Dating can mean lots of different things to different people. Some folks just want to hook up or date casually. Others might look for long-term relationships. All this can seem a bit scary and complicated to anyone! When you’re trans, dating can be even more intimidating. Fortunately, there are lots of ways a trans people can date, feel safe, and have fun!
What you want in a partner
A lot goes into thinking about what you’d like in a relationship! A lot of trans people worry about meeting someone who knows about trans experiences. Dating is hard enough without worrying someone will respect your identity!
It might help to ask yourself how much you’re comfortable explaining or teaching on a date. You might be more or less comfortable dating someone…
- who doesn’t known much about trans people
- who’s also trans
- who’s dated other trans people
- who knows specific things that you don’t want to explain
- who knows or has experience with anything else you’d like them to!
Meeting people to date
There are a lot of ways to meet people to date in real life or online. Some people like dating apps or social media. Some like to meet through school clubs, or online. Others like meeting other LGBTQ+ people through their a school group or a nearby organization!
Some people find it easier to date acquaintances or friends. It’s a great way to know what they’re like! But there is some risk for losing friends that are important to you. You can figure out if it feels right for you.
It can feel awkward to tell someone that you want to date. It can help to find a quiet, comfortable place to ask them. Being clear about what you want can be scary. But it helps avoid confusion and unnecessary stress!
Coming Out to Your Date
It can sometimes be hard to know if or when you should tell your date that you’re trans. Coming out can sometimes be a heartwarming experience! But there are some emotional risks and safety issues for trans people. It’s a lot to think about, but a few things can help!
There’s no right or wrong time in a relationship. You can trust your gut and decide when you feel comfortable enough to come out. You never need to tell someone if you don’t feel safe!
If you’re not sure how someone will react, you can think about…
- Can a friend call to check in after you come out? They can take steps if you don’t answer. It’s also a handy excuse to leave if you need to!
- Does someone know where you are? Who you’re with?
- Are you in a public place where other people could step in to help?
- Do you have enough privacy to feel comfortable talking about vulnerable things?
- Can you use rides or public transit if you want to leave in a hurry?
Online dating and coming out
Dating apps or social media give a lot of other ways you can come out to potential dates! Coming out before you meet in person can sometimes feel safer or more comfortable. You can think about…
- saying you’re trans in your profile.
- hinting that you’re trans in your profile
- coming out to potential dates before you meet them in person
- waiting to tell them
- deciding not tell them
Each option has its own risks and advantages. You can always decide what’s right for you!
If you decide to meet someone in real life, the safety tips we mentioned earlier could help lower any risk.
What dates might want to know
Some things you or your date might want to talk about are:
- What name and pronouns do you use?
- Who do you use them with? When?
- Who are you out to?
- Can they tell other people that you’re trans?
- Are there questions you don’t want them to ask? Things you won’t talk about?
- Do you want to talk about sex? What gives you sexual pleasure?
Coming out to someone is giving them an honour! But it can also give people a lot to think about. Your date might have some questions for you. They could also want time to process what you say.
If someone reacts badly or asks about intense things, you always have the right to leave. If they make small mistakes, it might help to you remember that they might learn more with time.
It’s ok to tell a date any time you aren’t comfortable answering a question. There are lots of resources that can help them learn more about the trans community!