Straight girls, man
August 22, 2012 3:34 PM   Subscribe

I have a massive schoolgirl crush on this girl I know, and it's growing. I'm going to see her again after a few weeks of being can I (relatively) quickly and tactfully find out if she's gay? I have no idea how often I'll see her after this.

So, I met a girl during a summer course we were both taking, and we got along pretty well. I didn't notice it at first, but as the course neared its end she would sort of bro out with me more (I do this) and she started giving me serious gay vibes. I have never been so confused, though. My gaydar isn't fantastic or anything, and it could just be my wishful thinking, but something's happening here. But maybe I'm wrong. Maybe she's just "urban." Or a "tomboy." Or "naturally aggressive." Or "maternal." It could be many things.

So I made sure to make plans for after the class was over. And now that I've had time to process my feelings, they've only gotten stronger. If I don't find out where she stands the next time I see her, I might just die.

Here's the thing, though. She's pretty religious. (I am too, but not as much as her.) Even if she was gay, she's probably not thinking about it or trying to act on it. Frankly, I wonder if she's even aware that she's giving off all these vibes. In this community, you get married and have children. Period. It's not that she's closed-minded about homosexuality--I'm not scared that she will reject me as a friend or anything--but I have to be really tactful because it's going to be this huge thing: "We're religious, we just don't do that!" (Yeah, it sucks.) I haven't been out to her previously anyway, cause of the religion thing, so I might ALSO have to come out to her during this whole thing, if that's what it takes to get the ball rolling. So you can see why I'm nervous.

I thought about getting us drunk and me being like, "So, would you ever go out with a girl? Lol." But she's underage (I'm 21) and I don't think she would drink anyway. This is probably going to be a sober affair, frighteningly enough. My rational side tells me to just forget about it, cause it's going to be pretty difficult, but I can't! I don't want to always be wondering "what if?"

I guess I could ask "So, what do you think about gay marriage?" or something (I feel like she's pretty opinionated so this could be an interesting conversation), but I wouldn't know how to push the conversation in a more personal direction after beating around the bush like that.

So, how am I supposed to ask such a loaded question AND get in "so, can we meet again?" and possibly "Will you go out with me so I don't have to die plz thx"? Should I try to go somewhere at night so darkness might cover the possible awkwardness of the situation, or maybe should I try to schedule a group thing and bring up a general lgbt-related question to everyone? I want to use my possibly-rare-chance-to-see-her wisely.

FWIW, I've never done this before, and I have no idea what I'm doing.

Thanks in advance.
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (12 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
I'm not scared that she will reject me as a friend or anything

If you are also confident - like really confident - that she would also not out you to people you don't want to be outed to, then the least drama/awkward way to do this is just to ask her out. "I like you. Would you consider going on a date with me?"

It's not like this is easy, mind you, but the answer you get will be the least likely kind to be confusing/ambiguous. It will cut down a lot on the endless beanplating you'll do if you ask a question in a group setting, or get her tipsy, or whatever. Enjoy those scenarios in TV and movies; they don't generally work terribly well in real life, when there's no script people have to follow.

But if you are still dependent (financially, for a place to live, etc.) on people who could hurt you in any way if they don't like you being gay and you aren't in a place to risk them finding out right now, then please exercise caution.

I will say that once, when I was young and drunk, I asked a girl I liked if she was gay (I really wanted her to be, but I couldn't tell for sure!); she said something like "Uh, I don't know?" and we ended up being girlfriends for a year and change. Still, it wasn't an excellent idea, just an impulsive one, and if she'd said "No!" there would have been no repercussions except she wouldn't have talked to me anymore.
posted by rtha at 3:52 PM on August 22, 2012 [9 favorites]

I think knowing how old you two are and if anyone's still dependent on their parents for survival would be good here. Because if either or both of you are not of legal age, is going to get in massive trouble for being out, or still lives at home (kinda sounds like all of the above apply), I'd say that the consequences of asking aren't worth giving it a shot here. Especially if she's religious. I know you want love and all, but the circumstances right now sound too scary to give it a shot because we don't know how she'll react. She could react poorly due to the religious indoctrination, she could squeal on you to everyone she knows at church, who knows. And I don't want you to end up in a horrifying situation because you outed yourself to this girl and she wasn't up to handling the truth one way or the other. I can't tell from this how likely she'd be to keep your secret even if she's not interested, and only if you were sure she wouldn't have a big ol' freakout would I say "well, maybe tell."

