The Misunderstood Life Of A Queer Woman

Women's Dating

The Misunderstood Life of a Queer Woman

Katie B.

Written by: Katie B.

Katie B.

Katie B. has a MPH in health promotion and has plans to complete a master's degree in marriage and family therapy. You can read more about Katie B's journey in an open relationship at

Edited by: Lillian Castro

Lillian Castro

Lillian Guevara-Castro brings more than 30 years of journalism experience to ensure DatingAdvice articles have been edited for overall clarity, accuracy, and reader engagement. She has worked at The Atlanta Journal and Constitution, The Gwinnett Daily News, and The Gainesville Sun covering lifestyle topics.

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I identify as queer and really enjoy being with women. I have been with women sexually and dated a few of them, but I’ve always had a hard time with this idea that I “read” as straight.
Several of my close women friends have expressed similar sentiments to me.
Other pieces to this issue include biphobia (or the discrimination against bisexuals) and what I would label as polyphobia (or the fear of poly/open relationships).

I’ve had a difficult time dating women

There are several issues that make dating women complicated, including things like I don’t look “gay enough,” am also attracted to men and already have an existing partner.
It is difficult separating out all of these issues, but I want to focus on this idea of looking the part to attract women.

Most sage advice recommends you don’t change yourself to fit some idea of what you should look like in order to attract partners. For me, I know I don’t want to cut my long hair in order to look the part of a queer woman.

That being said

Sometimes I desperately want to signal more clearly that I am queer.

There’s value in embodying the qualities of the types of people you find yourself attracted and drawn to.

It’s a form of self-discovery and self-love to say, “Wow that person is so fearless (or motivated or extroverted or sensitive). If I try being more fearless myself, I will be attracted and drawn to myself even more. I will love myself even more.”

What’s more is you often attract into your life what you put out there, so embodying those qualities you find yourself in love with may very well attract such a person.

Still I wish I could wear some common identifier to say, “Hey there! Yes, you! Women of the world! I am interested!”

I guess that’s where that whole talking thing comes into play and explicitly letting people know I’m into them. The problem I face with that is it takes away the subtle game dating invites.

When it comes to dating men, I’m generally confident men I’m interested in are interested in women in general.

I can easily play the flirty, nonverbal back-and-forth games until things heat up enough to start inviting touch – touching hands, backs, arms and then kissing.

Before you know it, neither of you have actually said anything. You both just know how into one another you are.

When I have to explicitly advertise myself as both queer and attracted to someone (Hi! I’m Katie and I think you’re really cute. Want to get a drink sometime?), I feel more vulnerable and intimidated.

It feels much riskier than that subtle, nonverbal game.

On the one hand, talking about attraction takes away any mind games (Did she look at me? Was she laughing at me or with me? Does she think I’m cute, too?) and makes the whole thing clearer.

It feels more adult or something, and at least if there is rejection, it’s clear rejection.

I’m sharing your pain

Sometimes dating is hard. It requires growth and self-disclosure and invites rejection and pain.

I guess my one piece of advice to myself and others is don’t change yourself to fit some mold of what you think you should be.

Embody the values you want to live by and the characteristics that arouse and charm you. Be your own best friend and let the rest fall into place.

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