Finding Love as a Transgender Person
Finding a romantic partner as a trans person isn't easy. Even the most affirming cisgender (a person whose gender conforms with their birth sex) people can have reservations about dating someone who's transgender. I don't blame people who aren't comfortable dating a trans person. Physical attraction is an important part of a healthy relationship and, if someone isn't attracted to my body, I understand that and so do many other trans people. But I also think it's important to recognize and eradicate transphobia in the dating scene to make finding a partner safe for everybody.
Finding Transgender Love Has Its Risks
While there have been great strides towards lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) acceptance in the past few years, many trans people still face exclusion and even harassment while dating. Every transgender and non-binary person (one who does not identify as male or female) has heard horror stories about a trans person who was assaulted by a love interest after coming out to them.
Additionally, because many cisgender people are uncomfortable with dating trans people, it can feel hopeless or lonely trying to find someone. While I'm lucky that I've never feared for my safety on a date, I used to worry that it would be a long time before I found "Mr. Right" out there or meet a partner who saw me as a man.
What I Wish Cisgender People Understood About Dating Trans People
As mentioned above, I think it's completely valid for anyone to not date transgender people on the basis of attraction. But transphobia, on the other hand, isn't valid in any situation. If you're a cisgender person who isn't interested in dating a trans person, that's okay–be honest and polite, just as you'd hope someone else would be if you asked someone out who wasn't attracted to you. I really appreciate it when people I've asked out are respectful of me as a person when declining, and I try to offer them that same courtesy.
For cis people who have recently started dating a trans person, I think communication is so important. In past relationships, opening up has helped clear up a lot of concerns or misconceptions related to my gender identity. Every relationship is different and I think as long as both partners share what's on their mind, that can go a long way.
Dating Tips for Single Transgender People
While I'm not a relationships expert by any means, two things have helped me navigate dating: self-care and finding safe spaces. When single, I've kept in mind that while having a partner is wonderful, it's important to find happiness within yourself. I try not to put myself down or feel insecure because I haven't met the right person yet and I work on self-improvement in the meantime.
The other tip I have from personal experience is, if you're having trouble finding a partner, I've found using queer-friendly dating apps or going to LGBT meet-ups helps a lot. When I've been with a partner who I know accepts the LGBT community, it helps me feel that much more comfortable dating them.
Winder, A. (2019, February 24). Finding Love as a Transgender Person, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2020, September 25 from https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/thelifelgbt/2019/2/finding-love-as-a-transgender-person