Tuesday, April 24, 2012


Future In-Laws, Appealing Coworkers, and Lesbians With Interests (?!)

Ima try to keep this snappy. I'm queer. I'm in an open marriage. I live in Utah. I'm only a year into this, so I have wobbly newborn queer legs and I suck at coming out, especially when it comes to the open relationship bit.

SO, there's this girl I work with ... we drunkenly confessed crushes on each other one night ... my confession in all seriousness and hers potentially in a I'm-totally-straight-but-I-like-your-hair kind of way. I don't know. I would really like to bring it up again and find out more. Is it worth it to possibly ruin a nice work relationship with her and jeopardize my job if she doesn't take it well? Sexual orientation isn't a protected class here (obvs:( ) and I don't know how management would react to my queerness if it got around. Is there a less risky way to go about this?

So many questions. How do I go about bringing up my open relationship? Are there times when it is inappropriate? Like work? I'm tired of all the assumptions that we are straight and monogamous by default, but how do I politely correct them? Should I correct them? 

Oh, yikes. As much as I am in favor of you getting your extracurricular partner-sanctioned girl-on-girl groove on, there are just so many potential minefields here. Even if your company has no problem with you being queer — which is a difficult thing to test, aside from coming out at work and seeing whether you still have a job — they may very well have a policy against intra-office dating. And even if they don't, what if you hook up with this girl for a little while and then break up and have to see her at work all the time? Or you confess your love, and she's like “um, wow, no,” and then every time your eyes meet over the coffee maker you have to go and hide under your desk for an hour.

I really really hate to say you should stay in the closet, because I always think that coming out is the best thing you can do both in terms of increased queer visibility in the world and in terms of your own personal sanity and heart/vagina, but ... I can't in good conscience tell you to pursue a relationship if you're (legitimately, it sounds like) worried it could get you fired. Unless you think the lady you're crushing on is worth losing your job over — and since you're only in the market for some on-the-side fun, she probably isn't — I'm sorry, but I have to advise you to keep it in your pants. 

With those cautionary words firmly in mind, though, I'll admit there may be some wiggle room here. Given that you had the chance to get drunk and confess your crush to her, you two must be hanging out away from the office occasionally (right? I mean, you weren't getting faced while on the clock, were you?). So the next time you're at the bar, I think it wouldn't be the world's worst idea to casually let something slip. If you're talking about celebrity crushes, for instance, you might bring up how badly you've got the hots for Zoe Saldana — you might even mention that your husband wouldn't mind if you and Zoe slipped away for a night of torrid, sweaty romance. The trick, if you can manage, is to keep it light and casual while giving her just enough information that she knows the door is open. If she doesn't walk through it, though, it's time to let the matter drop.

With people who aren't your coworkers, I don't think it's ever inappropriate to correct their misconceptions about your marriage or your orientation. You can just matter-of-factly say “Actually, I'm into women too,” or “Actually, we're not monogamous” — although you should definitely be prepared to answer some follow-up questions.

For a little over a year I’ve been dating a guy who is warm, supportive, sweet, open, kind, and so good in the sack it’s been kind of a revelation. 

He’s also bisexual, which I knew before I started dating him and I’m fine about. We even argue about how hot different guys are, which is pretty fun (though I think he likes Taylor Kitsch a little TOO much). And I’m really not the kind of person who wants a vanilla guy anyway.

The thing that’s getting to me though is this: is it fair for me to demand a monogamous relationship when I know there are things he wants sexually that I simply can’t give him (‘cause of not having a penis/being a woman). He has always had open relationships in the past which has allowed him to play both sides, and I feel like I should offer that to him because I want him to be happy and fulfilled. But when I think about him with someone else my heart just curls up and dies. I can’t bear the thought of sharing him with anyone, it utterly terrifies me even considering it. 

I should say that there is no pressure at all from him for an open relationship. When we talk about it, he says he knows that there is no one who can give him everything he wants, and that he’d rather have me than anyone else, male or female. But still, I feel like I’m denying him something. And when he is so incredibly supportive and open to doing anything I want to do, it feels like I’m being unfair and ungenerous.  

How do I reconcile my desire to be as open-minded and supportive to him as he is to me, with my apparent total inability to put aside jealousy and insecurity and allow him to find what he needs outside our relationship? Should I just accept that this is his choice to be with me, even if it might mean he NEVER gets to bang another dude? And why exactly DOES everyone find Taylor Kitsch so hot? Isn’t he kind of bland? 

I couldn't remember what Taylor Kitsch looked like, so I Googled him, and in the five seconds since I looked at the image results I've forgotten what he looks like again. So, I'm gonna go ahead and agree with you: boyfriend is bland, and your dude has kind of boring taste in boys. But, whatever, it takes all kinds, and I'm sure you have some celeb crushes he can't get down with either. I don't think it makes you fundamentally incompatible as a couple.

More importantly, I don't think you being monogamous is incompatible with your boyfriend being bisexual. You've got things all tangled up in your head, sweetheart. You've confused bisexuality with non-monogamy, and non-monogamy with being a cool and laid-back person, so no wonder you're having a hell of a time. But there are plenty of monogamous bisexuals out there, just like there are polyamorous straight people, and folks in open relationships who are nevertheless rife with insecurity and suspicion. Being uninterested in having an open relationship isn't a character flaw — it's just the way you're wired. It doesn't make you “jealous” or “insecure.” I mean, maybe you are jealous or insecure, I don't know your life. But a strong preference for your gentleman caller to refrain from fucking other people does not have any bearing on your jealousy/insecurity status.

Your boyfriend, it sounds like, is a bi dude who can take or leave monogamy, but is happy to give up Taylor Kitsch to be with you. It's really no different than if he were a straight dude giving up banging other chicks because you're more important to him — if he's happy with your relationship, there's no reason for you to be worried. Trust him when he says that he doesn't want anyone else.

As far as your concern that you're not giving him everything he wants in the sack: girl, get yourself a strap-on! No, it's not exactly the same (if you ask me it's a vast improvement — they come in all different colors!), but if you're really worried that your boyfriend is wasting away for want of cock, well, goodvibes.com is just a click away.

I'm a 32-year-old queer chick who's in a relationship with a man I will likely marry in the next year or so. My history is this: from ages 18 – 28, I only dated women and trans guys. Then a few years ago, I started dating non-trans men almost exclusively. Having spent my 20s deeply entrenched in dyke culture in NYC, this was a big shift for me, identity-wise and community-wise. A year ago I met my current (non-trans) boyfriend and it was very clear from early on that it was just Right. He gets that I used to be a dyke and now identify as queer. It is Not A Problem.  

Now that we're contemplating marriage, though, we're stumped by how to reveal my dyke past & queer identity to his parents. Over the holidays, I started to feel closeted by them not knowing I used to date women. I noticed myself withholding little anecdotes from my past that would have marked me as queer. This did not feel good.

I don't think my past is a big deal, but I'm afraid his parents will think it is. I don't want his parents to be shocked and feel like I/we kept this from them if they find out through, say, a revealing toast at our wedding. Then again, I don't want to make telling them into some big coming out production: "sit down, we have something to tell you." Top 10 conversations I do NOT want to have with my boyfriend's stepmother: "so is this just a phase? are you going to leave my stepson for a woman?" 

Maybe I'm just dreading having to come out AGAIN, after doing it over and over throughout my whole life. On some level I'm afraid that telling them will ruin their image of me as the perfect daughter-in-law. I guess I see my past as a deficit when I look at it through the eyes of my 60-something straight, unsuspecting future in-laws. That's some internalized homophobia right there.

Can you help me think about how to approach this, or maybe just offer a new way of looking at it? I'm not sure what to do. 

It's so much harder to come out when you're in a hetero relationship, isn't it? You can't just drop the phrase “my girlfriend” or mention your female partner's name and expect everyone to go “oh, okay,” and revise their mental file on you accordingly. So what do you disclose, and how much, and do you need to sit them down and talk to them while wearing your The Test Results Came Back face, and, and, and ... Okay, chill out.

As is so often the case with me, I think that the easiest way of handling this may also be the best. All those little anecdotes you're stifling because they would give away your queerness? Let 'em out. Mention your ex-girlfriends, your favorite memories from Pride, whatever you've been editing out for fear of being judged. Bring them up just as casually as you would with people who already know about your sordid, lady-lovin' past. If you're really lucky, his parents won't want to make a big deal about it, so they'll wait until you're gone, then ask your dude: “So, when she said 'girlfriend,' did she mean...?” and he'll say “Yep” and they'll go “Oh, okay” and you never have to bother with “coming out” to them at all.

If you're slightly less lucky, they might ask you to explain, which is when you act surprised that they don't already know. “Oh, did I not mention that I sometimes date women? I guess I forgot to tell you because it's so not a big deal.” Make it clear that this is not A Huge Revelation, just a new fact they're learning about you, the same as if they didn't know that you played volleyball in high school. Unless they are massively homophobic juiceboxes or just ridiculously socially inept, they should be able to take it in stride. It's part of your past, not your present, and it has basically no bearing on your relationship with them.

Obviously, if they ARE homophobic juiceboxes, this approach will not work, so maybe check with your boyfriend before proceeding? In that eventuality, I guess just avoid the topic for as long as it takes you to convince your dude to Get Rid Of His Parents, Seriously, They Are Revolting.

I wrote this whole letter (under 300 words, natch) full of backstory, then deleted it because the details don't really matter. Here's my question: is it at all possible to find a queer chick who wants to talk about things other than being queer and do things other than queer-themed events? Yes, community is nice, laughing/crying/otherwise emoting over our respective experiences builds trust and shows intimacy and blah blah blah, and meeting someone for the first time at an event sponsored by the local LGBT center makes the whole thing safer and less awkward. But is that really all dykes do and talk about?

