How to Meet Other Women When You are Newly Out as Lesbian, Bi or Queer
How to Meet Other Women
When You are Newly Out as Lesbian, Bi or Queer
Dating women is different from dating men. This is mostly an awesome thing, but can be a bit disorienting at first. The strategies you might have learned or been told to find a man to date don't work as well with women. Luckily there are other strategies that do.
Where to Meet Women
The best way to meet other queer, bi or lesbian women to date is to involve yourself in women's community. Join a lesbian, queer or bi sports team, club or activity and attend regularly for several months. If you can, move to a 'gaybourhood' where the concentration of LGB women is higher.
How to get connected? Ask your lesbian, bi and queer women friends where women are. Even better, ask them to take you with them to events. Attend a 'coming out' group. Looking for fun things to do? Visit calendars like What's on Queer BC to find places to be connected.
Pick an Event or Group and Attend Regularly
Events for queer, bi and lesbian women are much rarer than those for straight people or even for queer men, so your choices may be limited. If no queer activities interest you much, here's the secret: join one anyway. The point is not to find your new favourite hobby, although you might. The point is to put in time, to come to belong, to see and be seen, to make friends. Once LBQ women get used to seeing your face and actions over a few months, they will be more open to meeting and dating you. As you get used to how things are, it will be a lot easier to learn this new culture and get connected.
Coming Out Is Important
When coming out, we go through a process of dealing with our feelings and beliefs about being lesbian, bi or queer in a straight world. We need to make friends who share our identity and learn new behaviours and ways of being that fit with and belong to our new communities. We often deal with family, friends and others that aren't keen for us to come out.
Don't Count on Meeting Women in Bars and Online
If you are new to dating women, it will be harder than you might expect to find dates in places where you are more anonymous like bars and online. This is another big difference from dating men, and is caused by the coming out process we all go through.
If a woman is not very far in her coming out journey, her first serious same-sex relationship can be tough on her partner. Knowing this, women often prefer to date women they know are already connected with lesbian, bi or queer culture, women they know in real life and have seen around for awhile. Similarly, if you are also of a different sexual orientation or gender experience than the women you are interested in, women may have a greater need to get to know you informally in community before feeling comfortable dating you.
To get started finding places to connect, check out the 'Babes' section of the What's on Queer BC Calendar or contact your local LGTBQ centre about women's coming out groups for women new to dating women.
And Jude adds ...
Meet Up Groups have helped a lot of women connect. I've met some great women at meetups. These are typically groups of like-minded women - sometimes a group will focus on coffee meetups of dinners, sometimes it will focus on hikes or pool nights, and sometimes pub nights or club nights. In all cases, you will arrive and look for the 'meet up spot' , whether it be at the front of a theatre or a special table at the club. And relax - many of the women who take in a meetup are new, and looking to meet other women. A perfect chance! Here is a link to lesbian meetup groups in the Greater Vancouver Area.
Sophia Kelly has been the out and proud editor of Lesbian Quarterly magazine since 2006, and an out and proud lesbian since 1990. Her writing has been published in anthologies, magazines and web zines. She runs Tailored Tech Web, Data and Project Consulting in Vancouver. She is currently working on a novel about time travelling lesbians and goats.