October 9, 2013
I’m a femme lesbian and I don’t know how to express that I’m gay, and don’t know how to figure out if another girl is gay. I feel like this is a very basic problem and I’m the only one in the entire gay community who has never had a girlfriend because of it. It’s a vicious cycle, you know? Can you give me any tips on how to better present my sexuality or recognize it in another girl?
This is a really hard question for me to answer, because I think there’s a problem in the queer community at large in identifying other queer people only through tropes and stereotypes of queerness and that’s a huge discussion that would completely derail a concise answer to this. However. I don’t know if it’s crossed your mind at all, but I want to scream from the top of a mountain: DON’T TRY TO DE-FEMME YOURSELF. Again, I don’t know if it’s something you’ve considered but I know so many people, myself included, who did things like chop their hair off or completely change their sense in fashion to fit their understanding of queerness and in all cases they wound up being completely dissatisfied and uncomfortable. If being femme makes you happy, stay femme. I just really want that on the table because I think it’s important and a lot of people forget it!!
That said, the only real way to figure out whether someone is interested in girls is to kind of test the waters on that yourself. Try to start conversations with people you’re attracted to, try to exude flirty vibes (it’s a learned skill, but it’s not as hard as it seems!), and read their reactions. Watch body language, listen to what they say, keep your intentions on the table. That’s honestly the only advice on that I can give! On better presenting your own sexuality, look into gay symbolism if you want to stay subtle. There’s rainbow jewelry that isn’t horrifically tacky, you can find pins with signifiers, even something like a sticker on your laptop (I have a ton). I like that kind of stuff because it lets people around you get used to the idea that you’re not straight without you needing to start a conversation about it, and it’s not super over-the top. That said, there’s also a lot of super over-the-top lesbian paraphernalia that you can find on etsy and whatnot. Also, I don’t know how out you are/ are willing to be and I have no interest in pushing you into something you’re uncomfortable doing, but whenever I see “Interested in: Women” on someone’s Facebook info, that sticks with me! Also, queer people are going to be around queer spaces, so I guess refer to the last question I responded to as well because it all applies.
I hope some of this helped, and good luck!