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Two years later, I had my first crush on a woman, Bethany*, the star of the high school drama club.In 2009, I left Apache for college in Syracuse, New York.In Apache, the number of queer and transgender people should be about 63.If you’re a queer woman looking to date another woman, you then have to subtract out queer men, transgender people who aren’t interested in women, queer women who are already in relationships, queer women who aren’t out of the closet, and queer women who are either too young or too old for your taste.Most met their eventual spouses in school or at work, while my friends in New York tend to meet people all over the place — in bars, at parties, at museum exhibits, on the subway, and, often, on dating apps.Some queer women who live in rural areas also meet partners at work or in school (my first crush, Bethany, actually met her wife while they were both serving in the military), but it’s less likely.
Even in a large city like New York, that cuts numbers down drastically — about 387,000 of NYC’s 8.6 million people are LGBTQ, based on this statistic.
“I have a hard time knowing who else is queer — my town is definitely a don’t ask, don’t tell society,” says Nicole, 38, who recently moved to rural Michigan from San Francisco.
“I don’t know who I can relate to or ‘out’ myself to (even making jokes in the checkout line), so I’m not sure how I would ask someone out in person without some fear.
It’s no wonder the options start to dwindle, both on dating apps and in real life.
“Where I live now in Morristown, New Jersey, is definitely overwhelmingly straight,” says Kelly, 23, a bisexual woman. I know there have to be other gay people here, but I just can’t seem to find them.” , a majority of queer and trans people clearly live on the two coasts.