace Corps

6. She was my professor in college. We didn’t start dating until I’d been out of college for a few months.

7. She held the door for me at the library, I gave my best femme up-down-checking-you-out, she held eye contact for a full 30 seconds, I offered her reference help for a paper she was writing, I asked her out.

8. In a chat room for a Cathy DeBuono web series

9. LiveJournal- Lesbians Community

10. Online but not like online dating – we met through a fan forum for an Australian reality TV show contestant. We first met in person at one of said singer’s concerts organised by the fan forum.

11. Through her girlfriend.

12. She is my exes exes ex. And yes, our exes introduced us while we were still with them.

13. She was dating my friend and we did that lesbian thing where there’s messy emotional overlap but it all worked out in the end!

14. I was a customer at her cosmetics counter.

15. They are my bike mechanic.

16. At a local yoga studio.

17. Girl Scout camp is a magical place.

18. We went to nursery school together and met again as adults

18. Smashing the patriarchy and organizing for a rape crisis center on our college campus while also taking a gender studies class. Also I was a data point in her thesis. It was about gender neutral housing. We are gay.

19. At an A-Camp Introvert Meet-Up. We’ve been quiet together ever since.

20. In the sci-fi/fantasy section of the local bookshop

21. A science fiction convention

22. The Strand Bookstore Must Love Books Queer Lady Speed Dating

23. Lesbian Book Club

24. Volunteering at an LGBTQ Literary Event

25. Potterheads meet-up

26. At an Autostraddle London speed dating event :)

27. At our gay-ass sorority

28. At the intentional community/commune we used to live at.

29. We moved into a co-op at the same time and hung out in the kitchen a lot because we were both unemployed.

30. Shared accommodations while both doing research for our masters in the Arctic

31. On Autostraddle! I moved to a small city in the UK where there appeared to be no lesbians! But a quick search in the Autostraddle members directory proved otherwise (there was only one)

32. I was a student teacher looking for advice from my old mentor, she was in my mentors class. So it’s both work and school and yeah…makes me look like a creep.

33. At a Colleen Green show where there were only like 20 people total. we were both taking the subway home the same way and struck up a conversation

34. LGBTQ flag football league

35. Through British Army rugby

36. Paragliding, we are both pilots

37. She was coaching her son’s U6 soccer team and I was coaching my niece’s team. We played each other.

38. Poly events, kinky play parties and a Nightvale Dance Party

39. On Xbox live 8 years ago

40. AnimeFest

41. At a Black Lives Matter protest

42. Training for a crisis counseling hotline

43. At a weekly discussion meeting for anarchists

44. LGBT support group, back when you needed those

45. At a house show in Brooklyn

46. At a Drag Show

47. Adversaries in a musical competition who fell in love?

48. Local female fronted band competition. Essentially an LGBT event

49. I’m in a local LGBT youth facebook group thing for our city and we meet up every couple of weekends and hang out

50. Picked me up hitchhiking

51. Building an imaginary wardrobe. (Not a euphemism.)

52. Sadly

53. Church camp??!!

54. She was (and is) the cutest employee at the pet store so I asked her out while buying dog food.

55. Roller derby. Such cliché.

Where’s the gayest place you’ve met a special someone?

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Riese is the 41-year-old Co-Founder of Autostraddle.com as well as an award-winning writer, video-maker, LGBTQ+ Marketing consultant and aspiring cyber-performance artist who grew up in Michigan, lost her mind in New York and now lives in Los Angeles. Her work has appeared in nine books, magazines including Marie Claire and Curve, and all over the web including Nylon, Queerty, Nerve, Bitch, Emily Books and Jezebel. She had a very popular personal blog once upon a time, and then she recapped The L Word, and then she had the idea to make this place, and now here we all are! In 2016, she was nominated for a GLAAD Award for Outstanding Digital Journalism. She's Jewish and has a cute dog named Carol. Follow her on twitter and instagram.

Riese has written 3198 articles for us.


  1. At friends’s weekly rupaul’s drag race watching party. First date: Black lives matter protest.

  2. I kicked my partner’s butt in a debate tournament in high school and that is how we met. But we didn’t start dating then, because she was a very conservative christian. HA!

  3. I LOVE THIS QUESTION. My current relationship had an excellent meet-slutty, but he’s a cisdude SO…

    I very gayly met my first girlfriend when I was running our campuses Queer Resource Center and I fell for one of my staffers, who was simultaneously involved with my co-coordinator, me (in a dramatic emotional-but-not-dating sense), and random third girl from her dorm. Said staffer ran off my with co-coordinator, and I had Meaningful Eye Contact with dorm girl in the library and we fell in love and dated until the end of college. Staffer and dorm girl have since U-Hauled.

