Same gender, same scene

Students discuss the obstacles and difficulties of same-gender dating at Queen’s

Because of the small LGBT dating pool
Image by: Justin Tang
Because of the small LGBT dating pool

“I have a lot of trouble with people trying to distinguish the straight dating scene from the gay dating scene,” said a third-year Arts and Science student.

“For me, I’m not part of a gay community— I’m part of a hetero-normative society, but I happen to be gay. I look for partners the exact same way that my straight friends do,” he said.

The student, who has identified as gay for seven years, said the size of Queen’s same-sex dating pool is the only thing which distinguishes it from heterosexual dating.

“When you meet a guy and you get to sleep with them or go out with them, chances are you’ve shared a hookup in the past. It can be strange, because there are a lot of gay people at Queen’s but there is a definitely a group that—while in different social circles—tend to attract one another,” he said, “You’ll often find yourself feeling a bit passed around.”

Nonetheless, he said that for him, dating a member of the same sex is the same as someone from the opposite gender.

“I treat my relationships the exact same way I would treat a relationship with a woman. I want to get married, I want to have kids. I recognize that if I want to have my own biological children I will have to make a lot of money to afford surrogacy,” he said.

The student, who was raised in Toronto, said that attitudes toward gay dating differ in Kingston.

“I dress differently in Toronto than I dress in Kingston when I go out. I’m a lot more likely to display homosexual affection in public in Toronto,” he said. “In terms of Kingston, I don’t think it’s anywhere near as accepting as Toronto … but I enjoy testing people. I make them feel uncomfortable until they can feel comfortable.”

Although Kingstonians sometimes can get awkward in the face of homosexual affection, the student said that his sexuality rarely makes him feel disadvantaged.

“I have white privilege. I have male privilege. People don’t see ‘gay’ when I walk down the street. I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve felt threatened [because of my sexuality],” he said.

“The biggest advantage [of being gay] is the ability to befriend females and the ability to have wonderful relationships with women, free from them ever being threatened by me as a male,” he said.

The individual added that while they may be useful to certain individuals, institutions like the Equity Office as well as events such as Gay Pride Parade don’t interest him.

“For me, being gay doesn’t define me. It’s just one of many things that characterize me. It’s just so inconsequential to me. I don’t care if you’re straight or gay or male or female,” he said.

The student isn’t alone in arguing that a person is more than their sexuality.

A fourth-year female student, who has dated males and females, said that the gay community isn’t relevant for everyone who identifies as gay. She said gender isn’t an important factor to her when it comes to dating. Instead, she looks for the person beneath the gender.

“It’s like you’re all united by something but you’re not actually like each other,” she said. “It’s important to have friends you can relate to, but I don’t give a shit about the gay community.” She also said that meeting people is a natural process regardless of sexual orientation.

“I’ll meet people when I naturally meet them. I’m a really social person and I just do my regular party scene,” she said, adding that meeting potential partners can be easy, but explaining the resultant relationship often isn’t.

“There are so many steps and obstacles you have to overcome just to be open with your relationship. It feels so unfair that I had to go so far out of my regular comfort zone just to do what felt natural, and straight couples have it so easy in comparison,” she said. “At first it’s exciting, but then after a while the novelty wears off entirely. It’s like a really long, annoying checklist of challenging conversations.”

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