This summer, I asked a girl out on a date for the first time ever.
No, I’m not a brand new baby lesbian. I’ve been explicitly out since 1992, which is a little more than half my lifetime ago. Put another way, I’ve never really been “in.”
I’ve had girlfriends as well as my share of messy high school and college dalliances. For that matter, I made the moves on the troop leader’s daughter as an eight-year-old Brownie. I have a nice dyke resume, all told. But I’d never simply asked a girl out on a date before this summer.
My first time went okay. She blushed, stammered, fumbled, and told me that she’d just started seeing someone. “It hasn’t even been that long!” she said, incredulous. She blabbed nervously about how strange life is, how everything happens at once or nothing happens at all. It was endearing; she seemed to be into me, classic Dyke-Insta-Merge Exclusivity Contract notwithstanding, and I was glad to be let down gently at least.
Then I swallowed my disappointment and started asking girls out as a matter of course. The beautiful butch in the slick button-down, engrossed in a See’s lollipop, walking amidst a sea of straight downtown office-workers — she got asked. The cute boyish thing on the BART train, texting dexterously — she definitely got asked. The lean androgyne on the park bench, writing intently in her journal — she got asked. The soft butch with the winning dimples moving uncertainly through the gift shop, comparing hipster baby clothes with a puzzled look on her face — asked. The spooky artist with boyish charm, the handsome graphic designer with the square jaw, the country girl with close-cropped curly hair and mischievous eyes, the woman at the dyke march with the shy smile, the grad student carting a textbook around at a social event… I was making up for lost time.
There’s something so amazing about not only noticing the specific kind of beauty I respond to but also directly expressing what I’ve noticed. I love the energy of it, the exchange. I love making it verbal instead of just looking on appreciatively. I love the feeling of action; I love making a gift of it. I love making girls blush or otherwise get visibly nervous. I really love having the element of surprise in my favor — the kinds of girls I like tend to be used to doing the asking; also, they generally don’t even expect me to be gay. This all just adds to the fun. It turns out I just love asking girls out.