Okay, world. This is a big one. I am going to admit something weird about myself:
I suck at meeting new people.
I know you’re all sitting there like , but it’s true. In 2010 when I first came to Denver, I was forced into a program with 300 other people my age who were super awkward. We then had no option but make friends or get the hell out. I chose to make friends, and that core group are still my most contacted people in my phone and on my Gchat and all over my Facebook on the regular. Two years ago, I kicked friendmaking’s ass. And I took many names.
But in gay world, everything is different (read in Cady Heron’s voice a la Mean Girls, please.)
You don’t just go up to someone in a coffee shop and say “Hey, you look like a lez, and we could probably talk about things in a hilarious code that nobody else would understand. Come drink beer on my porch.” I mean, I wouldn’t do that to anyone, much less a girl that I wanted to talk about “girl” with.
So…that leaves us with the question:
How do you meet gay friends?
Exhibit A and I had a discussion last week about some concerns in our relationship. Hers for me was that I don’t have A – gay friends and B – friends that aren’t also her friends. There’s no blame placed – I moved here and we started dating a week in. That’s life, folks. If you’re in a relationship, think back to when you and your sweetie started dating. Don’t lie, y’all were inseparable. AKA I had no time to make tons of new friends. I sank into her world pretty quickly. Don’t get me wrong, I have friends I’ve made on my own…we just don’t hang out. And only two of mine are gay, and one is a man. (SIDE NOTE: Gay men are not gay women. They are not interchangeable. K?)
So. The discussion ended with her and I deciding I was outgoing. I was fun…this is starting to sound a little Stuart Smalley, no?
But then I was like WHAT. DID. I. JUST. PROMISE. How in the hell do I make gay friends? Short of putting up an ad on Craigslist that’s like “Hey, my name is ______ and I want you to come talk about fonts, my new haircut, and how gosh darn cute animal’s paws are. I don’t want to touch you there, but I want you to want to touch people like me there, as in can you be gay and also love Helvetica like I do? Let’s chat.” I mean, I could have, but the responses probably would have been weird.
Luckily, one of my obsessions is perusing other blogs, and Autostraddle is one of those blogs. So when I stumbled upon this gem — How to Make Gay Friends and Meet Girls: The Ultimate Guide to Effective Queer Socializing — I died and went to heaven! …well, sort of. On the job was not an option, as that is how I met Exhibit A and in fact know everyone she knows. Roommates? I have those already. And they are two straight dudes. Women’s Studies class…not gonna pay for my friends, sorry. Then I saw it.
I was like, replaying that Craigslist line in my head over and over, y’all. Seriously. And I was not into it. But then, the website’s all “let us connect you to homos in your area and do all the work for you!” And so I did it. And I got adds from queer gals who were in my same shoes. And then…I did something crazy today.
I went on a blind friend date. As in “do you want to get coffee that doesn’t lead to awkward sex?” I went on a BLIND FRIEND DATE. I need you to understand, dear reader, that a blind friend date is probably thirty thousand times more intimidating than a real date because there’s no sexual tension and the judgments are completely based on things that don’t have sexual bias! This means I felt the need to be witty, sound smart, and most importantly be punctual (you never wanna be the ass who shows up late!)
We met for coffee this afternoon and she was just lovely. We chatted about how awkward making friends is and how totally weird meeting someone on the Internet is (she answered the phone and told said caller she was with her “Internet friend” and then we laughed. Because guess what? It’s funny.) We had hummus — the lesbian bringer-together of all things good. I brought Exhibit A’s dog and he was a hit. We looked at cute girls running by. It was a delight. Blind friend dates! Who knew!?
So, the moral of this is that I’m gonna probably attempt this a few more times. Then I’m gonna make a best friend because Urlacher is leaving and I really just need a replacement (joke!) but seriously she’s moving and that sucks. Wish me luck. It should be a total hoot.