I can't speak for anyone else, but I have other interests and characteristics, and we can only get so far into conversation if the starting point is, "omg, you're gay? Like, ME TOO!" when we're sitting next to each other in the community center waiting for But I'm a Cheerleader to start. Talking about the movie brings on a recitation of all the other Films With Lesbians that she's seen, and ... well, sometimes I like films without lesbians. Like Harry Potter. But did you know that the woman who plays Petunia Dursley is a lesbian, and the woman who plays Madam Maxine played a lesbian in a scene that was cut from Love, Actually? And by this point my friendly smile has turned into a terrifying rictus as my mind races, trying to figure out a way to escape that doesn't involve climbing over the women on the other side of me, who are deep into discussing whether they like Amy or Emily better. 

To wit: whither all the other chicks with actual interests beyond the part of their psyche that likes licking carpet? Surely I'm not the only one ... I hope.

I am trying very very hard not to roll my eyes here, but your level of scorn for every lesbian you've ever met in your life is frankly just a little off-putting. Are you sure there's not a teeny bit of confirmation bias going on here? Like you meet a cool dyke, and you start talking, and then as soon as she says anything about lesbian culture you roll your eyes and go “ugh, not another one” and write her off as a friend/source of makeouts? Because it kind of sounds like that's what you're doing, and if that is the case then you need to chill a little.

Off the top of my head, my queer friends and I are likely to talk about: poetry, horror movies, politics, Doctor Who, future travel plans, career plans, books, the ballet, our families, our cats ... okay, fine, mostly we just talk about horror movies and Doctor Who, but that other stuff comes up occasionally. I understand some people also talk about sports. Lesbians, in general, are very much like normal human beings in our enthusiasm for a variety of topics and endeavors. So why is everyone you meet stuck on this one track? Probably because you're meeting them at queer-themed events, and the only thing they know you have in common is being homos. It's kind of like you're exclusively meeting women at the dog park, and you're writing to me going “Why are chicks so obsessed with their dogs?!”

Branching out from the safety of common ground can be intimidating when you've just met someone, so cut your potential paramours some slack — you may have to take the lead in bringing up other topics, and it might not happen until you're getting to know each other a little better. Waiting for a movie to start isn't the greatest opportunity for in-depth conversation; if the lesbian cinema aficionado next to you seems cute and smart, maybe you should ask her out for coffee, and ask her about herself. You might find that she has a lot if interesting things to say.

Finally, please never say “licking carpet” again. Carpets are gross and have cat hair in them. Thanks ever so much.

Previously: First Loves, Breakup Guilt, and Rainbows Painted With Watercolors.

Lindsay Miller knows everything (and is now on Twitter!). Do you have a question for her? (300-word max, please.)

Photo by Anna Sedneva, via Shutterstock

268 Comments / Post A Comment




@lil_bobbytables I know, right? What was LW4 even thinking? That all the queer chicks of the 'verse would just chime in happily saying that no, they really are into QUEERTHINGSALLTHETIME.

No people are a monolith, thank god.

EDIT I swear I meant to type the 'pin, not the 'verse, but my geekery is showing.


@lil_bobbytables more broadly, I think Lindsay got it right by saying (basically) "well, duh, this is why small talk is lame generally." I mean, you could make this complaint with all kinds of things--"why does everyone like to mention the weather? why do we always end up talking about office gossip at coworker happy hour? why does the coworker I have nothing in common with other than the fact that we both like Community always want to talk about Community?"

common ground-based conversations are never going to be super fascinating, but they're a good jumping-off point for the real getting-to-know-you.


@nonvolleyball I totally agree, I just thought the question in general fell under 'what the hell?' territory. Was LW4 actually wondering if there were NO OTHER QUEER CHICKS IN THE MULTIVERSE who was interested in discussing things other than queer issues at any point? Lindsay had all the good points.


@lil_bobbytables Maybe LW4 shouldn't have deleted those 300 words, because I'm having a hard time figuring out what kind of backstory could excuse such a ridiculous question.

Good grief, indeed.


@Kristen I'm guessing maybe LW4 deleted those 300 words because she is well aware of just how horrible she sounds and those 300 words would just have dug the hole deeper.


@lil_bobbytables I feel like this is something I might have said when I was 19, and coming out in a conservative town, and trying to figure out how to meet girls & navigate queerness & what that meant in the scope of a fairly repressive culture. So. . . depending on how old LW4 is & where she's situated, my response ranges from a tiny bit of compassion (I was a jerky 19 year old) to side-eye. Still, in either case, LW4, grow up! It's lots more fun once you do!


@Kristen Yeahh that's what I'm thinking? Maybe the last two women she dated WERE actually the way she's now describing ALL lesbians to be? Or something? LW4, put those 300 words back to justify your Why do all ____ only talk about ____ question!


@Kristen It's pretty much a constant across all theme/niche events that there are going to be some people there who are just a little too into it. News at forever.

That having been said, generally the point of these things is to meet other people who are queer/into magic tricks/musicians/whatever and maybe scrounge up some people with whom you have more than that in common and see if you like them and maybe now you have some new friends. So if you're too busy dissing/fleeing from in terror everyone at these events to meet anyone you'd want to see in another setting, I'm not sure why you'd keep going? Breaking the ice and getting past that awkward small-talk phase is the standard dues any community mixer demands unless they're kicking it AA-style and making everyone tell their life-story to the group before being admitted.

Lila Fowler

@lil_bobbytables I'm going to go ahead and guess that LW4 is in college. I feel like most of my queer friends in college went through a period where they were starting to get really comfortable with their identity and everything they did was super queer. Queer breakfast! Queer Bollywood night! Queer mix tape making! Which was cool because I was really into that too, but I can see how other queer folks might find that exhausting.

If you don't want to talk about political queer stuff all the time, stop going to queer political events. Or take a breather from them. Queer people are everywhere and if you project queer friendly vibes, they will come to you! They will come to you and talk about their love for Harry Potter and cereal and the songs of Ace of Base


@aphrabean @Lila Fowler ...yeah. My first thought was, "hmmm. this sounds A LOT like High School." Criticism still stands, but if the ladies she's talking about aren't adults, either, and also have a relatively small sample size (so to speak), it might not be quite as "WOAH! Left field!" as it initially seems.


@Lila Fowler ACE OF BASE!


@lil_bobbytables I have never encountered this. Honestly, never. Are there men and women out there who only talk about being queer? This sounds like Not A Thing. LW should try a novel approach. Say, talking about other things herself. I can't imagine she starts a line of conversation and the person she's speaking to always manages to say, "Yeah, that's great, but back to being gay. Don't you just love it?" Also, I concur--never never never say "licking carpet."


@dtowngirl My queerness is so queer but I'm also queerly worried about my queerness.


@wee_ramekin Hmmm, how queer.

@dtowngirl In a lot of rural communities, this is A Thing.


@dtowngirl Yes, this. She sounds like the cranky lady at a party by herself in the corner muttering about how no one ever comes over to talk to her. If you want to meet people, introduce yourself. If you want to talk about nonqueer topics, introduce one that interests you.

Also, tell jokes. I like it when people tell jokes.

@wee_ramekin We should process. Do you want to go out for tea?


@S. Elizabeth Only if you queerly ask me about my queerness, ya queer.

@wee_ramekin What do you like it to be called, "yoni" or "blushing life flower?" Would you like to snack on some vegan granola (cruelty free honey!) while we exchange coming out stories? We should cuddle and watch The L Word.

But in all seriousness, I'm kind of pissed about how much people have jumped down LW#4's throat.


@S. Elizabeth Let's buy a juicer.

Welp, since I'm one of the jumpers-down-throats, I can say that I bristled at her letter because of the cavalier style and kind of bitchy tone in which it was written. I can understand being frustrated with having to talk about your sexual identity all the time, I do. But the way her letter reads to me is "I go to Lesbian Films Nights/Queer Gatherings etc. and then find I'm THE ONLY QUEER who is enlightened enough to not want to talk about how queer we are. God, get your faces out of the carpets!".

I read your comments below, and you bring a perspective to the discussion that I hadn't considered. I can definitely see how the letter writer might experience the feelings you talk about. Again though, I feel like it's worthy of a major eye-roll when someone writes in and conveys through word and tone that all of us queers are somehow less unique/special/enlightened than they are.

(Also, I gots to sign off of the 'Pin now and finish up some stats homework, so I won't be replying right away if you respond. Don't want to come off as rude! :) )

@wee_ramekin I think I'm inclined to take a big step back and be all "I'm not the subject of that letter," so I didn't count myself as part of the "all the queers." But I do understand why people were bothered by the tone, or if they took LW#4's letter as being directed at all lesbians/queer chicks.

I <3 the Hairpin because of responses like yours, wee_rams. I was sort of afraid to write a response because when I read LW#4's letter, I was like "Amen Sister! Tell it like it is!" either because I was in the same situation, or because I was projecting my own experiences on to it -- of being femme and being told that I should dress more lesbian-ish, of not being a vegan, of really not liking most lesbian literature because it doesn't resonate with me, of really hating the idea of another sober vegan potluck. And I was really embarrassed by the way Lindsay responded because it so very much vilified my own frustration with issues that were real to me as a young(er) queer person. And it makes me really happy that even though you may disagree with LW#4, or that you may even disagree with me, or that we don't see eye to eye on how to read that letter, that you took the time to read what I wrote, process it, and understand why I'm not willing to jump down the throat of LW#4. So wee_rams, you pretty much win at life today.

GOLD STARS for wee_ramekin.



femme cassidy

@S. Elizabeth @everyone in general Yeah, I should have mentioned: LW4's issue is much more likely to be A Thing when you are young. Newly-out queers, well, they're just SO FUCKING EXCITED about being queer! Especially in college, when all of a sudden there are Other Queers around! And isn't it so amazing that now we can talk about All The Queer Things! So I do understand LW4's frustration, if she's in that environment. I just think the solution is still the same: be patient with them, understand that small talk is always weird, take them by the hand and lead them into the fertile valley of all the other things there are to talk about.

