Regardless of your geographical location, self-identified gender, or sexual orientation, dating can be a frustrating experience. It seems like there are tons of hurdles to overcome that can at times make it feel like the deck is stacked against you. Fortunately, there are a few pieces of advice that can help you increase your chances of obtaining a date with another queer person.
Being queer, your potential dating pool is roughly 5 percent of the population - a potentially terrifying statistic! You may have even convinced yourself that other queers do not exist in your small community. However, pessimism does not do you any good. There are dozens of factors, such as color of skin, social class, and age that could possibly disenfranchise you from the dating pool; so, claiming queerness as an excuse for remaining single is unreasonable. Furthermore, it is not true that queer people do not exist in small towns. Although some people may not be out or open about their homosexuality, queer people inhabit every corner of the Earth. Negative thoughts and attitudes will merely cause you to limit yourself and distract you from approaching that cute lesbian from down the street or that attractive androgynous person from the bar. As queer writer Jincey Lumpkin wrote, “let dating be an adventure.” 1
Be True To Yourself
In new and uncomfortable situations, you may resort to portraying untrue and versions of yourself. These façades create social barriers that prevent other people from getting to know the real you. Preventing people from getting to know you may make it hard for you to acquire dates. Additionally, potential partners can fall in love with these alternate versions of you. Then, you could end up in a relationship that does not give you the benefits or the satisfaction that a relationship should. In the end, no one will be happy. So be yourself and act like you would around your close friends and family members. If someone cannot respect you for being yourself, then, they were never worth your time in the first place.
Put Yourself Out There
Many people—including queers—have unrealistically expect to meet someone and fall in love without putting in any effort at all. They do not realize that it will require effort and energy to find and keep a partner. However, people that come off too strong can distract people, they should take the time to attend social events, and make it known to potential suitors that they are interested in a romantic date. Although romantic partners should not be based solely on appearances, people report feeling more confident in stylish clothing. People can change their look by purchasing new clothing or investing in a new fragrance. These small changes can make a huge difference to the public.
Not every transwoman will be as gorgeous as actress Laverne Cox and not every gay man will have Matt Bomer’s piercing blue eyes. It is important to acknowledge that all human beings poses flaws. Although someone may not have the best sense of style, they could have an amazing personality and have characteristics you find compatible. Look beyond peoples’ flaws to understand who they are as people. This information is especially relevant for gay men. According to sociologists Meany-Walen and Davis-Gage, gay men's culture has reinforced the idea of masculinity and light skin as valuable traits.2 These notions of beauty and values were constructed during the 1960s when gay males who were overly flamboyant or non-white were oppressed by police and society. Even though you may find great skin and a fit physique attractive, these features do not necessarily indicate romantic capability. Instead, look beyond superficial traits to find a suitable partner.
Great Places to Meet Queer People
The location of a social event can provide key pieces of information, such as what to wear, what to expect, etc. For instance, what you decide to wear to a club could vary greatly from what you would look like at church. Local pubs and queer bars provide a social atmosphere full of dancing and alcohol, many people flock to queer bars. However, going to a bar works best when the right amount of people accompany you. For example, going to a bar alone while trying to meet someone may be a little awkward. Meanwhile, going with one other friend could lead others to assume that they are a romantic couple.
We realize that some small, conservative towns may not have queer bars, but there are plenty of other great places, groups, and events that every town and city have that create opportunities to meet other queer people.1:
· Community theater groups
· Activist groups / charity events / volunteering for a cause
· The gym
· Coffee shops
· University & colleges (for college-aged queers)
Although there are more gay specific events, like gay pride parades in large cities, these events tend to be more short-term and alcohol centered.
Things to Ask
When looking for someone, think about which traits and characteristics are important to you. Are you looking for someone that is college-educated? Has a sense of humor? Is close to you in age? Specific questions can limit your options, so think of general qualities that are important to you in a partner.
Be Sensitive to Other People’s feelings
Once you think you have a connection with someone, ask for their number. Additionally, if you see the same person at a different event, be sensitive to other people’s feelings. Do not feel bad if they decline to give you their information. Some people may not feel comfortable giving away their number to a person they just met. Moreover, rejection is a healthy and normal part of life. You should take these opportunities to learn from your mistakes.
Trust the fact that there is someone out there who will love you the way you want and deserve to be loved. The process of finding someone could be slow, full of rejection, and may certainly be hard, but always keep trying. Even if things do not work out, you will come out of the situation a more experienced and knowledgeable person.
1. Lumpkin, Jincey. "Juicy Jincey's Guide to Meeting Eligible Women Everywhere." The Huffington Post. TheHuffingtonPost.com, 07 Dec. 2011. Web. 02 Oct. 2014.
2. Davis-Gage, Darcie & Meany-Walen, Kristin. “Body Dissatisfaction Among Gay Men: A Cultural Phenomenon.” American Counseling Association Annual Conference and Exposition. March 2009.
3. "The Gay Man's Dating Guide: 7 Tips on Finding 'The One' | WEHOville." Wehoville.com. N.p., n.d. Web. 02 Oct. 2014.
Last Updated 15 October 2014.