Y’all have some problems meeting gay people. We know this because for as long as we’ve had homogay ‘internet presences’ you’ve been asking us how to make queer friends/meet girls. We’ve answered you, periodically.
But apparently not periodically enough:
Although Laneia is convinced she’s the only lesbian in Phoenix (I’m positive this is not so, someone please back me up in the comments), most of us here on Team Autostraddle possess a relatively healthy posse of queer friends. Or at least it seems that way when we assemble for homogay events/marches/parties/prides tri-annually.
We feel very lucky for this and so we’ve decided to enlist the troops and answer the question “how do I meet other queers?” once and for all.
+ If you are looking for an answer to the question “How do I hit on chicks?”, we have an article for that: How to Pick Up Chicks.
+ Asking yourself “How do I date a chick?” We have an article for that: 10 Simple Rules For Properly Courting a Lesbian.
+ Curious about how to get a girl to sleep over? Coincidentally, we have an article for that, too: 8 Steps Every Girl Can Take to Get a Girl to Sleep Over.
+ Interested in sharing a special snack with your special new friend/’special’ friend? Top Ten Cookies.
Are you ready? Let’s begin.
On the Job:
Kelsey: GET A JOB! No really. Go get a job. It doesn’t even have to be a gay job. Though I’ve had those. Jobs in the Straight World tend to be teeming with undercover gays. If you see a printer jam, wait approx 2 minutes and most likely a gay lady will arrive to fix. In my opinion, regular ol’ jobs tend to be the best places to meet other gay ladies, whether for friendsies, FWB, or future partner material. If there are slimmer pickins’ at Your Job, all the better for you.
Fit for a Femme: Hang out where your friends work, if applicable. Someone I know just met a pretty thing to nibble on that way recently.
Concerts for Queer Musicians
Crystal: I’ve met the majority of my queer friends at concerts. Gay girls are fairly serious about supporting their local gay musicians, and so go check out a few shows. If your town has an all-female band then that’s a good place to start, their concerts will probably be filled with potential queer friends. I always find it easiest to make friends with the musicians themselves because you already have a reason to strike up a conversation with them: to tell them that you enjoyed their show. Ask them when they’re playing next, and go to that one too. Just keep showing up.
Join any Club/Team That Will
Have You as a Member
Intern Hot Laura: Do you have a bike co-op in your city? I bet you do, and I bet there are a bunch of cute girls running around with bike grease on their noses. Even if you don’t meet anybody, you get to learn how to build a bike which is kind of like carrying around a lighter just in case a cute girl asks for a light only better because you get to come their their rescue and fix their broken tire.
FFAF: Join a book club or writing group or DIY photography workshop – in fact, DIY anything would work.
Crystal: Go to the roller derby.
All of the queer girls are at the roller derby. All of them. Roller derby is wall-to-wall lesbians and I’ve witnessed countless girls strike up new friendships while watching a game. It’s quite easy to do because if there’s one thing that roller derby fans love, it’s sharing their knowledge of the game with newbies. So if there’s a team in your city, go see them play. Saddle up beside a group of cute girls in the suicide seats (where all the serious fans sit) and ask them to explain the rules to you. I think you’ll make some new friends in no time.
On the Internet
We have cited the internet multiple times as the best way to meet other gays. Clearly this IS the internet, so we’re biased, but we’ve found most of our friends right here, or via Riese’s prior blogs (that’s where most of the team comes from — readers of her blog and the friends she met through those people, etc). We hear OKCupid is a thing, also.
Intern Emily: Find someone on autostraddle who lives near you. Give them your email. Go for a walk. Walks are free.
Riese: It could be different now, but back when I was a baby (23) I responded to an ad on craigslist w4w by a girl who said she was bi, went to Columbia, played soccer, liked ‘420’ and was looking for other bi girls to go out with and be friends and brave the scary queer world together. The first time we met it was absurdly awkward but it got progressively better all the way to “more comfortable than I am with anyone, really.” We’ve been through a ton together — so many life phases! — and we’re still friends now, and it’s through her intrepid online friend-gathering that I met Lainy, who met my now-best-friend Haviland on friendster and then invited her to a thing that I was also at, which is how I met Haviland. So! The point of this is: craigslist could be a thing? The key to it being non-intimidating was that we both earnestly wanted new friends, yannow?
Laneia: Find a queer girl who writes a blog with a lot of feelings and send her emails about your feelings. Read books. When the queer girl with a blog starts an online magazine, help her. Accost people on gchat. When the queer girl with a blog has parties and introduces you to her friends, be really nice to them and say things with your mouth and eyes. If one of them is especially neat, write them an email and be their friend. Be really honest and take a lot of anti-anxiety medication. Don’t get an alternative lifestyle haircut unless you really want to. Buy at least one v-neck. Smile.
Intern Emily: Start a blog. Write in it for 2 years. Take a 3-day hiatus and then ask for people in your city to email you.
Stick “queer-friendly” or “LGBT friendly” in your craigslist post and the girls will come a-runnin’, with plenty of gay friends of their own in tow. You kill like 40 birds with one stone and can listen to Tegan & Sara all the time.
