The Hook Up: 6-8-2011

I am 28, and recently figured out that I am extremely attracted to women. I just “came out” to my family, and they are extremely supportive. My only dilemma is getting myself noticed by other women. I am fairly femme (although I wear hoodies, and jeans, etc.). I have pushed myself straight into the community and have attended two different events – danced my heart out, both being club parties. However, I am finding it really difficult to approach and/or get approached.

I really want to meet more women. This whole world is completely new to me and really overwhelming. While attending the two events, I finally felt like I “fit.” However, now comes the hard part of starting relationships with women, as I have had no previous experience. I have joined the local online communities and online dating sites, but I am still finding it really hard. How do I attract women? Is there a specific way to let them know I am a lesbian? Is there any sure way of telling straight from gay?

Anna says: Welcome to the club! Your low-maintenance succulent plant and year-long subscription to Girlfriends will be mailed to you shortly. And seriously, congratulations on putting yourself out there. It ain’t easy going to club parties stag – I’ve only done it once, and probably survived it because I was escorted by several, hearty vodka gimlets.

You might not like to hear it, but you are following all the right steps. You’re online, you’re offline, and you’re out to those who care about you. Sometimes there’s nothing you can do but wait for the right person to land at your doorstep. In the mean time, however, here are a few things you can do to occupy your time while you wait for Ms. Right to materialize.

Make some ghey ladee friends. And I actually mean friends, honest-to-goodness platonic ones. Not only will this further bolster your cred in the community, and fill up your social calendar, but there’s an added perk that gay gals often know other gay gals that might want to knock boots with you. Everybody wins, except perhaps your unsuspecting boots.

Approach women. You don’t have to hit on anybody. Just practice striking up conversations with strangers when you’re out at these awesome queer parties. After a while, it won’t seem scary or hard. In the course of these conversations, if things are gelling, you can try to suss out their sexual identity. I’ve found it helpful to admit my own queerness as a jumping off point. It can be in a self-deprecating way, “I’m so gay I named my Subaru Outback ‘Shane.’” Or it can be direct. It depends on the conversation, obviously. Often, this alone will elicit a response from whoever it is I’m chatting up. If you do happen to hit on a straight girl accidentally, don’t worry about it too much. Nine times out of 10, they won’t be offended, most are even flattered, and some will make out with you despite their supposed straightness.

Don’t fixate. Try not to have a hard-and-fast agenda. Focus on meeting people, doing interesting things, and being the kind of person you’d want to meet and hang out with. The rest is up to chance.

As to the last question, no, there’s no sure way to tell if someone’s straight or gay, but I will leave you with the wise words of Leisha Hailey, aka Alice from The L Word: “Everyone’s straight until they’re not.”

Hailing from the rough-and-tumble deserts of southern Arizona, where one doesn’t have to bother with such trivialities as “coats” or “daylight savings time,” Anna Pulley is a professional tweeter/blogger for Mother Jones and a freelance writer living in San Francisco. Find her at and on Twitter @annapulley. Send her your Hook Up questions at

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