For most teenagers realising you’re gay or bisexual comes with a period of exploration- ‘is this really me?’, ‘do I like both boys and girls?’, ‘how do I really know if I’ve never kissed someone of the same sex…?’
To be fair, I think the answer to that last one is ‘you just do’- if you think you might not be straight… well, there’s generally a reason you’re thinking about it!
By ‘exploration’ I’m not thinking a cheesy-movie-style-standing-on-a-beach-looking-out-to-sea-and-contemplating-life montage but I’m also not thinking you should kiss everyone you know as a scientific experiment. This is more a process of considering yourself in a whole new way, potentially with the help of every film about teenage lesbians ever made (just my friends?), and hopefully with at least one good looking person of the same sex to moon over and maybe even kiss.
That exploration isn’t so easy when you’re being cared for by your parents- turning up to a date looking fabulous is difficult when your dad has to help you transfer out of the car and nothing kills the mood more than your mum phoning to check you’ve taken your meds.
It also doesn’t help that teenage LGBT dating isn’t quite as easy as the straight kind- it’s not so much ‘boy meets girl, girl likes boy too, do you want to go out with me?, kissing behind the bike sheds and doodling our names on my school planner’ (at least, that’s how they all looked to me from the outside…). From my own experience I found that openly gay teenage lesbians were a little thin on the ground.
Okay, they were very thin on the ground.
It was just ground.
Meeting other gay teens- by which I mean ‘possible girlfriends’ obviously- meant getting out of my own bubble and trying new things. But again, that’s incredibly difficult when your mobility or ability to carry out simple tasks is dependant on the adults in your life.
So thank goodness for the internet! The internet makes dating much easier from both a gay perspective, as you no longer have to spend months wondering if that cute girl is gay- you can just check her profile!- and a disabled one as people can find out a bit about how awesome you are before you’ve even met.
Being gay means the pool of people you have to date is already smaller, then cut out the ones you’re not attracted to, then the ones who aren’t attracted to you, then the ones unwilling to try dating someone with a disability and… well, plus side: you’ve managed to cut out all the arseholes, which is brilliant, but where exactly are these awesome people hiding?
Take it from someone who spent her teens being flabbergasted every time a pretty girl smiled flirtily at her (so once a year then): they’re out there! Granted, generally hiding under rocks or camouflaged into the background but there are some genuinely wonderful people out there who won’t give two figs about your disability.
And you’ll never get to meet them unless you get out there! … even if that is just metaphorically ‘out there’ on the internet.
What do you think? Has the internet made dating easier?