EDITOR’S NOTE: Before I get lots of emails wondering when I turned lesbian and what Dave thinks about it, let me point out that this post is the very first by new staff member, D.
She’ll be joining us twice a month with articles about comic books, graphic novels, and LGBT geek culture & dating. We’ll let you guess what this one is about.
Ten Percent Is Not Enough (Recruit Geeky Lesbians!)
Let’s talk math. Current statistics state that about 10% of the population is gay (which fails to explain why, of a staff of thirty people, there aren’t at least two other queers for me to hang out with). Of that 10%, it’s about a 70-30 split between gay men and gay women – maybe even more unbalanced. Statistics on geeks vary widely, but let’s go with a generous 15% of the general population being geek or geek-identified.
So. For the geeky lesbian in search of another geeky lesbian (and assuming that there exists a similar population demographic), your dating pool is 15% of 30% of 10% of the world. That’s 0.45%. Feel like your potential future significant other is a purple unicorn? By just looking at the numbers, a fraction of a fraction of a fraction doesn’t sound all that promising. But 0.45% is slightly more than Buddhists and only slightly less than Muslims in the United States, and they manage to fill temples and mosques. All is not lost. Sometimes, you just need to know where to look.
Get up and go outside. No, really. I know, I know. It’s hard. Geeks, as a group, tend to cluster on the mildly-autistic end of the social interaction scale. It’s hard for us to get out and meet people. But I’m not talking about heading down to the local dyke bar to hook up with a random leather queen who hopefully is into D&D. While you can go that route, I, personally, would spend the night paralyzed as I nursed the same beer for four hours in the corner of the room.
Luckily for you, the queer community loves to get together. Whether as a chance to network and hook up, to celebrate a step forward, or to protest a step backward, queers will congregate. If you’re in university or college, or live near one, chances are there is some kind of LGBT group on campus. Many hold mixers or information nights towards the beginning of the school year for new members, even if you aren’t a student. Check out your local university’s student life pages to try and find one.
Volunteering is another route to go. Events like pride parades and rallies need volunteers, and for a socially shy geek who isn’t a pro at jumping into conversations, volunteering can give people working together an opportunity to relax and get to know each other with the social pressure (or loud thumping music) of the bar scene. Most big festivals and groups have an online presence turned up by some quick googling. For example, Toronto Pride currently has an open call out for volunteers. And Toronto Pride has a entire ‘Gays Are Geeks Too!’ contingent, complete with Klingons. Find your people.
Still not sure about jumping feet-first into the gay community? Understandable. Even from the relatively safe starting point of small groups and volunteering, it can be scary. That’s where the luck comes in: you are geeks, girls. And geeks, like gays, love to congregate. Only when we do, it’s called a convention and there are some even stranger costumes going on.
There is a growing trend in conventions – and if you live in or near a major city, there should be at least one big one a year, if not more – to include a panel or discussion group on the growing subject of gay characters and themes in mainstream media. At AnimeNorth, a large anime convention in Toronto, the con-within-a-con, YaoiNorth, has been going strong for the last five years. YaoiNorth’s topics include not only gay romance in anime and manga, but also a late-night panel entitled Gay Sex 101. And somewhere, in the middle of the fag hags, there are guaranteed to be people like you, gay and geeky and feeling as lonely as, well, a purple unicorn.
And of course, if 0.45% is not enough for you, recruit recruit recruit! A mainstream gay girl who might have a passion for musical theatre and video games probably has the kind of passion and devotion that she can recognise and appreciate in her partner (I’m talking about you!). Geeks come in many shapes and sizes and saturations. If your crush or potential partner doesn’t seem like the kind to whisper sweet Elvish nothings into your ear at night, that doesn’t mean they won’t make a compatible and wonderful partner for a geek. Your purple unicorn could be entirely happy with a mauve unicorn, or even a pink unicorn. Or would that be a purple horse? I’m not sure where I’m going with this metaphor any more.
Find your people. Be upfront and true about your life, your likes, your geek. And you’ll find that 0.45% suddenly grow, and the unicorn hunt won’t be such a drag any more.
Where do you find your people? Have you found any purple unicorns?