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Auntie SparkNotes: LGBT and I Feel So Alone

Auntie SparkNotes: LGBT and I Feel So Alone

Hi Auntie!

I saw that lately you've done a little more advice columns concerning the LGBT community, and I was hoping that I could get some mature and helpful advice from you about my situation.

Lately, I've discovered something about myself: I'm a lesbian. I have always thought that I was bi, but the more I did with guys, even up to sex, the more I felt myself veering away from that, and being more attracted to girls.

The problem is, I feel incredibly alone. I went to the LGBTQ gathering at my university. It was honestly a really big step for me, like I was really getting out there with my sexuality. I wanted to meet people, especially a cute girl, or perhaps just find good resources. What happened was this: only one person deliberately tried to talk to me and get to know me. And he was gay. None of the girls even looked at me or tried, even when I introduced myself and tried to talk to them. This may sound cocky, and I really don't want it to, but I'm used to guys constantly hitting on me and asking me out and people telling me how gorgeous I am (ugh I hated writing that but I swear it's relevant). I guess I'm used to people being attracted to me in both personality and looks, so it's just confusing why absolutely zero girls have ever shown interest in me. I'm kinda tomboyish with how I dress, so I don't think that it's anything to do with me being super girly. I am so confused and after that meeting today I've never felt more alone with my sexual orientation. I'm really hoping you can help me understand how to deal with this.

Wellllll, for starters, you can deal with it by not jumping to defeatist conclusions just because you showed up to one single, solitary party and didn't get mobbed by drooling suitors like some kind of Tiger Beat coverboy. I mean, really darling: I don't mean to be unkind, but this will go a lot better for all involved if you dial down your expectations to a point where they at least resemble reality.

Among other things, that means realizing that your first-ever college LGBTQ meetup was probably a lot of other people's first step out of the closet as well. Think about how weird and excited and anxious you felt about getting out there with your sexuality. Now, think about how many people in that room probably felt equally weird and anxious, if not more so. Now, ask yourself if there's a scenario out there that's less likely to lead to instant romantic connection, and more tailor-made for getting a bunch of people to stand around and give each other the nervous stink-eye. (Hint: There isn't.)

In short, you might want to try your hand at meeting people somewhere other than at the world's most awkward coming-out party before declaring yourself undesirable and alone.

And when you do, you'll want to leave your sense of heteronormative entitlement at home.

Because as delightful as it is that you've always been the belle of the hetero hookup ball, the attention you're used to getting from straight guys just isn't relevant here. When you go out and get pounced on by a million dudes, everyone involved is doing a familiar, age-old dance: aggressive guy plus passive girl plus a thousand years of heterocentric human history equals everyone knowing exactly where they stand. But once you're in LGBT territory, you can't rely on old-school gender roles to hand you your suitors on a silver platter—not least because nothing is going to irritate the lovely lesbian ladies at your college quite like the realization that you expect them to fawn all over you like a bunch of desperate guys.

The good news is, at least you realize that how cocky and obnoxious it is to complain that you're not being adored in the manner to which you're accustomed. What you don't seem to realize, though, is how self-sabotaging it is to walk out your door with the expectation of being wooed—and to be disappointed when people don't treat you like the hot shizz you so clearly believe yourself to be. That attitude isn't just unhelpful; it's off-putting, even to girls who might otherwise have been happy to know you. If you want people to be interested in you, you have to be interested in them—not just interested in getting their attention so that you can feel good about how hot you are. So the next time you go out to meet girls, don't do it because you're seeking validation of your attractiveness, making a statement about your sexuality, or trying to make a blanket judgment about the quality of your school's LGBT dating scene; do it because you want to engage and connect with other human beings, period.

Because if that's your goal, then that's what you'll do.

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Topics: Advice
Tags: auntie sparknotes, college, coming out, lgbt, lesbians

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About the Author

Kat Rosenfield is a writer, illustrator, advice columnist, YA author, and enthusiastic licker of that plastic liner that comes inside a box of Cheez-Its. She loves zombies and cats. She hates zombie cats. Follow her on Twitter or Tumblr @katrosenfield.

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