How much do we really know about the dating habits of our LGBT friends? We’re fascinated by their Grindr tales and titillated by their hookup adventures, but those are just the tip of the iceberg that is navigating a straight-dominated society while staying true to one’s sexuality.
We got 15 people to share their experiences hooking up and coupling up in the LGBT world—some funny, some sad, but all eye-opening.
It takes one to know one.
“I had this coworker who was bisexual. I could sense that she was because so was I, but I wasn’t out yet. She asked me out for coffee one time, and I thought she was doing it just to be friendly. When we got to the coffee shop, bigla niya akong tinanong if I like her too, ‘cause she likes me daw! Nagulat ako because medyo maarte pa ako dati, pero obvious din pala. It was so awkward for me. I didn’t know if I should admit it na ba or continuously deny it.” –Rheign, 30, bisexual female
Even when you’ve been caught in the act, people close to you can still be in denial.
“A girl I was seeing back in college went to my house to spend time with me. Since I just started dating girls then, I was not comfortable being seen with her in public. I told my parents that she was my classmate, and they welcomed her and left us in the living room. We made out, then I got this text from my dad: ‘I saw you on top of your friend. Pauwiin mo na siya.’ I attempted to come out to my parents after this incident, but they immediately said it was just a phase because I went to an all-girls school.” –Sunshine, 30, lesbian
The smaller dating pool makes it harder to date and bounce back from a breakup.
“Mas grabe ang fear of rejection ko when it comes to girls. With guys I can brush it off and just talk about it with my girlfriends, pero with girls, it's more precious for me. It sticks. And where I’m from, maliit ang LGBT community; most probably ang syota mo ngayon, naging syota din ng kakilala mo. So to be rejected by a girl who’s friends with my friends and hangs out in the same places makes me more afraid of seeing her with someone else and makes me more afraid to try again. For these reasons, it took me a while to open up again after my last relationship with a girl. When I finally met a great new girl and was about to ask her to date seriously, the next time we hung out, BAM! I met her new girlfriend.” –Sarah, 23, bisexual female
Seeking out partners via dating apps is totes normal…
“Grindr, an integral to my non-existent dating life, always gets me in awkward chat exchanges that involve the request for photos. Where I’m from, the Grindr profile photos are often headless torsos. Gay guys are curious to know who they’re chatting with so they ask for pics first—they want to see first if they like the guy or not so they won’t waste time; or if they’re not out, they’re scared that if they send a pic first, they will be outed; or they’re apprehensive to send first because they might be rejected or blocked and will never know what the other guy looks like. So I’ve had exchanges that go like this:
“After you please”
“I don’t send first”
“Pics after you”
*repeat until forever*
–Adam, 26, gay male
…and in these dating apps, the danger of being catfished is real.
“I was bored and curious one afternoon so I decided to download Grindr. A guy messaged me and said he was staying at a hotel three minutes away from where I was, and I agreed to meet up. When I got to his room, although it was dark, I noticed that he didn’t look like the photo he used on Grindr. I turned on the lights, but he snapped ‘WAG MONG BUKSAN!’ in a loud and angry voice. I told him ‘I need to go; nasa baba yung mom ko nag-aantay’ and bolted out of the room as quickly as I could.” –Mark, 24, gay male
“I was new to online dating, and I started chatting with this guy. We hit it off, and eventually he wanted us to meet. But before we could meet, he asked me, ‘Halata ka ba?’ I panicked because it was the first time I was asked that, and I didn't know how to answer. I ended up telling him that I wasn't. But when we did meet he said that for him I was ‘halata,’ and he didn't date guys who were so. Long story short, the date went badly and I've never talked to him since.” –Patch, 22, bisexual male
It’s not uncommon for LGBTs to be fetishized by straight people.