@redheaded&crazie GOLD STARS FOR EVERYONE. Including LW#4, because today everyone gets a gold star from me.

@femme cassidy ahhhh the rainbow phase.


@femme cassidy "...my friendly smile has turned into a terrifying rictus.."

That that is too well-written (and hilarious) for a high-school/college student.


oh come on, gals, stop bashing LW4 so much. was it badly phrased? sure. But I think I do get the gist of it. When I was still single I had that same exact problem - at least here in Vienna. Because here - at least back then - the women piling up in lgbt-themed-places were pretty much those that didn't have any other interests through which they could meet other women. so they came to the lgbt-events and talked only about lgbt things and nothing else. *snore*

I took flight once I'd grown out of the "omg I'm newly queer I need to surround myself with all things lgbt"-phase" and after a couple of those "why do you not have any interests, woman!?"-experiences, and met my wife outside in the non-lgbt-themed world *gasp* and what's been keeping us happy for the past 7 years is not that we're both queer - holy crap, I'm queer too! ;) - but our shared and non-shared interests. Man, I hope this is making sense to someone outside of my brain too....

What I'd say to LW4 is: Go forth into the world and meet interesting people, surely some of them will be queer. it's just a wee bit harder to find out (but also way more thrilling this way). good luck.

@mccutcheon I posted below.


@S. Elizabeth, @everyone You all raise very good points I hadn't considered when I originally posted. LW4, if you are reading this, I apologize if I was way harsh, Tai. There are tons of awesome queer ladies. Be rad, and radness will find you. That's not very good advice, really, but I hope that knowing they are there is something at least. Good luck.


That's the best @k

Porn Peddler

LW1: I don't want to get snippy about A Queer Chick's opinion that coming out is frequently the best thing, but you really don't have to be out about being queer, or disclose that you're poly. To anyone (except people you are dating/sexing). You have no obligation re: your own identity or queer visibility to identify yourself as queer if you don't want to/think it might go badly/jeopardize your happiness or job or force you to answer questions or become the token queer in any particular group. You do not have to make yourself a very special episode if that's not your thing. And this girl is probably not a good candidate for your burgeoning queer poly identity. I can see so many ways that this could blow up in your face and eek!

LW2: Oh girl you are so not selfish or anything. You may revisit the idea in the future, if you're with this dude for the long haul, and by then, you may feel differently. For now? I'd say it's a non-issue and you're very sweet to think about his end of this :)

LW4: ...............rude.


@Third Wave Housewife LW2 seems like a really nice person based on how happy she wants to make her bf. Not wanting him to do sexy-time-things with others doesn't make her selfish at all.


@beanie yeah I totally identify with LW2 being the type of person who spends way more time thinking of other people's needs unnecessarily than they probably even spend thinking about it? Like, dude says he's cool with things, you can probably take that at face value. But no I can't I just have to think through all of my feelings and his feelings and how they might not perfectly correspond and what if this and what if that and then, *head explodes*


@Third Wave Housewife I think LW1 would like to disclose her nonmonogamy and queerness, she just doesn't know if she should. I agree with you, though--in the case that it would affect her job, and that this girl doesn't doesn't sound that interested (sounds like a platonic "friend crush" to me), it sounds like she shouldn't.


@Third Wave Housewife ALSO Savage love podcast posted today is ALL ABOUT LW2's VERY ISSUE complete with guest expert. Just putting that out there!!!


@redheaded&crazie Ugghhhhhh this is the soundtrack that plays in my head every time I have a conversation about anything related to relationships & c. Mine is more like, he said that but what if he said it and then changes his mind immediately afterwards, or something happens and the situation changes and I've been operating as if the situation were the same but it's really not and ohgodohgod this is a disaster. DISASTER! Someone turn it off, please.


@roadtrips oh geez what you just said has been, verbatim, going through my head this past week. Somebody please take my brain and replace it with a normal brain. (stigmatizing) (but seriously please)


@redheaded&crazie It is the worst, right? It is especially frustrating because, all joking aside, it reflects a self-esteem issue on my part and comes from an adolescence filled with rejection :/ I think I'll put "Take It At Face Value" on a t-shirt.


@roadtrips yep you are totally right. i'm in the exact same boat. it's somehow sadly comforting to know that there are other people whose brains have developed the same fucked up self-doubting wiring.


@Third Wave Housewife I agree about LW2. It really doesn't matter whether his parents know anything about their or her past or even future sex life. I think they would be fine not knowing.


@roadtrips the good news is that when you realize that about yourself you can start thinking about how to work on it - what would need to happen in a relationship, etc (by you, i mean the general you and mostly me)

like for me i know that reliability is a really important quality. it's more important for me to know you're going to call, then for you to call often. or i'm happier if i know what my plans are for the week well in advance.


@redheaded&crazie No, you are totally right! I am just coming out of a disastrous long term relationship wherein there was basically no communication and blah blah blah, but basically yes. I am very tentatively dipping my toe into the water of a potential maybe new thing and I am feeling super skittish about it! Trying really hard to just enjoy it instead of feeling nervous about things that have not yet come to pass (and maybe/probably won't). Also trying to keep in mind lessons learned from my aforementioned disaster while not being totally neurotic about it. GAH. Things are hard. I mean, who knew that relationships took this much thinking!?


@roadtrips sigh ... it just sounds so incredibly familiar. well, i wish you positive thinking! the key is to learn from the disastrous relationships. yes.


@roadtrips I have been there and am still there in fact really. Hug. 'who knew that relationships took this much thinking!?', absolutely. just keep talking about things! (happy to talk about this more if that helps you)


@sevanetta Aw, thanks! Just knowing that this is a common thing is helpful... you just take it one day at a time I suppose.


dude it is totally genuinely hard to talk about things other than dogs at a dog park. I approve of that analogy 100%.


@redheaded&crazie never mind trying to find out the names of the owners rather than the dogs. somebody actually asked me "what's your name?" and then began referring to my dog by my name.

dog people *rolls eyes* AM I RIGHT


@redheaded&crazie I don't even know other dog owners names at the park! Just the dogs names!

Edited because you just said exactly what I did. It's true!


@redheaded&crazie other topics at the dog park include whether or not you rescued your pet and what breed it is. That's pretty much it.


@beanie i wouldn't even know where to begin with trying out other topics. even the weather ... "so ... bummer it's gonna rain tonight" "yep my dog's coat is going to get soo dirty in the mud" or "can't wait for summer weather!" "I know, I have to take him to the groomer real soon."

nevernude cutoffs

@redheaded&crazie Oh dog park people can be the worst. This is specifically the reason I started smoking weed again.


@beanie I've noticed it gets better when you go in the evening and people bring beer?


@beanie All the people I met at the dog park are "Cinder's dad" or "Spot's mom." No joke.


@redheaded&crazie Wait-HUMANS HAVE NAMES?!!!
I'm so guilty of this, even with my neighbors. Know all the dogs names, and by now it's just awkward that I don't know the humans'.


@redheaded&crazie WOOF IT SISTAH!


@packedsuitcase: Sadly, this happens when you have kids too. "Oh, you're Jack's mom!" "Yeah. You're Felicity's dad!" We have no names of our own anymore.


@redheaded&crazie HEARTILY SECONDED. I worked at a pet retail store for MANY YEARS and had regulars that I saw very often during the course of those many years. Did I remember their names? Usually no. Did I remember their pets' names? Almost always yes. Did this get me in good with them? Absolutely.


@redheaded&crazie I haven't done the dog park thing yet (I was waiting for the puppy to get spayed so I could get the cheap permit) but I find the best way to move topics is to discuss something the dog has chewed. Especially since in my case it tends to be shoes, bras, other things that discussion of can lead to female bonding. Or people thinking I'm that crazy lady who overshares. But I'm unlikely to end up friends with anyone who finds that unnerving anyway...

And yes, totally guilty of not knowing my neighbor's names, but knowing the dog's names. They don't use their own names repeatedly in front of me.


@The Everpresent Wordsnatcher The guy who owned the pet store where we got stuff for our dogs for years remembered my mom many years later (when he opened a new store) by the names of our doggies (who are now gone to the great dog park in the sky). And then he was so sad to hear that, and excited about our new doggie, and yeah, we went back to his store a lot.

fondue with cheddar

I agree 100% with the term "licking carpet". BLECH. Cunnilingus and rubbing my tongue on an area rug are at complete opposite ends of the pleasurableness spectrum.


@jen325 You know what's worse than licking, though? Munching. The first time I ever heard that phrase I wanted to throw up.


@SarahP muncha muncha

fondue with cheddar

@SarahP YES. Munching is not a sexy thing to do with your mouth! Licking is fine, as long as we're not talking about carpet.


@redheaded&crazie noooooooooooo


@SarahP Sneaking suspicion 'rug-munching' was chosen by whatever generation that picked it up as a means of undermining lesbians. It's just so viscerally horrible. It just seems so deliberately gross, with cannibalistic undertones, as well as all the idea of all that dust. Blech.

fondue with cheddar

@feartie I don't know about the cannibalistic undertones. I mean, it may have been conceived in that vein, but oral sex is performed with the same body part you eat with, so it's natural to use such euphemisms (e.g., eating out, cock gobbling).

The Frozen Head of Dorothy Zbornak

@jen325 I always pass this place on the freeway and giggle to myself: http://www.mmmcarpets.com/index.php


@redheaded&crazie what is up with you today


@SarahP 'Munching' makes me think of beavers. Tee hee.

fondue with cheddar

@wamanda HAHAHA that's the best.

