Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Dating

Ugh… being trans makes it a lot harder to find romantic partners. I not talking about one night stands but rather long term relationships.

TransLucid
What are the ethics of transgender dating?
LGBTQ Nation
By Brynn Tannehill
December 19, 2016

Even before I began transitioning, I was aware of the ongoing debate revolving around when, how, and whether a transgender person should disclose being transgender to potential romantic partners. Like any complex social and ethical issue, there are a lot of aspects to consider.

There isn’t a lot of research on transgender people and dating. The data that exists isn’t particularly encouraging. 47% of LGB people would consider dating a transgender person, and 44% would not. Transgender women are the members of the LGBT community most likely to try dating online, in part because they almost always need to search a larger geographical area than any other segment of the LGBT population to find someone willing to date a transgender woman. This effect is magnified for transgender women in rural areas with a lower population density, where they might have to drive for hours to meet another queer, single person.
I was thinking about online dating but I have cold feet.

I was dating a woman after I transitioned, I knew her for a while and she attended a workshop where I was giving a talk and we dated for a couple of months afterward, I never really knew why she broke it off but my thoughts were that she had a problem with being seen with a bunch of trans people.
For transgender and queer people in the rural areas, online dating applications have become the primary way of meeting other people, and the number of queer spaces and “gay bars” is falling accordingly. Putting that you’re transgender right up front in your profile might cut down on the number of responses, but it also reduces the chances of “jerks and surprises.”
I am not into the “bar scene” and secondly I am not interested in men. I do attend many lesbian functions such as “game night” at Real Art Ways in Hartford and we have good times there, it is lots of fun learning new games each month.
When transgender women choose to disclose online, they are often fetishized on dating sites, being treated like, “just an item to check off someone’s sexual bucket list.” “Chasers” present something of a dilemma too: sometimes they represent the only potential attention a transgender woman might receive in a rural area. Transgender men seem to be less subject to prurient interest on gay dating sites, but often feel misunderstood or unwanted. They frequently are subjected to ignorant, insensitive, or hostile comments on sites like Grindr.
I know of several trans people who have found happiness from online dating sites but I also know other trans people who have had bad luck with the sites. Many of those who had bad luck reported getting only inquiries from “Tranny Chasers” to who were only interested in one night stands, kind of like they are checking off their “bucket list,” slept with a tranny… check.
The news is even worse for transgender people who identify as heterosexual. Only 12% of straight people in one survey said they would be open to dating a transgender person, while 65% would never consider it. There is a great deal of stigma attached to being a man who dates a transgender woman, even when that transgender woman is Janet Mock. The horror of accidentally dating a transgender woman continues to be the source of humor for a public still generally uncomfortable with the idea.
And that is also where a lot of the violence comes from, their friends make fun of them dating a trans person so the beat-up or kill their partner because they feel ashamed of dating a trans person.

I think she hit the nail on its head when she wrote,
The simplest explanation for these logical and legal inconsistencies is a toxic mix of homophobia and transphobia. Men are afraid of being labeled gay, or doubting their own masculinity, if they have sex with a transgender person. People in general have a visceral “ick” reaction to a stereotype of transgender people, whether or not they were able to tell the person was transgender. This is the definition of bias.
They don’t see us a woman or man.

I was at a senior center one time and the discussion was about senior dating and one of the lesbians said that she doesn’t have a problem with trans women in women’s space, but then she added, but I wouldn’t date a trans woman because I only date women.

I still think the best way to meet someone romantically is to go out and do things like game night. That maybe someone will get to know you as a person rather than a trans person.

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