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But what about the apps specifically for queer women, like HER and Dattch?Or Hornet, which allows you to have both public and private photos on your profile? Gay, straight, man, woman, trans, what have you—putting yourself out there and intentionally sitting at a bar with a stranger can be hard and, frankly, exhausting. Pride of America Jason Elliott, who happens to live here in town, and picked his brain about his perspective on dating in Charlottesville as a gay man.Elliott, a health counselor at the Virginia Department of Health and Pride of America pageant winner, has his share of story-worthy dating experiences just like the rest of us, like the guy who pulled a single orange rose out of his shirtsleeve at dinner and traveled across the state to retrieve a bouquet of bacon roses for Elliott for Valentine’s Day.Elliott isn’t on Tinder or Grindr (anymore), but he says if he were, he would expect to constantly swipe through familiar faces—dated that guy, know someone who slept with him, work across the hall from this one, etc.On the other hand, the ever-expanding web of who knows whom in this town means that friends and colleagues can vouch for each other and make introductions that might not happen otherwise. All the time, people say, ‘Hey, you should meet so-and-so.’ ‘I think you would like so-and-so,’” he says.A rapper whose stage name is Lady Taij, White originally began visiting the area to perform in shows, and she says she found people here to be much more receptive to what she does.“I ended up doing the Harrisonburg pride festival, and that’s when everything opened up,” she says, adding that she’d never been to anything like a pride festival until then, despite being an openly gay woman who came out as a teenager.

Charlottesville has come a long way in terms of services available to all minorities, Green says, but she and Bellamy agree that there’s still plenty of work to be done.

“It’s definitely kind of a referral basis around here.” And that’s part of why, for him, meeting in person is more preferable than chatting someone up on a screen.

“I put a lot of stock in getting to know someone face-to-face,” he says.

For example, the CVille Lesbian Outdoor Group, currently 46 members strong and regularly active.

Pride Festival This might go without saying in the annual Pride Issue, but the Saturday, September 19 festival will be a prime spot for meeting people of similar interests.

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