I’m a gay woman. I’ve rebelled against it, finally accepted it, and moved on. I’m in no way out of the closet, but there are people who know. One of the things I’ve noticed over the years is that it can sometimes be awkward dealing with straight female friends, from the point of view of both parties. I guess it’s because there’s always the potential for awkward misunderstandings to arise, but it doesn’t have to be that way. Not every gay person is the same, and not everyone is going to think like I do. However, I believe the following tips are true of not just myself but a large number of other gay people as well.

I’m not attracted to every person running around with female nether regions.

The gay community is just like the straight community in many ways. Both have characters who would gladly hump anything with a pulse, and you’re likely to meet at least one of these in your lifetime. Most people, however, are a little bit more discerning. Personally, I’m downright picky and I’d much rather be alone than waste time on someone I’m not really into just for the luxury of companionship. Plus, you have got to be seriously full of yourself to assume that I’m going to obviously be interested in you. Do you also assume that every member of the opposite sex you meet is undressing you with their eyes?

You can tell me something nice and I won’t automatically think you’re trying to get into my pants.

I know I tend to be clueless about these things but, unless you go out of your way to compliment the lusciousness of my cleavage, chances are I’m just going to take whatever you say in the sense that it was meant. People say nice things to each other all the time, and they shouldn’t have to hold back for fear of a misunderstanding. So go ahead and tell me I look good today, or that you missed me last week. I may blush (I blush at everything) but I’m a firm believer in ‘actions speak louder than words’. If you’re not taking any actions, I’m not going to make any assumptions. By the same token, my complimenting you doesn’t mean I want to sleep with you.

Even if I am attracted to you, I’m not going to jump you.

Unfortunately, you can’t choose who you end up being attracted to, and falling for a straight friend sucks. I’ve been there but in that case I’d say she was ‘confused’ rather than ‘straight’ (and the reason why not knowing where I stand drives me crazy). Although I have been known to make the first move before, those have been cases where there was a clear cut expression of interest from the other party. I guess what I’m saying is, if you do not give me a reason to believe you’re into me, I will not make a move on you. It doesn’t matter how attracted to you I am. I would never disrespect a person’s boundaries. And no, I don’t actually get a toaster for every woman I convert.

There aren’t any hard and fast rules and every relationship/friendship is unique. The main thing is that both parties know and respect each other. As a gay person, if you continuously have to be walking on eggshells because you don’t want to risk offending someone, you may want to rethink who you hang out with. On the other hand, if you’re straight, don’t assume that the other person is hormonally bound to eventually want you. Your friendship might even be a little flirtatious, but that is not necessarily an indication of wanting more. This is especially true in the case of women, who tend to be a little more touchy feely. Except with me. I’m not touchy feely and if, knowing this, you insist on touching me, chances are you’re going to get my spidey senses all tingly.