Dear Christine, Terrified in Trenton

Dear Christine,

I am a newly out 40 year old lesbian. I just got divorced and am the mother of two teenagers.  I decided to get out there and it wasn’t hard to find lesbian activities though a little online googling.  So, after finding an “all welcome” pot luck house party, I decided to check it out.  I’m not really blaming the people at the party but no one came and introduced themselves to me or took me under their wing, which is what I was hoping for.  I’m painfully shy and uncomfortable in situations where I don’t know anyone. Other, more outgoing individuals might have introduced themselves or tried to start a conversation.  I snuck out after about a half hour without anyone even noticing. I do want to make friends in the community and right now I have none.  Is there any suggestions you have to for me meet people that won’t terrify me?

Signed, Terrified in Trenton

Dear Terrified in Trenton,
Welcome to the community!  It sounds like you might have social anxiety.  It is not easy trying to meet new people in a community, whether that is a church or a pot luck group or a concert.  When I first came out, I went to the lesbian bookstore and to monthly concerts in Detroit of LGBT musicians.  No one talked to me.  I kept making myself go.  I even went to a Valentine’s Dance, and when I arrived in  flowing skirt and pink top (better to dance in), I discovered lesbians in that era were all wearing tuxes!  I realized I had no idea how to recognize a single lesbian from one who is in a relationship!

You have already found GOAL (Get Out And Live) which is a great place to find out about all kinds of activities and groups in the Detroit and tri-county area.

Affirmations is a wonderful resource for our community, with a variety of social groups that meet for all kinds of people and all kinds of situations.  Affirmations in Ferndale, https://goaffirmations.org/programs-services.  Here is a sampling of what is currently happening at Affirmations:  Check out the website for updated details.

Bisexual Support Group, Once Monthly on Fridays, 7 to 9 p.m.

  • Upcoming Meeting Dates:, 3/13, 4/10, 5/8, and 6/12
  • Book and Film Club, Meets Fridays 7 to 9 p.m.
  • Coming Out, Saturdays, 10:30 a.m. to 12 p.m.
  • Coming Out Together, Tuesdays, 7 to 9 p.m.
  • Writing Group, 1st and 3rd Thursdays, 6:30 to 9 p.m
  • Queer Conversations – Meets Saturdays 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
  • Magic: The Gathering Club, Thursdays, 3:30 to 6:30 p.m.
  • LGBTQ+ & Ally Millennials and Gen- Zers, 1st & 3rd Thursdays – 6:30 – 8:30 p.m.
  • Lesbian Euchre, 1st Saturdays, 5:30 to 8 p.m. (Oct – May)

Another resource is our local newspaper/online source of all things LGBTQIA:  Between the Lines Newspaper at https://pridesource.com/.  There is a calendar of events and articles of interest to our community.

Sometimes it is easier to meet people in a group like a chorus.  Check out Sing Out Detroit, https://singoutdetroit.org/, our local LGBTQIA and ally chorus.  Linda Brincat  is a good contact to find out when you can attend a concert or voice test to join the chorus, or help with the crew that helps produce the Winter and June concerts.

There are lots of sports teams that will be forming soon:  Women’s ice hockey, golf, softball and who knows what else?  If you are interested in sports, that’s a great ice breaker question to meet new people at these gatherings.

Every so often, there is a Lesbian Dance, sometimes in Royal Oak, sometimes at the Ark in Ann Arbor.  Check with GOAL, Affirmations and Between the Lines for notices of these events.  There are hiking groups, biking groups, potluck groups, AA and NA groups.  Keep an eye on these resources and find something else to try.  I made myself go to 1 lesbian event a month back when I was coming out.  I didn’t have time or money to do much, being in school full time and working full time, but I kept pushing myself to try another group or event.  Finally, you start to connect.  And you never know, you might even find the love of your life!
Hang in there and write back about how you are doing, Christine Cantrell, PhD

Christine C. Cantrell, Ph.D.
Licensed Psychologist
Prism of Possibilities Psychotherapy
1026 W. Eleven Mile Road, Suite C
Royal Oak, Michigan 48067
248-591-2888

www.christinecantrell.com
christineccantrellphd@gmail.com

 

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