Big fishes in little ponds: Dating inside the LGBT community

Janie Ginsberg
Life Reporter

Janie Ginsberg

Janie Ginsberg

Two girls in a relationship? It must be so dramatic, some say. I’m not going to deny women are emotional beings, but the drama, well, that’s not really our fault.

The lesbian community is tiny, and by lesbian I mean all girls who identify as part of the community. Since Toronto’s only real lesbian bar Slack Alice’s recently closed, the lesbian community is now reduced to monthly events that take place at select venues throughout the city. And when those events happen, all the not-so-straight girls in the Greater Toronto Area come out to play.

As a result, there is literally no way to avoid an ex-girlfriend or an ex-(insert label here), unless you want to become a hermit and forever sacrifice your social life.

Due to the nature of our miniscule pond of potential mates, it is more than likely you will sleep with or date someone in your group of friends, and I’ve yet to meet someone who proves this theory wrong.

With World Pride coming up this summer dodging an ex-lesbian lover will be pretty much impossible. One would think at an event that attracts over a million people, LGBT and allies alike, it would be possible to bypass an encounter.


With the Pride festival comes all-girl parties, with usually only two options per night. That’s a fifty-fifty chance right?

Wrong. Your ex is probably in your friend group, and naturally you will want to go out with your friends, put the two together and bam, hello ex-girlfriend.

Somehow though, we all manage to keep it together and remain relatively sane. Many lesbians possess the skill of being able to be friends with people they’ve dated or at least been intimate with. If they couldn’t, well, we wouldn’t have many friends. It may have evolved out of social necessity, or maybe it’s just part of the gay gene.

There’s a different level of understanding in a relationship between two girls; we just kind of understand each other in a way that isn’t possible by the opposite sex. It’s not a good thing and it’s not a bad thing, it’s just the way it is. Perhaps it is this level of connectedness that allows lesbians to form friendships after short or long, and often tumultuous relationships.

It seems like everyone in the lesbian world is connected in some way, even if it’s just by a kiss. The six degrees of separation theory does not apply to our universe. The smaller the community, the more chances of decreasing the layers of separation.

The first person I fell in love with is now one of my best friends, and some of the friendships I cherish most are with people I’ve been involved with. I can say (not so proudly) that a friend of mine created a “lesbian web of connections” of sorts, which was colour coded by method of contact. Red for dating, yellow for sleeping together, and blue for just kissing–there was a lot of blue and yellow.

On top of our microscopic dating pool, the truth is, gay girls just tend to play the field more. It sounds bad but I don’t think it’s anything to be ashamed of. Our notions of sexuality are much more fluid than the rigid roles placed on heterosexual society.

There’s less pressure associated with sex and we tend to not bind ourselves with stereotypical male-female roles. We are a community built on sexual liberty and it shows in the way we live our personal lives.

Living in a small world is both a curse and a blessing, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.