Let’s talk rejection! And I don’t mean getting rejected. We all know that sucks, so that’s basically the end of that story…
But let’s chat about the less talked about part of the story: rejecting someone. Rejecting someone is the worst. Especially if the person is well-meaning and not creepy about their crush.
On that note, I swear that all queer girls I know have had a crush on a straight girl. I know I have! Sometimes, queer girls try to act on their straight girl crushes, hoping there will be some reciprocation of feelings. But it never really happens. Because straight girls are, well, straight. Which means they are not interested in girls. Clearly.
But sometimes communication about identity isn’t at it’s peak and a queer girl may ask out a straight girl without realizing they are straight. Or, sometimes, without caring that they are straight. Either way, that straight girl now has to reject that queer girl. And things can get a little awkward.
Sophia asked: “So, I’m a heterosexual girl and there are some girls who are lesbians that have been flirting with me. I heard one of them really likes me, and wants to ask me out. Is there a tactful and non-homophobic way for me to tell her that I’m not into girls?”
Sophia, I think it’s great that you are worried about sensitivity here! When it comes to being a queer lady, it’s often hard to figure out which girls are into girls and which girls aren’t. So your friends are probably taking a pretty big risk by showing interest in you. It’s great that you are sensitive to that experience and want to let this particular friend down easy.
Let’s talk about your options. It sounds like you really care about this girl, seeing as you don’t want her to dislike you or think you are homophobic just because you turn her down.
As with rejecting anyone, it’s best to be gentle. But don’t confuse being gentle with not being firm about how you feel! It’s really important to be clear as to why you don’t think it’s going to work out.
Telling your lesbian friend, “Listen, I’m really flattered, and know it probably took a lot of courage to ask me out. But I identify as straight and only see myself with guys. Please don’t take this as homophobic, because that’s the last thing I want you to think. You deserve a girlfriend who is super into you. I really want to still be your friend and get to know that girl when you find her. But, as for me, I’m straight, so I can’t be that girl for you.”
I mean, you don’t have to memorize that. But saying something to that effect is so respectful of their identity, but also really clear as to why you aren’t the one for them.
But always remember (again, this goes for anyone!) if your suitor get pushy about wanting you to accept, you don’t have to be nice anymore. Sometimes people take rejection hard and can try to convince you that you made the wrong choice. But you know what’s best for yourself, now and always!
Most importantly, turning down a queer girl due to your sexual identity does not make you homophobic. At all. In any way. What is homophobic is being creeped out by their crush solely because of their sexuality. And that totally doesn’t seem like the case here.
Anyone who claims you are homophobic for (politely) turning down a queer girl when you are straight doesn’t know what they are talking about! And you shouldn’t concern yourself with their opinion.
Be respectful, be honest, and be clear. I know rejecting someone is hard, but you’ve got this!
Best of luck!
Got an LGBTQ question you want Katie to answer? Email her at email@example.com with your queer conundrums so she can work her advice-giving magic!