Lily Rowan

@feartie Munching is the worst word ever, regardless of context. I hate it in books referring to people having a snack. NO SHE DID NOT MUNCH ON HER SANDWICH. SHE JUST ATE IT. /issues


@feartie Yup. I have never, ever, ever, EVER IN MY LIFE heard a queer woman refer to her own pussy or a pussy she's licked as a "carpet" or a "rug". Not even in a funky, reclaiming kind of way.

Pretty sure this is A Term of the Patriarchy. Also wondering if LW#4 is a troll.


@Lily Rowan Agreed. It just sounds so sloppy - and weirdly like a continuous action.


@wee_ramekin Yesss. Sort of didn't want to say that, but it felt a bit off. I'm not queer though, so dunno the truth of it. But people, regardless of orientation, tend to have a lot to talk about, sooo.

fondue with cheddar

@wee_ramekin I've only used it when talking about whether or not the carpet matches the drapes.


@jen325 I didn't really understand that question until like this year, because I thought "drapes" was supposed to be the racy part.

fondue with cheddar

@SarahP Haha, really? What did you think it meant? Wait, did you misunderstand the whole phrase or just which term applied to which body part?

Totally not making fun of you, btw. I've had my share of "duh" moments. I'm just curious. :)


@SarahP I like that especially if you raise your eyebrows when you say "drapes"


@jen325 I don't know, I didn't really understand it! I assumed "drapes" were either pubes or labia, so I had no idea what the carpet could be. It was an overall confusing phrase that I also knew was tasteless/something I didn't care about, so I didn't think about it much.

A friend made a joke about the phrase fairly recently (ie, within the last couple years), and then it clicked. All these years! The drapes are up top!


@roadtrips I wiggled them, even.

fondue with cheddar

@SarahP Okay, I can totally see thinking drapes were labia. And now you see that the phrase isn't quite as tasteless as you thought it was.


@melis muncha muncha muncha

*teeth baring grin*


@melis i'm just on fire today


no guys i mean, melis has literally set me on fire

please help


@redheaded&crazie I would so LOVE hanging out with you. We'd leave wreckage behind us.

Quinn A@twitter

Re: LW2: yep, get a strap-on! And don't underestimate the appeal of a strap-on blowjob, either. I mean, I've never approached it from the side of the strap-on wearer (not that I don't wear the strap-on, just that my girlfriend has never expressed an interest in going down on the strap-on and OH MY DEAR GOD I AM TELLING THE HAIRPIN WAY TOO MUCH), but...yeah, there really is some appeal there.

LW4: What the actual fuck. Yes, queer chicks do indeed have interests outside of being queer, thank you very much.

A Queer Chick: excellent advice, as always!


@Quinn A@twitter Also LW2! Don't underestimate the appeal of wearing a strap-on and/or topping (NSFW) if you've never done it!

I've never worn a strap-on, but I have topped before even though it's not my preferred sexual role (bottoms4lyfe!), and girl! It's fun! I wouldn't want to be toppin' all the time (exhausting), but every now and then, it's really sexy.

I'd say that if the idea of wearing a strap-on freaks you out (confesh: it kind of freaks me out), try topping without any toys. If that ends up being fun, then perhaps the concept of a strap-on won't be quite so scary.

Quinn A@twitter

@wee_ramekin It's not that scary! I usually just feel kind of silly (but I also find biological penises hilarious, so I may be a special case there). And also, it turns out that missionary-style sex is bizarrely difficult with a strap-on, so maybe don't try it that way the first time.


@tortietabbie Ha! So, I didn't realize when I quickly linked to it that the article is mostly about the use of that term as it relates to sex between gay or bi men.

I use the terms "top" and "bottom" all the time with my female friends to talk about both homo- and heterosexual sex/relationships. For me the words "top" and "bottom" describe attitudes in a relationship just as much as they describe roles during sex. See also: you can totally top without a penis (real or fake) involved.

ETA: Where did your comment go?! Oh noooooooes, are we going through another spate of the 'Pin eating comments? :(


"(bottoms4lyfe!)" made me giggle.


@TORTIE Sorry to caps-lock your name, girl, but I just wanted to let you know that I can't see either of the comments you made on this thread. I know you made them, because they showed up in my e-mail, but they're not showing up here. @laurel was actually having this same issue about a week ago...you might should want to let Edith/Jane know that it's happening!


Aw, @wee_ramekin, keeper of lost 'Pinners.


LW4 is making me side-eye so hard right now... clearly all queer people are just robots who can only speak of preprogrammed queer material.

Though more broadly, just about any letter that asks, "Am I the only one who...?" makes me side-eye. There are billions of people on this planet, you are likely never the only one. Like any of those people who write in saying, "I can't make friends with girls, because I feel like I'm the only one who enjoys stereotypical boy things!" You are not a special snowflake. Stop that.


@Scandyhoovian or maybe, just maybe you're super jealous of my special snowflake status? see this is exactly why i can't be friends with girls!


@redheaded&crazie "Yeah, guys NEVER get jealous like that. I just get along with them better."


@Scandyhoovian Every time one of those comes up, I just want to respond YES. YOU ARE THE ONLY HUMAN BEING OUT OF THE BILLIONS ALIVE WHO HAS EVER HAD THIS THOUGHT OR FELT THIS WAY.

Even better when it's a Tumblr post with thousands of notes.

sarah girl

@anachronistique I actually said this once in response to an internet posting earlier this year that said "Am I the only one who isn't really a fan of Valentine's Day?"



Re. LW #4 -- did anyone else just quickly scroll through their GChat histories to see if they were being too boringly queer with their queer friends? SORRY RAMS :(


@wallsdonotfall HA! Grrrl, I think that 99.99999% of the time, I'm the one who's layin' the queer ish down in our G-chat convos! #My queer conversations with queer friends seem so smart but also I'm worried about my queer conversations with queer friends.


LW4, I'm sorry, but you sound like the kind of queer lady who does not make me super confident about engaging other queer ladies in conversation for the first time. Like, ever.

I'm Right on Top of that, Rose

@Anji Oh my. Not to be a creep, but I think we are on the way to being Internet friends. Posted at the same time! About the same thing! Oh no, I'm being a creep!


@I'm Right on Top of that, Rose Oh my gosh, I think you're right! And I agree with you - if you're bored by everyone else around you, just maaaaaaaaybe, it's not them.

I'm Right on Top of that, Rose

@Anji Introspection is hard! But, I will say, I'm willing to cut some slack for the letter writer because maybe she's just in that place when everyone is Figuring Out Their Queerness, and so it's a process of affirmation to make every event queer. But it can't be absolutely everyone, you know?


@I'm Right on Top of that, Rose Perhaps she is, perhaps she isn't. I mean, I've definitely gone through that "uuuuuugh I am sooooo tiiiired of being everyone else's frame of reference for queer stuff" feeling before, but then I got over it once I realized that acting superior and going out of my way to be different for the sake of it was not winning me any friends. Or dates.

P.S. You're not creepin'. I enjoy the attention. ;)

I'm Right on Top of that, Rose

@Anji I remember thinking that I wished this one certain friend would stop making everything about being gay, as there is more to us than that. But I think it was more about her insecurities with the whole thing than it was about her lack of other interests.

And, since queer ladies are regular humans, opening interactions are typically pretty easy if you just ask them about themselves.


@I'm Right on Top of that, Rose Yeah, over the years I've learned that tends to be the case. And once people get more comfortable with their sexual identities (if they choose to have one at all, that is, 'cause really there's nothing wrong with not having/wanting one, either) they start to chill out a little more on that front.

Yeah. I mean, as a very wise person stated above, queer ladies are not just some monolith. Normally, I latch on to something I really like about another queer lady - her hair, or shirt, or shoes, or the book she's reading, or whatever - and start it from there. This is because I am terrible at flirting, and good at real compliments.

I'm Right on Top of that, Rose

@Anji Flirting and real compliments are not mutually exclusive!*

*Disclaimer: I have no game.


@I'm Right on Top of that, Rose Guuuuuuurl, my lack of game even transcends "adorably awkward" and shoots right into "nerd alert, run away!" territory super quick.

I'm Right on Top of that, Rose

@Anji As in, "I don’t have a library card, but do you mind if I check you out?" Because that would be nerdy AND awesome.

H.E. Ladypants

@I'm Right on Top of that, Rose Oh my gosh. My boyfriend has game upon game. His trump card? He notices things he likes about people and tells them that shit. His flirt-o-matic super power is honest compliments and appreciation.

People to be noticed and liked! This is a great way to flirt!

I'm Right on Top of that, Rose

@H.E. Ladypants I think it works because it's honest conversation, and not just bullshit. Most people can sense when someone else is being genuine, and are attracted to it.

I'm Right on Top of that, Rose

Ugh. Actually, LW4, you get all caps: UGH.

Ever heard the phrase, "If you're bored then you're boring?" Well, maybe you should look into what you're bringing to the conversation. Just a thought.


@I'm Right on Top of that, Rose Or, from Mad Men, "only boring people get bored. go bang your head against a wall."

I'm Right on Top of that, Rose

@spoondisaster Ha. That actually seems like applicable advice for a lot of situations.


Ahhhh, the whole confusion so many people have over being Bi = being Non-monogamous drives me NUTSSSSS. I've gotten so much crap over that! JUST BECAUSE I'M BI DOESN'T MEAN I WANT TO FUCK EVERY HOT PERSON I RUN INTO EVEN IF I'M IN A RELATIONSHIP. AGH. Sorry for the rant. Not slamming on LW2, she sounds pretty awesome.


@CurlsMcGirlypants so what I hear you saying is that you want to fuck every hot person you run into even if you're in a relationship...


Wait, wait no! I didn't mean it!


@CurlsMcGirlypants just like a bisexual, can never make up their minds!

^-- ok now THAT one was offensive



...heh. Coming. Heh.