  4. #10 and #12 are hilarious (and gay). What I never understood is this bookshop meet-cute myth, although I am the biggest book nerd. I think it’s just that shopping for books is such a huge, serious thing for me. I don’t talk to people while shopping for books. I’m like “DON’T DISTURB”, also I get lost in the book instantly. Not the perfect flirt environment, though it sound so dreamy to my book-loving heart…

    • They didn’t meet shopping at the Strand, they met at a speed dating event there.

      I went to that same event, but struck out. Luckily, I met my future wife less than a month later via a short lived dating app, Crazy Blind Date. The very same app my best friend met her husband through!

    • Hahaha I submitted #12. I still can’t believe it actually happened and wasn’t just an episode of the L Word I watched a few too many times.

  5. Okay so we ended up not actually dating because we work better in a close alterous friendship/ playmateship where we talk all day erry day and confuse folk with our non relationship status, but they met my brother on okcupid and liked me better. And I think that’s beautiful.

  6. 23, 27, and 50 all sound like the plot of a bad porno. In fact, I messaged an adult entertainer(on tumblr) with the hopes of getting help to turn the plot #50 into one of those porno’s with a plot. It didn’t work out due to cost($1000 sans equipment, which I had if anyone has seen my FOT posts). It was going to be super queer as I had a trans woman and trans masculine person in the staring roll. I was going to call it Trans-Continental hitch hiking.

  7. HA! Mine is almost similar to #10…the only difference was just the part where it’s her sister I first “met” online (as friends) and then my SO tagged along on the first fan meet and greet and it was love at first sight for both parties. Surely a lot of firsts with this one :)

  8. I made the list! I’m the creep from 32…and apparently I’m admitting this. If it helps any there’s a “and folks- 11 years later I married her” ending to it. *shrugs*

  9. I love this so much and absolutely love that derby is on this list. My gf and I are a queer cliché and I couldn’t be happier about it <3

  10. We met on Tumblr, where we fell into mutual brain crushes by reading each other’s meta essays analyzing (gay) fictional characters and (gay) fanfic. We flirted with each other by spinning (gay) fanfic plots and porny scenarios together. Eventually, it progressed to us naked in the same bed, enthusiastically discussing (gay) fanfic and media until the sun came up. Now we write (gay) fanfic together!

  11. I DEMAND to know WHO HERE met their partner at Sacred Harp/what they called that made you swoon.

  12. #3! Makes me so happy! Young ladies, all attention give / You that in wicked pleasures live, amirite?

  13. I don’t know why, but I find #18 “I was a data point in her thesis” sexy as hell.

    Also, hi showrunners/movie people, look how much more awesome our lives are than boring tropes!

  14. I’m genuinely considering turning this WHOLE LIST into individual snippets of fan fiction for Carmilla or Buffy or something very wlw.

    Also I met my most recent gf at roller derby but we first bonded over the idea that when pokemon go would come out we would roam the streets on skates catching pokemon.

    My university gf I met at an LGBT society bar crawl and made friends with her and 4 other women/queer lady type people whom we referred to as the Kinsey 6. I think this is the point in life I started to attain Peak Gay.

  15. We were in a philosophy of sexuality class together in college, which is technically how we met, but we actually introduced ourselves when she complimented my Sappho tattoo at a campus feminist group meeting, and we got to know each other through a creative writing group she started with a few of our mutual friends.

  16. Okay, yes. So much yes.

    Also I met my current gf at a Tegan and Sara concert.
    And then the second time we met we BOTH dressed as Harley Quinn for a Halloween party.

    We’ve been together for three months. #gay

  17. To;dr we met through friends but the full story has a few cute gay details.

    Ensured my best friend at social work grad school didn’t bail on her first online date by inviting her over for a pep talk and to straighten her hair for her. They hit it off and one month in they thought they were ready to meet each other’s friends so they organized an outing to The Welcoming Committee’s screening of the Muppets Christmas. But they were still googly eyed so instead of getting to know my best friend’s new girlfriend I hung all night with her girlfriend’s best friend.

    We were both dating other people and took a few months to end up back at another Welcoming Committee event both single. We made out on the dance floor, went home together, and have been together ever since. 2 years later and the original couple are still together as well!

  18. We met on tumblr in high school and then later they put a call out asking for someone to do a drawing for part of an assignment in college for a small sum, so I obliged.

    Three years later our paths intersected again and we started dating and now we’ve been together for OVER TWO YEARS!

  19. I met my girlfriend at my college’s gay/LGBTQ+ club…of which I was the president at the time. The literal gayest.

  20. She did a stand-up comedy routine at an LGBTQ event where people told their coming out story in unique ways. The minute I saw her up there, I knew I was going to ask her out.

