A Queer Girl's Guide to NYC
June 29, 2012 9:15 AM   Subscribe

I'm a woman in her mid-twenties who is coming to realize that she might like other women in the romantic sense. I'm in NYC. How/where can I meet and date other women and get to know NYC's queer scene?

A bit about me: I'm bookish, nerdy, and incredibly socially awkward. I like reading, watching films and TV, good music, and beer. I'm not into sports.

I think I should start off by mentioning that I'm already on OKCupid, and that my profile clearly says I'm bi, even though I don't like that label for a variety of reasons. I have struck up a few conversations there with people, but I have yet to go on anything that can be safely termed a "date."

One of the things I'm looking to do is navigate the NYC dyke bar scene (if there is one; I've heard mixed things) and see if I can meet anyone there. I've never had much success talking to guys in straight bars, though-- would this be much different?

I'm also looking to see if there are any meetups for queer women. I've been to a few of the MetaFilter meetups, and I love how casual they are-- you can just show up and shoot the shit, and if you're a regular attendee you get to know people more. Something like that, but queer-targeted, would be great. I also belong to a couple of book clubs, but I haven't gotten particularly close with anyone there. I'm aware of the Dyke Knitting Circle at Bluestockings, but I've been told they're on break for the summer, and I also don't know how to knit.

In short, I guess I'm looking for places in NYC where someone who is queer and exploring her sexuality would feel comfortable and at home. I'm looking for specific recommendations, as well as places/websites/magazines where I can find this stuff out and any other places/things you guys think I should know about. I'm a total newbie at this, so I'll take any and all suggestions. Thanks in advance!
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (14 answers total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
Crux is an lgbt rock climbing meet-up that started on meet-up and is now it's own thing. They are super welcoming of beginners and everyone is friendly and helpful. Climbing is super fun but it's a pricey hobby. I never had much luck with the bar scene. Good luck! I would still be a member if my theater job hadn't taken over my life. They mostly do gym climbs but there's some outdoor excursions as well.
posted by edbles at 9:28 AM on June 29, 2012

I'm not sure how non-meetup.com-junkies use the word "meetup," but if you haven't searched for "queer women" or "lesbian" on meetup.com, do that! As a fellow incredibly socially awkward person I will caution you that the quality of your meetup experience will depend heavily on the personality and skills of the organizer--groups with a good organizer feel much more cohesive and welcoming.
posted by needs more cowbell at 9:30 AM on June 29, 2012

Not sure where in NYC you live, but my neighborhood (Park Slope) has a thriving lesbian community. I don't know much about it, but this link mentions a few relevant bars and meetups:

posted by jessca84 at 9:59 AM on June 29, 2012

Not sure if you're into dancing, but there are a bunch of awesome queer dance parties happening. There's one tomorrow night at One Last Shag, a bar in Bed-Stuy.

"The one and only RUMBLE! is a queer retro rock n roll sock hop in Brooklyn for all the night owls and cool cats that have come to love it."

I've been before--it's really fun, gets pretty packed, people dress up. Don't know if that sounds like your scene at all but it seems worth checking out.

Nonsensenyc.com is a free mailing list of a bunch of events around NYC that have a fair amount of queer-centric events. Definitely worth signing up for. They have a lot of arty stuff too. (I cannot for the life of me link to it. Sorry.)
posted by dysh at 10:11 AM on June 29, 2012 [1 favorite]

Anon: I could use some moral support for checking out Bluestockings' Dyke Knitting Circle and I am really good at teaching people how to knit. Memail me if you're interested?
posted by Jeanne at 10:28 AM on June 29, 2012

Join the Young Lesbian Professionals meet-up group and come to the book club. Memail me for more info.

I'm a bit older than you but your "about me" section describes me as well. I came out in the last five years. I have had good luck getting to know 2-3 other queer women and then going with them to events and bars. It kind of has a snowball effect and you make more friends and acquaintances. (Let me know if you want to join us)

There's also a coming-out group at Identity House that a friend had good luck with - meeting good people in like circumstances in a supportive atmosphere.
posted by valeries at 10:35 AM on June 29, 2012

the NYC dyke bar scene (if there is one; I've heard mixed things)

There is one, but my experience of it as a bi woman was that it was Not For Me.

Much better were queer dance nights at dance clubs. But honestly, it was at things like LGBTQ softball and gender-neutral contra dance and book events about lesbian and queer books that I met the most interesting women.

Of course this was a million years ago, when lesbiosaurs and biceratops still roamed the earth, so I may be way out of date.
posted by Sidhedevil at 10:38 AM on June 29, 2012 [2 favorites]

If you want a buddy for some of the more casual danceparty type events where it might be sort of awkward to go by yourself, feel free to memail me. I'm in somewhat of the same boat (in my case, bi, been out since the lesbisaurs and biceratops roamed the earth, but have gradually drifted out of the LGBT community over time) and would love a friend to go to stuff with.

I'm also up for crashing Dyke Knitting Circle when they're back in session. I know how to knit, but I'm a very casual and non-ambitious knitter. Jeanne might be better at teaching you to knit, but I'll happily offer pointers and commiserate about stupidfuckingpatternughwtfiswrongwiththisthing when the time comes. I've been to one or two DKC's over the years, and it's always a good stitch-n-bitch if nothing else.
posted by Sara C. at 11:13 AM on June 29, 2012

it might help to read the gay section of time out new york magazine for events that appeal to you (knitting circles, book readings, contradance, etc, though their listings do skew toward gay men and dancing/partying). personally, i found female queer community for the first time in nyc taking acrobatics classes at the LAVA studio in prospect heights, brooklyn. (i went on to work there, but i would have posted this same comment long before i got so involved.) there are other places like that, that don't advertise their queerness but tend to attract that community; i get the impression that park slope's center for antiviolence education is full of cool queer ladies; also third root community health center (which has a weekly yoga class for queer and trans folks).
posted by nevers at 1:25 PM on June 29, 2012 [1 favorite]

LAVA is awesome! There audiences are also hugely queer so their shows are good for that sort of thing too.
posted by edbles at 2:36 PM on June 29, 2012 [1 favorite]

The LGBT center hosts tons of stuff.
posted by brujita at 4:46 PM on June 29, 2012

Cubbyhole has a very friendly and welcoming style. Check GO magazine for events too.
posted by manicure12 at 10:53 PM on June 29, 2012

I'm in my late twenties and just starting to truly explore my sexuality. I'd be up for checking out some of these spots with you. I knit too so I can teach/help you. YouTube is also a great resource for learning how to knit.
posted by LIBADSH at 1:36 AM on August 3, 2012

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