I’m here, I’m queer, and I’m lonely
Did you just arrive in San Francisco? Are you having trouble connecting with the queer community? Is it hard to meet people, make friends and get to know potential partners? Is it hard to tell who is queer, who is queer friendly and who is not?
Need some advice? Write to Dear Janeen
You are not alone! Many people come to San Francisco with little or no community or friends to speak of. A lot of gay and lesbian folks left oppressive depressed and often times abusive environments that did not support who they are. It is a resilient and hope filled act to leave home and everything you know and come to a new place in search of yourself, community and maybe even love. It is an act of self preservation to be able to acknowledge that the environment you are living in is not safe, is not conducive or supportive of being queer. Congratulations for taking steps toward mental and spiritual health and wellbeing.
Now, how do I get connected, meet people and have some fun?
Step 1: Pick up the Bay Guardian, SF Weekly, or walk down Castro or Valencia and look around. There are great coffee shops, eateries and places to sit down, look around and say hi to people.
Step 2: Don’t be afraid to strike up a conversation with a Barista, bar tender, waiter or waitress. They have heard it all. You will get a feeling if they are too busy or too big for their britches. Go with your instincts. Ask them what they do for fun. Where do they like to hang out?
Step 3: Pursue that hobby or interest you never got to. Join a San Francisco gay softball team, take a course at Harvey Milk, join a political group, take an improvisation class, learn to cook. There are plenty of queer friendly activities to join to meet people. Doing something you love or are interested in makes you super sexy….and you don’t even have to work at it!
Step 4: If you like bars or clubs,…..don’t get drunk. If you want to meet people, cruse, or get to know someone, keep your consumption to a minimum. Drunk people aren’t sexy.
Step 5: Assess how much you like yourself. A lot? A little? If your not sure, call me and we can work on the most important part of your life, loving the fabulous uniqueness that is you.
Janeen Smith, MS, MFT has over a decade of experience as a psychotherapist in private practice in the San Francisco Bay Area. She works with adults and children, couples and families, and really enjoys the well-rounded and rewarding practice this gives her. In addition, she has 13 years experience in community agencies, including four years as Executive Director of a community mental health and substance abuse treatment agency.
Janeen is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, Consultant and Trainer in Private Practice in San Francisco and Pacifica. Her vision is a world where people are able to heal and grow from life’s challenges, to be the person they want to be. Her mission is to help people meet life’s challenges, overcome obstacles and discover their unique and fabulous gifts, resiliency and strength through psychotherapy, counseling and education. She is certified in domestic violence and sexual assault and is an EMDR trained therapist. For more information go to www.jsmithmft.com.
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