  21. These are SO GAY AND I LOVE IT. Met my lady on a co-ed softball team. Joined the team with my then-boyfriend and left the team with my first girlfriend. Whoops!

    #sorrynotsorry #marriedthreeyears

    For real though – is it gayer to meet your girlfriend playing softball, rugby, or roller derby? Is there like…a scale I’m not privy to?

    • Yesssss I love your story!
      I think based on highest absolute percentage of gay girls the gayest teams to meet on would gotta be:
      1) Rugby + Roller derby tie
      2) softball


    • i think we should combine them into one megagay frankensport. it’s like softball, but on rollerblades, and you can body-check the shortstop when you want to steal third.

  22. Oh yah! We’re number 36!!!! She’s an amazing pilot! I’m so happy that I decided to learn how to paraglide! She’s the best thing that’s ever happened to me! ❤️

  23. Kind of reddit, but we usually just tell people it was IRC. It was, in fact, the IRC channel for r/actuallesbians.

    At the time I was there while sorting my shit/working towards coming out. Was in a long term relationship with a guy at the time and not looking to meet anyone. We didn’t start flirting/talking until a while after I finally broke up with him and had moved out into my own place. We tried and failed to not date, finally gave up on that after a month of pretty much nonstop talking/flirting. It was long distance and neither of us wanted to do that, but it happened anyway. Our 5 year anniversary was last month.

  24. I didn’t meet my current girlfriend at girl scout camp, but as the only out one in my troop during large events we hosted I was sent to investigate a few too many “strange noises” coming from younger girl’s tents.

    If you are a pre-teen/teen hooking up at girl scout camp… I see you. I understand this may be the only time you get to hook up with your new boo, but please TRY to be quiet

  25. 47. Adversaries in a musical competition who fell in love?

    I see you, Kimber and Stormer.

  26. MMORPG. She was DPS. I was a healer. We’ve been fighting alongside each other ever since. Patriarchy, boss fights, it’s all the same.

  27. OK no 47 is just the Smashed fanfiction we all deserved. I refuse to believe it.

    15 may be the gayest thing I’ve ever heard though. Also I like how sci-fi and fantasy kept cropping up because I met everyone I’ve ever dated at the university’s sci-fi club. Sci-fi and fantasy are clearly just really queer and the sad puppies can go on being sad.

  28. I met my partner at a San Francisco Pride Autostraddle meetup!

    Technically we didn’t hit it off until the next day, which was the Autostraddle Dyke March Meetup, but we spoke for the first time the day before. I thought they were cute but also that they weren’t interested in me until they asked what decade I would prefer to be born in, which I think is totally flirting but they insist to this day was not. After hours of significant looks, some extended physical contact, and some encouragement from some new friends, I went for it, and the rest is history! Now I’m sitting in our bed, and our dog is snuggled up behind me.

  29. At a queer-otic dance party on Valentine’s Day. We’re getting married this Saturday.

  30. I saw her give a science presentation on her pollination research and fell in love immediately! It was def her sexy button down shirt that clued me in :)
    We were taking a geographic information services for conservation biology class in college and were working in a group, but as it goes, the third group member never showed up! First date: stargazing until it started pouring rain. Then we scooched in real close in the sleeping bags we brought And the rest is history :) still madly in love 3.5 yrs later

  31. I messaged her on OKC because we both have cats named Nova. But we didn’t meet in person until she started working in the same Planned Parenthood a week or so later. I didn’t know it was her. A gay romcom courtship then ensued.

  32. My bike mechanic is a 70 year old man that tells me the same joke every single time I see him. But I wreck a lot so I figure we’re even.

  33. At a gay club during Pride! We were dancing innocently, and my ex gf helped me flirt with them (we were poly), I got their number, the rest is sappy sappy history.

  34. I was working in a secondhand bookshop, and she was too gay to function, so the friend she came in with was hitting on me instead. I dumped my abusive ex-GF the next day (it was going to happen anyway), and I started dated the other friend first about a month after I first met them. We decided it wasn’t working as a romantic relationship, so we unfolded (which I termed, because “breaking up” sounds really horrible when it wasn’t as yucky as it sounds). (We are still awesome friends, and we play boardgames and Magic the Gathering on Wednesday nights with a bunch of nerdy LGBT peeps).

    A position came up at the bookshop, so my GF applied for the position, got the job, and a few months later we finally admitted that we had a crush on one another and started dating. Except it was a bit more dramatic than that, because we’d both admitted to having a crush on one another to the friend I originally dated, who then proceeded to tell us that we were both ridiculous nerds and that we had crushes on one another.

    It’s been almost a year! We’re both really happy, and I’ve finally started to feel like the emotional abuse from the ex isn’t affecting me on a daily basis.