In a Women’s Studies/Gender Studies Class
You can check out this directory of LGBT/Queer Studies programs at universities all around the country! Also you should participate in class. The girls who participate are the hottest.
bcw: Women’s Studies classes are a great place to meet women: everybody’s pretty much a feminist already so you can have brainsexy conversations, which are great for continuing in bars after class. Watch yourself with those hot profs, though.
At your LGBT Campus Group in College or High School
Taylor: In college, before I was very out or strongly identified, I started nervously attending a few events held by our school’s LGBT office. Fast forward a year and I was running on-campus queer workshops every week, and I’d scored a vast posse of passionate forward-thinking activist gays, just like that! Before I worked for our LGBT office I felt super shy at queer events, so if your school has an active LGBT organization, considering signing up or applying and dive right in. The LGBT office became a second home, which was great for between-class naps and meeting hotties, of course.
Intern Emily: Go to your school’s queer club. It’ll be awkward. You might go on a lunch date with a cute girl who brings her girlfriend. You might make some friends though.
Gay Bars and Gay Events!
Obviously this can be an intimidating situation, but a lot of getting-to-know-other-girls at these bars won’t happen with one initial awkward visit. You have to go back. And go back. And go back. And eventually you will have no choice but to feel comfortable there, because it’s a place you go a lot. Then maybe you will talk to strangers or get 25 people to kiss you for your 25th birthday. It’s a thing, you can keep score on your arm with a pen. If you live in New York City, GO Magazine has the most thorough, up-to-date bar/event listings.
Intern Emily: Go to a gay bar. Get really drunk and talk to everyone.
Riese: When you’re at the gay bar or lesbian night, you will think thoughts like ‘nobody here wants to talk to me’ or ‘everyone here has a girlfriend’ or ‘why are lesbians so intimidating’ and you need to suppress all of those feelings and cover them with a new feeling and that new feeling is ‘what’s the worst thing that can happen, I’ll get rejected?’ and I KNOW I KNOW I KNOW that seems petrifying, as though being rejected is the worst thing that could ever happen to you as a human being. But it’s actually not — your confidence is sexier than your outfit will ever be, and girls are so weird and have so many issues/reasons to potentially reject you that you can’t take any one rejection personally. Just make eye contact. Say hi. It doesn’t have to be sexual. Imagine yourself in her shoes and think about how you’d want her to approach you.
FFAF: Don’t be a scaredy cat! Go to a bar/club/show alone. In fact, this is how I met my wife 5.68 years ago.
Some General Tips
GROW A PAIR:
Sarah Croce: I used to be shy. My answer? Grow a pair. Figure out what is awesome about you and confidently strike up conversations with random people. They don’t have to be gay. Oftentimes you’ll find most girls are bi, or curious, or have gay friends. Straight people love to tell you they have gay friends and they always think you should hook up with them like there’s some kind of gay drought and in order to prosper and save the lesbian race we all need to mate feverishly. It’s like they don’t know we can’t procreate. And they always ask how lesbians have sex.
Start Small, Build a Lesbian Posse:
Jess R : Create your own Lesbian Posse. You only need 1 or 2 other gay friends to start – tell them to invite a few other queers they know (if you don’t have any other gay friends – they do!) and plan little events for yourselves like dinner at an apartment, movie night, bowling night, ski/hiking day trip, etc. Make it a weekly thing so you always have something to look forward to and as the weeks go by the lesbian phone tree will grow longer and longer and after a few months you’ll have your very own Lesbian Posse.
Intern Emily: Unfortunately, meeting new people means you have to be brave and approach them and talk to them and find things to talk about and spend a lot of time obsessing about what to wear, etc. It’s a lot of social anxiety and you might want to take some pills for that, but also, you feel really good after.
Be Old-Fashioned and Venture Outside of Your Comfort Zone:
FFAF: Get outside of your comfort zone. I hear lots of girls complaining about how it’s all the same people, the same girls, wah-wah-wah. Drive to a nearby city, take that train underwater, bike it, bus it, but don’t expect to meet new, exciting girls by doing the same shit that hasn’t worked for so far.
Also, be old-fashioned. Pretend there’s no internet and remember what it’s like to be polite and gracious and genuine IRL, and extend real invitations and cultivate real lasting friendships. It’s easy for things to fall through the cracks with internet-based connections; they need to be nurtured for reals. Being old-fashioned reminds us all a little of what it takes to maintain the kinds of relationships that we want!
Gays are Everywhere:
Rachel: Remember in The Wizard of Oz where Dorothy realizes that what she was looking for was in her backyard/home/heart the whole time? You are a gay person, and you like to do things/go places. Chances are other gay people also enjoy these things/places and are probably already there! Look around your job/library/capoeira class/favorite coffeeshop/yarn store/whatever and probably there are queer people there. Like really, if there are more than 10 people in the building it’s statistically very likely that you will find someone else there who is also a huge gaymo. You just have to be brave and talk to people and not be shy about being gay yourself; they will probably be very relieved and respond in kind.
OKAY SO THIS IS THE PART WHERE YOU ALL MEET EACH OTHER. Become friends!! TALK IN THE COMMENTS!