I'll let myself out.

Annie Malamet@facebook

@CurlsMcGirlypants I respect this so much. However, as a non-monogamous bi girl who does like to get freaky with lots of people, I'm really not into the slut-shaming that comes with other bi folks defending their monogamy.


@Annie Malamet@facebook You know, I really should have thought more about my comment when I first wrote it (as it has turned into one of those things--e.g. when you're in a fight with someone you care about and you say something in an instant of fury that was not exactly the correct representation of what you actually thought and you end up starting to regret it), because it's ultimately not the non-monogamous aspect that really bothered me, it was that they claimed I could never be in an exclusive relationship if I chose it (because clearly I would cheat since I was bi), and how the hell did they think it was any of their business how many people I slept with and whether or not it impacted my ability to love and care for one person.

I'm sorry for my poor choice of wording and lack of clarity. It was not my intention to slut-shame anyone--only to say that being bi does not ultimately equal the absolute inability to keep it in my pants and be in an exclusive relationship.


Taylor Kitsch



@itmakesmewonder He just has that sumthin' sumthin'. I usually cannot stand dudes with long hair but man, oh man, Mr. Kitsch just does it for me. He oozes sex.


@itmakesmewonder pretty boys with longish hair=the best. See also Ben Barnes, Taylor Hanson (when I was 11 and now).

sarah girl

@itmakesmewonder his voooooooooice


@itmakesmewonder I just had to google him - SO not bland.


@rararuby Grrl! I just googled him too and...he is the definISH of bland! He's like...toast-soaked-in-warm-milk bland.


@wee_ramekin Wherever your world is where dudes who look like Taylor Kitsch are bland to you, I want to live there. "If I had a nickel for every smoldering long-haired demigod in line at Starbucks . . . "


@wee_ramekin Dude epitomizes the "little brother" look! But I do love me some toast.


@itmakesmewonder Hey now, some of us like our milktoast!

Carrie Ann

@wee_ramekin But have you seen him in action? On Friday Night Lights? As Tim Riggins, walking, talking Sex Bomb?

I agree that his looks are sort of Abercrombie-model-bland (I mean, if that's the worst thing you can say about someone...), but it's the charisma that puts him over the top.


@itmakesmewonder I literally had not had a crush on a movie star/actor EVER and then I started watching friday night lights and...I was like, squirming around with that kind of deep, intense crush that sort of makes you want to die a little. A 13-year-old-girl crush. Not always fun, definitely hopeless, completely engrossing. Love. Tim. Riggins.


@itmakesmewonder I legit thought she was just using a 'hilarious' name for Taylor Swift; like, she's kitschy, sooo....


@beanie If we are talking about dudebros with longish hair and pretty faces, I am legally obligated to submit Jared Padalecki for your perusal and droolness. (Though I do prefer his SPN costar, Ackles is not especially relevant to the longish hair portion of this conversation.)


@The Everpresent Wordsnatcher I also prefer Ackles, because of my forever love of Days Of Our Lives.

Deanna Destroi

@beanie I think we have the same taste in dudes. I still have a crush on Taylor Hanson despite the fact that he now has five children and I am fully 28 years old.

Also, Taylor Kitsch's ridiculous attractiveness is not about the photographs. It's about the walk, the drawl, the grin, the way he'll drape his body over a chair. My GOODNESS. *fans self*


@Deanna Destroi I must ask-have you ever found a dude in REAL life attractive who had this hair? Because I have not. More dudes should try out long hair!

Deanna Destroi

@beanie When I first met my current boyfriend, he had longish hair that I quite enjoyed. Sadly, it was just for a play he was in, and he cut it off as soon as it was over. The first time I saw him after that I was like, "Dude, what the FUCK?!" It didn't occur to me at the time that that was rather an unreasonable reaction.


I'm usually not into conventionally attractive dudes yet I totally have succumbed to Taylor Kitsch's charm as a result of my recent Friday Night Lights obsession (thanks to this site!). There is no denying the magic of that devilish grin.


@klaus Totally agreed. Thoughts on Taylor Kitsch pre FNL: basic dudebro. Post FNL: sure yes I will go see John Carter.


@omgkitties I'm going to see "Battleship" and pretend it's "Landry and Riggins Join The Navy".

Deanna Destroi

@alannaofdoom I feel that a simple "like" was not enough. Your comment made me guffaw laughter in my cubicle. I'm pretty sure the whole office heard it.


"...my confession in all seriousness and hers potentially in a I'm-totally-straight-but-I-like-your-hair" This happens all too often. How does a lady interested in ladies actually hit on other ladies without first doing that squeal-y "You're sooo hot, I'd totally do you!" "Really?" "Ha, ha, no? I'm straight!" "Oh." (Hang out with different ladies?)


@fabel Seriously, because my "you're so hot, i'd totally do you" is my cowardly way of saying "you're so hot, would you maybe like to do the sex with me?" because i'm too scared to straight up admit to another lady that i'd like to bone her! but yes, maybe hang out with different ladies.


haha, "The Test Results Came Back face." I really enjoyed that turn of phrase.


Hey LW4, come down to the comments here and I'll chat to you about beluga whales or 30 Rock or something.

@Decca "Those shoes are definitely bicurious, Lemon."


@Decca Remember that Raffi song about the baby beluga? That song was so rad back in kindergarten.


@S. Elizabeth Yeah, after I posted this I realised that both 30 Rock and whales are pretty gay. Darn.


@Poubelle totally my jam. Especially over the "Apples and Bananas" song. That is an earworm.


HOW DARE YOU CALL TIM RIGGINS BLAND. how DARE you. (taylor kitsch does not actually exist and I will acknowledge that if he did, he would be a little bland without Tim Riggins' glorious beer infused grease-mane)


Seriously. Carpets are revolting. Lady business is no where near.


@mkpatter@twitter When a carpet can clean itself you can call me.


it's a little insulting girl thinks her bi bf needs a bf and a gf. MONOGAMY, google it!


@LeafySeaDragon I think it's insulting in the most naive of ways. I really don't think she's trying to be a jerk; I think she's just one of those folks who has never really needed to think about bisexuality, and now that she's confronted with it, she's addressing it from the position of someone who has absorbed the cultural stereotypes about it.

Also, I think this LW has a little bit of wiggle room in that she says her boyfriend has always been in open relationships. So I don't think it's terrible of her to assume that he would want an open relationship with her, though that assumption should stem from his polyamorous past, and NOT from his bisexuality.

H.E. Ladypants

@wee_ramekin Also, I think that people have this weird perception of bisexuality that stems from this very straight way of thinking.
If desire for sex equals a desire for the opposite sex, than having sexual access to a person the opposite sex equals satisfaction of the desire for sex. However, if a person is bisexual that means they have a desire for both the opposite and the same sex and therefore, sexual access to a person of one sex will only satisfy half the desire for sex.

The problem presented by bisexuals is that a whole logic step is removed: There is a desire for sex. Sexual access will satisfy the desire for sex.

As a bisexual lady, the confusion of bisexuality with insatiability drives me absolutely mad. But I can also see how someone wrapping their mind around it forces them to rethink the entire sexual narrative.

Basically, to me she came across as being sweet and concerned and having mentally stuck herself in a weird place but also needing to make a mental leap out of heteronormativeness.

If straight people went on dates and the topic of conversation was how straight they were, would that be weird?
-a queer lady


@S. Elizabeth: It would be weird because it would seem really homophobic.


@S. Elizabeth That can legit be the subtext sometimes (most of the time?), though. Like dudebros getting together and talking about how dudely they are.


@S. Elizabeth the thing is it doesn't sound like these are dates? It sounds like she's going to queer community events in order to meet people she might want to date. The analogy is more like a group of straight women getting together and talking about ex-boyfriends and dream weddings or something. Which is definitely something that happens, even among women who have plenty of other interests. Personally if I find myself in a conversation like that I'd be looking for any way out I could, but I also don't go out of my way to attend...bridal showers, or wherever it is straight women congregate to have stiflingly heteronormative conversations. The Knot?

But even if these are dates, the letter-writer probably just needs to find an alternative first-date activity, because the context is always going to influence the conversation. Like, if I'm dating around and don't really care for baseball, I should probably not go on a string of first dates to baseball games.

Basically I feel like if you're going to Lesbian Film Night all the time, you should probably not be surprised to face a lot of talk about Lesbian Film.

I'm Right on Top of that, Rose

@S. Elizabeth I guess it would be weirder if straight people went on dates and talked about how gay they are.


sorry I can't finish the column because





I think LW3's issue could swing wildly depending on what she and her partner think the parents' reaction will be. I am 100% sure my husband's family would be fine knowing that I used to get it on with ladies, but in all the years I've known them, I've never figured out a way to bring it up that is not ridiculously awkward. It's not like we don't have a friendly and open relationship with his family, but I really can't bring myself to talk about people I've slept with that aren't their son. (I am usually the champion of awkward, cringe-inducing oversharing, but apparently this is too much even for me!)

If the LW is worried that it'll be a source of conflict, that's its own issue, but I think that even in an ideal situation (and no joke I am so lucky that in in-law situation is so awesome) it's kind of weird to start talking about exes and past partners unless something very specifically related comes up. Though if it was a huge part of her life for awhile, the advice is spot-on about how to do it.


@arrr starr Yeah, I mean, do people usually talk about exes with their bf/gf's parents? That seems like an odd thing to do to me, regardless of past or present sexual desires.


@meetapossum I think it could easily come up in any number of conversations. Like camping! "Oh yeah, I went to that campground once with my ex-girlfriend and there were sooo many mosquitos but the hiking trails were still really great!" Not so weird, I don't think.


@kickupdust I guess in general when it comes to that kind of stuff I usually just say "my friend" unless the fact that they were my ex-boyfriend was important to the story (which generally it isn't if I'm sharing it with someone else's parents). But yeah, you're right, that makes sense.


