It’s hard to define what gender normative dating is, or what cisgenders experience when dating, let alone what a trans person goes through when getting their feet wet in the dating world. Transgender dating can be daunting, complicated and sticky when it comes to defining sexuality, for both the trans person and the cisgender dater. Does dating a trans make you gay? Can trans women be gay or lesbian? Who is more discriminated in a relationship: the trans woman or the man or woman dating her? There are so many questions that being trans and dating trans bring up. And so we’ve put together a little class or guide of instructions to follow for those into transexual dating, to make the experience enjoyable and respectful to everyone.
If you’re trans, then it’s something you shouldn’t have to hide because you want to ‘pass’ a cisgender woman and a trans woman are both women, and they are not comparable or essential identities, a woman can encompass both interpretations of the gender and so identifying yourself as either means that when people reach out to you, they know who you are and there is no drama or risk of them freaking out after uncovering something. So if you use dating and hookup apps like Tinder or Grindr, it’s better to clearly identify yourself and avoid any problems or accusations of deception. Be proud of your trans identity.
Whether you’re a lesbian or straight trans woman, you need to realize that when you start dating, you need to know who you are and what you want. Putting up provocative photos on social profiles, just to get attention, or flirting on dating apps just to be accepted and identified will probably not get you the dates you want. As for every gender normative person, don’t be a slut online. It won’t get you in touch with the right people, and the ones you do connect with will probably want you for the one thing. The risk on top of that is for trans women, you’ll expose yourself to being objectified and/or fetishized. Normalizing your behavior will normalize your dating experience, no matter what gender you identify with, trans or cis, avoiding the real freaks online means acting with a certain decorum and self-respect, which will attract those who want you for you.
That leads to having the confidence to act like a lady, which means you don’t give it away because you don’t think many will like or love you. You must repeat the mantra that you are worthy and as real as any cis woman, and that everyone has dating challenges in their love lives at some point. The key here is not get too deeply involved with someone who puts you down, emotionally abuses you, and the signs that that could happens often are revealed at the start, when your date uses offensive terms like ‘trannies’ or ‘shemales’. Avoid people who use porn as their guideline to what trans women are about, and make sure you outline that neither your genitals or worth are not up for scrutiny or questioning.
Keeping true to who you are will make your trans dating experience a positive one, and something that you define for yourself, not by society or someone else. Keep these lessons close to heart and remember to enjoy yourself and have fun, and always do it safely.