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Dateland: Lesbian 101
by Jennifer Parello
2008-04-02

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Welcome to the second lesson of Lesbian 101. This lesson, and each subsequent one, will be posted at http://www.jenniferparello.com/les101.html.

Before we begin this week's lesson, I must tell you a true story.

The day after I officially came out, by sheer happenstance, I flew to San Francisco. I had been up all night before the flight doing exactly what you'd imagine I'd be doing on the evening that I officially became a lesbian.

I had met a woman, and we had engaged in a lot of foreign kissing, and the next morning I dragged myself to the airport to get on a plane to visit my brother in San Francisco. I couldn't believe my luck! Here I was—the night after I had participated in guilt-free fondling for the first time—heading to the gayest city in the world.

As soon as I got to my brother's home, I asked him to point me in the direction of the Castro District. For those of you unversed in queer history, the Castro District became the nation's gay center in the late 1960s. It takes its name from the Castro, the landmark theatre that stands near the corner of Market and Castro streets.

My brother, who happened to live in the Sunset District, the lowest point of elevation in the city, gave me his bike and pointed at a distant spot about three miles straight uphill. I was exhausted, yet determined to make my pilgrimage to pay tribute to my sexual awakening.

For about an hour, I rode on streets that were pitched at 90 degree angles. When I finally hit Castro Street, I was drenched in sweat, yet thrilled that I'd finally arrived. I hopped off the bike and walked down the famous street, searching the distance for the famous marquee of the Castro Theatre.

When I first spotted it through the fog, I laid my head on my handlebars and wept. I had made it! Over the past few years I had finally managed to divorce a very nice man and had slowly come to terms with my desires. The night before, I had instigated a mad makeout session with a cute girl who would eventually become my girlfriend. And, now, here I was at the Castro.

As I wept, and contemplated everything I'd been through to get to this point, a pair of gay men approached me. They were strolling down the sidewalk, walking hand-in-hand.

I wiped the tears out of my eyes and resisted the urge to embrace them in kinship. I placed one hand on my chest to gather my emotions and I placed the other over their wrists. 'Boys,' I said, choking back a sob, 'where are all the lesbians?'

They looked at each other quizzically for a moment, and then said in unison, 'In Oakland!'

OK, now what have we learned from this story? If you are a lesbian, please put yourself in a place where you can be easily found by other lesbians. If you live in a city, get a place in the gay ghetto. If you insist on living in a suburb, at least live in clusters. I constantly hear complaints from women who whine that they can't find a lover. But most of these women are tucked away in an impossible to navigate cul-de-sac, so what do they expect.

If you want to find someone, don't hide. Finding a good lesbian is just like finding a good house, it's all about location, location, location.

Hey, I wrote a book. You can buy Dateland at Women and Children First, Unabridged Books or on Amazon.com .


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