Is this prof hitting on a lesbian student?
August 27, 2012 7:24 AM Subscribe
I am getting an "icky feeling" from a professor from a nearby university. He hasn't said anything suggestive, but he keeps trying to get me (and just me) to hang out with him. I can't tell if he is a lonely old dude without friends or what. Also, I am a lesbian.
How do I make sure I send a clear message that we are only friends and absolutely nothing more?
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (24 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I met this professor during a local academic conference in which I presented. Afterwards a group of about 12 all went to dinner. Then we wanted to hang out some more, and he offered to host. On the way there, people were telling me about how much he liked having people over. He was very nice to everyone. I caught he looking at me several times, but didn't think much of it because there was no doubt that he's gay.
Then the next day, after the conference, I had to take a bus to another city. He was going there, and offered to give me a ride. I agreed. On the way his hand very lightly touched my thigh a couple of times. One time seemed unintentional. The other was definitely intentional, though it was sort of in a context where a pat on the back would have been appropriate, so I don't know if he just thought my leg was closer. Then he began to propose lots of activities together with just the two of us, and talked about his past girlfriends and dating experiences.
I can't tell if he is just a lonely old guy who desperately want friendship, or if he is going somewhere else with this (my instinct is that it's a bit "icky"). Either way, I can't deal with a smothering friendship, and I am a lesbian anyway.
How would you read this situation? And how do I nip this in the bud? I would like to not cause as bad feelings, because I am concerned about my professional networking/image.