Are you a queer looking to meet other queers? Whether you’re gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender yourself, it can be hard to know where to go to find other LGBTQ folks that might be interested in romance or hookups. Queer dating can be difficult, especially if you’re on the shy side or just starting to get out there. Not only are you figuring out how to be your authentic self with your friends and family, but you also have to figure out how to find people who will love you and support your journey just as much as you love and support theirs.
Dating can be difficult at any age, but it may be more challenging when you’re queer. Trolling bars or swiping right on apps can seem daunting if you feel shy or don’t know where to meet queers. Thankfully, there are countless ways to meet like-minded people today, whether through social media, organizations, meetups, or more intimate settings.
There are tons of ways that queers date. Read on to discover some ways you can meet other queers looking for love or friendship and build your happily ever after together.
Try Online Dating
The best place to start is online. If you’re looking to date other queers, there are plenty of dating sites out there where it’s safe to be yourself. What better way to connect with a potential partner than through your shared experiences and interests? These days, dating apps can make finding queer love a breeze. From findable profiles to instantaneous matches, love is out there. You just have to find each other for sparks to fly.
Meet People at Parties
Don’t let your shyness keep you from meeting great people. By throwing yourself into situations where new people are present, whether it’s at your local gay bar or even just attending work-related functions, you can meet tons of singles who might be looking to date someone like you. Meetup groups are also a great way to connect with others in your area who have similar interests and make some friends along the way.
Go to LGBTQ+ Events
Most large cities have pride parades, festivals, social groups, and more. Even if you live in a smaller city or town, there are probably queer events nearby. Joining these local events is an easy way to meet other queer folks without having to make that crucial first move on dating apps. And if there aren’t any specific LGBTQ+ events in your area, try attending local ethnic festivals or bar nights. Again, it’s likely you’ll meet some LGBTQ+ individuals looking to let loose and make friends and even date.
Ask Friends Who Know Other Queer People
One of your friends is bound to know someone else who is queer, so don’t be afraid to ask around. It can be easier to open up about dating in specific environments: some people only feel comfortable sharing that they’re gay at Pride events or with other LGBTQ friends. Just start talking—there’s no harm in opening up that line of communication even if you don’t have anything specific in mind yet.
Try Matchmaking Services
It may sound old-fashioned, but matchmaking services are still around—and can be quite effective. If they don’t work out, no harm done—you meet new people and get to know them over a series of dates. They can also be a perfect way to match with people sharing the same interests and matching your type. A gay matchmaker often has niche networks that allow clients to specify what they’re looking for in terms of occupation, sexual orientation, level of involvement, age group, etc., so there is no time wasted setting up fruitless dates.
Ask Your Family to Set You Up
If your family is down to help, ask them to set you up with someone. Even if they don’t know anyone, in particular, family friends of friends will still be valuable connections. Not only that but having an ally who understands your interests can be invaluable as you meet new people outside of work or school. You also might have some fun along the way—try not to get too hung up on what type of person you’re looking for. Sometimes it can feel just as gratifying, if not more so when romance blossoms unexpectedly with a stranger.
Unfortunately, as queers, we often have to navigate an entirely different world of dating. We are marginalized in our day-to-day lives—as such, we can feel uncomfortable when seeking out queer partners through mainstream channels. The best way to approach queer dating is with an open mind and heart.