Figuring out if someone you're chatting to (maybe flirting with, who the fuck even knows?) is also queer can be a goddam minefield. Sure, some people may have the guts to just say it, but not everyone does OK?! Here, 10 lesbian, bisexual and pansexual women explain how they know if someone's also into women.
1. Ask a question about their past relationships/crushes
"I'm bisexual. I find that I can tell when women are into me through things like body language, like how close they'll sit next to me, or how much they might touch my arm. By flirtatious conversation, and hints/references to previous girlfriends, or female dates. I have no idea how scientific something like 'gaydar' is, but I found that I would often have this intuitive feeling that another woman was gay/bisexual just through my opening conversations with them (and picking up subconscious cues in their body language).
"And, people have claimed to have the same sense about me as well. So when I suspect it, I might just ask a question during the conversation that could help determine it, like asking about previous relationships they've had, or if they have any funny stories about sex, etc." [via]
2. Just ask them (politely)
"You can always politely ask them. It's a simple but effective way to be completely sure. I rather know if someone I may potentially be interested in is even open to the possibility so I don't waste my time." [via]
3. Ask them outright
"I have to outright ask. Every single time I’ve gotten a no (lol), even after kissing and dancing. Straight chicks, man. Doesn’t help I have a pretty ‘straight look’. Never been approached." [via]
4. Let them tell you
"She usually tells me. I think this is a big discrepancy between younger and older sapphic women, but like, I don't have to wonder these days. I out myself, they out themselves. When you're younger and you feel like you have to wonder, I think just be aggressively out when you can and other women will as well." [via]
5. Wait for them to make it clear
"I'm awful at it. I don't feel like I deserve women, so I don't let myself believe they could be flirting with me. I always justify it as them being friendly. My poor ex went through weeks of stroking my hair, cuddling with me, and I 'accidentally' brushed my hand over her boob. You know, like friends do! If I could go back in time, I'd be less of a moron in many ways and just ask her if she likes girls." [via]
6. Feel it out
"Online with dating apps - it’s easy because they list their orientation. In real life - no clue unless they specifically mention it. Just have to feel it out like any other interaction." [via]
7. Come out and see how they react
"Usually, I casually come out to her and if she immediately reciprocates, that's a good sign." [via]
8. Observe how they mention their exes
"Difficult to tell if she is not outwardly gay or bisexual. Usually most of my 'gaydar' goes at things like not typically feminine or basic. They either talk about their GF or female ex, or they don't talk about relationships at all. Seriously, every straight female I've talked to lately either talked about their boyfriend, or their husband, or a male ex." [via]
9. They'll give you an appreciative look
"I can’t define it, but there’s this look that gay women give out, an appreciation if you will. I’ve seen women on the train like this. Straight women NEVER look at other girls like that sober. I would say even something like their face structure, but that might be just me." [via]
10. Do they look back at you?
"A look. A smile. A glance back." [via]