@kickupdust um... sometimes the ratio of camping-type activities to other activities does not lend itself to this sort of easy sharing.


@arrr starr haha that's fabulous and totally understandable! I just reaaally like camping.


@arrr starr How about something like this:

"I think it could easily come up in any number of conversations. Like fisting! "Oh yeah, I fisted once with my ex-girlfriend and there was sooo much lube on the sheets but the orgasms were still really great!"

Family-friendly, and subtly gets the point across.


@meetapossum: I have never been motivated to explain the nature of my relationship with people I once went camping with. I can't figure out when you would ever need to explain to your future in-laws that you were sleeping with the person you went camping with - why is the nature of that relationship germane to the story?

I am pretty firmly in the camp (heh) that your prior relationships are your business when it comes to in-laws. I've been sitting here for a few minutes, trying to imagine why you would ever want to expound on the nature of a prior relationship.

The best I can come up with is this: I was married to someone else before I married my husband. I guess it would be awkward if my inlaws didn't know that, and if I felt that any time I recalled a story that involved my ex, I had to do some linguistic gymnastics to avoid disclosing that I was once married to someone else. Thing is, even though they know, I very rarely refer to him, even if it is a story that involves him. I just find that kind of reference inappropriate, most of the time. I am not ashamed of it, by any means, but it isn't a topic I need to cover with my inlaws. But, then again, they do know about it, so maybe that's what's bugging the LW.

I also think Taylor Kitch is smoking hot, so clearly, my mileage varies.


LW2 reminds me of the Maya Angelou quote (and I'm sorry for this because yes we all know what I'm going to quote here), "When people show you who they are, believe them." I think she kind of meant it about negative things, but it applies to good things like your boyfriend's attitude too. He's showing you with actions and telling you with words that you're the only one for him. Be secure in that. Keep the strap-on link handy, but be secure in his love.

I'm going to be the voice of dissent. I'm prepared for the flames.

While the letter was snarky and sarcastic, I think the general issue is that LW#4 can't seem to get a date with someone who doesn't want to go to Queer Events. And honestly, if you live in an isolated area, it actually can be a problem -- I've been there (I taught high school in a rural community), and it blows.

I think there actually might be a Thing, and I think dismissing it because we're not like that, or we're full people, or we're all over the place is problematic because if it bothered LW#4 to write in, then it *is* an issue for her, and telling anyone that they're judgmental and awful and bad isn't okay until you acknowledge the problem.

I'm trying to put myself in what LW#4's shoes -- that is, of someone who doesn't want to go to political queer events for dates, but does want to date ladies, and does want to meet ladies. If you're not in a big city, no, there aren't queer people all over and you *do* flock to the secret lesbian movie night. I have sympathy because I've lived in a very small, very homophobic rural community about 4 years after I came out, and the few queer people I knew who were my age were still rainbowing it up when they didn't have to stay in the closet for work/school/safety. And rainbowing it up is cool, but it's not always the best foundation for a good relationship.

I get the knee-jerk reaction to LW#4. But I also have been in a situation similar to LW#4, and it was isolating, frustrating, and difficult because I did not feel as though I was acknowledged as a person who was anything but a queer person in a very rural small town.

Fire away, ladies.

An aside: I've had a few awkward conversations with other queer chicks that turn chilly and weird once I clarify that I don't want to practice queer-specific public interest law or do queer advocacy. There is a definite section of the queer community that expects martyrdom and anti-capitalism as a means of living out a queer identity, and this can also be a problem in dating-land. And while it may just be an indication that your political objectives don't line up, there's a bigger problem when it feels as though your career choices that will enable you to support yourself are criticized because you're queer.

Lila Fowler

@S. Elizabeth Yes! I'm so glad you came back to respond to this letter too.

@Lila Fowler I read the responses and needed to take a 10 minute break because they made me so angry.


@S. Elizabeth I had a similar problem when I was still in grad school for history. Amazing how many people think that a woman who studies history must automatically study women's history; I got a LOT of "Oh" followed by side-eye when I said I didn't. Yes, I have a vagina; no, that vagina does not dictate what my professional interests are.

(In other words, not everything about our personal lives has to dictate our professional lives.)

femme cassidy

@S. Elizabeth I mean, I did acknowledge that what LW4 brings up is a real thing, and I offered her advice for how to deal with it. Part of that advice was "maybe try not to let it bug you so much, it's pretty understandable." You're kind of coming at me, in this here comment thread, like I suggested that she is a terrible lesbian for not caring about Emily versus Amy. (TRUE CONFESSION: My partner had to explain to me who Emily and Amy are. It turns out they are in a band?) She is not a terrible lesbian, she's just holding her conversational partners to unreasonable standards for first-time social interaction. If you meet queer people at queer events, they're gonna want to talk about queer things! This should change when you get to know them better! If it doesn't, whoops, you accidentally dated a boring girl! Better luck next time! I just... I just don't know what else there is to say.

femme cassidy

@femme cassidy EVERYONE IS A GOOD LESBIAN! Unless you got confused and actually started masticating your living room rug. Then you have some issues to clear up.


@femme cassidy I think her point was that the folks she's trying to date don't want to do anything BUT go to queer events. If she were showing up at the LGBT center bitching about all the rainbows in the windows, sure, she'd be a whiny dumbshit, but if she's trying to rustle up potential dates to go hiking and instead folks are all, "Naw, girrrl, let's go hang out at the LBGT center and watch some L Word," then yeah - the frustration is legit.

I doubt EVERYONE she meets is like that, but in a small enough area (like S. Elizabeth describes), having even two people come back with that could seem like everyone.

Also, Cartman's mom says if you wanna be a lesbian, ya gotta lick carpet.

tea tray in the sky.

@femme cassidy I think S. Elizabeth (correct me if I'm wrong, I don't want to make wrong assumptions) isn't reacting to the advice, which was very diplomatic, but to the comments down here which don't really offer any insight, just judgment. Not that I think there's anything wrong with that either, because that's sort of what comment threads are for. Don't feel attacked!


@tea tray in the sky. I think if you consider anything A Queer Chick wrote above to be "diplomatic," you might want to look up "diplomacy." There's no more of use there than there is in (most of) these comments.


@Xanthophyllippa Perhaps you might try applying that litmus test to LW # 4's letter too, then?

If you write into A Queer Column sanctimoniously eye-rolling about carpet-licking queers, you'd best expect some flak in your general direction.


@wee_ramekin I don't think she IS "santimoniously eye-rolling." I think this is a chick who really is frustrated, and dishing out the "um, maybe not hang out there?" isn't helpful OR diplomatic. It's dishing back the same sanctimonious shit.

tea tray in the sky.

@Xanthophyllippa I think she was more diplomatic than most of us would have been when it comes to helping out someone who's just greatly offended you. She let the LW know that she was offended, but didn't brush her off, and offered what I thought to be some helpful insight; for example, pointing out the likelihood of a confirmation bias, and the fact that people who meet at any sort of event would break the ice by talking about said event.

It was fair, I think. That's why I said it was diplomatic. Obviously A Queer Chick isn't unbiased when it comes to these things and isn't going to act like a Robot of Justice.


@tea tray in the sky. You guys. Let's form a Robot Justice League. I get to be the Robot that Talks About How Queer I Am All The Time (QueerBot), Xanthophyllippa can be the Robot of Diplomacy (DiploBot(?)) and Tea Tray can be the Robot of Delicious Airborne Tea & Snaks (MiniSandwichesBot). What say you?!

@wee_ramekin What am I??? Why am I left out???


@S. Elizabeth You can be the Robot of Dissent (DisBot)!

tea tray in the sky.

@wee_ramekin I will take up my new duty with aplomb. First order of business: crust or no crust?

Lila Fowler

I responded upthread, but I'm coming back because I think maybe there are some good things to talk about in letter 4. I think this letter is very clumsily worded, but I'm going to give LW4 the benefit of the doubt and assume that what she's really trying to say is "How do I form platonic friendships with my fellow queers? How do I meet queers outside of gay activist events/gay bars?"

I think these are good questions for a few reasons. Firstly, having queer friends is really important! It can be really nice to see parts of yourself reflected back in people you love. Secondly, I think a lot of people have trouble fitting in in "queer circles." I love the queer community, but it is small. It feels small when you are an L-Word loving, Stone Butch Blues quoting lady in San Francisco. It can feel a lot smaller if you are in a small town/are a Republican/are religious/hate folk music.

There aren't really any good textbook answers to these questions. Autostraddle's How To Make Gay Friends and Meet Girls has some good ideas. Like I said above, you have to project gay vibes into the world. RAINBOW BEAM THAT SHIT. GET ON YOUR UNICORN. You don't have to talk about BEING GAY all the time to do this; you just have to be friendly, be open about yourself, and respond warmly to other people. Maybe invest in some hipster or hippie looking clothes too?

Right now, it seems like your strategy is to go to gay events and hope you find people with common interests. I think you should try the reverse: Go do stuff you're interested in and hope you find some queers. Go to your polo game/cooking class/whatever and use all the gay code knowledge you've picked up at Queer Events to find your people. Be super friendly to everyone and good luck!

Anyone else have good ideas?


I mentioned this upthread, but honestly, I have nothing but compassion and understanding for LW#4 because I've been there and sometimes I still am. I eat meat. I wear heels and my grandma's pearls and love constitutional law and hang out with a lot of republicans, despite being a very VERY left-leaning politically radical queer lady. And it's difficult when your community feels small and you're not vegan enough or can't fucking stand Rita Mae Brown.

@Lila Fowler "Maybe invest in some hipster or hippie looking clothes too?"