It kinda sounds like one way or the other, you kinda know she's not secretly in love with you too, though. If she's "not thinking about it or trying to act on it," then the answer is no, right? And if it's going to be "this huge thing: "We're religious, we just don't do that!", then...the answer is going to be no, right? This is not to say she might not be someday, but right now, she's young, you're trapped in fundieville, and it might not be the best time to confront this and force her to confess her love as well. I know you're going OUT OF YOUR MIND and it sounds like the first girl crush ever, but...well, not every crush should have action taken. Especially in bad circumstances.
posted by jenfullmoon at 4:01 PM on August 22, 2012 [2 favorites]

I thought about getting us drunk and me being like, "So, would you ever go out with a girl? "

Not funny. Don't do that. It's manipulative.
posted by discopolo at 4:09 PM on August 22, 2012 [4 favorites]

It doesn't matter if she's gay; it matters if she wants to go out with you. She might be attracted to women sometimes but not feel that way about you, or she might not consider herself gay but be willing to go on a date with you.

Ergo, asking her out (if there's no danger in coming out to her, like rtha mentions) seems like the best plan.
posted by needs more cowbell at 4:12 PM on August 22, 2012 [4 favorites]

I thought about getting us drunk and me being like, "So, would you ever go out with a girl? Lol." But she's underage (I'm 21) and I don't think she would drink anyway.

Considering you are an adult and she is underage, I'm going to suggest that you simply ask her (as rtha suggests) but with acknowledgement that you don't mean right now. "I don't know if or when I'll see you again, but I like you. If our paths cross again when we're both a little older, would you consider going on a date with me?"
posted by davejay at 4:16 PM on August 22, 2012

Question. By 'underage' do you mean 'not yet 21' or 'not yet 18'? Because my answer to your question would not be the same for both.
posted by JuliaIglesias at 4:19 PM on August 22, 2012 [3 favorites]

I think the girl is over 18 but under 21.
posted by victory_laser at 4:32 PM on August 22, 2012

(In context, I think anon means underage-for-drinking, not under 18)
posted by MadamM at 4:44 PM on August 22, 2012 [1 favorite]

When I was younger (younger than both of you, but not by much), I knew I liked girls, had kissed one, had parents who were vocal about supporting gay rights, and bafflingly, still did not realize that the fact that I liked girls made me gay. It took me awhile to associate that label with myself, and it may be the same for the object of your desire, so I wouldn't try to see how she feels about gay people in general to see if she would be interested in you.

In addition, if she's closeted, she's probably already worried about being outed so may not be honest in a group of people if you're seeing how she feels about LGBT issues, or she may be one of those confusing folks who are still figuring things out, and doesn't support gay rights but still likes girls herself.

This sounds agonizing, and I feel for you. If you decide to make your move, I think you're going to have to go with the approach, "I think I like you as more than a friend, and I feel so strongly that I wanted to see how you feel" and make it clear that you're okay with her being unsure or just straight and not interested.

I wish you luck! But I want to say that although it may seem like you have to take action now, or regret it forever, that I hope you get to feel differently once you're in a place with a wider variety of out and proud ladies. I used to get such intense crushes on the few girls in my tiny hometown who I suspected may be gay, too, and looking back, they weren't even good matches for me other than giving off gay vibes. Once I moved to a city with a large gay scene I got to experience the joy of normal dating (instead of wondering "is she or isn't she?"), and crushes didn't matter as much because I knew there were plenty of wonderful women out there. But that's unsolicited advice, and I have no idea what your situation is, so let me end by wishing you luck again!
posted by thesocietyfor at 5:42 PM on August 22, 2012 [10 favorites]

If I don't find out where she stands the next time I see her, I might just die.

I guarentee that won't happen. You can go a while without knowing. You just have to stay in the game. Standard flirting, eye contact, compliments, light touching.
posted by Ironmouth at 9:48 PM on August 22, 2012

Why don't you come out to her and see what her reaction is? If she doesn't know you're gay, and she's attracted to you, you'll never know.

You could spend time hinting around about "What do you think about the gay marriage laws? Do you think [religion] is unfair about homosexuality?" or flirting with her and trying to see if you think she's responding, but really, that's just going to be annoying. There's a chance she'll clearly communicate that she thinks gay is icky, so maybe a bit of asking first is a good idea as a safety mat. But if she is non-committal or supportive (as many straight people are) that's still a very very different question from whether she is attracted to you, and there'll be a whole new AskMe next week about what she said and what we think it means.
posted by aimedwander at 6:55 AM on August 23, 2012

Just ask her out. Imagine how it would feel if she said "yes" to the gay question and then "no" to the "you" question.
posted by sparklemotion at 9:05 AM on August 23, 2012

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