When I was just out of the closet, all I wanted to do was meeting other lady-loving ladies, but of course I felt like I was in a deserted wasteland where all that was left was straight people and a bunch of flamboyant gay guys. So I started looking around, in the hope of finding any signs that would help me assess if I was in fact in the presence of a lesbian or not. After a while I started identifying some tell-tale signs which of course mean absolutely nothing if you are looking at that mythological figure that is the lipstick lesbian. In that case, as they say, you are screwed. But anyway, here’s what I’ve gathered:
Yes, yes, I know, it’s the oldest trick in the book, and it doesn’t always work, but I find it to be the most accurate. If a girl has long fingernails, she’s probably not into women. And no, it’s not for some strange aesthetic reason, it’s just common sense, if you know what I mean. There are some lesbians who keep their nails long, but that means that they are probably pillow queens, so you may want to steer clear from them anyway (just kidding, I love me a pillow queen…!).
Rainbow item of clothing
If you spot a girl who is wearing something rainbow, there’s a good chance she’s into girls. If she isn’t, she probably is gay-friendly which means that she wouldn’t have a bad reaction if you hit on her anyway. Of course if you find this girl you have probably discovered a baby-dyke: if you are into that, go right ahead (and before you ask, yes, I’ve done the whole “wear a rainbow scarf” thing too, but that was many years ago, I swear).
If the girl you are trying to identify is someone that you see on a regular basis (like a colleague or someone at the gym) you can try casually dropping key words in a conversation with a friend (like “gay”) and see if they have a reaction. I don’t know if that’s true for everybody, but I sure turn around whenever I hear any one of the “magic words” coming out of somebody’s mouth, without even realizing it.
Ah, the ringtone. Have you ever had the L Word theme song as a ringtone? If her phone rings and you hear that, then yes, she’s gay.
Middle finger ring
I’m sure there are plenty of straight girls wearing a ring on their middle finger, but the amount of lesbians wearing one is simply overwhelming. I’m not sure why that is –I admit it, I wear one too-, maybe it’s coincidental, maybe it’s mass media influenced, maybe it’s an attempt to have a silent sign that non-queer people don’t know about, but it’s definitely a thing.
On a more serious note, I want to say that I know that what I’ve described are a bunch of stereotypes –even though they are all coming from actual experiences-: they may be useful when you are playing who’s gay and who’s not with your friends. If you are actually wondering and your gaydar sucks just as much as mine does, just ask. I’m sure it’s not so bad.