A little while ago, I wrote a post in my series A Guy’s Guide to Feminism about what women are thinking in the club when men approach them.
But I realize now that being queer really does affect my experience.
Not just because I get harassed more by men if they see me with a woman, but because holy crap, women are so intimidating! (Or maybe that’s just me…)
So this post is not about harassment. It’s about how frickin’ difficult it is to find another queer lady in a bar!
Here’s what bars are really like for queer cis women.
1. Everyone assumes we are straight.
This might be from personal experience, but I have yet to meet anyone in a bar who doesn’t assume I’m straight right away, unless I’m at a gay bar. (And even then, I usually get pegged as the straight friend.) I have lesbian friends who usually just say they’re lesbian when men come onto them, but even then the men don’t seem to get the message.
Because they think we’re joking.
And this is the same with women, which makes it REALLY hard to find other queer women. In fact, most of the time when I go out I look around and wonder if they are any other queer women in the room.
Fun fact: there usually isn’t.
2. Gay bars seem to be primarily for gay men.
Not all of them are, but even those that seem like they’re a little more diverse still feel like they are. It isn’t like we aren’t welcome, but to put it as one of my queer friends said, it’s just that gay guys tend to be more out there.
So I don’t know how to explain it, but being a queer woman at a gay bar just isn’t as fun as it sounds! It might put all us queer people in the same room, but even if there are other women there, they’re almost always straight, or they’re with their partner, or they only really get into same-sex stuff if they’re drunk.
So even in a gay bar, we’re still trying to figure out if the ladies are queer or not. Are they there because they are gay, or because they want to dance and not be harassed by straight men?
It’s frustrating as hell.
3. Queer fashion is no longer a reliable clue, so the number of times we’ve flirted with a straight girl is too damn high.
For real. I’m thinking of shaving the side of my head or getting that bad-ass short haircut because maybe then they’ll find me.
Oh wait — those haircuts are now a badass everyone-wears-it thing.
Damn! So much for that…
4. If we do find another queer lady, half the time we completely miss it because we couldn’t tell if they were flirting. Especially in a not-gay bar setting.
Really — this is an actual problem! Gay people do not have a magical way of telling if another person is gay. In fact, a lot of us will giggle and stalk them on Facebook trying to guess.
For real, half the time Grady is the one to be like, “Sareeeeeta…. she liiiikes you!” And then I shut him down and tell him he has no idea what he’s talking about.
But then I look at her and think… does she like me?
Girls are always so nice and always give compliments, it’s so hard to tell!
So there you have it, my friends.
Even for us queer folk… the struggle is real.
What is going to bars like for you? Let me know in the comments below!
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