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Queer Abby: How Do I Talk To Girls?

Dear Queer Abby, 

How the HELL am I supposed to get a gf if I can’t even talk to girls?

The lesbian dilemma. 

Signed, 

The Most-Shy Sappho

Dear Shy Sappho,

You are going to hate this, but your question offers the solution to this dilemma. 

You need to talk to girls. 

You will be nervous. There is not a universe where you are magically not-nervous when talking to new people/potential dates, but you can grow and build the muscle of talking to them anyway and keeping your cool SORT OF.  

Please trust me when I say this, as someone who practically had a heart attack when was first trying to talk to queer people I liked. (Like-liked.)

Honestly, when I was first trying to date gay, I resorted to notes and tiny gifts in lieu of verbal expressions of romantic ardor. 

Like any skill or strength, talking to new people requires practice. Tiny reps. 

Start by talking to lesbians you do *not* want to sleep with. Just friends. Broaden your queer friend network in real life so that you can practice the art of not talking like a mumbling robot. 

If you let yourself be seen by your queer friends, if you make your personality and your needs known, they can then recommend you to people for dating. And once you date one lesbian, well friend, you’re basically in a game of queer musical chairs that can last A LIFETIME. Exes of exes and exes, all dating one another into infinity.  

But here’s the deal — in order to make space for a date, you have to energetically chill out with your primary partner, your cell phone. 

Getting likes and comments is like playing a slot machine. It lights up your pleasure receptors intermittently and provides a quick buzz, but it’s not the same as people appreciating you in the physical sphere, after hearing your voice and seeing you as a three-dimensional earthling without a face-filter.

STAY OFF YOUR PHONE IN PUBLIC.

Use your phone as a starting point, not an ending place. 

Look up an event. Go to the event. If you’re shy, volunteer to work at an event. Or a place that has lesbians. 

It’s always easier to function in public if you’re doing something. 

Structure binds anxiety. Give yourself some social structure. Work behind a table, take tickets, join a lesbian softball team, whatever. Give yourself a reason to be there and for people to interact with you, even if it’s just for a second. I find having a purpose much less awkward than milling around anxiously. 

I want you to have this team of lesbians who can recommend you to their exes’ roommates for dating, but I want to tell you a secret I learned in a women’s magazine in the 1990s: You are more approachable when you are alone. 

It can be intimidating to approach someone who is surrounded and engaged by their pack. 

If you go to a queer dance party and you see someone eyeballing you, get your friends to buzz off so you are standing alone at some point and look open for conversation (note: looking open does not include your eyeballs being stuck to your telephone in public. As was mentioned before STAY OFF YOUR PHONE IN PUBLIC).

Even better (if you can stomach it) go stag. 

If you arrive at a party alone, you can talk to different groups of friends without feeling tied to them, you can leave or have a long conversation at your whim, and there are no misconceptions about who you’re going home with (can I say, as a side note, that if you are hanging out with someone who looks like your date, or at one point *was* your date, that is going to confuse the vibe and make people 200 percent less likely to approach you with offers to make out? That is a gay fact. Sometimes hanging out with an ex or fake girlfriend is a nice buffer or barrier from having to talk to strangers, but if you are on the make and wondering why people aren’t flocking to you, that’s why). 

Remember: rejection won’t kill you. The worst a girl can say is no. 

Rejection is the universe’s protection from something that wasn’t meant for you. 

So write a note, ask if you can buy someone a drink. Let them see you. Risk being seen. 

It is worth it. 

Good luck! 

I am sending you the best talking-to-lesbian vibes possible. 

Sincerely, 

Queer Abby


Nicole J. Georges

Nicole J. Georges is a writer, illustrator, podcaster, and professor from Portland, OR.