My Gaydar Works Better On My Friends Than On My Crushes & It Kind Of Sucks

Something I briefly touched upon in my post from June first, A Letter To My LGBTQ+ Friends From College, is the idea that my gaydar works amazingly well when it comes to finding friends, but absolutely SUCKS whenever I try to figure out if my crushes are straight or not.

It’s a weird situation to be in, to be honest. I’m afraid that this isn’t as much of a thinky post as usual – instead, it’s basically just me rambling about some personal stuff that I’ve been thinking about a lot lately.

I ended up making a ton of LGBTQ+ friends this past year at college and while some of it was pure luck that we’d gravitated together – it took me about six months to realize one of my few guy friends was bi, not straight – there were also a number of times when I suspected someone was gay or bi or whatever and ended up being entirely correct.

When it comes to my crushes, though? UGH. I spent an entire school year trying and failing to figure out whether the girl across the hall from me was lesbian or bisexual or straight. I still have no idea. I spent a semester (and then some) trying to figure out if my really cute writing professor was queer, and the only conclusion my friends and I were able to come to was… maybe?

Honestly, I think most of it has to do with the fact that making friends and meeting new people feels much more low-stakes than talking to my crushes, flirting with them, et cetera does. I’ve never been in a relationship, and while I would love to finally date a girl, the idea of doing so also terrifies me – not just because of leftover internalized homophobia crap that I still need to work through, but because I’VE NEVER DATED ANYONE BEFORE AND I WOULD HAVE NO IDEA WHAT I WAS SUPPOSED TO DO. I kind of don’t want to know if my crushes like girls because I haven’t really thought about what I would even do with that information.

I feel more anxious about trying different methods of figuring out whether or not my crushes are LGBTQ+? I’m not nearly as nervous about bringing up, say, LGBTQ+ lit as a way of figuring out if someone is gay if that someone is strictly a friend and not a crush. And flat-out asking someone “are you gay?” is completely out (pun not intended) of the question when it comes to my crushes.

I guess I’m just not very bold about talking to people I have crushes on. This is probably something I should work on, so that I get more practice, but on the other hand… the thought of starting kind of terrifies me. I’m worried about messing up, and so I don’t follow up my suspicions that someone is not straight with surreptitious questions designed to find out.

Does anyone else have this problem?

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About nevillegirl

Elizabeth, University of Iowa class of 2019. Double majoring in English & Creative Writing and Journalism. Twenty-year-old daydreamer, introvert, voracious reader, and aspiring writer. Passionate about feminism and lesbian positivity.
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4 Responses to My Gaydar Works Better On My Friends Than On My Crushes & It Kind Of Sucks

  1. I have the same problem. Well I also have the problem of falling for straight girls. But yeah my gaydar doesn’t seem to work very well. I contribute it to the fact that I have no queer friends in real life, and therefore can’t place people in real life because I have nothing to go on. Idk maybe this year will be my year to work on that lol. 😀

  2. F says:

    Aww, I’m sorry you’re having this problem 😦

    I have something similar, I am completely convinced that one of my close friends (who I’m sharing a house with next year so this may come up) is very, very gay. His parents are very religious and domineering, and he’s a very ‘well-behaved’ country boy so I don’t see him ever coming out, and it’s upsetting to watch. He always tells me how he can’t see himself getting with girls, he thinks sex is disgusting/shocking, but I don’t think he’s going to have the courage or confidence to address the issue for himself for a long time. I have a female friend who I suspect is in a similar situation and I wish I could do more for them, but I don’t want to make them uncomfortable by forcing them to discuss it too soon, or at all.

    As for ‘openly gay’ or at least people who know they are gay, I can usually tell by looking at their mutual friends on Facebook.. The gay community in my uni is very small so if we only have those people in common they must be gay too 😉 Did you think of using a dating app? It would be an easy way to find out if the girl across the hall from you is gay!

    I have only dated once (there wasn’t a second date, for REASONS) and I agree it’s very stressful knowing what the standard rules/situations are if you’re gay because no one has ever told them to you. I’m also quite shy and immature about relationships so I have even less of a clue what I’m doing.

    I hope you have better luck in the future, you’re never alone! 🙂

  3. Mahima says:

    I would say yes! Go and talk to these people dammnit! – Knowing that it’s not as easy as said, I’m going to have to say that one thing that I find would help would be to approach these women as a friend and work it up from there.
    You’ve got so much ammo on hand, talking about LGBT+ lit, your blog etc etc. So I’d advise bringing these up rather slyly in your conversations with your wonderfully cute people (once you get to the i-can-talk-to-you stage) and suss it out from there (but reading social cues is sooooo difficult!).
    GOOD LUCK!

  4. Pingback: 2016 Pride Recap | Musings From Neville's Navel

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