When Transgendered people date, there are several things to consider that most people never think of. When a transperson “passes” as the gender they know they are inside, they have a tough choice to make on how to their lives as who they are. They have to choose whether or not they want to be openly out in their daily life about being transgendered or not. Many transpeople choose to not be out due to society’s stigmas and judgments.
The dilemma is even more difficult when it comes to dating. If the transperson is Bi or is attracted to people of the opposite gender then they are considered straight in our binary gender world. For many this can feel good after years of feeling like an outsider. The dilemma and questions are when a transgendered person finds someone they like and are interested in dating when do they reveal that they are transgendered? Do they let the person get to know them some as a person before saying anything? Do they tell right away and risk that the person they are attracted to may choose to reject them immediately? Or, if they’re post–op do they never tell? There are pros and con’s for each question and every transperson has to come to this delicate decision on their own all the while being considerate for the other unknowing person at the same time. A delicate balance for sure.
Let’s look at the pros and cons of these three questions:
* Do they let the person get to know them some as a person before saying anything?
They can learn more about your character and who you really are.
Gives you chance to see if the relationship is worth the risk of revealing yourself
Gives a chance to learn more about the person’s possible bias and prejudice
You or the other person falls for the other, then they find out they cannot handle your history
They could become very angry and feel tricked if you wait to tell them — which could be dangerous
*Do they tell right away and risk that the person they are attracted to may choose to reject them immediately?
If they have bias of prejudice you will know right away
You don’t have to worry about being outed
Creates more open communication
Relationship starts out with honesty
Person may choose to bail and not give you a chance
Person may out you to others if you have common friends or work together
Person could feel this gives them the right to ask many very personal questions very early
*Or, if they’re post–op do they never tell?
You fit into society’s so-called “Norm”
You live your fantasy life
You have secrets –the relationship is never based on total honesty
You always have to worry about being outed.
If they somehow find out they feeling lied to.
Of course, I don’t think we should be judged based on the physical but based on who we are inside –our spirit, our character, our heart. However, our society creates a world that bases so much on the outward shell of a person and many times one never sees the true person at all. This is like judging a book by the cover and never reading any of the story and is a shame.
At the same time to try and see the other side — I have to admit that our society has brainwashed people into thinking that gender is all about the outer shell. It is a rare person who can escape the societal imperative to look at gender as all about outward appearances. Look at how much people spend on the making their outer shell look good. There is an amazing sense of importance we give to appearance, even though it reveals very little about a person’s true nature — their heart, spirit or character. I am by no means taking all of the responsibility off of the individual for judgmentalism, sexism or any other ism, however I do feel we have to look at how our society keep this monster of non-acceptance alive and thriving. We are part of our society so we have have to take responsibility for its prejudices and biases.
I choose to be totally out and upfront from the beginning. I am a very out activist and have chosen that path on my own free will. If someone has biases or prejudices regarding who I am, I want to know right away — which is one of the reasons I no longer live in the South. Sadly, there are transgendered people who live in areas where there is little education and acceptance. Their choices are tougher. The choice of when to tell can be swayed by demographics as well as other factors. Coming out to potential partners is a tough decision and it’s never an easy one. My hope is that one day our world will judge based on who a person really is or better yet not judge at all. As far as dating, one day maybe it will be about a person’s character, how much fun you have with them, compassion, kindness, and how they move through this world instead of how someone looks or what exactly is in or not in their pants. Here’s to that future.