So you think you might be into women, now what? (for women)
Congratulations – you are facing something about yourself, something you might have suspected for a long time, and are ready to take action. Good for you!
Being Out actually is good for you
First off, know that you’ve made the right choices to come out. Did you know that being out about your sexuality, whether you are lesbian, bi, or queer is good for your health? People who have a sexuality other than straight who hide that fact from all or a significant portion of their community and life have health problems as a result. Sexual minority women who are recently out are less likely to be depressed than closeted women, according to this 2016 study. According to another study which measured stress markers and mental health in out and closeted folks, people who were out about their sexuality had lower cortisol levels (an indicator of stress) and less depresssion and anxiety than closeted folks.
How on Earth Do I Do this Dating Women Thing?
Take it easy. Coming out is a process of accepting the changes in how you see yourself and how others see you, but it’s also a process of learning ‘your’ new culture. If you are bisexual, make some bisexual friends. If you are lesbian, join a women’s softball team (I’m only kind of joking…). Get connected to the culture and meet other women who share your orientation. Taking several months (!) to feel what it is to be completely out, to go through the awkwardness of feeling like you don’t (yet) fit, and deal with any internalized homophobia in community will prevent those important journeys from putting pressure on your new relationships and dating. I can’t overestimate how important it is. When you have friends who are queer, bi or lesbian, then you will meet women through them that you might want to date.
I strongly recommend you get used to asking other women out, in the most straightforward manner you can. Find out if she’s single, and ask her to do a thing with you. Flirt. Tell her something positive about her appearance or abilities. Gracefully take no for answer, and sometimes there will be a yes. Get to know her over some time, see if there is a connection, let her know you are attracted to her. For more on how to date when you are newly into women, check out this article I wrote for What’s on Queer BC.
Here are the basics –
- Come out. Join activites where other queer women hang out. Participate consistently for several months. Make friends who are of the same sexual orientation as you are (or if you don’t know what that is yet, the same as your current best guess).
- Once you are connected, take some risks and express your attraction directly – ie: ask women out on dates. This will work better if you are already a familiar face from #1. Online dating is much less effective for women who have not done #1.
- Accept yesses and nos and maybes gracefully.
- Good luck!