10 Lesbian Women Explain How To Tell If A Woman Is Gay

As a straight, cis-gender woman, I very obviously cannot tell you how to tell if another woman is gay or not. I get the question a lot, in emails from you guys, our readers, who are confused or lost or questioning their sexuality, or just looking for a girl to crush on who might crush on her back. So when I saw this question being asked – how can you tell if another woman is gay? – in an Ask Reddit thread, I knew I had to share the responses with you guys. Lesbian women of a Reddit thread, Ask Women, answered honestly, and it’s pretty useful information!

I think, also, it’s important to keep this in mind: there is no *one way* to tell if a woman is a lesbian, aside from asking her. As you know, there are a lot of unfair stereotypes about the LGBTQ community out there, and they can lead to stupid assumptions about someone being gay or not. It’s harmful to the LGBTQ community as a whole, and it’s unfair to others who fit those stereotypes and aren’t gay, or who don’t fit those stereotypes and are gay. So, to be clear, I’m not sharing these responses with you guys in a way to glorify those stereotypes. I’m sharing answers from women who are gay themselves in an effort to help you figure out the confusing world of dating. 

So, is it any easier to tell if a woman is gay than to tell if a woman is straight? Are there telltale clues you’ll learn as you live life? Is gay-dar real? Let’s find out. Here, 10 lesbians explain how to tell if a woman is gay:


If She Holds Eye Contact In A Flirty Way

zoologa: I can't tell if someone is a lesbian versus bisexual, but I usually can tell if she's into women. It's pretty much a subconscious judgment that's informed by tons of little indicators, so it's impossible to give a hard and fast rule for how to tell. It has to do with posture, voice, mannerisms, style of dress, language, and of course the haircut. The most important thing, though, is probably eye contact. If she holds it just that extra second too long, usually it means she's queer and she's potentially interested. If you stalk my history a little there's a detailed answer about how to tell if feminine women are queer.

Think about the signs you look for in a dude when you're trying to see if they're flirting with you - it's the same signs anyone would use with a girl. Extended eye contacts in a flirty way almost always means someone is very interested.

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She Uses Vague Language When It Comes To Dating

shithawksflying: I usually can't. There are sometimes certain little signs, though - like when a woman talks about how she used to date/is dating "someone," my ears perk up. I know a lot of gay people, myself included, who will use vague language like that to avoid directly outing themselves.

This could definitely be a sign, but it's also becoming something that's harder to pick up on. Society at large is trying to be more conscious when using gendered terms, although a lot of people still aren't doing that, so it's definitely something to keep in mind.

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If She Responds Positively To You Making A Move

evilpenguin234: I usually just hit on them and hope it works lol

One way to find out if someone is interested? Flirt with them or make a move and check out their reaction.

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Depends On How They Respond To You Saying You're A Lesbian

Amforsythe: I just appreciate them for who they are and don't worry about it. If I ask them out and they say yes, then maybe they are (or maybe they're bi/pan/etc)- and at that point it's more appropriate to talk about personal things. In an LGBT group it might be appropriate to ask questions about such personal things, too. You could also offer that information of yourself and see if they have anything they would like to share

If you're comfortable saying that you're a lesbian, do that and see how they react.

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If She's Flirty

pass_over: There are no foolproof signs, but I've noticed a couple patterns. Lesbians tend to keep their nails shorter. They also tend to have a certain warmth or energy in their voice and mannerisms that, after years of trying to hone my gaydar, I pick up on as "gay-probable." However, just because a woman "reads" as gay, it doesn't mean that she is, or that she is out to herself. Mostly, I just look out for people who are flirty.

If you think a girl is flirting with you, maybe she is! It can be hard to tell with girls, because a lot of females are generally more touchy and loving than dudes are, but sometimes you can pick up on that vibe.

Source: iStock

If They Have Short Fingernails

akaFLAMEGiRL: Having long fingernails is one sign that, at the very least, you can cross them off the shortlist.

This is a stereotype/joke about lesbian women - that they have shorter nails because of sexy times activities. Maybe true sometimes, but I wouldn't use this as a hard and fast rule.

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It's Just A Vibe You Get

LesDykawitz: I get a vibe mostly. There are two vibes I pick up on: one that's "into women to some extent" (which is tons of people), and "gaaaaay". Other signs that can indicate are appearance-related, like short fingernails or being a tomboy over the age of 30. But they're totally secondary to the vibe. Or like the other day I was speaking with someone I got the vibe from, and we naturally lapsed into conversation about lesbian bars as if we both knew we were gay automatically. I'm a tomboy femme and it mostly works with other tomboy femmes. Straight people never guess I'm gay, but gays always do!

This is a frustrating answer, because it can't really be describes or explained, and it's pretty vague. But, I'm assuming it's similar to the way you can sometimes tell if a person is straight - it's just something you pick up on.

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You Don't Know For Sure Unless They Say It

Notthatgreatdane: Honestly, there really isn't a clear way without them literally telling you. The fashion that used to be stereotypically lesbian is now much more common outside of the lesbian community, and more and more women are experimenting with the androgynous look. Even if they're wearing some sort of Pride accessory, it's impossible to know what part of the rainbow they are proud of.

Easily the most logical answer in this thread. Helpful? No, but it's the truth. Everyone is different, and there isn't one specific way a lesbian looks or acts. So, what might be clues or hints about one person or even more than one person isn't a hint for everyone!

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You Just Know

Coldaf: I'm surprised by the answers in this thread. I can tell a woman is gay by the way she looks at me. My ex used to call it "gay face," lol. But it's not like I can tell every woman who is queer; only the ones who find me attractive.

Some people pick up on different vibes quickly and easily, so for some, it's easier than others.

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You Don't Know

SchrubSchrubSchrub: I can't. I can't even pick up when someone's coming on to me. My dating life's pretty stressful, fortunately a friend set me up with my current girlfriend.

Hey, sometimes it's as simple as that! If we all knew what the other person wanted sexually without trying to find out, life would be a lot different.

Source: iStock

How do you know if a girl is a lesbian or bisexual? Which one of these signs do you disagree with? Tell us in the comments.

You can follow the author, Jessica Booth, on Twitter or Instagram.

 

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