But obviously, the woman felt duped in some way, and she continued with her tirade.“You tricked me,” she said. Now I really felt the need to explain myself.“Firstly, you are making assumptions about what I have or don’t have in my pants, which is none of your business, just as I would not ask you if you have a vagina.
And, while I felt no need to explain myself, I replied.“My status as a trans person is my personal business, and I feel no need to have to explain it to strangers. Secondly, if you think sex is purely genital-to-genital, I feel sorry for you!
The more I sit with this realization, the more I am convinced that a huge element of the challenge came from the fact that dating sites and other social media groups geared toward dating just aren't that “user-friendly” for trans people.
In my case (and perhaps for many trans folks), going online for potential romance felt like a safe first step in cultivating my new, authentic self—in being able to reach out to others as the man that I was and am.
After I came out as trans (FTM), my lesbian relationship was ending, and my first instinct was to stick mainly to gay and lesbian dating sites.
Perhaps this was out of a desire to meet and connect with people in the queer community; perhaps it was because I wasn’t totally comfortable identifying as heterosexual, despite the fact that I was a man and was attracted to women.
I recall planning a couple of potential dates in which the person explicitly acknowledged being comfortable about meeting a trans person, and then would politely back out before the date even happened.
But there’s no denying that the dating part itself presented fewer challenges as a cis-gendered person.Plus, since I live in a small community, there aren’t many opportunities to date and less of a selection of potential partners.And yet, the basic tools given to you by most dating sites don’t leave much room for personalization.We had been flirting on Facebook for about a year and agreed that if either of us was ever traveling close enough to the other, we would meet.She drove down from New York and we had an enjoyable dinner in Philadelphia.