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?