Dating as a queer woman in India is a betch

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Be it judgment someone who matches your frequency; handling those nosy neighborhood aunties; or even telling your mom about the person you keep talking to on the phone–dating is a difficult work. When I came out of the closet and decided that there was no going back for me, I really thought it’d be easy to find love and companionship. Sure, I wasn’t going to be able to tell that straight girl in my class that I’ve had the biggest ever crush on her; but I was hopeful that I’d find more women like me.

Actually, I had no thought that such a circle even existed until I decided to try online dating. The first website that I signed up for, and let me tell you I have tried quite a handful of them, was Occupied. Occupied is one the straightest dating forums you will ever come across. Still, I hoped to find at least a few friends who fell on the rainbow spectrum, if not love.The world of online dating can be really tricky, especially for a newly-out queer person. There are so many men, of course heterosexual, who pretend to be a woman just so that they can catfish the newbie’s. 

You see the problem with straddling the world of romance for the first time–gay or otherwise–is the naiveté that comes along with it. Yes, I was naive, so I often ended up talking to the men behind the fake profiles only to have my heart broken.

Since clearly I wasn’t having any luck online, I decided to wait for the Delhi Queer Pride Parade and the plethora of LGBT events that happen periodically in the city. I made a few friends there, but love still eluded me. After what seems like ages, I met my now ex partner on Occupied. Although that relationship didn’t work out like I thought it would, it still gave me hope that all might not be lost when it comes to online d

Then I entered the age of Tinder. Even though I wasn’t sold on the idea of judging someone by their bio and a few pictures, I still gave it a shot. After a lot swiping left and right–and being thoroughly confused about the whole concept of swiping–I ended up talking to a few very nice women. They were women for sure this tie-On, did I mention that I am socially awkward? It doesn’t mix well with dating–in real life or online. So, my Tinder escapades never went beyond a few “Hi there” and “What’s up” conversations.

The thing is my social awkwardness isn’t the only hurdle between me and the cupid’s arrow. It’s also about how small the pool of potential partners is for me. Firstly, there aren’t many openly gay women out there, and I’m definitely not ready to date someone who is closeted–I don’t think I’d be able to handle that kind of a pressure or be someone’s secret.

Secondly, most of the women who are out are either too young or too old. I’m not trying to say that it’s absolutely a deal breaker or that age matters that much to me–after all it’s just a number. But it’s striking an emotional and intellectual chord that poses a challenge.The third, and the most disconcerting problem is, how utterly incestuous the circle appears to me. Imagine all the people you know, including those you are interested in. Now, factor in the fact that each one of them have either dated or has had some kind of a history with the others. 

To be honest, I can’t deal with that kind of baggage.Even if you take away all these problems, and visualize an idyllic world where I end up meeting openly-gay women of my age and intellect, with absolutely no history with my friends or ex-partners–you can’t ignore the homophobic society we live in. The thing is in a society that criminalize love and sexuality, and where it’s tough being a woman–let alone queer–finding love or even a date is a far cry.

Yet, I am confident. I am hopeful I will find someone. Or maybe, just muster up the courage to tell my crush how I feel about her! I have my fingers cross.

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