I find this to be super problematic. People used to tell me this all the time (I'm femme). And you know what? No. Changing your perfectly acceptable clothing to fit the mold of recognizably queer can be great if that floats your boat, but the more we push people to do that, the more we alienate people who don't want to dress like hipsters, who see their identity in a way that doesn't really comport with skinnies and flannel, who don't want to wear hemp pants. I bought into this forever and wore awful "queer" clothes. Then I wised up and wore the clothes I actually liked and got laid way more.


a. I was way more confident in my own skin when I liked the way I looked. And I look "straight." And I don't give a damn, and have a "devil may care if I fuck with your idea of what a queer person looks like" attitude.

b. I'm attracted to butches. I'm attracted to butches who are attracted to femmes. Call me old fashioned or limiting or heteronormative, but I love a starched shirt and a nice swagger, and I like it when I walk out of the bathroom after doing my makeup and make my ladyfriend (preppy butch Ivy Leaguer) go "wow.... "


@S. Elizabeth Are you me? I spent all of college with short hair, wearing cargo pants and flannel shirts (ugh, I wish I were joking). Then I realized that I like wearing dresses and heels and makeup and being pursued by women with short hair who wear cargo pants. It's sometimes harder because I don't project the "gay vibe", but when you feel more like yourself, you're going to attract people more to your tastes anyway.


Sophomore year of college: bad haircut, cargo pants, shapeless bulky sweaters, Merrell hiking mocs, distinct lack of makeup. Made out with 2 girls.

Junior year of college: grew out that hair into a kickass bob, invested in tweed and cute flats, got my ears pierced. Had sex.

Senior year of college: Became the go-to person for fashion advice to the first years on my floor. Had a girlfriend, had sex, actually liked it.

Tomorrow: buying J. Crew's Poppy King lipstick. Ladyfriend is super butch and gorgeous and I'm utterly nuts about her.

Lila Fowler

@S. Elizabeth Sorry, I didn't mean to imply that there's One Way To Be Gay or that people should change the way they dress to fit gay stereotypes. I'm pretty femme too and am not about to go out in rainbow gear or get an alternative lifestyle haircut. But I do think that there are a lot of different subtle ways to clue people into your gaydentity without compromising your own personal style, from stuff as simple as rocking leather jackets/boots to putting a Unicorn Plan-it pin on your backpack. Autostraddle has a great series about dressing gay for femmes/butches/androgynous folks/puppies if the LW is interested in that.


@S. Elizabeth TOTALLY a sidenote, but the phrase "first years on my floor" caught my eye. As a graduated Smithie attuned to all Smith-type language, I have to ask: Smith? :)

@TheLetterL HOLYOKE, HOLYYYYYOKE. (Hey Sister!!!!)

@Lila Fowler Thanks for that clarification -- I think the "if she's interested in that" is the key part. My attitude is "I'm queer, so if you want to know what a queer person looks like, this is what I look like. I'm what a queer person looks like." But part of my schtick is looking like the nice straight girl who isn't straight while being very politically queer.


@S. Elizabeth Hey-ey!!! Guess maybe I had a one in Seven shot there, eh? In any case, please pardon any unintended Smithcentricity in my previous post, and glad to know ya!

@TheLetterL Nothing Smithcentric there -- it may as well have been written from the perspective of a MoHo.


@S. Elizabeth ok i know i've already said this somewhat and i don't want to detract from the convo at hand which is queer-specific but i just really like the way you've phrased this and i feel like it's also what my experience as a young(er?)? feminist has been like.

@redheaded&crazie You mean you didn't want to stop shaving your armpits to show your support for The Cause?

@redheaded&crazie Guys can I take another moment to gush about my ladyfriend? She's so fucking awesome, guys! She's so hot and so sweet! She's such a nice person! She's so compassionate and her willingness to listen to people (everyone!) is just so impressive. She manages to walk the line between being utterly sweet/compassionate and still having the ability to appreciate my awful snark. My ({<3}) is pleased.


@S. Elizabeth
I am so happy for you! That is a tough line to walk and an awesome one, too!
(I'm also slightly happy for me that I am happy for you. That place where you're bitter to the point of not being happy for other people is not a good place!)


@S. Elizabeth yes please take every moment to gush about your ladyfriend, and @The Kendragon I have so been in that place not where I couldn't be happy for people but it was a very grumpy and cynical kind of happy (uhhhh...). But I'm past that now! My ({<3}) is in a state of recovery from annihilation and it is pulling through!


Yay for resistant, resilient hearts! I got mine shattered a little over a year ago, and found out it's still a little more fragile than I would like, but at least I'm not hateful towards others' happiness, and I am healing :)


@TheLetterL Wait, why's that a Smithie phrase? We said that at my school too, and I definitely wasn't at a Sister.

@S. Elizabeth @redheaded&crazie When I stopped shaving my armpits for The Cause, all I ended up with was a rash and no dates/sex to show for it. I hear you.


@Xanthophyllippa Three things grabbed my eye as 7Sister-y: "first years" instead of "freshman;" being a fashion icon "to the first years," instead of specifying the lady first years; and the reference to a mixed-class-year floor instead of a dorm or class year segregated housing.

Obviously, these things exist elsewhere (and I was sincere upthread about asking pardon for any Smith-centric-ness), but when taken together, I figured there was a pretty good chance. *adjusts Sherlock Holmes cap*

Topic for another day/thread: I think it would be really interesting to parse out where one finds "freshmen" vs "first years."

Laughable Walrus

@TheLetterL Late to the game but just wanted to swing by and say I go to Smith! (and get ridiculously excited to see other Smithies/7 sisters here! And anywhere outside of school, really.)

@Laughable Walrus Proud MoHo alum, wearing my pearls and cashmere, fighting the good fight.


@S. Elizabeth I regret that I have but one thumbs up to give. Fighting the good fight indeed! :)

@TheLetterL Dude, I don't support Spurzem.


@Laughable Walrus @S. Elizabeth My best unexpected 7Sister story: This guy at my first job asked me where I had gone and nodded blankly when I told him. Eh, fine. An hour later, he came back sheepishly. Turns out, his boss went to Mt. Holyoke, and when he told her about the conversation, let's just say he got schooled. From that point on, his boss and I would then wish each other "Happy Mountain Day" and sigh about the lack of milk and cookies / Friday tea in our present lives.


@S. Elizabeth I am happy to say I no longer see her listed on the page for officers of the Westchester alum club.

Edit: Also, just realized I'm wearing the same sweater I wore for my Cashmere and Pearls photo. Whoo!

Laughable Walrus

@TheLetterL That boss sounds amazing! Also, the Pearls and Cashmere response makes me feel as warm and fuzzy inside as Spurzem makes me boiling mad (and yes, she resigned from the Smith Club!).

@TheLetterL Somehow when I read "I regret that I only have one 'thumbs up' to give," it wasn't about the thumbs-up icon, but that somehow you could give me 2 thumbs up, but I had said something offensive and awful... like "I could give you two thumbs up, but regrettably you've said something uncouth. Alas, you will get my one thumb, just don't mention Spurzem again." And then it clicked when I was driving home from Trader Joe's and was like "ooooohhhhhhh THAT KIND OF THUMBS UP."


@S. Elizabeth Haha, yes! I see now how it could be read like that, but I meant that I wish I could give you ALL the thumbs up, if only the 'pin would let me!

@Laughable Walrus That boss lady is a great lady. Sadly, we only see each other around Facebook now, but I've found Smithies/7Sisters/5Collegers everywhere I turn. It's great! Very glad to have confirmation about Spurzem resigning!

@TheLetterL I really dislike the MHC vs. Smith rivalry. It seriously bugs me. Like really, we have almost the exact same admission stats, we can take classes at each others' schools, and there should be a whole lot of solidarity. Friendly ribbing is one thing, but some of the shit-talking is just ridiculous.

Confession: I'm wearing merino instead of cashmere today because my bright reddish-orange-coral sweater goes wonderfully with my leopard print pencil skirt, and I'm giving a presentation today. Pearls and cute patent leather pointy-toed flats complete the ensemble of wildly colored femininity.

@TheLetterL @Laughable Walrus

<3 u smithies!


@S. Elizabeth Yeah, taking the rivalry too far is stupid (i.e. crosses the line from good-natured to mean), but I think for the most part it eventually gels into solidarity. Like that sister or cousin you're always being compared to. There's competition and teasing and trash-talking, and sometimes hurtful things are said, but eventually you all mature up and realize your shared background is probably more important.

Also, your outfit sounds rockin'.

<3 u Holyokeies! (Are Smithies allowed to say "Moho" affectionately?)


This isn't really related to any of the letters, but my pet peeve came out in a BIG way today. I HATE when girls get all "I am so sick of guys screwing me over, so I'll just date girls! (Hilarious laughter)"

Guess what girl; I am also sick of guys screwing me over, but your joke? It isn't funny. It doesn't even make any sense. Also, way to imply that all lesbians are just man-hating girls who gave up on the dating game!
Ugh rant over. Sorry. Getting my heart stomped on this Monday didn't do the Kendragon any good.

@The Kendragon As a queer lady, I hate those comments, too. It also implies that queer women don't have our own difficulties, our own relationship issues, our own shit to deal with. It's not just an all-girls sexy slumber party every night and I guarantee that women will pull the same shit that guys do, or equally shitty shit unique to them.


@The Kendragon Ugh, hate! Even better is when heterosexual women complain about their male partners' lack of contribution to household cleanliness and "decide" they should all date women. This, of course, will lead to having a partner who does dishes with you and wants to wash the sheets. Really?

@EternalFootwoman Or better yet, someone who will do it for them.


@The Kendragon agreed whenever somebody says this to me I remind them that we all love/hate the gender(s) we are attracted to. I hate men (not really) (yes really) because they are the ones stomping all over my heart time and time again. People who are attracted to women are having their hearts stomped on by women. Etc etc.


