Want to date A Transgender Person? 10 Things You Should Know
In the USA and across the world you will find transgender people coming from every region. They will be from every ethnic and racial background, from every faith and culture. You will find them entering beauty pageants, they might be in your workplace, or they might be your neighbor next door.
One of the most famous transgender women in the world is none other than Caitlyn Jenner – who used to be Bruce Jenner, the former Olympic gold-medal decathlete. As she says, "For all intents and purposes, I am a woman...I was not genetically born that way and as of now, I have all the male parts... But I still identify as female.” Since Jenner has officially come out about his transition, transgender people in the USA hope to become more accepted and less alien.
What are transgender people?
All people, including transgender people, have a gender identity . Gender identity is what matches your sex at birth. But some people, when they get older, feel like they lean much more toward the other sex. They want to be the sex they feel they were meant to be and they start a gender transition. This will require a lot of inward reflection and cause anxiety and stress even. Not all their friends and family will be accepting of who they are or want to become.
Of course, a transgender person wants to date, too, like everybody else; they seek love and acceptance as well. If you are a person who is interested in a transgender person, we have some worthwhile tips on how to date them. Because you might genuinely like them and want to get to know them better.
Location is important when you meet for the first time, so your date feels comfortable
Maybe let your date choose the location, or maybe you can both decide on the venue, be it a bar, café, or restaurant. You could select a place that has all-gender restrooms. Don’t overthink the venue though – just run the place past your date and if they accept, it’s probably good for them too.
Use the correct pronoun that fits your date
If you are dating a transgender woman, she is no doubt going to use ‘her’ and ‘she’ pronouns. If you are not sure about the language with her, first listen and notice what your date refers to them as.
Communication first; before you engage in physical intimacy
Remember to get to know the person as that; a person that you are interested in getting to know better. General dating questions like asking what they do for fun, what their dreams and hopes are, what work they do, and that type of thing. You should also open up about yourself to them as well, and find out what the two of you have in common.
If you are planning to engage in sexual activity with your date, ask your transgender friend to tell you about what will happen and what to expect. Maybe your date only wants to be touched in a certain way or kissed in a certain way. There will be many things that might be different from what they want, and if you aren’t sure about it, just ask!
Apologize if you make a mistake along the way and then move on
Because there are bound to be slips of the tongue or using the wrong words, if it is your first time dating a transgender person, you might by mistake say something that they find offensive. Just apologize and move on without agonizing over it and bringing it up all the time! If your date is really upset about your mistake, just learn to accept it, and let them have the space they need, if necessary.
Things you should avoid saying
Don’t compliment them on how ‘well’ they come across as the gender they want to be, like “you’re so feminine!” This is more likely to offend your date as it makes them feel like you are too focused on the fact that they are transgender. It doesn’t mean you can’t compliment them on their style and their looks. Just compliment without comparing them to cisgender people.
Also, avoid asking about their pre-transition life
You might be dying to know what your date used to look like before they transitioned, and what made them want to transition. But asking this can make your date feel like you are only interested in finding out about them because of their transition – not for the person they are.
Your date doesn’t want any reassurance from you
Don’t be tempted to tell your date that you think it’s "okay" for them to be transgender or that you admire them and think it’s all "cool." The best thing you can do for them is to show them respect – that’s what they want. They might think you sound as if they should be thanking you for showing them respect.
Will you be an ally to your trans-partner? You can’t keep them secret
Remember that you are going to be out and about with your date, moving amongst friends and acquaintances. When you introduce her, you need to identify her clearly, saying her name to everyone. You could say something like “This s my girlfriend, Amy.” That means that if you hear people using the wrong pronoun for her, you can correct them – that is if they are confused. Just check with your partner if they are comfortable with all that comes with introductions and the right pronouns, etc.
Discrimination will come, and how to deal with it
When you are dating a transgender person, a few friends and family might start getting personal with you and ask you if your own sexual identity has changed by any chance . You will need to take your time to figure out your answer according to the description that fits exactly how you feel about it. You owe nobody an explanation and it is entirely up to you to keep your sexual identity to yourself - Although you will have people guessing. But how you answer is entirely up to you.
A good idea for you is to connect with other people who connect with trans-people
You can make friends with people that your partner will be familiar with. Maybe you could be a volunteer for an LGBTQ organization and attend events that are geared towards that end.
If you are truly attracted to someone who is transgender and you want to date them, remember that you need to do so proudly and publicly, without shame. Nobody ever wants to be treated like a shameful secret. If your date who is transgender is disrespected or rejected, you cannot blame them for the way other people behave toward them.
If you do feel uncomfortable dating someone for any particular reason, just be honest with them about your own feelings, limitations, and preferences, and let them know how you feel. And then move on. It’s your right too – but be kind, honest, and open, because then everyone knows where they stand.