I had what would be considered a date last night--if it had been with a man. Instead, I had coffee with a wonderful woman I met a couple of weeks ago at the mock jury.
She had given me her number, which I lost. After a week of waiting, she called me and we made plans to have coffee together.
I know the routine, but it doesn't get any easier: woman expresses interest; do I assume she is thinking possible date material and so tell her up front that I'm gay? Or is that too big of an assumption?
I agreed to the coffee together, thinking that it would all work out and that we might still be friends.
Even so, it was a long evening of figuring out, "When do I tell her?" I learned long ago not to go past the first evening assuming she could figure it out, only later to be seen as guilty of leading her on. So besides getting to know each other, such encounters are often a mutual monitoring of each other's signals. If my sexual orientation doesn't come up naturally, I only hope that by the time I do say, "I'm not wanting to make any assumptions, but I feel you should know that I'm gay," she already knows. You never know what reaction you'll get.
It's awkward, to say the least, when my sexuality is not normally the center of my dinner conversation. Still, it did all work out and we will probably be friends.