Almost every queer girl has been in this situation: You meet a cute girl, and she seems totally into you. You get attached and maybe even ask her on a date… only to find out she was just a friendly straight girl all along. You can avoid this by letting girls know you like girls from the get-go, but it can be awkward to tell a girl you're queer upon meeting her, and even more awkward to ask her if she is. Unfortunately, there's no secret lesbian handshake or queer sonar, so here are a few tips for subtly letting girls know that you like girls.
1. Bring up LGBTQ+ pop culture icons in conversation
Mentioning queer pop culture icons is a great way to steer the conversation in the right direction so that your personal sexual orientation just may happen to come up. For example, "That was so brave of Ellen Page to come out!" is a great prompt to get the convo on the topic of lesbians. If you're talking about TV shows, ask her if she watches MTV's Faking It. The show has drawn in a big queer audience, so there’s a good chance that if she likes it, she likes girls, too!
2. Compliment her... a lot
A compliment and a flirtatious smile go a long way. If she's interested, she'll probably do it right back. Tell her you like her hair, her clothes or anything about her, as long as you mean it! This can create a great start to a friendship or even a relationship. However, there is a fine line between flirting and mere friendly compliments, so make sure your compliments fit into the flirtatious category. And remember, eye contact is key!
3. Mention other girls being hot
Girls call other girls hot all the time, but it can put ideas in someone's head. Talk about some female celebs you think are particularly attractive. Talking about a famous person instead of some random girl will make it so she won't get jealous in case she is interested in you.
4. Wear some pride gear
Wristbands, lanyards, T-shirts... you name it, you can put a rainbow on it. Hopefully she'll get the hint based on your flamboyant fashion, and you won't even have to say anything! Some good places to buy cute pride gear are Spencer's, Hot Topic and American Apparel. You can also try specialty pride stores or websites like Rainbow Depot and MyPrideGear.com, which both have an extensive collection of rainbow items from bow ties to lip appliqués.
5. Add her on Facebook
Who can resist checking the "about" page of her new Facebook friend? If your "interested in" section says "women," she'll undoubtedly take notice. Of course, you can also check out her page and see what her "interested in" section says!
6. "Come out" casually
Burlesque performer, writer and lesbian extraordinaire Eveleena Fults (aka Ivy Les Vixens) recommends coming out as frequently as possible in casual conversation to ensure girls know you're interested in girls. She urges queer girls to say things like, “Oh, yeah, music is cool. My ex-girlfriend was a musician. Her band sucked, but I pretended to be supportive.” It's an easy way to come out without all the dramatics and awkwardness, and it works especially well for femme queer girls like Ivy who don't have the stereotypical lesbian image.
7. Subtlety is key... or not!
Just tell her! If she has a problem with it, do you really want to associate with her anyway? Be more straightforward if you're interested in a girl. Life is too short to waste time beating around the bush. It can be a little awkward, but who cares? Let your rainbow flag fly!
You can still let girls know you like girls without reliving the awkwardness of "coming out." Just remember to never compromise who you are for the sake of a girl. Be yourself and don't feel discouraged if your new friend turns out to be straight or just not interested. There are plenty of fabulous female fish in the sea!