Dating Trans

September 5, 2011

I’ve been an actively dating transman for a couple of years now and I’ve definitely had a rather large range of experiences.  But here’s the first thing you need to understand: being transgender has nothing to do with the people who I date.  Trans is a gender identity (meaning my personal perception of myself, I view myself as a transgendered man) NOT a sexual orientation (a phrase describing what kind of people you date).  Everybody has a gender identity and a sexual orientation and these are always separate from each other.  So, in addition to being transgender (which is my gender identity) I am also queer (which I consider my sexual orientation, although queer is a very broad word and can mean more than just that, it’s a whole lifestyle, its a political practice, it can also be used as a gender identity which I know can be confusing).

I am a queer transman. Elaboration: I am a transgendered man and I am open to attraction between all body types.  I usually am more attracted to hyper-feminine women, but I have also hooked up with butches (masculine women), straight men, andros (short for androgynous persons which means they are somewhere between masculine and feminine and are usually pretty gender neutral in their outward appearance), gay men, and straight women. I don’t have reservations about body types and I am open to all encounters without judgement. Queer transman.  I hope I explained that alright…let me know if it still doesn’t make sense.  Okay, let me just summarize some of my personal experiences (these are in no way intended to speak for the larger transman community):

1) Once upon a time a dated a feminine lesbian who broke up with me because I’m trans and she was unsure that she could date someone who identified as male.  She thought she might not be attracted to me if I started transitioning.  That sucked.  I felt pressure to not transition, I felt discriminated against because of my gender identity, I felt mostly sad that I could even have a fair chance.  It is never fun to be rejected and its especially not fun to be rejected because of something that you were born with. (For the record, this particular person is an all around great person and after she realized that what she was doing was not cool she gave me a chance and we dated for a while.)

2) Once upon a time I went to a party with the same feminine lesbian and she began talking to a very butch lesbian.  They were obviously flirting (but, whatever, I’m cool with that) and then the butch woman leans over and says: You are too cute to being dating a trans. What does that even mean?  How can someone say that you are too cute to be dating ANYONE? Just because you are trying to hit on the girl I came with doesn’t mean you have to use my gender identity as an insult.  Ignorance, folks.  I think I’m pretty cute, too….sheesh.

3) Once upon a time I dated a straight femme who cheated on me with a male-bodied dude.  She said she need a “real” man with a “real” dick. OUCH.  I’m not sure if she actually meant them or if she just said those things to break me down (we were fighting up a storm), but either way, those words did sting.

4) Once upon a time I met someone who tried to date me because they have a trans fetish.  I support fetishes.  I know that some people think that fetishizing certain types of bodies or body parts or people is not okay, but the way I see it EVERYBODY is fetishized in some way.  People have race fetishes, feet fetishes, weight fetishes, I mean there is probably a fetish for every single person out there, so I don’t think a trans fetish is any different. FETISH, I wanted to say it again. Weird word, really.

5) Once upon a time I had a gay guy tell me: if you were a dude I would be so into you! Okay, I understand that was meant as a compliment, what he really meant was: I think you are totally hot, but vaginas scare me. At the time I was both flattered and upset, I mean, thank you for saying I’m hot, but you can’t you see that I AM a dude? C’mon, I tried really hard to pick clothing that would allow me to pass that night, but after that I felt like everybody could see that I was female-bodied and it made me uncomfortable.

6) I’m currently dating a power femme and she supports me to the fullest.  My transgender identity has never been a problem for her and my body isn’t a problem for her. The only thing that she really has a problem with (and I’m struggling with this too) is being seen by society as a straight couple.  We are both very queer and want to remain a part of a queer community, but the queers around here (and I hope I don’t upset anyone by saying this, but its the truth) are a bit hypocritically exclusive. If we walk up to a queer function and she looks like a power femme and I look like a man it will be hard to get people to talk to us, it’s almost like we have to convince them that we are queer.  I fear this problem will only get worse as I begin looking more masculine…but I’ll continue looking for a solution.

When I am looking for potential people to date, I have no reservations, I have never not approached someone because I thought they looked “too straight” or like they wouldn’t be interested in someone like me.  I just assume that everybody is open to dating me.  When I do start dating someone I make sure they know from the get-go that I am transgender.  Not all transguys do this, some prefer to not talk about it because it is so personal and maybe not something that you would want to share on the first date, but I’m the opposite. I prefer to tell everyone ASAP so they know exactly how I identify and know what body parts to expect (you know, if we get that far).  It doesn’t always work out, sometimes it scares people away (some people are just not willing to give trans a chance), sometimes it works out with people you wouldn’t expect, either way it’s all about confidence.  Confidence is attractive.  Do whatever you do with confidence and most of the time you will get the results you deserve.

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