Exactly. People are people. Unless you date a robot, you are going to clash, butt heads, get your heart stomped on, stomp on someone's heart, have an unequal partnership at times, and get played.
I know I'm no angel, and many girls aren't either, so I don't know why they assume women are sugar and spice and everything nice, and changing gender preference will change it.

@The Kendragon

"You know that means that you'd acutally have to touch a vagina that's not yours, right?"



@S. Elizabeth


@S. Elizabeth You silly-billy, everyone knows women don't really like sex. If two women got together, they'd do the dishes *instead of* sleeping together, because there'd be no man pushing for it.


@EternalFootwoman omg just like in sex and the city!!!!!!


Silly queer ladies, sex is for men.

The Lady of Shalott

@The Kendragon I am sorry to hear you got your heart stomped on, too :( I would offer a hug? Some hot chocolate?


@The Lady of Shalott
Yes. The Marine decided that long distance is not a thing he feels like he is capable of. And then he asked for my address (My bday is tomorrow). If he sends me a present it will fuck with my head so badly

The Lady of Shalott

@The Kendragon Ohhhh noooooooo, that is awful birthday news!!! I am so sorry to hear that. Please join me in a vat of hot chocolate.

@The Kendragon I'm going to give you a Kit Porter style "Baby Girl!!!" and hug you and ugh, that's sucky that your head is being fucked with, and it's sucky that your head is being fucked with despite the fact that his actions are sweet and not malicious. Feelings are hard, distance is hard, birthday awkwardness is hard, BABYGIRL! *BIG HUGS*


@S. Elizabeth @The Lady of Shalott
Aww you two made me tear up. In a good way. Thanks guys.
Is the vat of hot chocolate big enough to swim in? Because I think I need that.
I know that he is not trying to be mean and stomp on my heart, but in a way that just makes it harder, if that makes any sense?

@The Kendragon We're going to make "Please Join Me In A Vat of Hot Chocolate" a Thing, okay? Bad news from the significant other? Didn't get into grad school? Went on a shitty date? Hot ladies are only interested in talking about dated lesbian culture from the 90s?

Our new response should be "Oh darling! Please join me in a vat of hot chocolate."


@S. Elizabeth
I love this idea.
Can we have bed sized marshmallows floating in it?


@The Kendragon
Ugh. He still wants to be friends and half of me is like YES. I like him so much as a person, there's no way I'm losing him completely.
Half of me is like "You crazy girl, you are going to break your own freaking heart! And you know it! And you're starting sentences with 'and!'"

@The Kendragon Always and forever with the marshmallows.


@S. Elizabeth
This could be the start of a beautiful friendship.


@S. Elizabeth I'll come hang out in the vat, if there is room (I have a foxy pink 40's looking swimsuit, y'all). I just went on *meh* date #93048572038472847 of my year, and am ready to tap out, yo.

Not as bad as having my heart stomped on, but bad enough.

I think the next 12 months will be dedicated to trying to run enough to be able to contemplate a half-marathon next year.

Vat Ahoy!


Hugs and Hot Chocolate for all! I have a foxy 50's looking dark pink swimsuit!
My best friend of 18 years is coming to take care of me. I haven't showered since sunday. I feel so bad for him, and he hasn't even shown up yet.


@The Kendragon
And yay for running! I wish I had a running buddy to run with!


@S. Elizabeth I think the next time I'm depressed, I'm going to throw myself a party and make handmade invitations that say "Please Join Me In A Vat of Hot Chocolate." Best. Line. EVER.

And for those of us who aren't hoity-toity, the alternative to "You know that means that you'd acutally have to touch a vagina that's not yours, right?" is "You know that means you'd have to lick carpet, right?"


@S. Elizabeth Just wanted to say I really enjoyed reading your thoughts in this entire comment thread. You seem like a really cool and compassionate lady.

Talking about dressing butch against your will (or tastes, as it were) reminded me of how I used to present myself in middle school/high school. Though I like dudes, I went through a phase of a few years where I would dress LIKE the dudes I liked, not for them, as in wearing big button-up shirts and jeans instead of sexyladyclothes. It strikes me now as something you do when you're sort of wobbling on your sexual identity legs - who am I going to be in the context of a relationship? How do I attract this person? Maybe living in that other identity for a bit is a safe place to chill mentally until we can realize a more authentic way to present ourselves to those whom we want to bang.

Now, I dress like a feminine badass :)

Chesty LaRue

@The Kendragon @S. Elizabeth @PistolPackinMama
I am actually making myself a vat of hot chocolate because I've had an emotional week... Travelling, trying to decide if I want to move to Vancouver, finally hearing from the dude who I went on three awesome dates with who suddenly stopped calling who only said I feel like an ass for dropping off the face of the earth, then not responding to my response.
But also, my sister had a baby! I am an auntie :)


@Chesty LaRue
Yay for Auntieness! Congratulations :)
Guys/girls who stop calling can suck it.


@The Kendragon Why do they want to be friends?! I was unceremoniously and out-of-the-blue dumped this week and I got the "I still want to be your friend" line. It's like peeling a Band-Aid off really slowly.


@S. Elizabeth I am going to say this because I think it applies to the resilience of the heart: Our hearts will go on.

Yes. I went there. Do I apologize? No. I do not.

@EternalFootwoman Um. I just puked the in the vat. Sorry, ladies.


@S. Elizabeth
First rule of any communal vat: Puke over the side of it.

I'm feeling a vat of Irish Red ale now. Who's with me?!?


@Chesty LaRue If you do move to Vancouver, mayhap we can be friends! Moar Cool People here is always a good thing.


@The Kendragon Not a drinker, but I'll dangle my toes over the side and serve as lifeguard for that vat. In case anyone needs to be pulled out by the hair, or something.


That might be the best idea. I am not a super strong swimmer to begin with, and god knows I'm not a graceful drunk.
We thank you for your services, good Xanthophyllippa!


@S. Elizabeth I assume you puked from excitement and delight at being reminded of The Greatest Film of All Time.
@The Kendragon I'm already wearing my water-wings!


I never even thought of water-wings.
Probably cause I tried sticking them on just my ankles one time and damn near drowned.

Chesty LaRue

@dale I'd be delighted! I will need some friends too
See you in the fall? :)


I'm a bit surprised by the Jezebel-ish level of hate and judgey-ness directed at LW#4. Depending on where she lives (and other factors), this is totally A Thing; if she's in a place where most of her opportunities to meet other queers comes from connections via OKCupid, then yeah - she might well only be meeting folks who want to Do All Gay Things All The Time. I mean, I don't live in one of those places, and still had a horrifying date a few years ago wherein the woman's idea of small talk consisted of, "What did your parents say when you Told Them? and "What did your boss say when you Told Them?" and "What was Coming Out in your hometown like?" Complete with audibly pronounced capital letters. My answer to the first question was some more delicate variant on "I'm not comfortable discussing that right now. But I'd be interested in knowing what brought you to live in (my city)." Her response to that was the second question. I said, "You know, I really don't like discussing my personal life at work, because I teach and I'm not comfortable with my students speculating. But where do you work, again?" Every single bland, getting-to-know you question I asked had some queer undertone to it that she teased out. It was awful - I wanted to say, "Sorry, are you new at this? 'Cause maybe you could call me back when you have some social skills and some interests."

Recently I pinged someone on OKC, we had a long, hilarious conversation about cake, then a really good discussion about where to bike around town. Sure, she made a lot of comments about being a single lesbian parent, but eh - people talk about their kids a lot, so whatevs. But when we started talking about about maybe meeting up, she asked if I wanted to go to a discussion group with her at the local LGBT center. I wrote back, "You know, I don't really do well in groups, but if you wanted to go grab coffee sometime instead, maybe we could try that?" Never heard from her again.

(I'd have given her the same answer if she'd said, "want to go to a potluck for people interested in African politics?" Because I really don't do well in groups, and can only handle so many new people at a time.)

So, yeah - if this can happen in my pretty queer-friendly, liberal, smallish city, then I can only imagine what it might be like if LW4 lives in a smaller, more conservative, more rural, whatever area. Say what you want about the phrasing, but her frustration here is clear, and I feel for the girl.


@Xanthophyllippa I don't hate LW4 at all! However, I'd like to point out that most of my opportunities to meet other queer ladies largely come from OKCupid, because I do live in a conservative, fairly rural area, and my attitude is just about the polar opposite of hers. I certainly understand the frustration that LW4 has, and that you have, when it comes to queer ladies whose "queer talk" switches seem to be stuck permanently in the 'on' position. I've even known women like the one in your terrible date, and it's beyond annoying. However, the rather contemptuous tone of LW4's letter was really what put me off, and it made me wonder how it feels to be the ladies who are trying, in earnest, to chat her up and get her talking. I've been on the other side of it, and to try to engage someone in conversation with what you think is common ground, only to realize that they're freezing up on you and don't seem interested at all no matter what you say, is pretty disheartening. I simply wonder if she's thought about it from their perspective, or if she's aware if/how her true feelings are coming across.

But it's also very possible that I simply read it differently than you did, and there's nothing wrong with that! We all have our own personal filters through which we read and process stuff.


@Xanthophyllippa I found myself reading LW4's letter and sympathising, thinking 'Man, that is how I feel when I have gone on dates and all the guys wanted to do was ask why I was single and about how their past relationship sucked, or when I hang out with people and all they can do is talk about their kids or their cats'. And with the latter it bugs me more because those are topics I can't really contribute a lot of conversation to. I mean the solution is simply to suggest activities to people that aren't just about being queer, and be a little patient, but it didn't need all the meanness.


And may I just say, THANK YOU for correctly using "uninterested" instead of MISusing "disinterested." It's so refreshing to be able to read through something and not have a discordant jangle alert me to a mistake like that.


Has it been said before? The little chick in the Queer Chick title is just so cute.


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