Introducing Claire AH: Our New LGBTQ+ Toronto Yenta

Meet Claire AH!

Three years ago, I was in the same place you might be finding yourself. I was contemplating signing up for Friend of a Friend Matchmaking, emboldened by the welcoming, easy-going vibe and excited by the thought of a break from online dating. It can be overwhelming, and it’s a good idea to diversify methods, right?

A lot has happened to lead me to become a matchmaker, but I’d ultimately narrow it down to two intersecting things: I found love (not through Friend of a Friend, but still!) and I’ve become even more devoted to identifying and unlearning norms. Why? Well, I had a few strokes last year and I now walk with a cane. I already identified as a queer fat femme, but throwing disability into the mix has changed my worldview significantly. (Oh, and I had a great experience with Friend of a Friend. Hopefully that goes without saying!)

Matchmaking has not always been particularly LGBTQ+-friendly, and even when it is open to us, it’s pretty normative and limited in scope, which isn’t really useful for anyone. My background is in sexual education/advocacy, but I’m also a lovably cranky intersectional feminist, so a substantial percentage of my time is spent analyzing things and finding ways to be more inclusive, open, and accessible. Applying this focus to matchmaking, I’m taking the personal approach aspect of Friend of a Friend and running with it, undoing much of the pigeonholing associated with dating and encouraging people to explore and determine gender, sexuality, relationship modes, and relevant romantic/sexual interests for themselves.

I’m lucky because I get to be involved in the process! I want to get to know you, to understand fundamentally what you want and need, and to foster openness in the process of meeting new people and finding what you’re looking for. My own experience of finding love would have never happened without a rejection of strict norms, as is almost universally true. As much as matchmaking is about finding people who fit together, my own experience with Friend of a Friend was one of getting to know myself and both expanding and solidifying what I wanted in a partnership. It was instrumental in finding the right match. The best thing I can do as a matchmaker is to encourage flexibility, get you feeling enthusiastic about the prospect of meeting new and different dates, and to seek out that ineffable quality that makes people click.

Don’t get too caught up in the LGBTQ+ label. If you feel like you might benefit from a queer matchmaking experience in some way either for yourself or your prospective matches, the “+” may well be you!

Want to meet with Claire and start your matchmaking adventure? Click here to apply.