“I met a girl on a dating app and we hit it off. I indicated that I was ‘openly bi and looking for a relationship’ on my bio on the app, and she clearly said that she was interested in girls. After two weeks of talking and messaging, I suggested we meet up. Once I got to the café, I saw her...with her BOYFRIEND. Turns out they just used the app to find a willing chick for a threesome they were planning. I walked out and deleted the dating app from my phone.” –Nina, 21, bisexual female
For bisexual people, conflicting feelings can pull you in different directions.
“I once dated this girl who was a closet lesbian. When we’d go out on a date, we just looked like platonic girlfriends. One time while we were dining, we spotted a group of boys who were obviously checking us or either one of us out. So we started to play this game, a contest to determine who gets checked out more. She won. Oddly enough, my female self got really annoyed and my male self got jealous. I promise to be careful with the games I play next time.” –Ansoy Ming, 27, bisexual female
Even if you’ve embraced your sexuality, you may be seeing someone whose religious beliefs hold him back.
“I went on a blind date with this guy. We both thought it went well so we agreed to meet up for a second date. I chose the spot for our first date so he said he should choose for our second. He had said he was gay, so I was blindsided when, for our second date, he brought me to a church. Not one of those romantic cathedral types, but to an evangelical movement thing. This guy wanted to fucking convert me. I had to sit through a two-hour homophobic and misogynistic sermon. Needless to say, I never saw him again.” –Mon, 24, gay male
People still in the closet only see you on the sly…
“I was dating this guy. He had a girlfriend then who worked in Singapore. Sinama niya ako sa airport one time to pick her up. I had to ride sa backseat, and the whole time they would kiss and say ‘I love you’ and ‘I missed you’ while holding hands.” –Michael, 29, gay male
…and make you feel like some dirty secret to be kept.
“I was seeing this guy who had a girlfriend. His girlfriend assumed we were just friends. One evening, we argued because I didn’t want to be his side hoe anymore, but in the end I still gave in and let him sleep over. In the morning, I received a text from his girlfriend asking if he was over at my place, and could I wake him up. I said yes. I woke him, he left, and the cycle continued.” –A, 22, gay male
It’s way too easy to hook up through random encounters…
“I was at the mall running errands, and there was this cute guy who kept staring at me. As I went around the mall, I noticed him following me. When he followed me to the restroom, I asked him, ‘Are you following me?’ He replied, ‘Yes, I think you're cute.’ We chatted, and I decided to invite him over to my place since it's just across the mall. We got to my room and were about to kiss when he paused and told me, ‘I have a boyfriend.’ I didn't know what to say. I stood up, he hugged me, and then he left.” –John, 23, gay male
…which sucks when what you really want is a monogamous relationship.
“I was dating someone long-distance, but after a while, he ended it. As he explained, the long-distance affair didn't work out for him, to the point where he started looking for attention and affection from other guys. A couple of days after we broke up, he told me he had slept with some guys since then, and confessed to almost having slept with one during our relationship, though he claimed no romantic feelings were involved with any of these men. From that moment, it hit me how, within our community, we treat each other like a piece of meat; how we can go from one person to another in just a snap; how ‘making love’ is not really about making love, but just swiping right on Tinder or exchanging hellos on Grindr, hooking up, waking up, and leaving.” –Mark, 23, bisexual male
Sometimes, the people you date are just not as open-minded as you’d like…
“I met this guy online. He messaged me first and opened up to me right away. I was so overwhelmed by his sweetness that I found it hard to tell him I was trans. He really couldn’t tell even as he heard my voice on the phone. After three days of talking, I told him the truth. Sobrang devastated siya and he disappeared. I was hurt because I liked him a lot.” –Kiam, 24, transgender female
…but you learn to brush it off, because you know who you are, and other people’s ignorance won’t change that.
“We were already hitting it off during our first date and things were getting steamy when he asked the most absurd question: ‘Pambabae na ba ang utong mo?’ I could only laugh out loud in disbelief. We never saw each other again.” –Trisha, 29, transgender female
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