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by Abigail Van Buren

Misguided Expectations Cause Woman Some Awkward Moments

DEAR ABBY: I am a 42-year-old lesbian. I consider myself a nice, easygoing person who tries her best to follow the Golden Rule. I have an outgoing personality, and have no trouble making friends and keeping them. However, it seems as though each time a female friend finds out I'm gay, she expects me to come on to her.

Abby, all I ever wanted was a friend with whom I didn't have to be on guard -- a person who would accept me as a true friend. Just because I'm gay doesn't mean all my friendships have to be sexual. I can enjoy having fun, a good conversation, sharing a movie or shopping with someone who's straight.

I am happily in love with my soul mate of a year and a half, and she has encountered the same thing. Am I doing something wrong that friends view me this way? How can I change my personality to maintain friendships without my kindness being mistaken for anything more? -- "D" IN ST. PETERSBURG, FLA.

DEAR "D": I see no reason for you to change your personality. There is a common misconception in the straight world that because people are gay, they must be attracted to ALL people of the same gender. Of course, that's no more true than the idea that all straight people are necessarily attracted to every person of the opposite sex.

When it happens again, keep your sense of humor and show the friend this column.