  35. They commented religiously on each chapter of the extremely raunchy fan fic I was posting and freaked out when I followed them on Tumblr. I discovered they anonymously wrote one of MY favorite dirty fics. I knew I wanted to marry them from the first convo. (We got married this December.)

  36. I’d just started at a new job and the other staff member who sort of adopted me kept mentioning this queer girl who was still on holiday. According to my new mentor she was nice enough but a real hard case about doing the job properly and working hard.

    After four days of this, I was working at my desk when a deep voice intruded asking who I was and where was the unit Manager? I looked up, startled and saw this beautiful quirky mouth, smiling at me and some very twinkling brown eyes. I supplied the demanded info and she winked and departed. My mentor friend, having observed all this, remarked that she’s “really not that bad” and I shouldn’t worry about her. I turned to her and said, quite spontaneously blurted….I’ll marry her one day.
    Well, we still can’t do that in this country but we have been together almost from that day to this and that was 39 years ago.
    By the way, my mentor’s jaw nearly broke on the carpet as it dropped.

  37. I’m #51! It was an improv class.
    We’re married with a baby on the way now (non-imaginary).


    Also “femme up-down-checking-you-out” ?

  39. I can’t anyone hasn’t posted this before me, yet:#14

    P.S.In case this doesn’t work out: It’s Root in POI sipping an iced coffee.You know.

  40. my girlfriend and i go to school together; i convened our LGBT group and we met through a giant circle of queer friends

  41. I messaged her one morning on OkCupid to ask her if she was planning to attend the community Pride I was going to photograph that day and she said yes, that she’d be playing a drum in the samba band.

    I eyed her at the march, but I was too shy to go and say hi, so I took lots of pictures of the samba band until one of them (crusty cis punk dude) started yelling at me, telling me to fuck off. I was so embarrassed that I made a run for it and didn’t take any more pictures for the whole event.

    Later on the day, she came to me to apologise about the dude shouting at me and I decided that I was going to marry her one day.

    It’s been only one year, but I still feel the same.

  42. Why have I never met anyone in the sci-fi/fantasy section of the local bookshop!? I spend so much time there!!!

    But I have met three girlfriends/dates through roller derby, so there is that…

  43. I love all of these! Every. Single. Time. I take one of these reader surveys, the social scientist in me is like “pick the best answer so they have a datapoint, don’t just fill out ‘other'”. Ya’ll rock.

    • Your profile pic makes me think that a yarn store meet-cute would be adorably rad! ? ?

  44. We met on a Facebook group for queer nerdfighters. Were friends online for a couple of years, then met in person at a super liberal church camp.

  45. We went to the same women’s college and we met through a mutual friend in their dorm’s common room. By the time we started dating two months later our friends said “It’s about time!” We had been cuddling and occasionally falling asleep together since the first week. I read most of these comments aloud to her and now she is asleep in my lap. Our dog is asleep on the floor, at the foot of our bed. I need to go now and take our fluffy girl out for a walk so my love and I can fall asleep snuggled up together. We will have been together 13 years in April, and married for 5. And one year ago she gave me permission to have a girlfriend; our anniversary is coming up too!

  46. A few of mine:
    -at a Lesbian Enchilada Gathering
    -at a friend’s “I’m going to jail tomorrow for pissing off the police” party
    -best friend’s partner’s partner (that one and I are no longer dating but the rest of them are and they just got a house together! #polyamfam)
    -at queeraoke and she had just come from a onesie pub crawl
    -at the Sac Orlando Vigil

    • Spouse: we were both working as counselors at a queer social services agency. I still work there; they work at another agency. The client files used to be kept in a closet, so we would make up excuses to be in the closet at the same time. And, yes, everyone DID make jokes about coming out of the closet. Every day. Multiple times.
      They are AMAB and usually present pretty masc. I was only mildly interested in them for the first few months I knew them. Then, one night, at our agency’s huge annual fundraiser party, they came dressed SUPER femme and my jaw hit the floor. I didn’t even recognize them at first, asking my friend, “who is THAT?”
      We kissed for the first time that night and the rest is queer history.

      Most recent sexy person of interest (not a gf yet?): at a women’s weekend retreat. The specific details of the night we met are, like….not PG.

      (Yes, spouse and I are poly.)

  47. Uh, we met in poetry class. We were assigned to do our final project together. ?

  48. Band Camp 2007: I was shy and closeted and instantly attracted. A year later I came out, she thought my snark was funny(thankfully) and she complimented me on my tie. We’ve been married going on 5 years now!

  49. Met a girl one Halloween while I was dressed as Batman and she as Batgirl. Met my ex at NY Pride. Another girl was my roommate’s weed dealer.

  50. Met my current partner through Tinder and met my most recent ex through our college jazz band. Pretty gay overall.

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