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 2021, October 17 from https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/thelifelgbt/2019/2/finding-love-as-a-transgender-person
Author: Andy Winder
Great article. I leave this comment with the aim that my words will give those reading this hope that love is possible. To the person reading this - you deserve and are worthy of love.
I am a cis woman who is dating a trans woman. I had previously identified as straight and only ever been in straight relationshis but joined a dating site to explore my attraction to women. I saw my beautiful girls profile and she openly stated she was a trans woman. I had never thought about dating a trans person before, not because I am transphobic, in fact I always supported trans rights, I just simply never met a trans person and the idea of even dating a woman was new to me too. I felt drawn to her profile and photos. I can't explain it. The fact that she was trans simply didn't bother me. We matched and hit it off immediately and I have never ever clicked with someone with such ease before. We just got each other.
We fell in love and with her, I have the healthiest relationship I have ever had. She was very open with me in the beginning about her transition, she was 2 years in when we met. From the get go we said "total honesty". We were able to communicate about all the hard stuff straight away and still are. No conversation is to difficult. We have compassion and understanding of each other. We hear each other out without judgement in every area. Neither of us have experienced a love and respect like we give each other.
She amazes me everyday with her strength. What she overcome to get to finally be herself. The abuse she faced in precious relationships hurts me to hear that she had to endure that. Her strength and resilience inspires me. She's the most beautiful human being I have ever met. She makes me feel safe and loved. She feels like home. We give each other what we had always dreamed of in a relationship, what we both need and want.
She taught me that love has no gender. It's the person. The soul. Nothing else matters but the kind of human being they are.
Coming out was a personal challenge for me as I knew it would most likely shock my friends but she was amazingly patient and supportive and I learned even more so just how amazing my friends are. There were two haters but after the abuse and transphobic crap they tried to hit us with, it was a blessing they made their thoughts known because they have shown me I don't need or want those kind of people in my life. I've also learned those haters are lonely and suffering in their own lives and carry a lot of bitterness and hate for those around them who are happy. I came to realise, when it comes to haters, it's actually not personal. It's not about me or my partner, it's about their unhappiness. If they have a problem with who I am with, then it's their problem, not mine, not my partner's.
If you are a reading this and have reservations about dating a trans person
but have found yourself attracted to them, don't rule them out before giving them a chance to know who they are. You could be missing out on finding "your person".
If you are a trans person, you are so brave to have to fight to be who you truly are. I admire you and I support you. The world is changing. More education is out there. There are people who will love and respect you. You just have to fall in love with yourself and stand proud.