There is a really pretty girl I’ve run into a couple of times on campus, and I would love to ask her on a date, but I’m nervous because I’m gay and I don’t know if she’s into girls. What do I do?
Quirky, Quiet, Queer
Your worry is definitely justified. As much as we would like to think that everyone is “cool” with the queer community, it’s unfortunately not always the case. That does not mean you shouldn’t try, though.
Before you get plagued with dating anxieties, try to see if you can gauge whether she likes you as a person. Since you keep running into her on campus, make sure you are reading her signals. If every time you see her, she is in a rush, you may want to back off a bit and see if she talks to you sometimes as well. If you develop a good rapport with this girl, try flirting with her a little and see how she responds. Make eye contact with her, give her compliments, smile, all that jazz.
You should also try coming out to her in your conversations. Offer it up as a casual piece of information. Then, if she is also into girls, she may feel more comfortable bringing it up with you—which would give you a clearer starting point.
The most efficient thing to do is to go ahead and ask her out. If she does act weird, it does not mean you did anything wrong. She probably wasn’t the girl for you!
Illustration by Kevin Baggarly.