Ask Katie: Is Your Tomboy Crush Guaranteed To Be Gay?

If there is one major struggle of queer lady dating, it is actually finding someone to queer lady date.

Let me break it down for you: People walk around every day assuming everyone is straight. I’m pretty sure you know that by now. But because of this, trying to find someone who is actually a viable dating interest when you are anything BUT straight is difficult.

Why’s that? Because everyone is straight until proven queer in our society. Which is, like, super annoying. To say the least.

eye roll

So, how do we get around this as queer girls looking for a cutie? The most obvious way is that we judge people based on stereotypes. Which isn’t as terrible as it seems. I mean, it is the only thing we can turn to when it comes to picking out people who might be into us.

Particularly though, we judge based on queer girl stereotypes. You know them —  short hair, flannel, masculine swagger. Basically the description of a tomboy.


But does that then mean every tomboy is a little queer? Here’s what Violet had to say:

“I have always considered myself straight. But a few weeks ago, I met a girl. She isn’t just any type of girl. She’s a tomboy. Her hair is very short and she completely dresses like a guy. I can’t stop thinking about her even if I busy myself doing other things. I don’t know what to do anymore. How do I know if she likes girls? Do all tomboys like girls?”

It’s a good question! Because of these assumptions we make based on stereotypes, we often assume tomboys like girls. I mean, they dress like boys and like boy-coded things. Boys are expected to like girls and tomboys seem to be more like boys than girls. So why wouldn’t they like girls, too?

But let’s be honest: This logic really isn’t sound. The way a person dresses or presents themselves really has little to do with their sexuality.


But there is a reason why queer girls may be more likely to be tomboyish. The reason some (not all!) queer ladies may butch up their look can stem from the fact that they don’t need to attract men. From the time we are young, we are taught that guys like really feminine girls. In order to attract boys, we are expected to pay close attention to our appearances by wearing dresses, makeup, and doing girl-coded stuff. If you’re a queer lady, suddenly doing all of that may not be a top priority.

So, does that mean every femme girl is trying desperately to attract male attention? Of course not! Beauty and fashion is also a way we express ourselves and show our confidence. But it’s also one of the tools girls who are into guys have in their toolbox. Just like how butching it up has become a way for queer ladies to clue each other in on their sexuality.

But does all of this mean that the tomboy cutie over there is totes into girls? Well, no. There’s no way to know that for sure just by looking at her.

The only way to truly get that info? Get to know her and (politely) ask! Hey, maybe she will even offer up the info without you having to flat out inquire.

im so gay

Point is, the way you dress and the way you label your sexuality aren’t as tied as we assume they are. Just because she’s a tomboy doesn’t mean she likes girls. Just because she’s feminine doesn’t mean she doesn’t like girls. So your best bet is to pick up cues and clues she’s sending your way that may let you know her dating interests are a little queer leaning. Or just to ask by saying, “Hey, I think you are cute. I was wondering if you are into that?”

Be brave, be fierce, and be a little queer. Most of all, don’t assume someone’s sexuality by the way they dress. Let them clue you in on their own terms.

Happy searching,

Got an LGBTQ question you want Katie to answer? Email her at with your queer conundrums so she can work her advice-giving magic! 


How do I know if I’m a lesbian, bisexual…or something else?

Follow Gurl, pretty please!

FacebookTwitterTumblr and Instagram


Posted in: Relationships
Tags: , , , , , ,