Dear Alice,

Over the past year, I have been going through a slow coming-out process within myself and have realized that I am a lesbian. The problem is I don't know where to meet other lesbians, and I feel very alone. I am not interested in meeting other women in a bar since I didn't like doing that when I was straight. Can you recommend some places where I could go to meet other young lesbians?

Signed,
Exploring

Dear Exploring,

Coming out can be a challenging process. You mention that you've come out to yourself (congrats!), but it's unclear whether or not you've come out to others. Finding your community can be especially difficult if you haven't told your friends or family, so it's understandable why you might feel alone in this process. Check out Coming out to mom for tips on how to have conversations with those close to you. As far as meeting others who identify in the same way you do, the good news is that you’ll likely find lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer/questioning (LGBTQ) spaces (beyond the bars even!) where you are with a little investigative work. Read on to acquaint yourself with the many resources available.

Since your coming out process is still in progress, you may be wondering where to even begin to meet folks who similarly identify. Here are some ideas for you to consider:

  • Start your search online: search using the words "lesbian" combined with "community groups" or "meet-ups," along with where you live. This may reveal some options in your area. 
  • Many communities have a LGBTQ Community Center. CenterLink: The Community of LGBT Centers has a listing of different centers and groups across the country. Often, these centers have groups or volunteer opportunities that could give you the chance to meet some new folks.
  • If you’re looking for physical activity on top of meeting folks, some communities have recreational LGBTQ-friendly sports leagues you could try.
  • Want to give back? You might see if there’s a pride parade in your community where you could volunteer. 

If you're a student, many colleges and universities have student groups specifically for LGBTQ-identified students. These types of student organizations may be a great place to meet other lesbian-identified people. Searching on your school’s homepage may provide some potential groups of interest. Some may find attending meetings for the first time to be somewhat intimidating, but many people who push through find community, friends, and even dates through student groups. An email or phone call to current organizational leaders may help answer any questions you may have prior to attending.

Finding community with other lesbian, gay, bi, and queer folks may take time, and many people feel a sense of isolation when they begin exploring their identity. Despite their somewhat elusive nature, spaces for lesbian-identified people can be found!

Alice!

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