Illustration by Laura Estrada.

Dear Queer: D to DSOTSS

An advice column about sexuality, gender, dating and overall queerness

By Molly Whuppie /// Staff Writer

Dear Queer: I think I’m in love! Only problem––I think she might be straight…what do I do? ––#queerproblems

Dear #queerproblems, I think I speak on behalf of many queers when I say: I feel you. Liking someone is nerve-wracking enough, but now we have to go that extra mile and figure out whether they’re D to DSOTSS: Down to Date Someone of the Same Sex.

My biggest piece of advice would be to figure out exactly what you want out of the situation. Do you want the person to know your feelings? Do you want to date? Are you looking to hook up? Do you just want to get it out there so it’s not eating away at your delicate soul? Also, what are the stakes? Is this just some random Bon crush or a best friend?

If it’s the former, I’d suggest stopping them at a party and telling them you want to kiss their face. Or, I guess you could be a little more classy and work up the courage to ask them if they want to get coffee or go to the Tea Chai Té caboose in Sellwood. If it’s the latter, things tend to get a wee bit more complicated.

I think the best advice I can offer is a personal analogy/opinion/anecdote.

When I like someone’s sweatshirt and tell them, “Hey, I like your sweatshirt,” I’m not saying that because I want them to give me their sweatshirt.  I’m saying it because I genuinely like their sweatshirt and because I want them to know it looks good.

In one particular situation when I really liked a girl and wasn’t sure if she was queer or not, I decided to tell her with the same mindset.  I told her I liked her not because I wanted her to get all up on me, but because I honestly felt that way and wanted her to know.  Here’s how it went down: “Hey, I want to tell you something.”  It’s rare that the conversation just proves the perfect segue into this sort of confession, so I’m a big advocate of just kind of throwing it out there.

But after I did, the air in the room felt suddenly heavy and thick.

“I’m not saying this because I need anything to change,” I said. “I really love being your friend and I don’t want to mess that up, but I just want you to know that I think you’re such an interesting and engaging person and I like you a lot.”

Silence. That horrible silence.

“You don’t have to say anything,” I added.  “I just want you to know that because you’re great and I needed to get it off my chest.”

There are multiple ways this story could go.  Hotmaybequeergirl could blush, say thank you, and after a little hyper awareness of one another, continue the friendship as normal.  She could feel awkward and distance herself.  Or, Hotmaybequeerqgirl becomes HotDtoDSOTSSgirl and you both have beautiful queer babies.

Whatever the ending, I left that conversation knowing I was honest and shared something important (and frankly rather flattering) with someone whom I want to feel special. I let myself be heard and let her know that I see and care for her.

There is not any one way to deal with those feelings of love. In fact, the story I gave would probably not work in some scenarios. On the other hand, communication is usually the best way to go. In situations of queer confusion, as in all things, go forward honesty, empathetically and sincerely. Whether you end up with Hotmaybequeergirl or not, be true to yourself.

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