Online community for queer women
December 29, 2020 9:36 AM   Subscribe

Where do queer women hang out online?

I’m a bi-leaning-gay woman in my early 30s in New York City, with a lot of regrets about how long it took me to figure out my sexuality and come out. At the beginning of this year I’d decided I wanted to put more effort into getting out there and finding some queer community- and, well, that obviously couldn’t happen. But now with the way the pandemic is dragging on, I’m really craving some kind of outlet where I can just talk with other queer women and, I suppose, prepare myself for the day when I’m able to actually seek that in-person community.

I would love any recommendations for online places I can find this. Not so much “places where queer women happen to hang out” but places specifically for us. And best would be places with a contingent of people around my age.
posted by showbiz_liz to Human Relations (13 answers total) 16 users marked this as a favorite
It seems to me a fair number of queer women are using the Lex app these days (text-based personals/dating, but can also be used for friendship). Also OkCupid. (I know you weren't asking for dating apps, but I find that the queer women community especially tends to use nominally "dating" spaces for community-building.)

Plus I follow a few queer-women meme/fun accounts on Instagram.

watching this thread!
posted by mekily at 9:50 AM on December 29, 2020

Was just going to say Lex. More of an app than a place to hang out, but it's a good place to meet people.

And everything Autostraddle does seems to be good, although I don't think they have forums. In the Before Times they had IRL meetups, though.
posted by needs more cowbell at 9:53 AM on December 29, 2020

Lex and, honestly, TikTok.
posted by lucy.jakobs at 9:58 AM on December 29, 2020 [2 favorites]

Response by poster: Don’t want to threadsit but, one of my issues is a pervasive feeling that I don’t “count enough”/am not a desirable enough partner for a woman because of my relative lack of experience and the fact that most of my friends are straight. Dating apps often just make me feel like I’m not queer enough or cool enough. I guess I’ve been feeling like it’s important for me to find a queer community before I can comfortably approach specific individual women.
posted by showbiz_liz at 10:00 AM on December 29, 2020 [2 favorites]

FWIW if it makes you feel any better, people post things like "I'm looking for a kombucha SCOBY" on Lex - it's definitely not solely a dating app.
posted by needs more cowbell at 10:04 AM on December 29, 2020

Autostraddle has a lively commenting community, yeah. They also have links to local groups that Autostraddlers have set up, which may be active online even if they're not doing in-person meetups.

You might also look into Bluestockings Bookstore's online presence, and look around for Discords or Slacks on [thing you are into, like writing/cooking/MMORPGs/whatever] + queer women. I'm in a few of these and they're pretty good places to hang out.
posted by wintersweet at 10:08 AM on December 29, 2020

I'm not in your city, but maybe also check Meetup/Facebook groups for any queer book clubs and the like? In the before times, I formed my queer community through a combination of Autostraddle meetups and a queer book club.

I know how you're feeling! I used to feel that way too. And then one Pride I was struck by how at home I felt, looking around at my circle of amazing queer friends. Don't let anyone tell you that who you know or have sex with is your only path to legitimacy. You have arrived here, fully formed.
posted by sugarbomb at 10:09 AM on December 29, 2020

Yeah, I've used Lex for community-building, and it's been amazing for that -- I've got a wonderful friendship circle in notoriously hard-to-make-friends Seattle through the app! I recommend thinking of it not as a dating app and almost a tiny baby blog. Post something that you're looking to make text-friends and explore your queerness and/or whatever you most want in that moment. Focus more on community than finding a single other person. Be prepared to be invited to a Discord or something.

(Genuinely, the most interaction and best people I've met were from a random frustrated post about wanting to move out of the city, no relationshippy stuff needed!)
posted by kalimac at 10:11 AM on December 29, 2020 [1 favorite]

Friends of mine run QAF Space (Facebook, Twitter), a UK based Zoom channel for, according to their bio, "queer AFAB/trans masc/transmen/womxn/lesbians & allies". (They are inclusive of trans women.)

The channel is continuously open, but they also have some scheduled events, mostly in the afternoon/evening UK time (morning/afternoon in the eastern US).
posted by Pallas Athena at 12:33 PM on December 29, 2020 [1 favorite]

I'm gay and my best friend is too but she is kind of re-coming out in her mid-thirties after leaving her straight marriage. She found some nice folks on Reddit, which I know is surprising -- there's r/actuallesbians which skews young, r/actuallesbiansover25 which is more of our folks, and r/latebloomerlesbians which sounds like it might be great for you. I read a lot of Reddit but never comment and my recommendation would have originally been Autostraddle but since that's covered this might help!

A lot of the AS folks are NYC based as well from my understanding (definitely Heather Hogan and some others) so their local meetups/discussion/info might be really great for you once it's safe to go outside again.

It's never too late to come out unless you're dead! There's other folks in your situation. My wife didn't have a big group of queer friends before we met and my friendgroup was more 'we all grew up together as the weird kids and surprise we're all queer.' So if you still like your straight friends, I don't think anyone is going to judge you for having them.
posted by possibilityleft at 2:51 PM on December 29, 2020 [1 favorite]

I have connected with so many women over queer Instagram, there are accounts for all different kinds of interests with connections to the account owner or other followers in the comments:

Mental health memes
And then just memes:
posted by ellieBOA at 4:43 AM on December 30, 2020 [1 favorite]

I’m not queer enough or cool enough.

Because you said this I'm going to recommend the "Sapphics Unlearning Compulsory Heterosexuality" group on FB. Lots of queer women (mostly white) who are unlearning heterosexism and heteronormativity and some who have cis male partners. It's a very affirming and accepting space where you will get lots of support for being queer and cool enough.
posted by foxjacket at 7:22 AM on December 30, 2020 [1 favorite]

Do you have any interest in volunteer work related to queer community? I'm also a bi woman in my early 30s who took a while on all this, and I also had some hesitation and self-doubt, including about how I'd be perceived by women I might want to date. A couple years ago I started really working on what I call "shifting from being in a straight shape in the world to being in a queer shape in the world", and I started doing some queer history research and writing, including participating in related events and projects. I learned interesting things and spent time among cool people, and it helped me feel more grounded. I still enjoy it! (And, among other efforts, it worked - I am very much taking up a queer-shaped space now.)

I imagine any form of volunteer work could serve a similar purpose, and I imagine that relevant local organizations still have some way for people to help virtually. Could be for a LGBTQ film festival, a chorus / orchestra, support for homeless youth, advocacy/politics, something specifically for WLW, or anything you're interested in.
posted by dreamyshade at 2:05 PM on December 30, 2020

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